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The future is bright: the future is programmatic advertising

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With so many things becoming automated and driven by software these days from SEO to my cars desire to make me comfortable, which borders on the creepy computer HAL from A Space Odyssey, it is no wonder that the world of advertising would catch up.

At the moment the focus of the technology and indeed this blog is on the online advertising aspect which allows marketers to get their adverts in front of people searching the web via computer, tablet or mobile device of choice in real time, at the right time and for the right price.

RTB is the buzz with programmatic advertising. It stands for Real Time Bidding and does exactly what it says on the tin, it allows advertisers to bid in real time for ad placement in front of the people they want their advert to be displayed at the right time. But Real Time Bidding is not programmatic advertising but rather one of the programmatic advertising options.

What is Programmatic Buying?

Well quite simply it is the process of buying digital advertising space using automated software. It allows publishers and buyers of advertising space to purchase that space in an automated way through Ad Exchanges, DSP and SSP’s in an automated way instead of the old fashion model of publisher sells space, advertiser negotiates on price and advert gets placed.

Programmatic buying is faster and more rewarding for both parties. Publishers don’t need sales people to annoy customers by calling them up and trying to sell them the ad space, cutting their resource costs and meaning they don’t need pesky egocentric salesmen with half a brain stinking up the office and buyers don’t need to waste time with phone calls, emails and negotiations.

But even better for the advertising buyer is the fact that they can get their message out in front of their potential customers in real time. It is becoming widely accepted by buyers that are now using this type of advertising technique that they are seeing greater returns and more customer engagement using programmatic advertising.

Its real benefit is its ability to be used to target your specific audience demographic in real time only when they are accessing the site in question. Meaning vastly more targeted advertising. When used together with a retargeting/remarketing strategy this enables advertisers to reshow, or show for the first time their adverts based on what the user has recently or previously search or the websites he or she has visited.

Sounds a bit big brother. Well it is but by the very fact of the user/searcher accepting these things it allows the advertiser more ability to get their message directly in front of the people they really want it to be in front of them, directly at the time they want it in front of them, when they have recently been or are currently thinking of the type of service or product being advertised. This is probably the most power advertising and marketing tool on the market today.

Companies that have engaged in programmatic advertising have seen staggering results in ROI from their campaigns over previous advertising campaigns.

So How Does It Work?

Well it’s all driven by data. The results are driven by the advertiser or advertising buyers detailed log of their target audience. The more detailed and specific the advertiser can be the more targeted the advertising will be. The profiling is not just about demographic and psychographic detail it is also ensuring that the context of the advert display is in line with the behaviour of the potential customer.

With programmatic advertising the software used by advertisers in affect conducts a deal with the auction systems that the advertiser has decided to interact with. These deals are for impressions in milliseconds and determine who gets their advert in front of the potential customer and when. This is the part of the process that is commonly known as Real Time Bidding.

There are then two main approaches that the advertiser will use

  1. Based on the price of the advert where the buyer is looking to reduce costs and optimise their adverts, this is still a very manual approach but is not one to be ignored.
  2. Is a value based purchasing program. The exciting element here is that the platform used has the ability to learn from its mistakes. Its fails based on the consumer negative or lack of reaction to the advert shown. This enables both publisher and advertiser to deliver better more targeted and relevant advertising to their customers.
    1. Gone are the days when you paid for mass Ad Exchange or Network advertising only to see your advert appear on a website where it just didn’t fit or was out of place (at least that’s the theory).

If you take this targeted, programmatic and direct approach it will improve your digital advertising campaigns no end. If you add in a retargeting/remarketing strategy then you are playing with gold dust.

It offers

  • Targeted advertising direct to your potential customers, when they want it and how you want it
  • It provides online marketers with more control and improved return on investment for their campaigns
  • Real time results that enable you to adapt and change your campaign quickly to make improvements
  • You are paying per impression, not for a block of advertising space over a period of time, this is far more cost effective than traditional banner advertising
  • Flexible dynamic approach which means your direct advertising campaign can work with your business needs and customer wants in real time

Industry Noise

As with a lot of online marketing we are used to the old saying “it’s all smokes and mirrors” which is usually said by the ill-informed.

With programmatic advertising there is some of this. It can seem a quite complicated playing field to enter and some of the terms are confusing if not at time contradictory. The IAB (The Interactive Advertising Bureau) has written some reports on this subject where it calls for clarity of the subject to enable buyers to feel more secure in what they are buying.

Conclusion

All in all programmatic advertising looks like it is here to stay and those taking part in it are find it a real benefit to their advertising and marketing campaigns making it essential to their ongoing strategy.

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