Do you ever wonder how a business puts the perfect ad on your screen? More likely than not, it all comes down to their programmatic advertising strategy. In order to support an existing marketing mix, brands need to serve targeted content in the online spaces their audience regularly visits. Programmatic advertising is how you can use data and automation to drive those digital campaigns.
To help break down the basics of this approach, we talked to Sebastian Pfeiffer, a senior account executive and digital marketing expert at Q1 Media for his insight:
What is programmatic advertising? Why is it important now?
SP: Programmatic advertising allows us to use existing data to identify target users and reach them. We do this through things like Display ads, Pre-Roll Video, and Native ads on brand-safe sites.
The most important aspect of programmatic advertising is that we don’t make assumptions about where our target users spend their time online. We simply use all targeting data that we have at our disposal to identify them and engage with them—wherever that might be.
How does programmatic advertising benefit businesses?
SP: Your targeting can be ultra-precise with programmatic. Alternatively, you can also cast a wide net to find consumers that you would not have found through traditional marketing. Your brand can build familiarity with the right users, regardless of whether they know you or not.
What are some of the most important things to remember when executing a programmatic advertising campaign?
SP: There are a lot of things to keep in mind when running a programmatic campaign. I would say that the most important include:
- Don’t judge the sites where your ads run. You are running a campaign that follows your identified audience throughout their online journey—whether that’s a news site, a sports site, a dating site or a gaming site.
- Work with a partner that has access to as much targeting data as possible. The more precise your targeting, the more efficient your campaign will be. Beyond 3rd party data that’s usually based on a user’s online history, the right partner will have access to additional targeting tactics like Mobile Device Location History (Dev ID Targeting), CRM List Matching, Past Purchases, Past Registrations, Life Events and many more.
- Programmatic advertising is a top-of-funnel tactic designed to feed your lower-funnel tactics. Do not assume that your target users will automatically act after engaging with your content. Programmatic advertising is used to familiarize the target user with your brand and your offers, driving them down your sales funnel. You need to have complimentary SEO and SEM online campaigns running for this strategy to work.
- Do not compare click-thru-rates, cost-per-click, cost-per-acquisition, etc. of programmatic to SEM, SEO, or social media. SEM, SEO and social media allow you to take advantage of the “low-hanging fruit.” These are people who are familiar with your brand and actively seek your product or service. Programmatic advertising is more like waving your arms to flag people down as they pass by. These two different approaches are complementary, but they should never be compared or compete with one another.
- Always utilize site retargeting. This tactic will follow any users who have visited your landing page and serve them with your ads throughout their internet experience. It’s a good idea to use specific ad messaging to reach the audience that has already been to your site and interacted with your brand.
- Change your creative assets regularly. Ad fatigue for your users is real. Don’t let your creativity get stale over 3 months! Work in a refresh or two to “re-catch” the user’s eye.
Where is a good place to start?
SP: I had to think about this one a bit. Some programs may allow you to run these campaigns in-house however, just because you can doesn’t mean that you should. A DIY platform will always be extremely basic and one-dimensional, leaving a lot to be desired by way of efficiency and effectiveness. The tactics, targeting and optimizations that can be employed programmatically are so vast and intricate, it is of the utmost importance to seek the assistance of an agency that employs Ad Ops Specialists who live and breathe this stuff. Think of it this way, just because you know how to ride a bike doesn’t mean you’re ready to join the Tour de France.
If you still aren’t sure how to answer the question, “what is programmatic advertising?” — don’t worry. The team at 10x Digital is prepared to help you start your next data-driven phase of digital marketing. Your target audience is out there, and now it’s time to get creative in how you reach them.