Programmatic Advertising Changes Face of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing evolves in tectonic shifts. If social media is one, programmatic advertising is another.

What is programmatic advertising? It’s an automated, technology-driven method of selling and buying advertising in the digital space.

The matrix of programmatic buying and selling includes desktop/website display, video, Facebook’s ad exchange, mobile ads and more – all using real-time-bidding.

That last part – real time bidding – is critical to the thinking behind programmatic advertising. Marketers today are operating in ‘real time’ mode in almost every digital effort (from content creation, to social media, to SEO efforts). They are trying to capitalize on as many “now moments” as possible. Programmatic Advertising makes that goal more achievable in more corners of the web, with better, more targeted results.

With ‘old school’ ad selling, the advertiser bought almost purely on context – a set price bought X number of impressions on the homepage of a website. Each user is treated the same. By contrast, Programmatic Advertising platforms are all about layering criteria to reach only the most targeted and relevant customers, in real-time, as they navigate the web.

Within Programmatic Advertising there are several real-time-bidding tactics regarding how your campaign will actually be organized and distributed – based on your brand and campaign goals.

Niche marketing, or microtargeting, is the practice of advertising to the most ideal prospects – those who fit your buyer persona very closely. With niche marketing you are acquiring a custom audience that is very likely to buy. By securing this laser focused audience you are also banking on the likelihood that they will take other actions that will help your brand in the long run – buying more than once (repeat customers who have brand loyalty); sharing their experience on social media or online (that may influence a friend to buy); and engaging with future content, product offerings, partnerships and other brand developments.

Banner Retargeting is designed to entice lost customers back to your site. The content for a banner retargeting campaign is more focused on exclusive deals and promotions that will appeal to a user already familiar with your brand (because they’ve already visited your website), but who did not buy. Consumers typically need to be exposed to brand content an average of five times before taking action, so consistent repeat exposure is key.

Regardless of the tactic – niche marketing and/or banner retargeting – the platform matters. Real time bidding software is a saturated market. If you do a simple Google search for RTB software you will see dozens of platforms with similar claims.

When Liqui-Site launched RTB services for our clients, it was largely motivated by the platform we chose – it’s our secret weapon for helping our clients see results with their RTB advertising campaigns. Our software has the largest advertising reach in the world – covering 98% of websites on the Internet. It weaves together millions of data points to determine where and how your campaign should display: on specific websites, by location, contextual (in blog posts or articles for example), and based on thousands of other audience criteria like age, education, income, purchasing history, brand preferences and much more.

Programmatic Advertising is cost effective in the sense that it’s an alternative to PPC ads, and also because RTB software tweaks your buyer persona over time as your campaigns run and collect data. The more accurate the “buyer”, the less you spend acquiring impressions. But ultimately the cost of advertising is going up. The secret is that the ad being bought via programmatic advertising is more targeted, more precise and more effective – and that’s why advertisers are happy to pay more.

And as an industry, RTB is exploding. Spending on RTB display advertising is projected to accelerate by almost 60% through 2016, making in the fastest growing segment of digital advertising over the next few years. Many Fortune500 brands have made programmatic their focus for digital, with verified success. Kelloggs, for example, has seen tremendous results using programmatic buying. Depending on the brand, digital media ROI increased as much as six times.

By partnering with agencies like Liqui-Site, small businesses now have the opportunity to capitalize on RTB – and see better return on their earned media to the same degree.

Questions about how RTB could work for your organization? Contact us or schedule a complimentary consultation.