Remember when artificial intelligence was something from a sci-fi movie? No more. No AI is in almost every industry, and has become something we all live with every day.
According to the US Programmatic Ad Spending Forecast by eMarketer, by the end of 2021, 88 percent of all digital display ads are projected to be handled by programmatic advertising.
We’re almost there.
Programmatic advertising uses AI to automate the ad buying process so you can continually target more specific audiences. It’s a system that automates the process of buying and dynamically placing ads on websites, apps, and smart devices, being able to purchase and place these ads via automated means. It refines the process, changes targeted messages, and continually improves the advertising process.
But don’t think for a moment that this is a hands-off tool. It’s changing the face of digital advertising, but it doesn’t eliminate human intervention. Instead, it allows marketers the chance to focus on creative and complex intellectual data to continually refine and hone in on the overall message. Programmatic advertising automates the repetitive side of marketing, and leaves the creative side to the marketers.
How programmatic advertising works
If you’ve ever created a search-driven campaign before, you know you’ll select key attributes for creation: keywords, geographic location, time of day, demographics, etc. Even though these searches allowed deep-diving more than ever before, they still were limited by the process itself.
With programmatic advertising, it can rapidly use hundreds of targets based on behavior and individualized signals to achieve the right results.
When someone clicks on a link, it pulls up a specific webpage online. That webpage is now stored. The publisher of that page can put up an impression based on that page, and put it up for auction.
The marketplace holds auctions among advertisers competing for these impressions. The one willing to pay the most wins the right to display their ad. This ad is delivered to prospective customers as they move around.
If and when the customer clicks, the ad is complete, the fee is charged, and you as the advertiser have a chance to complete the sale.
Is programmatic advertising the way of the future?
Whether you’re a newbie with a brand new website, or have been online for years, you can already see the advantage of being able to automate this process.
The more you can learn who your potential customers are, the easier it is to follow their behavior and be where they land, the greater chance you have of them clicking and converting to a customer.
In case you need convincing that this is the way of the future:
- Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451 percent increase in qualified leads.
- Automated email campaigns are among the top three tactics used to improve performance.
- Over 79 percent of renowned brands have been using automation tools for at least three years.
Creating your marketing roadmap
The key to any good marketing program is to start with a plan. Programmatic advertising is no different. If you want to make programmatic advertising work for you, it’s important to start by asking yourself a few questions.
What is my budget?
This isn’t something to throw a few dollars at for a few days to see how it works. Like any good advertising program, it will take time to set up and allow the technology to kick in. Some platforms require minimums to ensure you have what it takes to make this work for you.
Do I already have data from other resources?
Many companies move to programmatic advertising after using other types of marketing to help build their online presence. If you have CRM data, persona insights, or other helpful data, it can be a big benefit to help strive for better results.
Do I have lots of products and need help gaining specific results?
Have you taken a “throw it all out there and see what happens” approach before? Programmatic advertising can be used to drill down and achieve very specific results. This can allow you to focus like never before.
Do I want a tighter, cleaner sales funnel?
Not every product or service is a display and buy process. Sometimes it can take days – weeks – to capture attention and create the sale. Having a full sales funnel allows different people to click and learn based on their needs. The fuller you can create your funnel, the more sales you’ll have down the pike. But this does take time and energy to truly define all the different aspects of the sales funnel, and create the data necessary around it. Programmatic advertising can be a welcome aspect to making this a more efficient process.
Is this the future?
Marketing is an ever-changing, ever-growing industry. Learn the basics and apply them to technology as it morphs over time.
Because of the changes in technology and the growth in AI, the future looks bright for programmatic advertising. That’s because it can be adopted in many new forms throughout a variety of channels.
It’s perfect technology for the way we search today. Are you tired of popups and fly-ins? So is everyone else. Ad blockers will continue to rise as people look for ways to only see what they choose to see. Programmatic advertising takes what they’ve already looked at and refreshes it in their minds where they like to play online. It’s a seamless way to blend into whatever environment they choose to work in.
One of the most exciting prospects for this new technology is being able to move into new and improving platforms. Heavy growth is in smart TV and audio platforms that allow people to get content in whatever format they choose. Because programmatic advertising is adaptable, it allows flexibility in how it moves in front of audiences, depending on their desires.
Better targeting means reaching better customers. If you provide a better experience, you’ll improve your ads’ quality, and build a stronger customer base overall.