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The Truth About Programmatic Platforms

The 101 on Programmatic Platforms

The digital advertising domain is growing complex and the same can be said within what exists within the programmatic platforms. As a result, many marketers have turned to programmatic platforms. They take the work – and guesswork – out of reaching consumer audiences. 

Now, real-time bidding (RTB) for programmatic advertising enables marketers to bid on ads. The competition in the field is growing increasingly fierce. Meanwhile, the cookie is approaching a slow death as first-party data takes its place. 

Also, advertisers face the challenge of reaching audiences. Today, consumers want more and more privacy. 

Read on to learn how this relatively new way to maximize your marketing spend can help you overcome obstacles. 

Programmatic Advertising 101: What Is Programmatic Marketing? 

Until recently, brands used different platforms for advertising across each channel. These channels might include, for instance, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

Now, add other channels such as display, over-the-top (OTT) and mobile ads. The choices become staggering.

As you can see, managing a comprehensive, modern marketing mix is challenging. Programmatic advertising platforms solve the dilemma of managing a deluge of media channels. 

Programmatic advertising is the process of automating digital advertising buying and selling. It makes putting your brand messages in the right place at the right time simpler. 

Through programmatic advertising, you can streamline the process of consolidating your digital marketing. Best of all, you only need a single ad technology platform. 

The inventory of programmatic advertising firms is increasing steadily. Now, you can access any digital advertising channel using a programmatic platform. Channels might include: 

Furthermore, you can target your ideal audience with data using programmatic advertising. You’ll only pay for ads that hit their mark. 

Programmatic advertising takes the guesswork out of reaching buyers. The process uses algorithms. These programs make the buying, placement and optimization of advertising more effective. 

The algorithms used for programmatic advertising can help you identify potential buyers. It analyses traits such as gender, geography or interests. 

More importantly, the algorithms assess real-time data. As a result, you no longer have to worry about making false assumptions. You’ll always have up-to-date data for making decisions. 

Programmatic advertising enables your brand to deliver engaging messages. What’s more, you can ensure a personalized customer experience at every touchpoint. In a world where many users have multiple devices, this is quite the feat. 

The Numbers Behind the Programmatic Advertising Industry 

eMarketer reports that advertisers spent nearly $60 billion on programmatic advertising in 2019. Over half of that, states the report, will go towards advertising across social media. 

Facebook and Google have dominated digital advertising. They’ve captured over 60% of all digital advertising dollars.

These two companies make advertising easy. Furthermore, their products are assessable to businesses of all sizes.

The report says that brands bartered over 80% of their digital advertising programmatically. Through 2021, brands will continue to invest in digital mediums. These mediums will include digital audio, social media and YouTube videos.

The report estimates that over 55% of marketing budgets will go towards banners, video and social media. Brands will also spend more on over-the-top (OTT) advertising. OTT is where consumers see ads displayed over smart TV apps. 

The digital landscape is growing increasingly fragmented. As it does, brands face the challenge of finding more ways to reach their audience with personalized messages. Brands also need to deliver real engagement to achieve a lasting impact. 

Now, digital advertising is becoming more accessible and efficient. As this happens, both buyers and sellers are turning to advanced technology to streamline trade. 

Change is especially present among programmatic advertising. The dynamics in the vertical are changing. The field has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. 

Programmatic advertising emerged a little over ten years ago. Since then, it has exploded. 

Today’s online consumers want something special in their digital experiences, and brands have risen to the occasion. Now, companies deliver high-quality digital content on demand. As a result, the customer experience (CX) is no longer a disruptive concept. 

CX is now the foundation of sound advertising strategy. As this reality settles in, brands must develop new ways to get attention. 

Programmatic Advertising Is Not Without Challenges 

Brands have access to more data about consumers than ever before. However, consumers are pushing back. 

A growing number of consumers are concerned about privacy, and they’re getting it. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made some consumer data untouchable. Back in the US, the California Consumer Privacy Act also bolsters consumer privacy. 

All the while, some internet browsers are making third-party cookies ineffective. These factors put a damper on collecting the data that makes programmatic advertising work. 

Further exacerbating the problem is that there’s a glut of tech startups wedging themselves between media buyers and sellers. These opportunities are wrangling fees out of the marketplace while failing to provide proof of real value. 

Brands must make smart buying choices. You must review service agreements before entering a partnership with an agency. Also, it’s essential to ensure that your programmatic advertising provider contributes to your goals. 

You must make sure that your advertising provider offers transparency. They must also provide tangible proof that their platform works. If you’re already using a programmatic advertising provider that doesn’t meet these standards, it’s time to find a new marketing partner. 

Finally, brands face a new frontier in unlocking the full potential of customer data platforms (CDPs) first-party data. This kind of information will become vital for brands as third-party data falls by the wayside. Brands know this and are investing time and resources to understand how to collect first-party data. 

First-party data is information provided straight from consumers. It may also come from the activity on proprietary websites, CRM suites and other digital company assets. 

First-party data will change the nature of collecting consumer information in the coming years. Each brand will have its own set of proprietary information. 

Follow the Leader 

The digital advertising landscape continues to mature. As it does, new competitors threaten the stranglehold held by Google and Facebook. 

Still, Amazon is the first serious contender to challenge the big two. Currently, the online retail behemoth holds 7% of global advertising share. 

The company is working to improve its position in the advertising marketplace. Already, Amazon is working on making improvements to its demand-side advertising platform. The upgrades will extend the reach of its Sponsored Products feature. It will also empower brands with a revamped rewards program tool. 

Amazon will also introduce customer acquisition metrics. They will also offer dynamic bidding for Sponsored Product advertising. 

The tech company’s improvements come on the heels of other emerging trends. These developments include new advertising technology opportunities such as mobile and OTT ads. 

Facebook and Google will continue to dominate online advertising. The companies enjoyed early success in the digital advertising space. Because of this, it looks like they will continue to maintain their stranglehold – for now. 

With all the developments happening behind the scene, it’s important to remember that creativity is king in digital marketing. Still, consumers want digital experiences that feel familiar. They want their brand messages to look and feel consistent. Marketers now recognize the importance of advertising continuity. 

Consumer demand has also compelled them to revisit creativity. Now, creativity is once again a foundation of advertising as in previous years. 

For a while, marketers lost sight of creativity as they directed their focus on trying to fulfill every want and need of potential buyers. It seems that, somewhere along the line, companies forgot to make advertisements that consumers like. 

Now, however, brands again recognize that creativity is essential. It’s a big part of what makes advertisements engaging for consumers. 

Getting With the Program: Understanding Programmatic Advertising Platforms 

Programmatic advertising is a fancy word for using technology to buy and sell digital ads. However, real-time bidding (RTB) takes marketing to the cutting-edge. It’s a sort of subset of programmatic advertising. 

RTB takes place in both private and public advertising marketplaces. In these marketplaces, agencies and advertisers bid on display space. 

Publishers use the marketplace to sell digital real estate using an auction format. As in real life, the winner in these auctions is the highest bidder. 

What’s noteworthy is the intricacy of the process. An RTB transaction takes place at the impression level, at times across a fraction of a second. 

Early on, advertising companies realized the potential of RTB. These companies have invested in improving the technology. Now, there’s a remarkable number of ways to use technology to automate the buying and selling of media in real-time. 

Programmatic advertising RTB transactions take place in public exchanges. However, they can also happen in private exchanges and direct buying scenarios. 

You need to assess the catalog of your programmatic advertising agency. Today, you need as many channels as possible to reach consumers. An agency with a diverse inventory can help you reach potential buyers across a range of mediums. 

The programmatic advertising field is complex and always evolving. What works one day may not work the next. 

Staying on top of programmatic advertising trends can take away from the core focus of your business if you’re not careful. As a result, it makes sense to partner with an agency that can handle the task for you. 

Buying Programmatic Advertising 

A programmatic advertising marketplace works similar to AdWords. However, it’s for digital display ads. 

Publishers sell digital display ads based on cost per thousand impressions (CPM). This practice is a departure from the traditional cost per click (CPC) pricing method. 

Now, advertisers have invested in developing features that enable you to refine how you bid for ad inventory. You can program your campaign to adjust based on different variables. For instance, you can program your marketing campaign to change based on audience characteristics, such as: 

  • Device usage
  • Local events
  • Local weather
  • TV schedules
  • Other miscellaneous factors 

In the past, these variables have proven to affect online user activity and demand. 

RTB enables you to automatically increase your bid when you believe that your audience is more valuable. Alternatively, you can reduce your bid when you feel as though your audience is least likely to buy something. 

Here lies the strength of real-time bidding. It enables you to extract much more value from your advertising. At the same time, it reduces the need for human intervention. 

Not All Programmatic Platforms Are Equal 

There are a few things you should do when seeking a programmatic advertising platform. First, evaluate the features of your potential provider. These features may include their dashboard, flexibility, real-time analytics and transparency. 

By reviewing these features, you have a better chance of choosing the right platform. You should also understand your provider’s pricing structure before you subscribe. 

You should also know if you’ll have to pay extra fees for onboarding, a monthly retainer or a percentage of your ad spend. Also, you’ll want to find out if you can negotiate rates. 

It’s also essential that you find out if you’ll have access to a high-quality, multiplatform advertising inventory. You also need to find out if your potential programmatic advertising provider has access to your ideal audience. 

Finally, you’ll need to know what safety measures your provider employs to prevent ad fraud. You also want to find out about a potential provider’s technical support capability. 

Start Doing Less and Accomplishing More With Programmatic Advertising 

Media Shark can help you navigate an increasingly complex and fragmented digital domain. Programmatic platforms can help you succeed in today’s media environment. 

Our digital advertising experts can help you deploy an effective advertising strategy. It will help you compete in an arena of ruthless competition. 

We’ll help you analyze audience behavior, needs and desires. Our analysis will help you develop strategies that enable you engage buyers effectively. From social media to YouTube videos, we can help you produce engaging content. 

From the start, you’ll know exactly how your campaign is performing. With a customized reporting dashboard, you’ll always stay informed. Media Shark makes using their programmatic platforms simple and easy.

Find out how Media Shark can help you stay on top of a cutting-edge digital marketplace. Contact us today for a free media marketing session.

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