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15 December

It’s no secret to anyone in the marketing field that advertising is most effective when the three R’s are achieved – the Right message to the Right person at the Right time. It used to be that this could only happen if there was a “perfect storm” that would result in all of the components to coming together. Traditionally, brand marketers could only offer campaigns that hit generic segments of an audience, with little relevant targeting. This creates an inefficient operation that slows down the fulfillment and strains resources. All of this is changing, though, with the technology of programmatic buying. These advances leverage data to allow the automation of marketing across channels, resulting in greater levels of targeting, efficiency, relevance and impact.

Simply put, programmatic buying is the practice of utilizing technology and demographic insights to buy and run an ad campaign automatically, in real time. The goal of all this is to get the right message to the right consumer … at the right time, and in the right context. Programmatic buying makes transactions effective, simple and efficient.

Rapidly increasing are the channels and touch points that consumers have at their fingertips with today’s brands. Marketers must be continually vigilant, watching the interaction between the messages they are sending out across these many platforms and devices, and the reactions of the consumers that are receiving them. Programmatic is an integral step to make this happen. It is accomplished by conjoining disparate points of data, as well as providing a holistic view of the consumers and their behaviors.

It isn’t just marketers that programmatic buying benefits. Media companies (with inventory to sell) can optimize CPMs and build stronger relationships with marketers, unlocking the value of underutilized inventory. This results in a more relevant, seamless journey by the customer, across all types of media, from offline display to desktop, to mobile to TV. Such real-time, cross-channel optimization and targeting will eventually become the norm. Some of the world’s most forward-thinking brands are making huge leaps in this direction, and are reaping the benefits of programmatic advertising.

There are some companies who remain skeptical and reluctant to dive fully into the world of programmatic buying. After all, it does require a great paradigm shift from the traditional norm. They want to see this strategy grow and mature before doing much heavy investing. They cite that the technology can be intimidating, and that they are concerned about quality, data security, transparency and fraud. It is, indeed, crucial that these issues be addressed as this trend continues to flourish.

There was a survey conducted last year by the Association of National Advertisers, in which it was discovered that only 26% of the respondents knew what programmatic was, and had actually used it. It’s crystal clear that there is a need for education regarding programmatic buying. The technology is at hand, and the sooner that media companies and marketers across the entire advertising industry put this technology to work, the sooner that the full benefits of programmatic will come to full bloom.

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