Tuesday 19 February, 2019

So, what exactly is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic Advertising is a relatively young field in advertising. It’s especially new to the Caribbean region.

If you’ve been browsing the internet today, you’ve almost definitely seen an ad that was served to you through the magic of programmatic. Still, most people only have a vague idea of what it is, let alone know how it works.

In a phrase, Programmatic Advertising is the use of software to automate the purchase of digital ads.

Traditional advertising visualised.

One way to look at it is like this; If traditional advertising were carpet bombing, then programmatic advertising is deploying a highly skilled special forces team focused on a singular mission; find persons who are interested in your business and turn them into buyers.

Programmatic Advertising is of course a lot less violent in its approach, but you get the idea.

Now you may be wondering, what exactly is wrong with the “carpet bombing” approach of traditional ads? Doesn’t displaying your ad in a newspaper or magazine mean more visibility, which is better for my brand or business? Not necessarily. There are many points that can be made here, but some of the main constraints of traditional ads are:

Lack of focus: You can’t control who does or doesn’t see your ad with a newspaper or a billboard.

Expensive: Billboards and magazine ads are expensive. You pay thousands of dollars to display ads with no guarantee that you’re reaching your target audience.

Limited Insights: You don’t know who has seen your ad, and unless you’re asking each customer that makes a purchase, you don’t know which of your customers arrived at your store because they saw your ad and which arrived organically. Without this information it’s very difficult to discover which types of ads work well and which don’t.

Programmatic advertising solves these problems quite elegantly. With programmatic ad campaigns, you can choose exactly who sees your ads, meaning that you only pay for those ads that are displayed to your chosen audience and you can gather lots of insightful data that is useful for your business sales process.

Using the example of a team of Special Forces, we can very generally explain the various steps an agency goes through when launching a programmatic advertising campaign.

Step 1 — Gathering Intel (Choosing Audience Segments)

At this stage, we identify possible audiences that would be interested in the client’s product or service. This is accomplished using data that is gathered from users as they browse the internet. A surprising amount of information about users can be deduced from their browsing habits. You may recall the story of how the US chain retailer Target was able to accurately predict when their shoppers were pregnant utilising data analysis, and offer them coupons for baby items via email.

Step 2 — Mission Planning (Determining campaign goals)

At this point, the agency determines what kind of campaign suits the client’s needs. Would they just like to consumers to keep their brand or product in mind for the future (Awareness)? Maybe they’d like to connect with potential customers and get their contact information for later use (Lead Generation)? Or perhaps convince a user who was looking at items on their online store to return and complete their purchase (Remarketing)? Once these questions are answered, it’s onto step 3.

Step 3 — Choosing your weapons (Creatives)

Ad banners or ‘creatives’ as they are sometimes called can make or break your campaign. Choosing how, where and when your message should be displayed should be very carefully considered. I’d argue that the banners are perhaps themost important part of a campaign, because you can nail all the other steps involved in launching a campaign but if your ads aren’t enticing, don’t convey your message clearly or just plain suck, no one is going to pay attention to them.

If your creatives aren’t effective, your brand may as well be invisible.

Step 3 — Go time (Campaign Launch)

Once we’ve identified our audience, gathered our data (or acquired it from a third party company that specialises in this), determined our main goals and designed our creatives to suit, we’re ready to hit the ground.

Step 4 — Optimisation

We keep our eyes and ears open at all times for potential opportunities or threats. Thankfully, we don’t have to do this completely manually and we rely on the algorithms of our platform to aid us in efficiently maximising the campaign’s reach and budget expenditure.

Step 5 — Debriefing

After a successful mission, we take time to review the performance of the campaign. We determine what worked well and where there may have been opportunities for improvement. These findings are then applied to later campaigns.

Interested in Programmatic Advertising for your business? Learn more at Trend.media

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