Programmatic Marketing is a big buzz word these days, and while it does have some legitimate mystique, it is certainly not magic. One of the most important things programmatic brings to the table that almost anyone can take advantage of — is the ability to reach very specific audiences. Rather than shower you with technobabble, I want to provide some crisp useful insights.
What Is Programmatic?
In layman’s terms, this approach enables you to display digital ads directly to users, wherever they may be. Historically, you would place advertising on a particular website and people who use that site would see it. While that is still an effective approach in certain situations, programmatic lets you target the users you want independent of the website.
In short, advertising networks collect data about online users and let you target them based on select criteria. You cannot target people by name, but you can target by demographics and online habits.
Why All the Fuss?
Some suggest that this approach lets you only advertise to buyers, which would indeed be magical. The reality is less spectacular but still impressive. The big win is efficiency: Programmatic marketing enables you to reach the people who are most likely to respond to your message. At least, that is the idea. Results still hinge on your data and targeting strategy.
The biggest advantage that I have seen with programmatic is the ability to message highly targeted audiences. You can actually collect data on web users which convert/buy/donate on your own site and then craft a custom audience that matches the characteristics and online behavior of your buyers. You can then serve specific ads to those users across the web.
In essence you look at who your buyers are and show ads to other web users who are similar to them. There is no wasted advertising on people who do not match your buyer profile. And all of this can be done algorithmically, so computers sift through enormous amounts of web data to show your ads to potential users who match to your actual buyer profiles.
Who Benefits Most?
The little guy stands to gain the most with programmatic. Mainly because this approach can level the playing field somewhat. All of a sudden, a medium-sized organization is able to do some of the same things that Fortune 500 companies can do.
If you are involved in digital advertising, there may be some new opportunities to reach your target audience in more efficient and effective ways.