Programmatic media buying has all of the hallmarks of a marketing industry buzzword. It’s difficult to define, its similar to but not quite the same as other important terms (in this case RTB or real-time bidding), and it’s hard to get two marketers to agree on how it works. If you’re ready to develop your own ideas about programmatic buying and what it could mean for your business, this overview will help.
Although defining the edges of what does and does not qualify as programmatic buying is difficult, the central concepts that define it are pretty clear: It’s about unifying the incredible amount of audience data available to modern marketers with software designed to make intelligent advertising choices automatically. This means concentrating more on defining your target audience and the ads you want to show them instead of haggling about the cost of placing a single ad on a single site.
Programmatic media buying takes full advantage of the virtually endless streams of demographic and behavioral data now available on potential ad viewers. Things have progressed considerably from the days when “precise targeting” meant looking at a certain age and income bracket. Today, if you want to put an ad in front of Facebook users who have visited your website within seven days unless they spent less than two minutes on-site, it takes just a few clicks of your mouse to put in a bid on viewer impressions that precisely meet your criteria.
A Closer Look At The Possibilities
As this potential-filled world continues to evolve and mature, the possibilities start to become truly limitless. The entire point of programmatic buying is to get incredibly specific about the audience you target; what comes next may well be getting incredibly specific about the ads you present.
Cutting-edge companies like Liftoff (http://liftoff.io/product/dynamic-ads/) are already offering services that let you use the same rich audience information used for targeting under the programmatic model to creating your ads. This would allow you to assemble hundreds (if not thousands) of unique ads from a few common components, with every message tailored precisely for its recipient.
Pursuing An Audience Across Platforms
The other crucial part of the programmatic picture is the fact that it’s not simply an online marketing innovation. Advertisers and senior marketers are expecting this sort of highly granular, highly automated approach to apply to virtually every kind of display advertising in the future.
Because technology is getting better at tracking individual users’ behavior across devices, it’s easier than ever before for advertisers to follow them. We’re not at all far from the day when a smart advertiser can deliver a video ad to a consumer’s TV, follow it up with a banner ad the next time the log into Facebook, and finally send the same consumer a customized ad on their phone the next time they’re close to a brand outlet. In fact, major brands are already experimenting with this sort of cross-platform tracking; it’s only going to get more common as time goes on.
Programmatic buying is nothing to be afraid of. It’s true that it represents a major change in the way marketers connect ads with audiences, but it appears to be a change that’s almost entirely positive. Study up on the subject and embrace the exciting new possibilities that are already on the way!