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Programmatic ad campaigns: our top 5 tips for making the most of the opportunity

Written by Matt | 23-Oct-2015 08:30:00

To fully appreciate the benefits of programmatic ad campaigns, you need to look beyond the technology solution. It is certainly powerful technology but it is not the whole story. To fully exploit the opportunity programmatic media buying technology offers it must be combined with effective human interpretation of the data collected and relevant and timely creative messaging plans. Only with this approach can this clever technology deliver continuously improving campaign performance.

Programmatic is a word that is dominating the digital marketing industry. With the IAB view that programmatic buying is likely to account for 70-80% of all display ad spend in 2018, I recently gave a masterclass at the Online Influence conference to show how we can make clever use of this technology to drive better marketing campaign performance.

The presentation itself focused on how programmatic buying is driving digital performance, but I really wanted to emphasise the importance of not just leaving it to the technology. It’s about striking the right balance between the 3 key elements that make programmatic so powerful: Technology, Data and People.

We are now able to use and respond to data that is constantly being generated more quickly than ever before

How programmatic is transforming digital advertising from equimedia

Here are my top five tips:

1. Remember it’s not just about the technology

When combined with human optimisations derived from expert data analysis and opportunity spotting, programmatic ad buying can achieve greater relevancy within the right context. If this is achieved people are likely to be more receptive and likely to engage, resulting in better overall results. Programmatic technology used alone means advertisers are missing out on the opportunities that make programmatic, as an ecosystem, so powerful. The technology gathers the data, but humans that turn that data into insights capable of driving a campaign forwards.

2. It increases our ability to truly harness ‘big data’

Data has always been at the heart of well-executed marketing campaign. As technology evolves and multiple digital touch points are used, customer and campaign data is more valuable than ever before. As more information about users and their online habits becomes available there is the opportunity for better targeting and greater control over campaigns. Optimisation and useable insight is key to be able to fully maximise the opportunities big customer data presents.

3. Aim to strike the emotive chord

Using data means you can tailor marketing campaigns to be more personal and relevant to the viewer. Whether responding to customer online behaviour or other real time activities (events, weather, seasons, sports, or even other broadcast media, for example), relevancy and timing are key to heightening response rates that drive the success of campaigns bought programmatically.

4. Focus on brand engagement touch points

As marketers striving for efficient campaigns, it’s time to start looking away from high volume metrics such as impression volume and click through rates. Instead focus on brand engagement touch points that deliver data and re-targeting opportunities to provide measureable sales opportunities. By identifying the relevant touch points that reveal the customer’s needs you can also build in cross and/or up selling as part of your programmatic buying strategy.

5. Invest in cross-device attribution tools

This goes hand in hand with the increase in digital touch points and enables a more effective approach to measuring success by breaking down activity to its constituent parts. Smart phone and mobile devices sales continue to grow. As smart technology becomes more widespread, understanding and interpreting user behaviour across these becomes essential for future campaign planning, targeting and success.

Programmatic technology combined with expert human data analysis and interpretation provides much greater transparency and insight into the full opportunity presented than has previously been available to the digital marketing world. Media planners can take advantage of real-time insights and behaviours to inform future activity; users receive relevant and timely advertising that are more likely to resonate with them. As such, advertising in this way works harder and delivers greater value for both consumers and advertiser: it’s a win-win result!

For examples of where we have used programmatic media buying for our clients, read the case studies for RSPB and HiPP Organic.

If you would like to talk to our team about how programmatic media planning could enhance your digital marketing campaigns, it’d be great to hear from you.