The reality of programmatic marketing

The reality of programmatic

When Programmatic marketing, buying and advertising hit the market it sent mass hysteria through the media community; lots of excitement, as well as a heck of a lot of people worried about the longevity of their jobs. Like self-serve checkouts taking jobs from cashiers, the introduction of programmatic advertising felt like another technologic advancement set to reduce the human workforce and hand it over to machines.

As with all of this hysteria, the vision of gloom is usually dramatised and the reality is that machines are helping humans to increase efficiency, rather than totally replacing us.

Marketers and agencies are no longer blown away to see demand-side platforms (DSPs) having bidding capabilities. The reality is that the operator of these systems is as valuable, if not more valuable; to interpret the information and effectively leverage the technology. Without the operator, the system loses its value and with many of the DSPs being so complex and lacking intuitive function, the reliance on an intelligent human at the wheel continues to be critical.

Programmatic platforms enable marketers to do complex algorithmic work which cannot be done by human processing. However, it is the intersection between humans and machines that make programmatic so powerful. Technology has allowed for processing at a rate which would be impossible to be replicated by a human, yet the ability to read this information and critically analyse how to leverage it is the magic in this mix.

Benefits of Programmatic marketing

Programmatic is all about data, data that will continue to improve and become more valuable and insightful the longer the technology is in use.

This is excellent news for marketers and agencies, giving them greater insights. For advertisers, they will also need to be able to develop the ability to interpret the data into actionable insights to suggest improvements for future advertising campaigns.

It’s not just about reach

Reach has been king for some time. When something is new and we don’t quite know how to properly measure it, we go to reach. While it is an important statistic, we are thankfully coming to quickly learn that it is not the most powerful statistic when measuring successful campaigns, whether programmatic or otherwise.

Measuring performance is key in programmatic campaigns, with increased data at your disposal there is no have thorough performance metrics implemented and measured against.

What is to come for the programmatic space?

Marketers and brands directly are becoming much more involved and knowledgeable about the space, so naturally, they will want to take more control and ownership in-house. This will increase the importance for their agency partners to provide strong support and guidance and risk being replaced.

As brands and marketers become savvier the emphasis on performance, above reach, will continue.

Omnichannel analytics capabilities will grow. This means figuring out how all of your channels, whether online or offline are interacting and getting better at attributing them.

The real magic of programmatic marketing is generally hidden under the jargon and buzzwords. It is not only the technology and artificial intelligence that do the grunt work, the platforms are still heavily reliant on the operations teams that understand them, to make sense of the information and intelligently direct those insights to improving campaigns and capitalise on the wealth of data in their hands.