Programmatic is one hot topic. As much as it's talked about, you'd think it was brand spanking new - but believe it or not, programmatic has been around for years. The Right Media Exchange (RMX) was one of the first to implement programmatic buying back as far as 2005. Yet, even at over 10 years old, programmatic seems to strike many advertising pros as "too new." Seeing how much programmatic has helped our business and clients, I'm shocked that many are not utilizing it themselves. If you are within or use the digital advertising industry, then programmatic is something to understand and add to your advertising strategies. Programmatic should most definitely be considered when campaign goals include gaining exposure in the market, increasing brand recognition, or seeking new leads that'll become loyalists.
What is Programmatic?
Programmatic is the automated buying and selling of media. That's it. Think of it like the stock market, minus the human element. Instead of traders in the pit, systems and technologies are handling the transactions based on a wide variety of possible parameters. Programmatic is not a scary robot that takes over; it's a tool, and when in the hands of an expert, it can accomplish amazing feats for your campaigns.
Now before you go off becoming an expert on what programmatic is, let me tell you why it's worth understanding. Below are some of the benefits that clients have seen and reasons they continue to buy programmatically.
Programmatic advertising takes place in a real-time environment. This gives you the opportunity to benefit from paying lower rates compared to what you would pay if you were working on a standard flat CPM pricing model. Because of this, you could receive 2-4x the amount of exposure at no additional cost. This is great for creating brand exposure and recognition.
Increased Site Traffic & Engagement
With the increased exposure you see from buying programmatically, you will naturally see an increase in users clicking through to your site and engaging with your content. This provides more opportunity to educate users on what you have to offer.
Data On The Fly
The more exposure and traffic, the more input you get. Programmatic allows for a greater quantity of data to learn from - and you can also get this data sooner. The best part? You get to take what you learned from your data and easily apply it to the campaign while it's in process. Having this capability adds significant value and can help increase your return on investment.
Overall Better Performance
It's a domino effect: more exposure helps increase site traffic and engagement, which will give you lots of data to play with along the way. Programmatic buying will provide a higher level of performance naturally from these increases.
But it's a robot!
Even with these benefits, some people still have concerns about using programmatic advertising. Many are wary about leaving business decisions in the hands of a computer, or whether a partner will simply “set it and forget it”. However, picking the right kind of programmatic provider for your business should assuage any fears you may have.
There are three types of programmatic providers:
- Those in it to make a quick buck. Avoid those who set up your campaign and move on to the next client. Programmatic is incredibly effective when done right, and incredibly wasteful when done wrong.
- Those that rely nearly completely on technology. This would be a solid choice for self-service clients with the in-house chops to be successful.
- Those that rely on expert humans at the helm of each campaign. This is a perfect match for clients who do not have the experts on staff to manage campaigns successfully, don't have the resources or capital to purchase exchange seats, or agencies looking to supplement their services with media buying.
Pick the style that best fits your needs, then identify the reputable players in that space. Vet each provider by asking questions about the issues that are important to you. By doing so, you'll quickly discover which companies' business methods resonate with you, and that will set you up for a long-term partnership.
Programmatic advertising provides more exposure through increased site traffic and engagement, while yielding better performance using real-time data to optimize efficiently at scale. When planning your next campaign, consider using programmatic advertising - you and your clients will be glad you did.