How can marketers and programmatic technology work together to improve campaign performance?
Why did you go into marketing?
I asked this question of a few marketing friends recently. Their answers were pretty much as I expected. They went into marketing because they were driven by the excitement of influencing the growth and success of a business. They talked about emotions, reaching and engaging different audiences, and the relationships they’ve helped build.
In order to achieve this, marketers use a lot of tools and automation. In 2015, we have more choices than ever. Buzzwords such as programmatic, machine learning and big data keep coming up. While some talk about how the technology has dehumanized marketing, others focus more on the benefits of working together with technology. I am certainly in support of the latter.
Last week at a Masterclass event in New York, my colleague Preston asked the audience if they felt comfortable using programmatic technology. Only one person raised their hand. Unfortunately, this is really common. Whenever I’ve visited similar events before, I’ve found one group with very in-depth knowledge of programmatic and another that shies away. This is not surprising, as for years programmatic was only available to those with the deepest pockets.
Although programmatic can seem like a big mountain to climb, it’s not as alien as it may sound. At its core, it’s all about crunching large amounts of data in a matter of moments, so that your campaign can evaluate clicks and conversions and serve your ads to the most relevant people. But you need to work together with the technology in order to get the best results.
Let me take you through the most relatable steps of the campaign life cycle. They are still applicable with programmatic advertising:
With every campaign you run, you will need to figure out where you are going and who you are targeting. No online campaign, regardless of it being delivered programmatically or not, will be successful without a plan - so make sure you have a clear goal. Programmatic technology will find the audience you’re looking for. But, if you ask a vague question, you will get a vague answer. Programmatic has the ability to increase your brand recognition across multiple platforms and increase your search rankings giving you better insights of your customers.
Through programmatic buying, you can run campaigns anywhere in the world. A programmatic platform will optimize your campaign in real-time, to ensure it performs to the goals you’ve set. However, programmatic doesn’t work exactly the same as traditional online advertising. Although it’s a dashboard with an array of tools at your disposal, it’s also an excellent tool for discovery. Keep the campaigns lightly targeted, focus on the end goal and remember that the longer the campaign runs, the more it learns and grows - and the more useful and valuable information you can enjoy.
Most programmatic technology such as a Demand Side Platform (DSP) will provide you with reliable reports. Get familiar with at least the most basic ones. We know that programmatic advertising is the future and it will only get better. However, don’t lose focus on what you set out to deliver, just because you can now find out what Ad Exchange delivered a particular impression on what site in what zip code on a Monday at 1.14 pm. The technology has our backs when it comes to reporting and data, but we don’t need to be robots to understand a conversion when we see one.
Programmatic is here to make life easier for you and your fellow marketers. By removing the guesswork, paperwork and other time consuming tasks, you can now focus on being an even better marketer, which is what we're all striving for.