Programmatic Knows Best

We have cars helping us parallel park, waiters at restaurants being replaced by tablets, and every electronic in our houses controlled by one master remote. With all of this automation happening in other industries, it’s about time we see how automation can benefit us in advertising.

Haven’t heard of programmatic yet? Or maybe you have and you’re still not sure what exactly it is? Here’s a quick guide to what programmatic is, how it works, and why you need it in your next advertising campaign.

What is programmatic?

In its simplest terms, programmatic is a real-time, automated system that uses enormous amounts of data to find the right ad for the right audience at the right time. Its purpose is to trade the laborious tasks of trafficking, reports, analytics, and spreadsheets for buttons and buys.

In essence, programmatic is “about software that is productive in a way that humans can’t be,” says Eric Bader, CMO at RadiumOne. “The media buying process has completely outstripped human capabilities.”

Programmatic lays out media buying options for advertisers based off of real-time data and allows them to dedicate more of their time to ad copy and their target market.

How does it work?

Programmatic is essentially real-time bidding (RTB), and then some. The RTB side of it allows the buyer to view ads like products on Amazon, and then decide to pay whatever price an ad is worth at a given moment.

The big difference-maker with programmatic is that it adds true value to RTB. Programmatic uses data, tech, and software to help buyers get more for every dollar spent.

Programmatic also gives a user more transparency when it comes to the minute details of a particular message. Rather than letting a campaign run, spending money, and then optimizing after some time, programmatic does this in real time.

Not only does this save you money, it results in an overall more efficient ad copy that allows you to spend your time targeting your audience, and less time deciphering analytics.

CMO of AOL Networks Allie Kline describes programmatic as a washing machine that allows a brand to take its “goals, inventory, consumer data, ad formats, and potential media buys” and throw that all in to produce a result that has become too complicated of a task for humans to keep up with.

Why should I try it?

You may be thinking that all of this automation has some drawbacks in regard to creativity. After all, isn’t the human brain a necessary element in creating dynamic, sales-driving advertising to best communicate a brand and reach an audience?

The good news is that implementing programmatic does not mean sacrificing creativity. Rather, programmatic is a part of the evolution of the art and science of marketing. This evolution is taking traditional messaging and merging it with increased automation.

“Programmatic can come in and fuel the fire,” says Pete Stein, CEO of Razorfish. “Instead of just targeting a specific ad, you can generate content that’s relevant and then use real time to drive attention to it.”

It allows you to take a proactive edge on your advertising, and direct your time and attention to listening to your market’s needs as they change. In essence, programmatic helps the advertisers make smarter decisions about which sites to buy and which audiences make the most sense to buy.

This eliminates the need for manual research and data tracking, and allows companies to focus on what’s really important in their ad copy and what’s valued by their consumers.

“Programmatic is advertising’s newer, better mousetrap,” says Peter Naylor, former evp at NBCUniversal.

To learn how to catch more mice, check out this guide or schedule a meeting with us.