Is Programmatic The Future Of Advertising?

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By Kelly Rogan, on 27 July 2016

It feels as if advertising is in a constant state of change, leaving us wondering, can anyone really keep up? The current big change and emerging trend is programmatic buying and advertising, which is really taking over the marketing scene nowadays. According to SocialTimes, 90% of all ad marketing could be using programmatic in just one decade. Before we jump into this new trend let’s take it back a step and actually define, what is programmatic?

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According to State of Digital, Programmatic marketing is a way to target different types of audiences that you want your advertising to appear to. Well now that seems simple enough doesn’t it? It is a rather simple concept but let’s take the definition a bit further. The whole programmatic term refers to the algorithmic sale as well as purchase in real time of different ad spaces. The way this entire process works is by means of bids, which are done by using software to automate everything and allow it to happen in real time, not having to rely on any manual actions or human interaction.

This type of advertising, although technical, can be managed by marketing professionals without any real technical background or experience. All of the different sites that support programmatic advertising allow you to set your limits for the bid, dates of the campaign and the different targets you may have. Even though this type of advertising is automatic, there are many ways you can set the limits and controls of your campaigns.

One of the biggest benefits of this type of advertising is that it allows you to be very precise with your targeting, avoiding the old spray and prey method that based results off of the amount of people reached and not the actual quality or relevancy of those people reached. It also increases the efficiency of both time and resources since each dollar is better spent and your team’s time, which was previously spent on manually selecting ad space, can be spent on other tasks of a high value.

In addition to freeing up time, this type of advertising allows your company to avoid the many different types of human error. When someone manually chooses the place and price and target of a campaign there is a ton of room for error and not a ton of room for success. Programmatic allows companies to avoid human errors and increase their reach not just in volume, but targeted volume. Who doesn’t want to reach the right target at the right place all at the right time?

Well according to SocialTimes, a lot of people want to do just this. Here is some data to help you understand the real impact of this programmatic advertising!

  • 96% of marketers state that they are using programmatic to purchase display
  • Back in 2015 the amount of digital display ads bought programmatically in the US amounted to $14.88 billion and a whopping 55%
  • Of that amount of programmatic purchases made in the US in 2015, 56.2% came from mobile
  • Programmatic will draw $47 billion of local advertising by 2019
  • By the year 2020 programmatic will comprise 85% of targeted banners and 67% of all the streaming videos ads
  • The use of programmatic advertising is increasing at a rate of 11.4% annually between 2014 and 2019

Although this new trend has a plethora of positives, as with everything there are some negatives. The main downside to programmatic is the fraudulent activity, which unfortunately occurs with many other different types of digital marketing tactics as well. Some of the ways which people are taking advantage of programmatic are URL masking, which is when the publisher lists the website as another more reputable website, mobile tracking where it is challenging to track user activity and inventory quality.

The positive news related to the negatives is that machine learning is helping programmers better understand when some certain activity is fraudulent, helping to prevent this activity and protect the integrity of programmatic advertising. This new trend seems to be the future of advertising and is only increasing is use, popularity and more than anything, results. The first step with any new trend is to fully understand it and all that it implies and now it is your turn to start benefiting from the new trend and put it into action in your company!

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Kelly Rogan