You’ll hear a lot of people talk about the importance of programmatic advertising but not many people are fully sure about what the term means. So let’s break it down and work out what it means, and why you even need to know what it means.
Programmatic in terms of digital advertising is the process of automating the ad buying process. Computer algorithms use learned data to make decisions on where to buy advertising and how much to spend.
Why Do I Care?
You may not actually care about the use of this new technology, especially if you’re not digital marketing nerds like us here at Two Trees. We think it’s important to have this discussion, mainly because it has a huge impact on our industry and the level of services that we offer, but also because we see our competitors misunderstanding the term and using it as an excuse to increase their pricing and offer fake new services.
This technology actually allows us to reduce costs over time from removing the time needed for a real human to make decisions. This is time we can put into developing more sophisticated long term strategy rather than day to day repetitive tasks. A lot of the work we do is repetitive and time consuming, which can lead to errors due to fatigue. Computers don’t get tired and are generally much more reliable for these types of tasks.
When we use the term programmatic, it’s quite simply referring to our software handling portions of tasks that once a human had to do.
So Robots Really Are Taking Over?
Well yes and no. These “robots” are able to free up our time to do the tasks that software can’t fully handle quite yet. More time to spend face to face with our customers and learn about what kind of success you want to achieve. When we fully understand our clients we can learn what they want to achieve by using our services. I haven’t yet met a robot that fully understood me, but who knows… maybe this will change!
By 2019, 83.6% of US digital display ad dollars will transact programmatically.
How Do I Keep Up?
A lot changes in the world of online marketing, it’s frankly very hard to keep up with it all if you intend on running your business in a totally unrelated professional realm. So we’d highly recommend partnering up with someone who’s profession it is to keep ahead of the game.
Aside from hiring in professionals, to get the most out of any programmatic software, you’ll need to be collecting data through tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Facebook Pixel and any other tools that help to track your customer journey. These are the modern day equivalent of asking your customer for their email address or phone number, which of course you do still need to do!
Keeping up is also about keeping an open mind. A lot of negative press is out there about the data collection practices of Facebook, but don’t expect the technical process to change anytime soon. Billions of dollars are invested in the sharing of your information to benefit businesses who advertise digitally, regulations may be tightened but by 2019 it’s projected that over 80% of display ad spend will be programmatic.
Is This Really The Future?
It does look that way at the moment. Even traditional media platforms are looking at ways their ad space can be purchased automatically. Traditional print, tv and radio ads are struggling to maintain their relevance. Streamlining the purchasing process and integrating into software that automates the buying process has to sound like a very attractive opportunity to those in the traditional marketing houses.
Modern digital marketing agencies such as Two Trees PPC have adopted modern technologies whole heartedly, and any tool that benefits the client should always be taken seriously. So it’s important to understand what programmatic is, what it intends to do and how it can be used to improve the results our clients get.