Over the last five years, ad buying in the digital realm has been turned on its head. With the advent of programmatic advertising, the market has shifted away from negotiating person-to-person and towards a more automated system that makes it far easier for advertisers to make purchases and target the audiences they want to reach.
So what do advertisers need to know about programmatic advertising? For starters, the definition:
Programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying advertising space (typically digital). It’s a data-driven, automatic replacement for negotiating with human salespeople.
But big questions still remain. Why has it become so popular? How do you get started with it? And maybe most importantly, why do many experts see it as the future of ad buying? Here’s what you need to know.
Programmatic advertising is highly time- and cost-efficient
Traditional ad buying can be expensive. Person-to-person negotiation is a time-consuming activity. And worst of all, waiting for a campaign to finish so you can analyze the results takes forever. Combine all these factors and you’ve got yourself a process wrought with inefficiencies and opportunities for bottlenecks.
Programmatic advertising solves many of these issues. Instead of trying to dance around schedules and negotiations, automated systems do the legwork for you, taking care of menial tasks and allowing your marketing team to concentrate on more thought-intensive work such as planning and optimizing strategies.
In addition, using programmatic advertising to purchase digital ad space usually allows you to see real-time data, allowing you to track performance and see the impact of your investment almost immediately. That kind of turnaround and transparency is perfect for optimizing on the fly and scaling quickly. You’ll be able to test a campaign for a week or two, analyze KPIs, make tweaks, and scale up in a fraction of the time it would take with a more manual method.
It’s also dynamic and adaptive
Generally speaking, buying impressions from a single publisher can be restrictive and a bit one-dimensional. If you have the budget to buy a set number of impressions, it’s much more advantageous to spread them out across numerous publishers at once. Programmatic advertising makes it simple to do this. Not only does this increase your company’s reach, but it also allows you to test different vehicles and markets simultaneously (search, TV, audio, etc.), so you can see which avenues are the most effective.
Programmatic advertising also offers useful targeting abilities. Instead of using outdated historical data to predict how a campaign will fare, it uses up-to-date performance data right from live campaigns. As discussed in the previous section, this means when something is working well, it can easily be scaled up. And if something isn’t performing as expected, you can make on-the-spot tweaks to improve it.
And its popularity continues to grow
Over the last few years, spending on programmatic advertising has more than doubled from $17.5 billion in 2015 to $39.1 billion in 2018. By 2019, it’s predicted that programmatic advertising will represent 83.6% of total digital display ad spending.
In addition, thanks to heavy-hitters like Google and Facebook, many are also shifting away from a dated desktop advertising model to something far more mobile-focused. Luckily, programmatic advertising makes it extremely easy for marketers to adapt to that shift—experts predict 80% of all programmatic advertising spending will center around mobile by 2019.
How can your business take advantage of programmatic advertising?
Advertising marketplaces like the UnDigital marketplace are an easy way for advertisers and retailers to connect and form semi-automated programmatic advertising partnerships. Retailers join the marketplace to offer up unused space in outgoing customer shipments, and advertisers join the marketplace to purchase that ad space. This semi-automated approach can feel less risky than fully-automated programmatic advertising.
Using a marketplace like this allows you to test out ad strategies with various partners to see which perform best, and your ad spend is completely up to you and your budget. When you find something that works, thanks to the user-friendly format of the marketplace, you can easily replicate it with other partners.
The future of programmatic advertising
There’s little doubt that programmatic advertising is the future of ad buying. It is one of the most efficient, transparent, and dynamic advertising models currently available, and as the mobile market grows, so will the number of companies on board. Stay ahead of the curve—get started with programmatic advertising now!