Here we are at another January. This is the time of year when we all plan to get fit and shake up our lives, resolving to become slimmer, more effective versions of ourselves. And, if we can stretch this into an analogy, it seems that marketing departments are resolving to do something similar with their advertising strategies.
Programmatic advertising will be big news in 2018, so ensure you are well positioned to make the strategy a success in your organisation. At the end of 2017, we surveyed European advertising agencies and professionals, and found that an enormous 86 percent of brand marketers, and 89 percent of their colleagues in agencies, plan to ramp-up their investments in programmatic ad buying in 2018. They’re resolving to put in place faster, more effective and efficient marketing capabilities in 2018—getting rid of all that ‘ad fat’ from last year. They’ll do this via programmatic advertising, which is the means for sending the right message to the right person at the right time—and at the right cost.
The attraction of programmatic advertising is clear. With around 50 percent of consumers saying they would disregard brands that bombard them with irrelevant messages, programmatic advertising offers a way of delivering more meaningful messages, targeted to a segment of one.
Let’s be clear though, not all programmatic advertising platforms are equal. If brand and agency marketers make the wrong investments, they’ll find their programmatic strategy fails to deliver.
When you join the gym at the beginning of the year you enquire about prices, fitness plans, available equipment and added extras before signing up. You should apply the same rigor to interrogating your programmatic provider. The result will be a package enabling you to most effectively achieve your New Year advertising goals.
Here are the top five questions I think you should be asking:
- Can I target my audience effectively? There’s no point spending money if you’re talking to the wrong people. Work with your programmatic partner to make sure you’re speaking to the right audience (i.e. your audience!). Only you know who you want to reach, and with the right programmatic partner you should be able to cherry-pick the exact targeting strategies for the exact media sources you want to buy.
- Do I understand how my customers make purchasing decisions? If you want to ramp up those all-important conversions, you need a 360-degree view of your current customers and also your potential customers. This includes an in-depth understanding of how they search for products and what information triggers a purchase. Ask yourself: are you able to map out the customer journey and understand how to influence them within this journey? If not, your campaign isn’t truly programmatic.
- Is my programmatic advertising optimised for all channels? Programmatic isn’t simply about being able to advertise across channels, it’s about ensuring your ads are optimised for all channels at all times, so you can reach customers at the right moment in the right way. Remember, people interact with content differently on different platforms. You can’t take a one size fits all approach. A true programmatic platform allows you to tailor your advertisements to both audience behaviours, as well as how they engage with channels and devices.
- Is my programmatic advertising created with my brand’s measures of success in mind? When working with a programmatic partner, take care to ensure that campaign measurement is calibrated to your brand requirements—or if you are an agency, to the requirements of your clients. Working closely with your partner, define in detail what success would look like before investing in a programmatic campaign.
- Can I easily integrate my campaign with top ad exchanges and inventory sources? You should be able to manage real-time bidding processes directly across ad exchanges, with full control over that process. Your data and spend strategy belongs to you—there should be no limits on how you orchestrate your campaigns.
Ask these five key questions at the start, and you will be able to assess how transparent and independent your programmatic partner is.