Top Five Questions to Ask to Get Programmatic Right in 2018


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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Phil Duffield

Posted on 03-01-2018

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