One day I was listening to music while working on a presentation and a song came on that I immediately recognized by its drumbeat. It started with a beat driven by the bass, snare drum, and cymbal before going into a bluesy guitar riff followed by scratchy high-pitched rock vocals; the song was “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin.
At the time I was working on a presentation on programmatic, so it became clear to me that just like a drummer powers a rock band, data powers programmatic ad buying. And the rock band can be used as a good analogy to represent the diverse elements of programmatic that are enhanced by data.
The drummer is central to and powers the rock band like data is central to and powers programmatic ad buying.
Data Is Fueling The Growth In Programmatic
If you listen to the greatest rock songs of all time, the drum parts are often unique and distinctive. The songs wouldn’t be the same without the drummer’s unique style. “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin wouldn’t be the same song with a different drummer or different drum part.
The same is true about data – programmatic ad buying won’t get the same results without data. Each business has its own unique sets of data that drives its business, often located in pockets throughout the business.
The better a business can harness and link their disparate data sets to programmatic ad buying, the better their results will be. An advertiser may be able to deliver ads, but they won’t get the full benefits of programmatic in terms of performance and experiences without connecting it to their valuable data assets.
Marketers have more data available to them now than ever before. They have access to massive amounts of audience data – everything from first-party online website visitor data to offline CRM data, second-party partner data, and third-party consumer and business data. Programmatic enables an advertiser to apply that data to drive better performance for their digital marketing campaigns.
Data is fueling the growth in programmatic. Global programmatic ad spend was over $20 billion in 2014 and it is expected to more than double to $53 billion in 2018, according to Magna Global.
Data powers four key characteristics and benefits of programmatic. Data:
- Enables an advertiser to build and reach high value audiences.
- Fuels performance optimizations.
- Powers personalized dynamic experiences.
- Drives automated ad buying decisions across channels and devices.
Our singer gets a lot of attention.
If you know any rock singers, you may find that sometimes their egos are a little inflated. The singer is out in front of the band and loves getting all the attention; it’s like some of our favorite advertising audiences.
For display advertisers, one of our favorite audiences is the retargeting “abandoners” segment. Whether it’s a retail shopping cart abandoner, a traveler leaving the booking process after searching for a flight, or a financial services prospect abandoning a credit application – if a site visitor doesn’t convert right away, advertisers want you back for a second chance to drive a conversion. And it works great.
Advertisers love these audiences. They represent a high opportunity to convert based on the intent they have shown through their actions and we give them a lot of our attention.
Like our singer who wouldn’t be able to do much without the rest of his band, advertising audiences by themselves are not much without data. Audiences need data – lots of data.
When advertisers find high performing audiences like retargeting audiences, there are never enough of them, and they want to identify and build more audiences like them. Data and audience management can help an advertiser to:
- Identify and build high value audiences: Having access to more data like granular first-party data (site analytics, offline CRM data) enables an advertiser to find more high-value audiences.
- Increase the size of their addressable audiences: Once we’ve identified high value audiences, we want to find more users that look like that audience. Data helps an advertiser to increase the addressable audiences. An advertiser can find more users that look like their best performing audiences using third-party data (consumer demographics and business attributes) or creating look-alike models.
- Activate audiences across channels: Programmatic enables an advertiser to activate their high-value audiences across channels to drive actions and deliver integrated digital experiences.
Display Optimization Algorithms
Our guitar player is flashy and likes to show off.
How many times have you heard your display vendor say they have the best performance and optimization algorithms in the industry?
We, in the industry, love to brag about our fancy algorithms and performance. Like a guitar player who needs his band and drummer to truly shine, the optimization algos need data and algos are only as good as the data you put into them.
Programmatic display algorithms rely on data to optimize to the advertiser’s objectives. Data drives the ad-buying bid decision and budget allocation to best meet the advertiser’s objectives.
For demand-side platforms (DSPs), real-time bid decisioning happens at the user-impression level.
The DSP evaluates all available data for a user impression in real-time (or milliseconds) to determine the bid amount. It considers data sent by the ad exchange along with the bid request (site, category), advertiser audience data (actions on site, products viewed, pages visited) and other data dimensions (like time of day, location, and device).
The programmatic platform uses data to evaluate and recommend media mix and budget allocation across campaigns and channels to optimize for the advertiser’s objective.
Dynamic Creative Experiences
Our keyboard player fills out the sound of the band with chords and exotic sounds.
With programmatic, we have the ability to reach the same audience across channels and devices so we can deliver personalized creative experiences across the user journey.
For example, we can deliver a personalized, relevant, and consistent creative experience in a display ad, on a website, in a social ad and in a search ad – all powered by data and programmatic. This is made possible by data and audience segmentation, and the ability to reach those audiences across channels through a programmatic ad buying platform.
Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) takes display personalization to another level by optimizing display ad content in real time at a granular level based on the viewer and audience.
Automated Ad Buying
Our bass player is tight with the drummer and provides a solid foundation for the band.
A core capability of a programmatic ad buying platform is the ability to buy and optimize ads across channels and devices (display, social, search, mobile, video) in an automated fashion with less friction and human interaction.
Programmatic provides efficiencies such as audience buying across inventory sources and channels with controls like frequency capping and budget planning, and transparency into inventory sources and media costs. The programmatic ad buying platform provides the foundation for programmatic.
Data powers the key characteristics and benefits of programmatic just like a drummer powers a rock band.
Connecting Data & Audiences Is Driving The Future Of Programmatic
Led Zeppelin wouldn’t be the same band without a drummer or without John Bonham’s unique and distinctive drum sound and style. Data powers programmatic just like a drummer powers a rock band. Each business has unique and valuable data that can be used to identify high-value audiences and reach them via programmatic and across their digital journey to drive engagement and conversions.