Updated: Jul 28, 2022
There is an old adage that one should work smarter not harder. You wouldn’t carry a bag of heavy stones down a mountain with your bare hands when there is a wagon to do the work for you; so why would you not utilize every available tool you have in business as well?
When it comes to business, one of the hardest jobs is marketing. Companies live and die by the quality of their advertisement. Marketing is not just an art; it is also a science. This field of marketing examines the commercial management of firms in order to attract, gain, and keep consumers by meeting their desires and requirements and creating brand loyalty. It is driven not just by creativity but also by data.
Effective marketing strategies leverage data to increase sales. It identifies who your top consumers are, where they live and what they do for a living. It also identifies the number of sales, where traffic to your site or store is coming from, and what your revenue looks like. Effective marketing adapts and changes once this information comes to light. It does not stay stagnant but moves with the ebb and flow of time.
The same can be said for marketing strategies at large. There was a time when marketing looked a lot like an episode of Mad Men. In that era, businesses saw the rise of the buyer. This buyer purchased ad space on television and in magazines. They wheeled and dealed their potential publishers over dinner and a three-martini lunch. Deals could take days or weeks to be completed. In today’s fast-paced environment, that kind of turnaround just won’t fly.
Media is too multifaceted. Between websites and apps, television shows, and streaming; today’s consumers are inundated with far more content than they were in the 1960s. To keep up with the modern era, a new way of thinking about marketing had to be born, one that was driven by not just the creativity of the marketing department but also by data. With content available at the touch of a button advertising needed to be just as quick.
In the last 15 years, a new form of marketing has come about that has changed the industry forever. It can do in a matter of seconds what took men like Harry Crane hours at a time to do. This change is known as Programmatic Advertising.
In 2021, programmatic advertising accounted for approximately 90% of all digital display marketing, but what exactly is it? Simply said, programmatic advertising is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to acquire digital advertising space rather than a human being. The goal is to increase the efficiency and transparency of both the advertising and the publisher. This is performed using RTB, or real-time bidding, which involves purchasing advertising at the same time a visitor loads a website.
Here is how that works:
1. A user visits a webpage
2. The website owner auctions off the ad impression (SSP)
3. Advertisers place bids for impressions (DSP)
4. The ad impression is awarded to the highest bidder.
5. The ad is displayed to the user on the website.
6. The user (hopefully!) clicks on the ad and becomes a customer.
Remember Harry Crane from Mad Men? He could only work on a handful of campaigns at one time with one or two stations. Not only does programmatic advertising happen instantaneously but it can happen across multiple websites and apps at one time. Your ad could be seeing thousands of interactions, all in the time it takes for a website to load. Meaning unlike the old days when you would pay for a couple of hundred websites to host your advertisement and hope it will be visited, the door is open wider. You only pay when your ad is used.
In the time when marketing teams had to personally pick and choose which websites to buy ad space from, you may or may not be seen by the right demographic. Unlike traditional advertising across websites, programmatic advertising is not hit or miss. It is always directly targeted. Have you ever seen an ad on Facebook for a product similar to the one you had looked up online? It's almost uncanny how targeted ads are becoming these days as if they know who will be seeing them. Two people can go to Facebook, for example, and see two completely different ad experiences. You may see ads for a new car while your neighbor gets ads for wine. What you are experiencing is another side-effect of programmatic advertising.
When you use programmatic advertising software, the data you have collected in your CRM and data you have purchased through a DMP, Data Management Program is utilized automatically to target your ads. The software will only ever buy ad space to greet users who meet the criteria you or your data has specified is most likely to become a new or returning customer.
Programmatic advertising takes the data you provided and makes it work for you, but it also gives you real-time data in return. Instead of waiting weeks for consumer polls, data is available almost as instantaneously as the ads are purchased. This means that if an ad campaign is failing, changes can be made in real-time in response; all with the touch of a button.
Marketing may not be just like moving a heavy stone down a mountain, but it is a task that can be made easier with the right tools and knowledge in your wheelhouse. The biggest question is are you going to utilize the tools at your disposal or are you going to leave your company to struggle down the mountain?