In our series of articles titled INsider Questions, we have sought some of the industry’s top figureheads to see what they think advertisers should be asking performance marketers to eke more out of their campaigns. Natalie Livingstone, vice president central sales at Yieldr, has provided what she feels are the most important questions regarding programmatic advertising campaigns.  

What is the value of programmatic?

Programmatic in its most basic form is a time and money saver. It aims to simplify the overly -complicated display marketing ecosystem into one single platform. By automating ad operations you need less resource and, by being solely results- driven you get more bang for your buck. Programmatic removes the middle men and women in the inventory buying process, allowing advertisers to directly access their audience. I see it as blending the art and science of online advertising. But the beauty is that this happens in real time. Rather than running a campaign, doing post-campaign analysis and re-running using the previous weeks’ or months’ learning, programmatic does this instantly and constantly.

Who should use programmatic advertising?

Programmatic can suit all advertisers. Most obviously performance marketeers but also large brands with “soft” conversion goals. As we move to a more transparent programmatic world, brand safety concerns can be alleviated by sharing where ads are shown and the results. Basically programmatic is a business solution that unlocks your data silos, so this touches business units outside of marketing. Any advertiser who wants value and efficiency from their online marketing but also has first-party data to monetise should be using programmatic to do that. That means brand creative teams, business intelligence, revenue managers, CRM and database teams and loyalty program managers as well as social, display and mobile teams all need to be thinking programmatic.

How cost-effective is programmatic?

Programmatic that works together with you first party data is highly effective. Big data in combination with programmatic advertising provides more accurate customer segmentation and messaging which in turn produces increased conversions and customer lifetime value. The efficiency comes from not bidding the same for a more valuable conversion. Programmatic makes those cost – effective decisions for you in real time based on your own business rules.

Where do you see programmatic in five years?

Obviously the benefits of programmatic will broaden scope beyond display to other traditional means of advertising like radio and TV. More immediately, the effectiveness of programmatic will increase with more data points. We will see much more third party data players being added to the mix in the near term. A simple but effective example we already see is adding real time weather data into your dynamic banner ad – show the snow forecast when promoting your latest ski holiday package!

Why are these important questions to be asking?

Programmatic spend continues to increase. A new report from Business Insider finds that real-time bidding (RTB), a key piece of the programmatic ecosystem, will account for over $18.2 billion in U.S. digital ad revenues in 2018, up from just $3.1 billion in 2013. As advertisers look to take on even more control and take programmatic in house, it becomes increasingly important to understand the landscape in depth.