In this weekly masterclass our ‘Five Ways to Master’ experts dive deep into the realms of performance marketing, with advice on how to hone specific areas of your campaigns.

This week The Exchange Lab’s Chris Dobson explores five ways to master programmatic marketing. 

Programmatic advertising is a rapidly growing element of the online marketing landscape, utilising sophisticated algorithms, customer intelligence, human analysis, and cutting-edge technology to automate targeted ads to customers in real-time. Programmatic is creating significant buzz in the marketing community because it offers the potential for even greater levels of efficiency, performance, and ROI.

The adoption of programmatic among marketers and agencies continues to rise steeply. Programmatic has moved beyond a purely direct response solution and is now used within brand advertising. As marketers shift their focus from siloed and segmented campaigns to a multi-platform approach, programmatic provides the ideal tool kit to efficiently target audiences at scale. And with an average annual growth rate of 27%, programmatic is predicted to be worth over $53 billion globally by 2018.

The benefits of a programmatic approach are vast – from scalable targeting, access to quality inventory across multiple platforms, and the ability to optimise against KPIs in real-time. With this in mind, here are five ways for marketers to leverage the best results from their programmatic campaigns:

1. Ask, don’t guess

Just as a property investor would thoroughly assess the rental income or potential resale value of a house prior to purchase, marketers should not be expected to allocate their advertising budget without first understanding the benefits of programmatic and the return on investment it offers.

Understanding the science, math, and technology underpinning programmatic campaigns is key to using it successfully. The industry has a reputation for its over-reliance on confusing acronyms, so marketers should demand clear, accessible, and digestible information from their provider.

2. Go for tailor-made

Programmatic buying helps ensure brands place advertising in front of the most relevant consumers. Unlike the ‘spray and pray’ approach of serving ads to anyone and everyone in the hope they will reach the right audience, automated media buying helps focus exclusively on those for whom the messaging is relevant. The key to this is working with a programmatic partner with a consultative approach, who understands the brand and complexity of the market so they can ensure a tailor-made solution. In addition, a partner should be able to provide real-time monitoring throughout the duration of the campaign, as well as learnings and actionable insights to feed into CRM strategies.

3. Utilise multiple platforms

As consumers continue to move seamlessly across multiple devices, marketers need to mirror this behaviour with campaigns that operate across all platforms to ensure a consistent brand identity and messaging regardless of the channel.

By working closely with multiple DSP partners, the efficiency of campaign preparation and execution increases as the strengths of each platform are leveraged depending on the agreed KPIs. Performance can be monitored throughout the campaign and budgets diverted according to which platforms are delivering the best results to the relevant audience, at the most efficient price.

4. Be diligent

It is important to conduct due diligence and ensure a selected programmatic partner has measures in place to operate within a brand-safe environment. The ‘UK Good Practice Principles’, created by the Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG), suggest the responsibility of brand safety should be shared between marketers and technology providers. By researching the standards a partner has in place, marketers can be confident that industry guidelines are being followed regarding viewability and the placement of ads, securing the success of a campaign.

5. Implement accurate measurement

Programmatic marketing uses data to build custom audiences and optimise them accordingly. The data allows marketers to target and report key values such as CPA, lifetime, and order value.

By setting defined KPIs from the outset, marketers have clear objectives on how to achieve the greatest ROI throughout the course of the campaign. A structured line of reporting allows for transparency, while frequent dialogue between supplier and brand ensures any issues are addressed immediately. These are essential components for forming a strong and long lasting programmatic partnership.

Through clear communication and a good understanding of programmatic, marketers can increase the performance and ROI of display advertising. By using this technology, quality inventory is combined with real-time responses and optimisation, allowing a brand to have powerful reach and encourage consumer engagement. Incorporating programmatic media buying into a brand’s advertising strategy can strengthen deliverables to ensure a successful and highly-targeted campaign.  

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