The programmatic train is unequivocally increasing in speed. 

Whilst many would argue it is the future of ad buying, it is essentially the label being given to a more effective way of doing things. It’s automatic and provides marketers with a greater level of accuracy and certainty and according to recent figures by eMarketer, programmatic digital display ad spending is set to hit the £1.8 billion mark this year, which is the equivalent of 66.2% growth. 

Programmatic is intensifying a need for brands to assess the quality, availability and application of their data. The age old adage of right person, ‘right place and right time’ is still applicable, it’s just now the time frame in which brands need to address their capabilities before the train reaches the station is narrowing. 

With all this money flying around, it’s more crucial than ever that brands direct their campaigns at the right audiences. That’s common sense, but the ability for any brand to effectively recognise their customers by connecting first-party data with third and increasingly second-party assets still presents many challenges. It is especially important in regards to achieving truly effective addressable targeting. It’s not that the technology doesn’t exist, it’s how brands can apply it in a way which fits into the existing eco-system to establish a free flow of data not only through the business but also between its partners. 

When you then factor in that the worlds of the ‘MathMen’ and ‘MadMen’ are increasingly colliding, understanding how this insight can be applied across all customer facing activity is key. This is particularly important considering that there are now over 1,500 channels available to brands and advertisers to directly target and engage with consumers.

The US example

In the US, brands flexing their ability to use first-party and third-party data to precisely reach consumers with relevant messages across a range of new TV platforms is creating a need to navigate a new wave of challenges. As such, the increasingly fragmented omnichannel world brands are operating in, is transforming the way organisations are able to advertise and communicate with customers. Car dealers for instance now have the ability to tailor particular messages to a specific household based on the consumer data collected. As a result, automotive retailers are now able to put specific car models in front of multiple audiences at the same time. The rules of the game are the same but how it’s being played really is changing. 

If brands can precisely target multiple individuals at the same time with one campaign, but personalise what each sees at any given moment, the potential is really significant. Campaigns can be created with a higher level of accuracy, which helps justify spend, but they can be used to build stronger brand awareness and affinity with the customer which in turn, creates a  stronger likelihood the impression will convert into a sale.  

Whilst the UK media market is set up very differently, these changes will inevitably come and brands not only need to be ready, but establish how these developments will impact its ability to capitalise on these opportunities, especially with Sky’s developments in advertising. 

The same goal

Any marketer worth their salt will without question be concerned about the precision of their marketing tactics and how they can improve its effectiveness and efficiency. 

To succeed, brands, media agencies and external partners will need to ensure they have consistent access to a central data source. This will allow for combined and collaborative strategies to be developed across all touch points, where every player on the field is heading towards the same goal. After all, if a campaign or message is not influencing the right individual, then it is not going to deliver any value to the end user or the brand.

Agencies and brand-side marketers alike need to look for a solution to help connect current and future data with all the consumer touch-points available. Bridging the on and offline gap, helping brands develop strategies, enabled by real-time decisions that deliver the desired outcomes. 

Capabilities are continually advancing along with our understanding of how to take full advantage of addressable targeting. However, the question remains about the extent to which brands are really ready to capitalise on all these emerging opportunities available. The bottom line is, the time to act is now! Before it is too late.