One of the fastest growing areas of performance marketing, programmatic keeps changing the advertising landscape. With audio advertising gaining more and more popularity in the programmatic space, PerformanceIN has caught up with Tim Sims, VP of inventory partnerships at The Trade Desk, to find out how it will scale programmatic.

Programmatic is growing, and fast. What were the biggest changes that 2016 brought to the industry?

Tim Sims: Programmatic is always growing – it’s constantly offering marketers new ways to engage consumers. When 2016 started, most programmatic advertising campaigns included three main channels: display, mobile and video. By the end of the year, native and audio became more prominent. They quickly became mainstays in programmatic ad campaigns, allowing marketers to expand the ways they reach consumers. Now marketers aim for a holistic media approach, utilising data, customer journey insights and creative at every possible touchpoint.

You previously said audio is the easiest path to a programmatic ad campaign. Can you tell us why?

TS: In one sentence, programmatic audio advertising is precise, relevant and easy to scale. Consider the format from the consumer’s perspective. Listening to music, podcasts, and other audio content is a personal experience; it’s based on preferences. For marketers, those preferences are the key to creating relevant messages. They allow marketers to align their creative to consumer interests. So when you think about it, programmatic audio doesn’t only help marketers, it helps the listeners, because the ads are relevant, and the messages resonate.

And how will audio scale programmatic?

TS: Around the globe, consumers listen to audio throughout the day – most often on mobile devices. When they do, they generate a set of hyper-local data that marketers can use to customise their messages. Once marketers understand the insights they can gain from programmatic audio, it will become the catalyst for individualised advertising that can be extended across all programmatic channels, from display to video, mobile and native.

In your opinion, what are the challenges audio faces? 

TS: Right now, the main challenges for audio are measurement and attribution. However, even with these challenges, audio can be an effective format, especially when combined with other channels. For instance, marketers can measure how significantly audio lifts conversions in display or video campaigns.

Are you anticipating any new trends in programmatic?

TS: Yes. Right now, marketers are spending a significant portion of their budgets bombarding their audiences with ads that are at best uncoordinated and at worst, irrelevant. The way to fix this is to stop buying media in a disjointed way and start coordinating messaging across all channels and devices.

The media plan for today’s consumer needs to be executed across display, mobile, video, audio, TV, native and social, all on a single platform informed by data and optimised with consolidated reporting. Once they make the switch, they’ll see that they’re fostering more meaningful connections with their consumers. And that will be a win for everyone: brands, publishers and consumers.