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Context over Content: the Importance of Programmatic Advertising

Context over Content: the Importance of Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising has forever changed the global media buying landscape. Brands and agencies are compelled to confront traditional approaches with new proactive strategies. Ignasi Prat, CMO at Tappx, explores how clients and agencies can maximise revenues and navigate the fast moving programmatic waters.

Marketers have often said that ‘content is king’, but in mobile marketing, the notion that ‘context is God’ now resonates even louder. It isn’t enough to just have great content in this omnichannel era. Modern marketers need to know the ‘who?’, ‘what?’, ‘where?’, ‘when?’ and ‘how?’ around content delivery, and this is where context emerges as the main weapon that marketers can use to build highly successful campaigns.

Context defines content

Contextual mobile marketing empowers brands and agencies to deliver relevant content at optimum times. The immediate benefits are increased effectiveness and engagement for ad campaigns. Without context, a brand’s ability to communicate effectively is severely limited. Regardless of the type or quality of content, if it’s being delivered in the wrong context, this renders it meaningless for both the brand and the consumer. Context defines the content, and not the other way around.

Studies report that people check their smartphones an average of 150 times a day. This understandably varies the contextual marketing conditions throughout a 24-hour period. For example, if you wake up in the morning and check a weather app, and see it’s going to be a sunny day, this is an optimum time to serve an ad for breakfast in a local restaurant. Conversely, the 109th time you check your smartphone could be when you’re on the way home from work, and boot up a casual gaming app, and this could be a good time to serve an ad recommending new Adidas apparel for running. This is done because mobile tracking technology knows that you’ve recently installed a Runtastic app which you 

This may seem like science fiction, but it’s actually how the new advertising landscape is being configured today. To be really effective and win the race, brands need to act in near real time.

Embracing new solutions

To act in real time, traditional media buying involves the bulk purchase of ad space, otherwise, it can’t be scalable. Implementation usually involves a great deal of time and manual processes, often involving many unfinished negotiations with brands. Needless to say, this is viewed as obsolete in the digital world. Traditional digital agencies need to rethink the way they are doing their job by embracing new programmatic technologies and processes, which enables real-time buying of ad inventory, by targeting individual spaces using real-time data. By doing so immeasurably increases chances for success.

Real-time bidding (RTB) and supercharged data are at the core of the programmatic engine. All RTB technology is essentially programmatic, but not all programmatic advertising is RTB. To be specific, programmatic is a concept much larger than this, as it can run with different ways to manage the ad stack, such as private marketplaces. These private rooms are where agencies can gain access to premium inventories or direct deals, where they can buy guaranteed ad spaces without an auction and at fixed eCPM.

Real-time bidding, as the name suggests, is the process of buying and selling online ads (display, video or even native ads) in real-time, on an auction basis and by skipping all the negotiations with the supports or ad networks. The benefits for brands and agencies include better control of a campaign’s performance, greater efficiency on ad stack management, and better results thanks to comprehensive segmentation and a broader scope. By eliminating wasted impressions, you can invest your budget more intelligently. As a result, you get a higher return on your advertising spend (ROAS) which empowers you to reinvest it more effectively in this virtuous circle.

Data and metrics

Marketers need to measure in order to improve. The best way brands and agencies can improve their performance is by analysing data. Data has truly emerged as a new invaluable commodity, especially in the advertising industry. Marketers say that 69% of their expenditure in data is aimed at improving targeting effectiveness.

The programmatic industry deals with different types and sources of data. First-party data is one of the most valuable sources which originates directly from a brand, whatever the method in which they gather it. Second-party data (which you don’t own) is interesting and valuable because you get it directly from a publisher or SSP that collects data from mobile users vía a SDK. This data can be just as valuable, or even more valuable than first-party data. And finally, third-party data, which originates from providers who are not involved in your business. Regardless of the data source, the important thing is that nowadays we have a great deal of information; some of it goes beyond cookie detection, like mobile identifiers or SDKs which are better at understanding user behaviour and building behavioural advertising.

Programmatic offers better day-to-day operations management and a new way to buy ad inventory, auto-managing campaigns by directly connecting to an SSP or trading desk, acting as a centralised buying technology for agencies. These two powerful features enable brands and agencies to be more precise for delivering highly successful targeted campaigns, as they no longer have to rely on inaccurate or sampled data and the confidence that a small percentage of the impressions that were bought in bulk are successful. Instead, this new approach allows one to process and manage larger data sets, buying impressions individually and impacting your targets in real-time.

This doesn’t end here. The amount of data that we’re able to collect and analyse increases as more people embrace new technology. The next progressive step is to integrate powerful AI algorithms that can learn how to improve the accuracy of successfully determining the "who?", "when?", "how?" and "where?", helping to get the most out of your advertising spend.

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Ignasi Prat

Ignasi Prat

Ignasi Prat is CMO at ​Tappx.

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