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how programmatic advertising is disrupting paid media

Capturing the attention of your target audience in today’s digital world is no easy feat. With an endless choice of different channels, websites, and platforms available, selecting where to advertise your brand is becoming inherently harder. Disrupting advertising services, programmatic, helps businesses overcome these issues. Programmatic uses technology and data to automate the buying and selling of online ad space, deciding what you buy and how much to pay for it. This revolutionary form of paid media is taking the digital market by storm, with 90% of display spend predicted to be programmatic in 2020. Could it be the key to finding your audience online? 

what is programmatic advertising and how does it work?

At its core, programmatic is the process of purchasing ad space via software and using complex algorithms to deliver ads to the right people at the right time and, most importantly, at the right stage of their purchasing journey. Through this intuitive form of advertising, your brand can be placed in front of the people most likely to convert. Whether it be during a podcast break, through an online media outlet or an ad served by a TV streaming platform such as Sky AdSmart, programmatic is capable of targeting audiences before search intent is even there. Whereas advertisers previously had the slow and manual process of purchasing ad space at fixed prices, programmatic is handled by software which tracks when a user lands on a page. An auction is then held for this impression and the highest bidder wins the ad space, with the aim to engage and convert that user with their content. All of this is completed by intuitive algorithms in just seconds. As a result, businesses can rely on automated services to purchase ad space, streamlining the process and serving more relevant, targeted ads to the people who actually have a need for their brand. As a form of advertising reliant on data, programmatic is ideal for top of the funnel and brand awareness marketing. When purchasing ad space, the focus used to be on where the ad would be seen, programmatic, however, has shifted the focus to who will see the ad, putting your audience at the centre of your marketing efforts. As programmatic performance advances and formats expand to include video, TV and voice, the disruption to digital advertising is set to continue.

what are the different types of programmatic?

  • digital out-of-home (DOOH): A new take on an old classic, DOOH targets consumers when they are in public places such as commuting to work or within cities. These ads are then backed by relevant technology such as retargeting, personalisation and attribution making them an ideal ad format for programmatic. 

  • TV: The gap is now being bridged between TV and online advertising. As the use of linear TV advertising methods slow down, programmatic TV advertising steps up. Research from eMarketer forecasts that programmatic TV spend will account for 6.8% of TV ad spend by 2020. Programmatic TV ads combine the power and impact of TV with the targeting and reportability of digital, meaning ROI can be linked directly to every ad. Additionally, brands don’t pay for their ad being aired unless it’s been viewed full screen on a main TV set for at least 75% of its duration, helping reduce the unnecessary ad spend of traditional linear TV advertising.

  • audio: According to Marketing Week, 24 million people stream music, radio and listen to podcasts every week, while 76% of UK listeners have acted on a podcast ad after hearing one. These figures highlight the huge brand reach potential behind audio ads. The variety of audio streaming outlets has grown in recent years, with people now listening to audio wherever and whenever they like. Whether it’s through playlists, audiobooks, radio or podcasts, businesses can target their audience across demographics, location and interests, to deliver emotive and relevant content. 

  • display: Through visuals and animations, brands can place online display advertisements in front of potential customers browsing a publisher’s site. Targeting customers based on demographics including age, salary, interests and preferences, you can display ads that are relevant to the site they are browsing making this an impactful and effective method.

  • video: Video is a critical part of our digital future. Research from eMarketer found it to be the next big growth driver in terms of digital ad spend. With video platforms such as YouTube possessing nearly 2 billion users, and 54% of people saying they want to see more video content from marketers, there are clear benefits for brands using this channel for campaigns.

why is programmatic advertising disrupting paid media?

Programmatic advertising has been a positively disruptive force within the advertising mix. As more businesses channel their advertising spend into this service, there’s no wonder programmatic is taking over the digital world of advertising. But what has made it so successful?

  • target your audience beyond the search engine: Rather than using a mass market approach with focus on quantity over relevancy, programmatic largely focuses on targeting which improves engagement and efficiency all at once. Sophisticated programmatic ads allow marketers to narrow down their audience on a granular level and retarget customers who have abandoned the buying journey. As a result, you can bring your ads to your audience wherever they may be interacting.

  • real-time data: Programmatic can be measured in real-time to maximise performance and create a higher ROI. Unlike traditional marketing methods, programmatic has given marketers the ability to collect data as soon as the campaign begins, so data-driven, impactful changes can be made. This ability to access individual customer data is what makes programmatic so effective as software today is capable of serving individual customers with relevant content according to their browsing activities.

  • improved efficiency: As an automated method, the process of manually purchasing ad space can be eliminated and replaced with AI, saving marketers a lot of time as software can be used to essentially complete all the hard work.

  • achieve affordable fame: Affordable fame is about becoming a big brand without having to spend big budgets. Using traditional mass awareness tools such as TV and audio to reach a specific audience, you can appear ‘famous’ but in a more cost-effective way. Whether it is targeted TV ads or a video on Facebook, through programmatic, you can start working on channels you didn’t think were affordable, increasing the visibility and chances of campaign success while boosting your brand reach.

  • improved flexibility: Advertising used to be a strict and structured process, once the campaign was shared with the world, minimal changes could be made to it. With access to real-time data, programmatic gives marketers the ability to make insightful alterations, driving campaigns further and scaling them in line with objectives for optimised results.

  • programmatic and personalisation: Personalisation can boost your conversion rate, while also being cost effective. Research showed that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personalised experience. As programmatic ads are served based on user behaviour and specific content that has been recently engaged with, ads are shown only to the most relevant customers who are likely to convert.

If you’re ready to take your marketing campaigns to a more targeted, high-performing level, programmatic advertising could be for you. The service is only set to get smarter and simpler to implement. As it evolves, it’s likely to continue being a powerful tool for your marketing efforts and a key driver in creating a more relevant, seamless experience for your consumers.

A strategic approach is advised for programmatic; an agency can leverage their expertise to introduce programmatic into your wider digital marketing strategy. Contact our expert team to understand how we can help you effectively adopt programmatic into your business.