‘Programmatic advertising is about driving efficiency in resources and spend. It is about connecting publishers and advertisers in the easiest possible way. You rely on software to automate processes such as buying, data optimization, and placement; processes which would have required many intermediaries before; thereby increasing efficiency. However, over time, the process has become complex. Advertisers now have to gain a myriad of skills in data analysis and technology to enjoy the benefits of programmatic advertising,’ goes the ever so popular argument.
However, the reality of programmatic advertising is more accessible than the convoluted story being peddled to marketers and advertisers. Real-time buying and selling of ad space accounts for over 66% of the total digital ad spending in the US. It is more straightforward than many think allowing marketers to get control, transparency, insights, quality and to meet KPIs.
It began with the sole purpose of improving efficiency by replacing manual processes with an automated algorithm that also liquidates inventory. As the platform matured, it has become popularized among advertisers and is no longer just storage for remnant traffic.
According to Mark Beck, ‘Our main concern with new marketing sources is how they affect our existing channels and how they perform.’ Mark is a user acquisition pro at a gaming company in Murka. ‘Programmatic has taken up a significant amount of our marketing spend, and this is because we are happy with the returns. We like having control and transparency over the results that we get. That way, we also get insight into our target market and how they behave outside our app.’
Tarika Soni, a product growth manager at Twitter’s MoPub says of programmatic that, ‘it has allowed performance marketers to know about their audience.’ MoPub runs an exchange for inventory in mobile apps. ‘Our mediation platform controls impressions giving you quality users; which translates to the best value for your buyers.’ She continues.
More significantly, marketplaces that are more programmatic-mature can help you to target partners and inventory at a higher level. They do so by increasing the levels of control, transparency, and quality.
1. Improved openness
Last year, the chief brand officer at Proctor & Gamble started a conversation around fraud, measurement, and viewability in the ad tech supply chain. The conversation nudged programmatic bodies towards transparency initiatives. They also introduced verification services by third-parties.
‘Nowadays, programmatic and transparency are two sides of the same coin, thanks to real-time bidding which works a lot like a financial auction,’ says Soni. ‘Yet, there isn’t a standardized policy when it comes to in-app ad space. It’s key to work with a partner who will maintain and enforce stringent yet clear standards to compare where the ads are placed, where they should be and how they appear.’
2. Better control
The in-app space does not rely on cookies, but programmatic can give unbelievable control to app ad creatives. Programmatic marketplaces that have already established themselves work together with third-party tools to verify data and give a more comprehensive view of the people buying domains, based on their OS and geography. These marketplaces also give specificity when it comes to data such as the first app open and installation, the user’s lifecycle and their purchase amounts- all in an interface that is easy to navigate. You can use this data to retarget existing users.
‘Programmatic allows you unprecedented control levels both as the supplier and the buyer,’ says Soni. ‘With an already established audience, you can upload device identifications to model them. You can whitelist or blacklist competitors; a feature offered only through programmatic channels. You can also run your campaigns, enjoying 100% control and flexibility through the self-serve platforms.’
3. Better quality
The impact and the quality of impressions boil down to the ad’s reach and its integrity. With programmatic, advertisers can deliver both these characteristics. How, you ask? You can target specific users to extraordinary scales and rely on third-party verifiers to place the ads in such a way that they are relevant. Building on an exchange like MoPub can give you access to more than 50 000 apps in the world, which is over 1.5 billion devices.
One company used programmatic advertising to reach a 400% app installation increases and more than 3000 purchases in two months using video ads.
Such performance is expected to come with a price tag equally as hefty, but it is not so with programmatic. ‘The idea that programmatic is expensive is untrue. The quality and user scale average the cost. Advertisers should be able to see past an install to the lifetime value the users bring. Ultimately, you rely on in-app purchases or ad impression monetization for profits,’ says Soni.
If you are looking to add to your marketing toolkit, to meet KPIs, or even to retarget users, programmatic may be the way to go to achieve your marketing goals.