When To Use Programmatic Advertising

Hand touching center of advertising graphic

Have you ever been fishing without any luck? Spent most of your day trying with nothing to show for it? I know I have. After days like that, I always go through all the what ifs. What if I had tried at a different time, at a different spot or with a different bait? Maybe if I changed one or all of those factors I could have had a more successful trip.

Digital advertising can be a lot like fishing. You select the times you want ads to run, where those ads are placed, what the ad content will be and how you will send the information out. When fishing, if they’re not biting in one spot, you change the bait, the way you’re fishing or you move. Thankfully, we rely on data to help make our advertising results more consistent, find our audience and reach them when they are active. Even with all the advantages of data, the right advertising method and message still needs to be used for a campaign to be successful.

For a lot of advertising methods, it can be fairly easy to determine when to use that method based on where a prospective customer is at in the marketing funnel. Programmatic advertising can be a bit more tricky.

Programmatic advertising is purchasing digital media through an online exchange using RTB (real time bidding). Programmatic reduces the time invested in researching online advertising platforms and developing insertion orders and evaluating proposals, making the media buying process much more efficient. As a result, you get more value for your investment.

RTB is the process of selling and buying programmatic digital media in real time based on a previously established digital media plan and budget. Programmatic ads can employ several methods of targeting on a network of digital platforms including websites, apps and social media platforms across multiple types of devices.

Additionally, programmatic allows for detailed targeting across those platforms. Users can be targeted through a variety of methods including behavioral segments, categorical segments, user demographics, retargeting and remarketing. Targeting to this level just isn’t available when manually acquiring ad placements or impressions. For more information on how programmatic advertising works and the available targeting methods, read our previous introductory article: MAKING SENSE OF PROGRAMMATIC DIGITAL MEDIA and MAKING SENSE OF REAL TIME BIDDING/RTB.

Although programmatic will yield results in almost any situation, programmatic really excels at achieving two marketing objectives:

  • Building Awareness and Branding
  • Influencing Consideration

Why Programmatic is a Great Tool for Branding/Building Awareness

When building awareness for a new offering or brand, the goal is to make it so that your company will be thought of and considered when a potential customer is looking for what you offer. To do this, your message needs to spread to a large group of users across a variety of platforms in a heavy enough frequency to make an impact. Doing this manually requires a lot of time and resources. This process can be made much easier and more cost-effective by using programmatic digital media and RTB bidding.

Plain and simple, there is no better tool than programmatic advertising to reach a large specific audience across a variety of locations at a cost-effective rate.

Why Programmatic is a Great Tool for Influencing Consideration

Programmatic offers a variety of advertising types including traditional display advertising using images or animated ads, video advertising, audio advertising, and native advertising. These less traditional ad types really show their value when trying to increase consideration for your brand. They let you communicate more complex messages and teach users about the advantages of choosing your brand, all while maintaining the other benefits of programmatic such as cost-effective placements and a large reach.

When to not Use Programmatic

There are many situations where programmatic advertising is a great fit. However, there are some situations where a different advertising method will achieve your goals more efficiently. For example, search engine advertising or shopping platform advertising typically works better for driving action. That is because those methods reach a user while they are actively searching for products and services.

There are some exceptions to these rules though. One is remarketing or retargeting users who have previously been on your website through programmatic. Although programmatic typically is not the strongest option for driving action, retargeting and remarketing can be very powerful tools for driving action.

Programmatic advertising is a great tool and a good supplement to marketing campaigns. Looking at your marketing objectives, specific needs and capabilities will help to decide if it is a good fit for your current marketing efforts.