Programmatic Advertising has experienced a PR boom of late, earning itself the title of 'one of the hottest buzzwords' in 2015, according to Richard Foster, Chief Commercial Officer for Intelligent Optimisations, who here explains exactly what programmatic advertising is, and what the benefits are.
In its simplest form, programmatic media buying is the use of software to purchase digital advertising. It is an evolution of the traditional ad buying process which involved RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders.
To extend that definition somewhat, programmatic buying offers the potential for marketers to automate media buying throughout a customer's entire path-to-purchase engagement with the marketer's brand, across all addressable media channels - social, display, mobile and video.
The key benefits for advertisers when buying digital advertising programmatically are more efficient media purchasing and improved response to the advert, leading to not only a higher return on investment but also a more relevant advertising experience for the consumer.
Overall, buying programmatically produces greater digital marketing performance by enabling the real time optimisation of every customer interaction with an ad campaign. Marketers can drive their marketing campaigns through the purchase funnel and across all channels and devices.
A facet of programmatic advertising is Real Time Bidding (RTB) which is the buying of ad impressions via real-time auctions that occur in the time it takes a webpage to load. RTB's key benefit is providing marketers with access to real-time inventory at scale, and most importantly, at a price advertisers want to pay.
By using programmatic RTB and leveraging data and analytics to automate targeting, engagement, and media optimisation, programmatic enables brands to better optimise and manage their engagement at every point of the customer journey.
Programmatic advertising can progress even further with the advent of machine learning DSPs. Machine learning in relation to programmatic buying is the automation of the prospecting and then optimisation of audiences for advertisers, all delivered in a real-time environment.
For marketers, the major advantage of machine learning is the opportunity to prospect relevant new audiences beyond the scope of retargeting by analysing billions of data attributes over multiple dimensions and advertise to these audiences in real-time. This is what we call 'true prospecting.'
Programmatic buying powered by machine learning can operate at 'pre-awareness levels' in the sales funnel, finding new customers and driving new engagement and conversions. It can exclude targeting users already aware of the brand, and instead model their behaviour and attributes and then find new audiences displaying similar signals outside of the sales funnel.
"Although the emergence of machine learning in the DSP market may seem like another contender for Buzzword Bingo, in the plainest of English, it promises to transform how marketers meet one of their biggest challenges: optimising their marketing budget by finding new audiences online. Future generations of true prospecting will rely on machine learning," concluded Foster.