Let’s face it. No matter which way you slice it, advertising has developed a pretty lousy reputation over the years. And man, does that suck for us marketers.
Most of the problem lies in the saturation. According to market research firm, Yankelovich, consumers residing in cities see an average of 5,000 ads in a single day. Unless you’re off the grid and living in the woods like a modern-day Thoreau, ads are virtually inescapable. And as we all know, that can get pretty damn annoying.
It’s a terrible dichotomy. In a world overrun with media, consumers are becoming more apathetic while businesses are struggling to get noticed. To combat the apathy, companies inundate consumers further in the hopes that their messaging will stick. They plant their logos on every surface imaginable, crossing their fingers that people will see it on their eyelids as they drift to sleep at night.
This cycle goes on and on and on and on, until we’ve got a society full of people who have their blinders on. People programmed to resist corporate messaging. People who, despite this aversion, are somehow still humming Subway’s “five dollar footlong” song from 2008.
In line with everyone’s favorite form of advertising – infomercials – we’re all left pleading the same tired mantra: there’s got to be a better way!
And there is. Programmatic advertising.
WTF IS PROGRAMMATIC ADVERTISING?
Programmatic cuts through the noise by delivering ads straight to people who are likely to give a damn about what you have to say. Rather than broadcasting a message to the masses – most of whom are not in the market for your services – programmatic advertising is all about narrowcasting. It pinpoints the people you most want to reach and manages to save you time and money in the process.
While obviously ideal for marketers, this also benefits the consumer, who finally sees content they’re actually interested in. This makes them much more likely to engage with your ad, which in turn increases brand awareness, click through rates, and conversions.
And it’s pretty ubiquitous. Programmatic advertising is prevalent across all screens and devices, including desktop computers, mobile phones, tablets, and even smart TVs. It powers tools like video, display, search engine, and social media marketing. So while it doesn’t necessarily cut down on the amount of messages a person will see in a day, it does make it way more likely that the message will have an impact, yielding a much higher ROI for us marketers.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Programmatic is all about utilizing data. All you have to do is specify the type of person you’d like to reach, and then sit back as algorithms do the heavy lifting. There are a bunch of different ways to specify your audience profile, including location, demographics, interests, and even purchase history. You can also launch retargeting campaigns that show your ads to people who have previously visited your website, enticing them to come back and finish their purchases.
Depending on the programmatic platform you choose, you can monitor the results of your campaign with varying degrees of granularity. This makes A/B testing a breeze, and allows for mid-campaign alterations that can greatly impact your bottom line. It can also give you valuable insight into how your target audience reacts to your messaging.
Programmatic is an amazing option for digital advertising, but a sound targeting strategy is only one piece. If you’re investing in programmatic, it’s absolutely critical that your ads are visually, emotionally, and creatively engaging. No one wants to waste the coveted currency of attention on a boring ad. That’s where we come in.