When publishers hear the words “Programmatic Advertising”, there are varied reactions. Some know of it. Some are merely aware of it. Some use it. Some don’t. But the one thing that is common for all the publishers is that Programmatic Advertising is a jargon filled notion. Open a Google search and most of the blogs you see are in a language part Klingon part Valyrian. Heck, even the user friendly Wikipedia has a roundabout definition for what it called “Programmatic Marketing:
In digital marketing, programmatic marketing campaigns are automatically triggered by any type of event and deployed according to a set of rules applied by software and algorithms.
Let us simplify this.
Programmatic Advertising is the use of software instead of manual RFPs to purchase digital advertising.
We’ve talked about Programmatic Buying before. We’ve talked about concerns for publishers. We’ve talked about concerns for security. And we’ve answered those concerns. But just in case you need concrete knowledge of these solutions, keep reading.
Is Programmatic Advertising really what it is made out to be? Let’s give you a simple yes and no primer for some important points about Programmatic Advertising.
Yes, it is an automated process where a software or a machine does the job of buying advertising by replacing human negotiations with mechanical calculations. No, it does not fully replace the human presence. A user can and will have the control over filters and parameters of their campaigns. Yes, it is faster, more efficient and includes Real-time Bidding (RTB). No, RTB is not the only kind of Programmatic Advertising. RTB is one of the several methods of Programmatic Advertising.
So far, the gateway jargon kept a lot of publishers unaware of the benefits of Programmatic Advertising. So here are the trends and reasons why Programmatic Advertising is something publishers should be very excited about in 2015:
First, let’s take a look at the hard numbers for Programmatic Advertising :
1. By 2016, RTB will account for 27% of all U.S. Display Ad Buying, amounting to $8.9 Billion with a growth rate of 53 percent.
2. Programmatic buying has grown by 20 percent in the past six months.
3. Mobile Programmatic ad spending in the U.S. will hit $8.36 billion next year, surpassing desktop for the first time, which will haul in $6.62 billion.
4. Real time bidding, a form of Programmatic Ad Buying currently accounts for $9.25 billion of the $10 Billion Industry.
Trend #1: Publisher controls the choice
Programmatic Advertising of 2015 will enable publishers, be it longtail bloggers or brands/enterprises, to have greater control over their data and their campaigns. An important evolution because publishers have always been wary of losing the autonomy over what goes in their campaigns. Multiple Programmatic platforms are going to compete and deliver features that range from a deeper insight into the campaign filters to making sure that the user experience remains optimized. Publishers have been asking for this freedom for quite some time and sooner or later, companies that provide this control are going to find themselves favored by the publishers.
In addition to the holistic control, Programmatic Advertising will start offering custom solutions for verticals such as B2B, CPG and financial services with the help of open auction RTB infrastructure.
Trend #2: Programmatic goes Mobile
In the stats above you can clearly see, that Mobile Programmatic Ad Spending will surpass desktop by a major haul. Programmatic Advertising platforms ready for cross device compatibility and capable of adapting a multi-device presence will be the platforms publishers will gravitate to. Statistical and Probabilistic targeting across devices is an inevitable power. Soon enough, Google and Facebook and a few more giants will start providing data and analytics for mobile and publishers must be aware to leverage these numbers to their favor.
With DSPs, ad servers and a solid infrastructure, Google will spearhead the creation of advertising stacks which track the target audience by providing unique IDs instead of the traditional cookies. A more concrete buyer persona can and will emerge from this change that the publishers cannot afford to miss. Providing a deeper insight into reader behavior, beyond the webpage and heatmaps means the relevancy of advertising that the viewer experiences will be more fluid, customized and a focused targeting as opposed to a random automation. Publishers will be able to make better informed decisions about their ad spending.
Trends #3: Programmatic Advertising incorporates real life
In the world of Digital advertising, information is consumed onscreen but purchase decisions are made off the screen. Brands exist outside the web where they have physical stores, interaction with human buyers and their behavior patterns. The biggest challenge and desire of any digital marketer is to be granted the ability to track and compare what happens online with what what happens offline. These analytics are not merely about behaviors but also beliefs, ideas and reflect the socio-cultural nuances of the target audience.
Publishers will get a chance to leverage this online and offline compilation of data with Programmatic Advertising with the help of credit card companies providing a distilled store and product level financial transaction analysis of the target audience as a measurement metric.
With regard to Programmatic Advertising and it’s near future, Pierre Naggar, MD EMEA at Turn, said:
“Ad industry thinking changed dramatically in 2014. Video advertising is no longer considered a separate ‘channel’ and brands are beginning to think about the creative for TV and online video in the same way, now focusing more on the audience they are targeting. We can expect more innovation in programmatic over the next 12 months; marketers will have a better indication of their target audience’s behaviours, both ahead of time through CRM systems, and across numerous touchpoints using cross-device identity solutions. Programmatic’s integration into the wider marketing mix will open up completely new opportunities for marketers to serve more targeted and personalised experiences, including those based on vertical specialisms.”
Trend #4: Programmatic goes secure
Privacy and security concerns with regard to Programmatic Advertising have long been around. From a Brand Safe environment to Viewable inventory and more, the concerns about quality, security and privacy of Programmatic Advertising are here to stay as long as publishers and brands will adapt. However, there is hope. In 2015, with Programmatic Advertising landscape scaling up with a rate of 137 percent in U.S. alone, standardized security protocols, privacy filters and solid assurance of better targeting as well as genuine impressions will emerge. The standardization of fraud and view-ability contingencies will ensure proper solutions of these concerns.
These trends are informed speculations and may or may not emerge verbatim. But one thing is for sure. Programmatic Advertising is, if not The Future, then definitely a major part of it. With Traditional Advertising and Programmatic Advertising coming together, publishers and brands are all set to inevitably find themselves empowered with a lot more consumer reach and it will be up to them to leverage this power to tip the game. Display advertising will not go away any time soon and with different forms of Programmatic Advertising, be it Real Time Bidding, Open Auctions, Invitation Only Auctions and more, it will become a major tool for publishers to create knowledge base for the consumers to provide intelligent advertising.