Is the industry ready for the programmatic creative revolution?

Is the industry ready for the programmatic creative revolution?

Programmatic spending is estimated to grow by more than 31% this year, but gone are the days when this was solely a method to buy cheap online advertising space. Now, programmatic is being harnessed by advertisers to tailor and customise messaging for individuals, at scale.

What is programmatic creative?

Programmatic creative has the ability to harness data and create more personalised experiences for individuals. Rather than displaying a generic creative, new technologies mean the ad creative can be tailored to the viewer in real-time, across multiple devices, according to their location, what they are doing, and the time of day – improving the overall user experience.

So, instead of settling with a one-size-fits-all, mass-market approach, advertisers can create hyper-relevant ads while reaching a larger audience.

The evidence is there too. Studies show that optimised, customised creative can boost an ad’s performance by 30-50%, leading to higher viewability rates and an increased return on investment (ROI). Data and creativity can come together like never before, making brand stories more engaging, relevant, and contextual, and driving greater returns for marketers.

Why is programmatic creative driving an increase in ad spend?

There is no reason for creativity, rich media, and programmatic to be mutually exclusive –­ it’s the combination that achieves resonance with consumers. And programmatic creative offers a plethora of new opportunities ­– a study found 92% of marketers believe creative marketing is now more important than ever. For brands, it provides the tools to be interactive storytellers, instead of a unidirectional narrator. For publishers, it’s a win-win situation – audiences receive a better user experience, allowing publishers to cash in with higher CPMs. Yet some still remain sceptical about the idea of delivering true creative at scale, even with proven increases in consumer spending and campaign results.

Currently, on average, only 2% of website visitors actually make a purchase. By using the data it collects, programmatic creative can automatically generate ads relevant to products or services that customers are viewing, helping to convert visitors into customers, and returning customers into repeat purchasers, building long-term loyalty and increased revenue.

What does this mean for the future of marketing?

An optimised customer journey helps advertisers achieve higher conversion rates, saving money and time. With the combination of the data and automation dynamic duo, marketers gain more control over their ad campaigns’ outcomes as real-time data allows for constant analysis and the ability to make reactive changes.

New technologies can help find the balance between engagement, immersion, and intrusiveness, but it relies on advertisers, suppliers, and media agencies communicating with each other and working together to produce great creative that has a real impact.

Programmatic creative is helping drive this shift towards higher-quality ads that deliver results, but the industry still has a long way to go. We are too obsessed with metrics, when what we should be considering is the difference between what is ‘viewable’ and what is ‘memorable’. If campaigns are to remain relevant, marketers should be considering themselves not solely as marketers, but as storytellers.

Marketers and publishers alike are turning to programmatic creative to enhance user experience and keep the customer at the centre. We are already seeing improvements with KPIs such as engagement rate, brand recall, and performance.

As rising programmatic creative adoption prepares to tip into a full-scale revolution, it’s time for advertisers to ensure they are ready for the change. Soon, the new and updated IAB standards will come into play and 'right ad, right person, right time' will once more become the industry mantra. The standards are there to help advertisers stay relevant in an ever-changing media landscape, and will continue to set the bar in terms of driving best practices through data-driven, personalised messaging.

By Andrew Buckman, Managing Director EMEA, Sublime Skinz

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.