No matter how much the processes that power digital advertising have changed, two key drivers have remained the same: maximising reach and ROI.
It’s only logical that the industry has taken programmatic to its heart; £3.39bn was spent on automated ads in 2017, and investment is set to hit £4.52 bn by 2019, driven largely by mobile. As an efficient way to serve ads at scale, programmatic is the perfect vehicle for enhancing exposure while closely monitoring costs in real time.
However, this isn’t all that programmatic can offer – and while Aristotle wasn’t talking about digital ad campaigns when he stated that the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, the sentiment certainly holds true today. And, by only focusing on these broad objectives, advertisers are overlooking the potential of automated campaigns. From boosting creativity to increasing awareness and perception, programmatic can do a lot for enhancing the power of a brand.
The right eyes on the prize
A recent IAB report revealed that 89% of advertisers list brand awareness as a key focus; yet with high competition for consumer attention, it’s proving more challenging to cultivate than ever. Whether on mobile or desktop, audiences are absorbed by digital media for almost eight hours each day and exposed to 5,000 ads. As a result, opportunities to drive brand awareness are vast, but so is the task of standing out. Advertisers must look at new methods of producing messages that capture interest – and programmatic is an ideal solution.
Programmatic technologies provide the ability to leverage huge swathes of consumer data from cookies: such as age and location, to interests and previous purchases. This means advertisers can improve placement accuracy, and create a more personalised experience – a factor of great importance for today’s consumers. Research shows two-fifths feel frustrated by irrelevant ads – particularly on mobile – while 73% would consider engaging with a brand featured in a relevant ad. Indeed, using platforms with dynamic creative capability — which choose from a selection of ads based on variables such as the weather — they can maximise personal impact at scale, and make meaningful connections that enhance positive brand perception. For example, if a blend of location and precipitation data indicates that an individual is walking through a rainstorm, a brand may show ads for umbrellas.
Creating the right impression
However, programmatic allows for data to merge with innovation and creativity – a must-have for many consumers. High-impact options, such as rich media and interactive features, can be effectively targeted and deployed, while programmatic also allows for campaigns to follow an engaging storytelling narrative. Research demonstrates characteristics such as these help brands develop a more positive perception, and stand out in a tough and crowded market.
Ad fatigue – when consumers tire of seeing the same messages in a short period of time – is a real problem, and something many would like to eradicate. Programmatic can be utilized to tackle this via the deployment of relevant and stimulating ads that users want to actively engage with, and use data insights to ensure messages are varied, and served at a reasonable frequency on different screens. Together, strong creative and data can help guard against repetition that triggers annoyance, increase positive sentiment, and strengthen brand relationships.
Programmatic also allows brands the opportunity to monitor and measure an extensive range of KPIs and track viewing habits across digital channels. This data provides an invaluable knowledge of the consumer, from which they can optimise current and future campaigns on a continual basis. In turn, this ensures messaging continues to be engaging and relevant, and steadily increases its effectiveness – and boosts positive brand perception as a result.
So, while Aristotle’s philosophies may feel like ancient history, his message is not: and the adtech industry would do well to take heed of his teachings. Advertisers are focusing too heavily on just a few aspects of programmatic, and it offers a great deal more than this: improved targeting accuracy, better messaging impact, and scope for creativity, to name but a few. By looking at the bigger picture, advertisers will swiftly recognise that programmatic is a ubiquitous yet highly underutilised tool in terms of what it can do for enhancing brands.