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10 benefits of programmatic advertising to add to your media mix

By Grace Johnson

S3 Advertising


The Drum Network article

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May 27, 2021 | 7 min read

S3 Advertising’s media buyer, Grace Johnson, counts down the top 10 benefits of programmatic advertising and explains why you should make it part of your advertising media mix.


Programmatic advertising is the automated buying of online ad space in real-time, using data to reach the right people

The world of programmatic advertising is often perceived as uber-complicated, full of jargon, and home to more abbreviations than you could shake a stick at. Although the latter two might be true, understanding how programmatic advertising works doesn’t need to be complicated.

In a nutshell, programmatic advertising is the automated buying of online ad space in real-time, using data to reach the right person at the right time. It takes away the need for laborious manual processes, leaving humans more time to optimize their programmatic campaigns and yield stronger results for advertisers. If you’re curious about the benefits of programmatic, and why you should use programmatic advertising in your media mix, read on.

1. It can work for the small and mid-size brands as well as big-budget brands

First things first, it would be wrong to go into all the weird and wonderful things brands can do with programmatic advertising without first debunking the myth that you need endless bags of cash to get started. The beauty of real-time, audience-focused programmatic buying means we end up with far less wastage and far more bang for your buck. So if you don’t have tons of budget to play with, or you want programmatic to prove itself before investing more, rest assured there will be an approach for you.

2. Programmatic reach is huge

“I don’t want to reach as much of my target audience as possible,” said no one ever. We’re all agreed that the most efficient forms of advertising reach their desired audience at scale. Programmatic advertising allows us to do just that. With access to ad space across millions of sites, programmatic opens up the opportunity to find and engage your audience, wherever they are (almost).

3. You are in control

Programmatic advertising has many a perk, but one of the most invaluable benefits is the freedom it gives brands to press pause and make changes to campaigns in mid-flight. From a performance perspective, it allows optimizations to be made to upweight the best performing audiences, sites, time of day and so on, helping to continuously boost results. Plus, from an ‘oh no, our website is down’ point of view, it allows brands to get out of jail free and stop paying to drive their audience to a dead page in an instant. What a dream.

4. You can show off your brand using funky formats

Long gone are the days where click-focused banner ads were the only formats associated with programmatic. These days, brands can engage their audience with highly interactive digital creative units, drive them to store using in-built maps, or simply wow them with a beautifully-designed web takeover format, which – yes, you guessed it – can be bought and served on an individual user basis in real-time.

5. The targeting possibilities are pretty much endless

Browsing for your SO’s birthday present only to be stalked forever by an ad of that very product? We’ve all been there. As much as retargeting can play a key part of a brand’s programmatic strategy, there are many other targeting strategies brands can employ to find and engage key audiences. These can be a bit sexy, such as overlaying previous purchase data via Mastercard, real time and historic geo-location data, email data, Amazon purchase data, or household data, or they can be slightly-less-sexy-but-still-effective, with strategies like contextual targeting, where the ad appears alongside relevant content.

6. You can sync up your programmatic activity with DOOH (digital out-of-home billboards)

Picture this: you’re walking down the street, it’s nearly lunchtime. You walk past a billboard advertising a lovely looking burger (sorry vegans) and it catches your eye. You continue walking, getting out your phone to check the weather. You open the app and there’s that burger again. Giving in to temptation, you make your way to those famous Golden Arches. You have just experienced a DOOH/programmatic sync that captures audiences as they come into proximity with your OOH advertising and retargets them on their phone. A simple, yet super effective way to increase frequency and maximize the impact of messaging on your audience.

7. Programmatic campaigns can be weather-triggered

Not only can you reach the right person in the right environment at the right time, you can also reach them in the right weather conditions. Weather signals are a powerful way of contextualizing your brand’s messaging and are an instant win among your audience. These triggers can be based on insight about your brand and can be as simple as ‘sales increase when it rains’. Setting these parameters in the programmatic buying platform means that budget can automatically be upweighted when desired weather conditions occur, or the messaging can change to become more relevant.

8. You know every single site your brand appears on

We no longer live in a world where programmatic campaigns are set up and delivered with no insight into where our ads ended up. Oh no. Goodbye black box, hello transparency. When running either across the open-exchange, or a pre-agreed list of sites, brand safety and transparency are paramount. With strict measures in place to exclude sites and content deemed unsafe, brands can be confident that they’re reaching their intended audience in perfectly acceptable, brand-safe environments.

9. Programmatic advertising fulfils objectives galore

Despite the rumors, the reason why we use programmatic advertising isn’t just to sell, sell, sell. Granted, it does this well, but more and more brands are increasingly turning to programmatic to help improve awareness and consideration too. Through a clever mix of the right targeting and, crucially, a well-executed creative, programmatic advertising has proven it is nothing to be sniffed at when it comes to increasing brand metrics.

10. Because you need to be where your competitors are

If the above nine reasons weren’t enough to persuade you, then let this be it. The chances are, your competitors are already talking to your potential customers through their own programmatic campaigns. This means they’re benefitting from the extra edge this type of digital buying creates. In an increasingly competitive world online, now more than ever it’s important for your brand to be active and compete in the programmatic space.

Feeling inspired and ready to explore how programmatic advertising could work for you? Good. Our team of experts at S3 Advertising agency will work with you to plan and execute a programmatic campaign that will speak to your audience and deliver against your objectives. Whether you want to raise awareness of a product or service, drive traffic to your site, drive people to your store or something else –get in touch with our team and we’ll do the rest.

Grace Johnson is media buyer at S3 Advertising.


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