At its core, artificial intelligence and machine learning are all about evolving. These technologies are designed to use the gigabytes and terabytes of data that we create each day to make more accurate decisions. This technology has been applied to facial recognition. It wasn’t very precise in its infancy but then evolved after years of learning from data, patterns, and programming to be what it is today.
- If you could apply that same evolutionary power to advertising.
- That you could put your business in front of the right people at precisely the correct times.
- Your branding and marketing campaigns evolved to get more specific, giving everyone that interacts with it a personalized experience.
This is a concept called programmatic advertising. In this article, I’ll dive into exactly what this is and how you can use it with artificial intelligence’s revolutionary power to make smarter marketing campaigns.
What is Programmatic Advertising?
Programmatic advertising is a form of advertising that uses an algorithm to place ads and campaign messages on selecting different platforms. The algorithms ensure that the ads target the right viewers, at the correct times, all while remaining within the budget. All thanks to a bidding system that allows for competition between brands.
Typically, companies would spend a significant amount of time working with different ad buyers, publishers, and marketing platforms. This is done all to get their ads seen by as many people as possible. This is not only a time-consuming process but can also be a costly one with a lower than expected ROI.
Programmatic advertising platforms change this by handling the entire process for you. These campaigns give the precision and quality of a native advertising campaign (like banner and video ads) while at the same time, allowing for the control, adaptability, and precision that you would get with Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns; all completely automated.
In other words, all you would do is create your ad and then allow the platform to determine the age, gender, interests, and habits of your ideal customer. With that information, place your ads and brand messaging in the locations where they are most likely to see them. This creates highly targeted and highly intelligent campaigns that can evolve to display different messages based on a particular audience or adjust if a specific campaign is under-performing.
How to Get Started With Programmatic Advertising
The concept of programmatic advertising is one that will change the digital marketing landscape and how companies invest when it comes to growing their online presence. However, the best technology tools are only as useful as those behind them, and the data entered into the system. So, before you invest in a platform or provider, here are four crucial tips to keep in mind.
1. Don’t Forget the Creative Component of Your Campaigns
If you haven’t invested in quality creative material, then your ads are going to fall flat. Design your ads well and perform A/B testing to see which designs work best. These creative works and designs should not only be in line with your brand identity, but should serve to strengthen it. Even if your ads don’t create immediate clicks and conversions. You’ll want to choose a partner who can help you with this aspect.
2. Consider Your Audience and the Campaigns Context
Before choosing a technology partner to work with, you need to look at the audience they’re able to attract as well as the context in which they do so. Your ideal partner will be one that’s well established as an authority in your industry and is able to target the exact same demographics that you are.
In some cases, you might not be able to find a partner that will be strong at both, so you’ll need to select a partner that can provide the best balance. Don’t be tempted to ignore the context in these situations.
For example, let’s say you’re an online retailer for golf equipment and merchandise. A partner that has a history of success in creating campaigns for the golfing industry is far more likely to have an algorithm that is successful in your target market. Their algorithm will know the best times to place campaign messages based on when your target audience will be online, and the best channels to find them.
3. Be Willing to Spend
The beauty of programmatic advertising is that you can directly manage your campaigns and spending in real-time. Which ensures you get the maximum exposure with your budget. However, you should have a large budget to start.
As with any data-driven strategy, programmatic advertising is about collecting as much information as possible. It’s designed to help eliminate mistakes with your campaigns, and capitalize on opportunities to get in front of potential customers. With the added benefit of taking over the the bulk of campaign management. Having a strong budget will allow all of this to be possible.
4. Make Sure Your Ads Fit
The downside of an automated approach to marketing is that you can lose that personal touch. This is a benefit that comes with working with an advertising agency. As they can develop campaigns to match the tone and appearance of your brand. The downside, however, is its difficulty to scale. Which is why automated platforms are becoming popular.
Make sure your partner and their platform can give as much of a personalized experience as possible. The messaging will become well suited to your audience- grabbing the right people’s attention with targeted creative materials. At the same time, it needs to connect with your potential customers on the channels and environments.
How to Gain Control Your Advertising Campaigns
You can gain even more control of your programmatic advertising approach with the concept of real-time bidding (RTB).
RTB is a bidding war with other brands and competitors. This bidding war initiates every time a potential customer lands on a page connected to your platform. They allow your brand’s message to compete with others across a large selection of different websites that all cater to your potential customers’ specific demographics.
To use the golf retailer example, let’s say your target audience is men and women between ages 20 and 40. Then, your ad will get queued to appear across a selection of websites and social media networks. After the match, your budget is the next important factor. Your budget will determine if you ‘win’ the bid for ad placement over your competitors.
This strategy allows you to target your audience across a multitude of websites and channels while avoiding a high cost. With the added benefit of stronger insights into your potential markets. With the data gathered, you can gain visibility into channels to identify which markets to penetrate. The algorithm itself adjusts to target the websites where your audience is, but the competition isn’t.
The Bottom Line
There are many different approaches to expanding your brand’s presence online. By combining automation, AI, and machine learning, programmatic advertising empowers brands by creating highly optimized and smart campaigns. If you keep these ideas in mind when building your campaign, you’ll end up with a brilliant marketing campaign. A campaign that puts your brand in the right place, at the right time, talking about the right things.