Matt Tanner
Matt Tanner 20 August 2015
Categories Content

Beyond Programmatic

Don't get hung up on the tech. Programmatic technology drives the development of the ultimate in advertising targeting

Don’t get hung up on the tech. Programmatic technology drives the development of the ultimate in advertising targeting, says Matt Tanner at PRGRMTK -


Despite marketers’ need to attain a single customer view across all touch points and devices, many still feel they are not quite achieving this. As they focus on collecting and integrating data from traditional, browser-based and messaging sources, many still struggle to collect and integrate mobile app data, let alone connect their CRM data.

The advent of programmatic has precipitated this need for better use of behavioural data, as the opportunities to reach potential customers in more relevant and meaningful ways have expanded. Yet marketers still struggle to embrace it, seemingly blinded by the highly innovative technology and unable to focus on the major benefits it brings.

Programmatic has emerged from a method for trading remnant digital inventory to one that serves premium inventory across a multitude of
devices. Its growth to date has been phenomenal. According to Zenith Optimal, the sector is currently valued at $122 billion, and programmatic spending is expected to increase by over 200% to $2 billion during 2015, according to eMarketer2.

This adoption of programmatic advertisement buying and placing has also led to an estimated 26% growth in traditional digital display ads,
which is expected to continue to emerge further as technology develops. No wonder it is quite rightly being heralded as the future of advertising.

Which is why, instead of focusing on the complexities of the tech, marketers should be centring their attention on what programmatic relies on to revolutionise advertising, namely data.

As the programmatic industry continues to improve targeting and the accuracy of measuring it, data has been pinpointed as key to driving
transformative growth.   In effect, the accuracy of programmatic targeting is closely allied to its data source.

Which is why incorporating first-party demographic data into programmatic technology has a profound effect on targeting.  And if demographic information can boost targeting, we need to look at what kind of data is going to further boost results.

A growing number of brands are harnessing the power of user generated content (UGC) through reviews or community forums, as it encourages discussions about items, helping customers buy, through to providing insight into what consumers want.

High fashion e-commerce website Net-A-Porter has developed an app called Net Set to do just that. It blends online shopping with social media, allowing women to shop in real time with their friends, wherever they are.

By gathering designers, celebrities, bloggers and trendsetters in the same place, this innovative app also allows shoppers to canvas the opinions of the experts. Consumers can also use the app to search for items with a specific pattern from the real world, such as a flower spotted in a local florists through to a design on a painting, simply by sharing a photo of it. And of course it’s possible to buy through the app.

Just as importantly, it allows shoppers to share ideas and advice on fashion with their friends and ask their opinion. In fact, according to Net-a-porter vice president Sarah Watson, it was designed to make the most of customers’ love of using social networks to share, engage and discuss.

As Watson points out, content builds authority. This was their starting point, and it’s important to keep that integrity and authority in the fashion space. Social too is all about amplifying that content and meshing the two. This is the driving force behind social commerce.

It is this kind of real time social data which, incorporated into programmatic technology, will truly leverage the power of the social ad. The ability to focus on positive sentiment would be key to tapping into consumers at the relevant moment and in a buying frame of mind – the optimum situation for advertisers. Making it possible for people to buy through those ads would surely boost conversion rates enormously.

Technological innovation is throwing up all kinds of behavioural data – location, most active time of day, preferred apps and websites, loyalty card buying patterns cross-referenced with credit and debit card records, and shopper journey data from in-store RFID tags.

Rather than a confusing and complex set of processes, programmatic technology should be seen from the perspective of handling and evaluating all this rich behavioural data to enable brands to target their advertising like never before.

Programmatic is not just driving digital advertising, it is also working to make it more effective than ever for marketers and their brands.

And by sharing their data, marketers can help make this a reality sooner rather than later.


Find out more on the future of Technology at our DLUK - Trends Briefing on the 24th September 2015

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