Tabrez Alam shares his opinion on programmatic advertising and how it connects brands with the right audience in this interconnected, multi-screen world.
From offline to online, and now to hybrid, consumer behaviour has significantly evolved over the years. Honestly, there are no full stops but only commas in this continuous journey. Thanks to digital innovations that have made our lives highly convenient and seamless from all angles. Today, we can plan travel, play games, make money transfers, shop, and whatnot, all using a smartphone and a couple of apps powered by the internet.
The digital universe amplified further during the pandemic when more and more people were forced to live differently. As staying indoors became the norm, they started spending more time online. According to research, online shopping across categories witnessed more than 10% growth during the pandemic globally.
Another notable change observed was the switch to online grocery shopping. Even the neighbourhood uncles and aunties who relied on buying groceries from Kirana stores in person have adopted the online route. Although the COVID-19 waves have subsided, digital activities remain an essential part of the daily routine.
Interacting with potential customers today can be like spinning a roulette wheel. In these changing times, it is more important than ever for brands to keep up with the evolving consumer behaviours and expectations and develop innovative strategies to provide customers with precisely what they want. As a marketer, the more you know your customers and their changing behaviours, the better you will be equipped to serve them seamlessly.
But the question is, how do you study today’s rapidly evolving consumers and identify their needs and wants? The straightforward answer is programmatic advertising.
What is programmatic advertising?
Programmatic advertising involves buying a digital ad through a real-time data-driven process, ultimately placing it in the current advertising landscape. It enables brands to reach customers along the entire buying journey and thus create valuable conversions. The best part is that programmatic advertising allows brands to customize and filter ads in sync with the consumer’s preference or online behaviour.
For instance, if a person looks for a smartphone online, then smartphone brands will be notified and can accordingly target those prospects. In today’s time, when the consumer’s content consumption is skyrocketing, especially in the wake of short videos, brands must add value to the consumer in that short time span. This is where programmatic advertising works wonders by marrying the right consumer to the right message and product.
Diving deeper into the programmatic advertising process
How it connects brands with the right audience: Programmatic advertising enables brands to target audiences on a granular level and create segments based on diverse parameters, including location, geography, demographic, and behaviour. Through this process, brands collect and evaluate reliable data about prospects. With these actionable insights in hand, brands then choose suitable targeting options, which helps save their advertising budget and prevent them from spending on uninterested consumers.
How it helps in cross-device engagement: As consumers access and consume content through multiple devices, be it a smartphone, tab or TV, brands need to be present everywhere and with the help of programmatic advertising, brands can exactly do this. By accessing a vast network of publishers across various platforms, brands can drive meaningful consumer interactions across every digital touchpoint. They can reach out to consumers with suitable ad formats and boost brand awareness in the process.
Viewability and Measurement: Programmatic advertising helps brands track ad impressions using the viewability metric and check whether an ad was actually seen or not. Because why would a brand spend money on an ad that wasn’t viewed in the first place? Similarly, brands can also measure how an ad is performing in real time. This way, they can quickly identify which ads work best and which channels are most effective and accordingly optimize their ad campaigns to maximize reach.
In 2022’s first quarter, digital ads grew by more than 2.3 times year-on-year, with the services sector recording the most ad insertions at 46%, followed by education with a 12% share. With more and more brands striving to achieve better results, programmatic buying reached almost $455 billion in ad spend in 2021 alone, as highlighted by a study. This clearly indicates the potential that programmatic advertising holds and why brands must invest in this to thrive in the post-pandemic world.
However, the problem is that the audience data comes in droves so the marketers should know which all metrics are most important for a campaign’s success. The key is knowing who the target audience is and creating content that grabs their attention and encourages them to engage.
They must also keep one thing in mind, that is, to be creative in their approach at every point possible. Today’s consumers value personalization in targeted ads, which calls for creativity.
It’s essential to begin engaging your audience as early as possible. Making a connection at the first stage of the buyer’s journey helps push the lead through the customer funnel. Understanding and analyzing how customers are moving and operating over smartphones is the most important part of the targeting. Even if they don’t convert in the early stages, it at least helps ensure they have made a connection with your campaign.
While investing in programmatic advertising is a necessity in today’s fast-paced ad world, that right audience, and creativity in content across texts and designs could also be a deciding factor for brands to win or lose the game.
This article is authored by Tabrez Alam, Chief Data & Strategy Officer – Data Strategies, Bobble AI.