Three Programmatic Promises Fulfilled in 2018
Lin | Jan 19, 2018
Topic category: If I ran the world

Nothing is more aggregating then when I hear people repeat clichés about how programmatic is a low-quality, “remnant” inventory channel that can’t deliver “quality scale.” This thinking reveals more about the person’s lack of sophisticated understanding of programmatic than any inherent limitation of programmatic as a quality digital media channel.

Therefore, to kick off 2018, let’s shake off old thinking and recalibrate to what programmatic can excel at. We can start by understanding that programmatic dominates digital media because of its strength to execute campaigns better and yes – more transparently - than direct buys can. While many advertisers rightly believe programmatic is deeply mired in transparency, performance and quality issues, the sophisticated marketing practitioner will recognize programmatic as the media breakout star of 2018.

Here’s why:

1) Programmatic excels at delivering quality scale to advertisers.

The concept of “quality scale” in programmatic can seem like an oxymoron since many consider the point of programmatic is its availability of high volumes of impressions. In this model, if an advertiser wants quality, then it must come at the expense of “scale.”

Programmatic can change this dynamic because programmatic can reintroduce the laws of scarcity to the digital media game through new types of targeting capabilities. Some example is precise account based targeting or trending topic acquisition-based campaigns. Each of these targeting options has clear limits so the laws of scarcity can be justifiably applied. With new types of targeting options programmatic can deliver new types of campaigns to drive different outcomes.

2) Programmatic becomes a marketer’s transparent acquisition engine.

One does not typically associate most digital media (let alone programmatic) with transparency despite advertisers’ deep hunger for verifiable campaigns. The roadblock for digital performance transparency is the lack of a cogent and comprehensive way to measure results all the way through to conversion.

This is where programmatic stands out from other digital media (including typical performance CPL channels) because programmatic and acquisition share a core data-driven DNA architecture. By understanding this relationship, data allows programmatic to become an acquisition engine through sophisticated cross-device cookie targeting or predictive modeling based on the content journey to conversion. These new acquisition approaches are only available with new insights that can only be extracted via programmatic data.

3) Programmatic is a new business model for how the industry integrates the art and science of great marketing.

I believe programmatic is far less about technology than about the imaginative and technologically creative use of data that only programmatic provides. While programmatic is deeply technical, the more important part of programmatic is the human expertise, talent and skill needed to optimize this technology well. This is why programmatic is an opportunity for a new business model to balance the art, data, technology and expertise with a comprehensive performance/ fee structure between agencies and advertisers. Even the current in-sourced/ out-sourced debates about programmatic shouldn’t distract us from the potential of programmatic to reshape the advertiser/ client relationship if one considers programmatic as an acquisition channel – not just a media channel. This mind-shift allows for a more transparent and equitable type of the fee structure that transcends the financially limiting “media commission” paradigm we have today.

2018 will be the year programmatic is transformed from a low quality but scalable media channel into a digital acquisition engine through targeting precision. In this way, programmatic reflects the future vision of digital marketing where skill, art and technology intersect to drive great marketing.

Judy Shapiro |Jan 19, 2018
FROM: engagesinply
Tags: programmatic, quality, scale, digital, media, transparency, advertising
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