Jimmy Kimmel once quipped (according to AdAge) that programmatic buying is like the gluten of advertising—a buzzword that many people use but few really understand. When it comes to experience management, however, programmatic’s day has arrived.
eMarketer notes 2016 was the year digital outpaced TV in the US, ahead of the expected trend, and the IAB estimates that programmatic buying will account for 80 percent of all spending by 2018. The use of big data and automation as a part of the media-buying process is only going to increase as buyers and planners come around to it, and audiences begin to expect a highly relevant experience across media platforms.
Jump on the Bandwagon…
When you’re working to improve your experience management, programmatic would seem to be a no-brainer. But according to a brutally honest Digiday interview with an anonymous buyer at a TV and digital agency, the buyers themselves are the real roadblock to programmatic adoption.
From a lack of agreement about what programmatic means to entrenchment in traditional methods and a fear of new forms of monetization, there are any number of reasons why buyers and planners have been skeptical. If they took a closer look, however, they’d see that the benefits of programmatic far outweigh the costs:
- It’s more efficient. Programmatic embraces automation, reducing the overall cost of the ads as well as the human effort required. We all want our jobs to be easier, don’t we? And the idea of automation is nothing new—banks have been doing it for decades. Planners and buyers can learn from their experiences, says ZDNet, and look at automation as a great, useful tool rather than something to fear.
- It’s more cohesive. Programmatic buying brings order to a previously fragmented experience by bringing all your consumer interactions together, oftentimes into a single dashboard that allows you to create the best strategy to engage your audience.
- It’s more transparent. Nothing is hidden, from the cost of the ads to the delivery to the results. You know what you’re getting and you know what you’ve gained (or lost).
…and Your Audience Will, Too
Perhaps the best reason to embrace programmatic now is simple: There are few scenarios in which providing a better audience experience is not a winning long-term strategy. And that’s exactly what programmatic does.
Let’s be honest—your average media consumer has no idea what programmatic media buying is. What he or she does understand is the difference between having a fragmented experience across devices and a cohesive one.
From a psychological perspective, it takes something five to seven times to break from the subconscious to conscious mind. If buyers and planners do their jobs correctly, their audience shouldn’t really be aware of what’s happening. They’ll just know they’ve discovered new products or services that are relevant to their needs and that help them solve problems. That’s a win-win for everyone.
Programmatic is a break from the traditional ways of doing business. It’s misunderstood. It’s complicated. And yes, there are still challenges to work out. But the planners and buyers that embrace it now have a chance to make their mark and be leaders in a field that’s about to take off in 2017.