Programmatic media buying has been around for a while, but there are still a lot of people who don’t really know what it is. That’s about to change, because programmatic media buying is going mainstream, and mobile advertisers need to start planning now to avoid being left behind.
What is programmatic media buying?
Programmatic media buying is an offshoot of another buzzword: big data. Big data gave businesses invaluable insights into consumer buying habits. But that information didn’t do any good just sitting around on a bunch of servers, so marketers had to figure out how to analyze it and apply what they found. The computing power to do that has been around for a while now, but there was still one technological roadblock: the process for buying media. The existing process wasn’t sophisticated enough to capitalize on all of that information. Programmatic media buying is changing that by letting marketers automatically buy and run media campaigns with granular segmentation. And the mobile market is beginning to embrace it enthusiastically.
Why are mobile advertisers excited about programmatic buying?
Marketers are beginning to realize that programmatic buying holds even more promise for mobile advertisers than it does for traditional ads.
- More efficient processes: Programmatic media buying is more efficient than its traditional cousin on a number of counts. First, it eliminates human error and delay – you don’t have to wait for somebody to get back from lunch to place your order. Second, it makes your campaigns more effective by using an extremely fine level of segmentation to interact with consumers on a personal level. Finally, it lets marketers manage campaigns across multiple devices and multiple channels from a single dashboard.
- Optimization of prime media inventory: Marketers have access to a vast amount of media inventory. Programmatic buying has improved verification and fraud detection, making campaigns more cost-effective. But the real value of programmatic marketing when it comes to inventory is that it allows marketers to buy exactly the right spot, in exactly the right time, on exactly the right device, for exactly the right customer. Traditional media buying could never achieve that level of segmentation. Mobile advertisers can capitalize on it even further with geolocation and insight into the apps consumers are using at a particular moment in a particular place.
- Ability to buy in real time: One of the most exciting benefits of programmatic buying is immediacy. Instead of planning media purchases in advance, the automated processes involved in programmatic buying make it possible to buy in the moment, depending on what’s happening around any particular customer and what device they’re on.For example, if you know your customers watch a particular TV show, and you see that they’re Tweeting about it during the season finale, you can pop up an ad on the device they’re using to Tweet. Nike’s Phenomenal Shot campaign is another great example. Viewers received ads based on notable sports moments just seconds after they happened. And mobile presents the chance to make these hyper-relevant ads even more engaging. In the Phenomenal Shot campaign, for instance, mobile viewers could tilt their phones for a 3D view of Neymar Jr. making a goal and they could do it within 10 seconds of the real event. Another promising possibility is point-of-sale targeting, reaching out to customers already immersed in the buying process with coupons, discounts, or other special offers.
- Social sharing: Programmatic buying extends its reach even further through social sharing. Customers don’t just interact with a brand; they share that interaction socially. This works especially well for ads delivered during real-time events, a key benefit for mobile advertiser.
- Cross-platform integration: Before programmatic media buying, your investment in a display ad would be wasted if the viewer had to get up and leave. Now, however, advertisers have the opportunity to reengage that viewer on his mobile device, andthat retargeting takes only seconds.
If you’re not already using programmatic buying for mobile advertising, it’s time to get on board. Your competitors will have a distinct advantage if they’re shaping the future while you’re still hanging out in the past. Have you started using programmatic buying yet? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below.