Brands are driving the shift to programmatic advertising by increasing spend and allocating greater portions of their media budgets to real-time, audience-based digital advertising.
Emarketer forecasts digital advertising across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices will reach more than $200bn globally by 2018. With 25% of display advertising to be traded programmatically in western Europe by 2015, according to IAB Europe, programmatic is not just taking hold, it is the new normal.
The digital advertising industry is rapidly evolving. As consumer consumption switches to mobile and tablet devices, the media landscape will continue to evolve. Publishers and advertisers are waking up to the need for highly targeted, audience-driven digital campaigns across multiple screens, a reality that no longer looks at desktop and mobile advertising in separate silos.
They are also realising the benefits that technology has in enriching the data and targeting of campaigns, and making the packaging and selling of inventory more efficient and effective.
Publishers and advertisers are now optimising the value of audiences and content alike. They are matching the real-time nature of consumer demand with the real-time creation and provision of content and delivering it programmatically across multiple screens. This shift is resulting in new monetisation opportunities for publishers and better-performing campaigns for advertisers.
Data-driven business enablement
The next wave of programmatic will continue to be driven by technology, but it will not be about technology. Instead, it will be about business enablement. Data is a powerful tool and programmatic technology has the power to unlock deep insights for publishers and brands around consumer behaviour in real time, to help drive and optimise for the best possible consumer and advertising experiences.
Publishers want true value for their digital ad inventory, for the right audience viewing the right content, in real time, whatever the device. And advertisers and publishers alike want the best possible experience for consumers, regardless of the channel and screen.
Programmatic is enabling publishers and brands to automate transactional tasks while at the same time enhancing and enabling smarter media buying and selling decisions. This is why we are seeing such tremendous growth in programmatic advertising.
As we look ahead, we can expect programmatic technology to get faster, more intelligent and more comprehensive in what it can deliver. For example, ad serving in the future will look nothing like it does today. Publishers and advertisers will each need a single, unified system that seamlessly blends today’s dual worlds of direct and programmatic ad serving.
Such a system will need to prioritise and deliver content using audience data in real time. It will also need to allow publishers to have true control over which ads are served, as brand safety is critical.
It will also need to be able to use that data intelligently; generating reports to help publishers and advertisers better understand and target end-users. This is not simply about targeting ‘females under 25’. It is about targeting ‘urban females, under 25 with a degree who earn over £30,000 per annum, have recently bought a new pair of shoes and work less than two miles from a brand’s high street retail outlet’. Real-time advertising demands real-time analytics and insight.
Programmatic is helping advertisers and publishers get smarter. And what is in place today is only the beginning.
Programmatic is more than RTB
Programmatic advertising is often called real-time bidding, or RTB, but it is quickly growing and enabling all forms of media to be bought and sold more efficiently.
Programmatic is not just RTB, which enables buyers and sellers to transact in an open market auction. Programmatic is also enabling direct buys to be bought and sold programmatically through solutions such as private marketplaces and automated guaranteed. These newer programmatic direct buying methods are playing a pivotal role in bringing the automation and efficiency of programmatic to all media channels.
Programmatic advertising was widely discussed at PubMatic’s recent Ad Revenue Europe conference in London. The thought leadership conference is the only annual media industry gathering focused on revenue growth strategies for premium publishers.
This year the conference brought together leading names in the digital advertising industry, and one of the key takeaways from the event was that programmatic advertising is no longer a part of the media plan, it is the media plan.
It is not just a trend; programmatic is the new normal, truly changing how we buy and sell media. We see it as the foundation of the media business for the future, enabling advertisers and publishers alike to grow, expand and thrive.