Programmatic advertising is a process of buying advertising space that is automatic, rather than the traditional, manual process. Driven by an automated bidding process, typically powered by machine learning and AI-based algorithms, ads are served at the right time, and at the right price. Similarly, media buyers use programmatic platforms that leverage data insights and algorithms to reach the right users.
According to estimates, global programmatic ad spend reached $418bn (£343bn) in 2021. This figure is expected to reach $725bn (£594bn) by 2026, signalling the growing relevance of programmatically sold advertising.
The rise of this type of digital advertising is thanks to its many benefits. Programmatic campaigns are completely scalable and flexible when it comes to campaign spend. This makes programmatic a beneficial advertising strategy for a range of businesses, from small to large, and across different industries. Programmatic advertising is also a fast and agile way of processing data, thanks to machine learning and AI technology, which drives performance.
For leading programmatic platforms, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are the foundation on which the platform is built. This technology is incredibly powerful because of the speed and scale at which data is processed. Machine learning and AI make programmatic advertising more automated, faster and help drive performance.
By leveraging a programmatic platform, advertisers can access native, display, video, connected TV (CTV), audio, in-game and digital out-of-home (DOOH) ad placements. Through partnerships with different exchanges, the programmatic platform will provide access to tens of thousands of sites and apps. Media buyers are able to meet their audiences in a majority of online environments where users may be consuming content.
Programmatic advertising provides marketers the ability to create a cohesive experience across multiple channels, including emerging ones. With consumers adopting new channels all the time, using a mix of channels is an important strategy for marketers to adopt to reach their desired audience.
With a large selection of inventory, and the ability to run multichannel campaigns, programmatic makes it possible to reach the right audiences, in the right place, at the right moment.
Three examples of industry targeting in practice
Brands are leveraging this type of digital advertising to segment their audiences into groups, based on specific industries like auto, finance and travel. Targeting by industry makes it possible to capture a focused, intent-driven audience. Brands use specific messaging tailored for that segment and curate the content to cater to the unique needs and interests of that specific target market.
1. B2B brands are using retargeting for a long sales cycle
For B2B marketers to get in front of the right professionals, it’s key to use a programmatic strategy that enables them to efficiently target their brand’s ideal accounts. With a long B2B sales cycle, leveraging retargeting can help lead to meaningful conversions.
At the top of the funnel, B2B brands should focus on increasing brand and product awareness. While there are plenty of channels that B2B marketers can choose from, three that will help brands truly stand out are video advertising, digital out-of-home ads and audio ads. These programmatic channels make it possible to reach potential customers wherever they may be watching or listening to content online.
With video, brands can differentiate themselves from others in the B2B space by combining the power of both visuals and audio to communicate their message. With audio, brands can use sound design to tap into their listener’s imagination. And with DOOH ads served in the right locations and with the right creatives, campaigns can be highly impactful in making an impression on your target audience.
After reaching qualified B2B users with these digital ads, nurture this qualified audience by educating them through channels like video, display, and native. This helps to boost demand generation, while also building strong brand recognition to support bottom of the funnel retargeting tactics.
B2B marketers can retarget with display or native ads on other devices. With B2B behaviour shifting, it’s a great time to test retargeting on mobile devices. Retargeting provides more opportunities to move target users down the funnel, and to build on the cohesive brand story that has been crafted through a video or audio ad.
2. Travel brands target key moments in the customer journey
Travellers are no longer relying only on travel agents to take care of their travel needs. They are conducting their own research in a number of places, comparing prices and using a variety of online sources. This creates many opportunities for travel brands to reach their target audience online.
Let’s consider a traveller in the booking and preference stage of the journey who already has tickets for a particular event. A travel brand may want to target fans who have purchased tickets for a live performance in another city. They may need to purchase flights, hotels or airport transfers.
For this scenario, intent-based audience segments will be ideal to capture this niche audience, coupled with geotargeting to ensure people who already live in the hosting city are excluded. Native ads will be very effective in showcasing comparison lists of hotels, featuring guest reviews. And display ads will help to reinforce flight deals, or even flight and hotel packages.
3. Retailers are optimising the multichannel shopping experience
Retail marketers face the unique challenge of connecting their digital ad campaigns to offline sales lift. In this industry, it’s key to create engaging campaigns that will earn online sales, offline sales and build customer loyalty.
With consumers spending more time on digital channels than ever before, especially on mobile devices, the key to success is a multichannel strategy. Multichannel targeting enables retail brands to reach users across different platforms and channels. This strategy helps them to gain greater reach by capturing users who are only using some channels.
A multichannel retail campaign should leverage channels like video and audio to raise awareness while prospecting. Then, retailers can retarget off of video completion rates (VCR) or listen completion rates (LCR) with highly engaging channels, such as native and display to strengthen their branding.
With programmatic, it’s possible to leverage audience segments to find hyper-relevant users for industry-specific campaigns. There are many ways to find the right audience, including targeting people reading about a particular topic on the web, viewing a competitor’s website, or during or after their visit to a physical location.
Want to learn how to get started with these programmatic strategies? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.
Raina Roberts is sales director, UK and France at StackAdapt.