“Programmatic”. Drop this word in any of the marketing / agency meetings and watch how to the discussion changes completely.
In such a short time, programmatic buying model has evolved from perceived as a tool to bring down costs to become an essential operating model for savvy marketers.
Sure, its good to know how programmatic / automation works, how an RTB platform decides to bid on audiences, how broad is the match rates between your DSP and DMP etc. But, the fast-evolving consumer choices and ever-widening scope of marketing, demand professionals to know how to connect these dots back to the business objective in the short and long term.
I believe we are at a stage where we need to take a step back and see what programmatic actually DOES:
Programmatic helps you focus on your marketing objectives rather than a campaign life-cycle. For e.g. Before automation, we used to make plans for campaign launch, Impact, campaign sustenance etc. But Now, thanks to the visibility to the source of business, real-time everything, a smart marketer’s campaign now boils down to Prospecting, Always-on, and Re-marketing. Yes, there are still takeovers, vertical presence, launch buzz, and all the jazz. But when you learn what programmatic does, it helps you cultivate an ability to have a laser-focus on core business objectives: Make every dollar to mean something and generate interest/ demand for your product or service.
It’s simple but exhaustive.
It helps you avoid starting from Zero every-time: No more blank slate while starting a campaign. Now, we can segment audiences who were exposed and clicked your ads, visited your website, took an action, dropped off from the site etc. And add the possibility of creating look-alike modeling specific audience segments, suppression of these audiences from existing customer or CRM base, creating an intersection of your high intent audience who interacted with 2 or more channels etc.. you will never start from scratch again!
It helps you take a well-informed decision: Gut instinct is a must for a marketer. But gut + data makes a marketer unstoppable. Once you embrace data led decision making, there’s no going back. Yes, you will fail. Miserably. But maybe for the first time, you might get to know which half of your ad dollars were not working as intended.
You can connect the dots rapidly! Bad execution DOES happen in programmatic as well. When you just care about CPC, the cost-effectiveness of the upper funnel, then it does happen every time. Programmatic help you showing the big picture and connect the dots.
If I have to define what Programmatic really DOES, then it would be this: It puts you in control.
Note: I work for Adobe Inc which owns a programmatic platform. Opinions expressed here are of my own and not that of my employer.