As marketers, we know better than most, some things just never come to fruition… take Google Glass for example, great product – not so great return on investment! We see new “gimmicks” weekly, hear buzz words daily and our judgement, for better or worse, instantly makes a decision on the validity of the concept – its ok, you aren’t alone, we all do this. It’s time to stop and take stock just this once and ask yourself: “So, what is this ‘revolutionary’ way of marketing?”
WHAT IS MARKETING PROGRAMMATIC?
There is no shortage of definitions as to what Marketing Programmatic (MP) is and thankfully most of these definitions are in agreement. Officially, Tim Elkington, the Research and Strategy Director of IAB UK, states that “Programmatic trading is the use of automated systems and processes to buy and sell inventory. This includes, but is not limited to, trading that uses real time bidding auctions.” (IAB UK, 2017).
Marketing Land, (2018) however looks more specifically at the marketing and advertising description of MP – they suggest it to be a function that “automates the decision-making process of media buying” continuing to say that this is done though segmentation and targeting online.
A more simplified version perhaps, but equally as helpful; “Where ads are bought like products on Amazon” (Adweek.com, 2013). This offers a much easier to comprehend idea of what MP is and is supported by other authors and academics who state that MP is all about buying advertising space automatically while using data driven programs to select and pay for these spaces. (Kulblock, n.d as cited in Rogers, 2017).
To anyone who’s doesn’t reside full time in the digital world, who doesn’t get a kick out of AI, or abbreviations such as “RTB” and words like “algorithms” Marketing Programmatic is essentially; digital segmentation on Steroids often using real time buying thrown in for good measure. (Cadreon. n.d. ) MP gives us the opportunity to significantly increase our advertising reach, while targeting segments we choose, via their own social feeds, websites they choose to visit and it’s even reportedly venturing into television. (Gilbert, 2017).
WHERE DID MARKETING PROGRAMMATIC COME FROM?
Marketing Programmatic is by no means a new idea, it’s first use was in 1994 on a website called “Hotwired”- because of it was so different, it superseded most people’s expectations (Rajeck, 2015) with a 44% click though rate. (Morrissey, 2013). Today, most of these advert range from between 0.01% and 0.07% CTR depending on the placement and the type of display media used (Chaffey, 2017).
Marketing programmatic has been here for years but it’s only really come under the microscope since 2013, only now is it becoming something we all want to get behind – why you ask? ROMI is increasing year on year, in 2015 $14.88 Billion of the digital advertising spend ($58.6B) was predicted which was an increase of $5 billion from 2014’s numbers. (Kantrowitz, 2015).
WHERE WILL I SEE MARKETING PROGRAMMATIC?
The chances are you have probably seen it without knowing what it was, any time you head over to a news website or you use a search engine, the chances are you’ll have seen the adverts like the example below: This is programmatic marketing.
Fig1. Screenshot of linked in and Jobsite advert January 2018
This is a prime example of how MP could be a game changer for the digital marketing world. While on LinkedIn earlier today I noticed the advertisement on the right-hand side of the webpage. This means nothing to anyone who doesn’t know that the author or this blog is currently working towards her Marketing Masters Degree, she is also planning on moving to Essex upon completion and that by trade she is freelance graphic Designer. Some would say “spooky”, others in the know would say “where do I sign up to marketing programming?!”.
MYTHS, MISDIRECTION AND MAIN “TAKE-HOMES”
Contrary to popular belief, MP not the boogie man of digital Marketing, come to steal away all the digital marketing or advertising jobs while we sleep (Gilbert, 2017), it is not the end of manual processes and finally it is not “just like Google AdWords”. With all new terms there is always some confusion, what does it do? How will it affect me? Isn’t it just X plus Y? Let’s clear up a few things:
IT’S THE END OF MANUAL PROCESS AND DIGITAL CAREERS
“Technology has always changed the landscape of human labour, regardless of people’s enthusiasm, anxiety or resistance.”
Marketing Programmatic, like many new technologies is still very young as a marketing device, although the first mention of it was the late 1990’s, it started making headway towards 2007 (Rayport, 2015). It is still a little unknown and though many marketers recognise the need for a level of involvement a recent survey showed that only 38% of the participant asked stated they were unsure as to how digital ads were used within their companies or that they simply did not use MP. (Sullivan, L. (2017). The job market will change and so along with it our roles within marketing, however, it is still a new area and there will also be the need for experts in digital fields – for example Cramer (2017) uses the example of being a particularly successful “Media Buyer” you are likely to still be head hunted for your skills in the future”.
MARKETING PROGRAMMATIC IS THE SAME AS GOOGLE ADWORDS.
It’s easy to understand why this connection has been made. Google AdWords, as its name suggests – is a paid advert positioned within search results on google and listed with a yellow “Ad” reference to the left or the hyperlinked text – displaying it as an add.
Marketing programmatic has been describes as the next level. MP is able to cope with data from campaigns, traffic conversions, monitor behaviour, bid and assess the best place to put your ad, what time and who should see it, often in real time. (Paidtraffic.io, 2017).
LIMITATIONS AND DISADVANTAGES OF MARKETING PROGRAMMATIC
- JOBS WILL CHANGE: and the demand for lower level jobs will decrease over time (Jobs 2017 as cited by Bort, 2017), it’s not a case of losing out to a robot, it’s a case of growing with the demand and adapting to the situation. This type of automation will necessitate the need for different job skills and different job titles in the future.
- RTB is only an advantage if you understand how to use it. Real time bidding is synonymous with Marketing Programmatic most of the time. If you do not have the skill set to understand the technology you do not gain more advantaged. (Dufouler, 2017 as cited in Rogers, 2017).
BENEFITS OF MARKETING PROGRAMMATIC
- EVERYBODY WINS: Publishers sell space to brands via a supply side platform while brands, organisations etc. are using a demand side platform and deciding how much to invest into marketing programmatic, creating shared value for all involved. (Rogers, 2017).
- IT GOES A STEP BEYOND RETARGETING: Marketing programmatic offers marketers the opportunity to analyse the data they receive and use it to find more markets to advertise to (Rogers, 2017), essentially in terms of Ansoff’s growth matrix you are now opening up the field of market penetration to a whole new level. (Richardson et al,. 2015).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR DIGITAL MARKETING?
Marketing Programmatic has been branded, by some academics as the future; not just of advertising but marketing as a whole. (Rayport, 2015). Its major plus points sit within mobile marketing programmatic. Statistics support that click through rate on a tablet and mobile phone is significantly higher than that of desktops. (Shields, 2014).
Fig.2. Forecast of smartphone user numbers in the UK from 2015 to 2022 in Millions. (Statista, 2017).
With this in mind it’s important to consider the sheer number of predicted growth for smart phone users and what this means for Marketing programmatic in the years up to 2022. It’s possible to surmise that more users means more potential reach.
MP could also mean marketing budget increases. Google has discussed the likelihood of 60% of their digital marketing budget being allocated to programmatic by the end of 2018 alongside other major organisations like P&G in the USA. (Joyce, 2014). They aren’t alone, it’s been reported that in 2016 programmatic spend grew by 71% – meaning it grew “faster than all other digital media including social (25%) and online video (20%)”. (Roderick, 2017).
It’s time to embrace change and delve a little deeper.
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Bort, J. (2018). Bill Gates: People Don’t Realize How Many Jobs Will Soon Be Replaced By Software Bots. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-bots-are-taking-away-jobs-2014-3?IR=T [Accessed 11 Jan. 2018].
Cadreon. n.d. Share of digital advertising expenditure in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2015 and 2019, by sales method. Statista. Accessed 11 January, 2018. Available from https://www-statista-com.ezproxy.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/statistics/618194/digital-ad-spend-share-by-method-uk/
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