Learn everything you need to get started with programmatic marketing and discover 8 tools to make the most out of your strategy.
Are you looking for ways to improve your advertising strategy? Then programmatic marketing might be exactly what you’re looking for.
With the right tools, you can improve your bidding process and optimize all of your ads to improve conversion rates. But getting started in the world of programmatic marketing can often be a little overwhelming, especially for those just starting out in the world of digital advertising.
That’s why today we’re talking about programmatic marketing 101. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started off on the right foot and nail your programmatic strategy.
Here’s what to expect from this article:
In the first half of this article, we’ll talk through the basics of programmatic marketing. From what it is and how it works to best practices and how to optimize your advertising strategy. Then, we’ll share eight tools to help you make the most out of your programmatic marketing plan.
Looking to jump ahead? Here’s a quick list of the programmatic marketing tools we’ll cover later in this article:
What is Programmatic Marketing?
Programmatic marketing is the process of automating your ad inventory. This is done by using real-time data to identify areas of opportunity for buying and selling ad space through an automated bidding system.
While there are many marketing automation capabilities out there, this concept applies specifically to paid advertising efforts.
Having the ability to automate all of your bidding based on real-time data allows you to create hyper-targeted ads that are much more effective. Using programmatic advertising will ensure your ads reach the most relevant contacts and directly increase your conversion rates.
Companies across all industries are starting to take advantage of the benefits that come with programmatic marketing. Year over year, programmatic continues to grow and is quickly becoming one of the top areas businesses choose to spend their digital display budgets.
Programmatic advertising has quickly taken over a large share of digital display spend for many companies. After the idea started to catch on, it didn’t take long for businesses to start seeing the advantages and adopt programmatic techniques. Image courtesy of SmartInsights.
Before programmatic technology was available, the process for purchasing and selling ads looked very different. Publishers would have to call an advertiser, negotiate terms for the ad inventory, and then use a manual insertion order process before buying.
By automating this process, companies are able to do more with their time and make the most out of their advertising strategy — just one of the many reasons programmatic marketing adoption continues to grow.
How Does Programmatic Marketing Work?
While the beauty of adopting programmatic marketing means you don’t have to manage the bidding process manually, it’s still essential to understand how it all happens.
WebFx provides an excellent overview of how programmatic marketing works:
A visitor clicks on a page
The page’s owner puts up an auction to bid for an open advertising spot
The marketplace holds an auction among the advertisers who are competing for the spot
The advertiser who bids the most for the spot wins the right to display their ads
The winning ad is present on the website
Customers click on the ad and make a purchase
Simply put, when someone who meets a company’s target market lands on the page, a bidding war begins. Many advertisers are hoping to get their ad on the page, but the highest bid will win the position.
It might seem complicated, but this entire process happens very quickly and is determined before the page loads for the site visitor.
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What are the Benefits of Programmatic Marketing?
Programmatic marketing can be an excellent tool for businesses who are looking to improve their paid advertising efforts. Of course, one of the top reasons companies invest in a pragmatic tool is automating the manual process — there’s so much more to gain from this technology.
Whether it’s looking to increase ad efficiency, better understand your customers, or see a higher return on investment — programmatic technology can help you reach your goals. Then, once you reach those goals, programmatic marketing can help you improve your ad strategy even further. Image courtesy of Econsultancy.
While there are plenty of different benefits that come with this technology, we’ll take a closer look at a few of the most common.
Increased efficiency: by optimizing your advertising campaigns, you can ensure you’re reaching the right people, with the right content, at the right time
Better targeting capabilities: you can better target your customers based on the data that’s important to you, including things like location and keyword targeting
Real-time reporting: with easy to read dashboards, you can quickly see exactly how all of your ads are performing in real-time
Increased campaign visibility: know what sites your ads are appearing on and who is looking at and engaging with your content
No matter how you look at it, programmatic marketing will help improve your advertising strategy. Whether you’re only looking for a way to enhance your campaign reporting or want to improve campaign targeting — programmatic technology can get you there.
Best Practices to Make Your Programmatic Marketing a Success
Once you’ve made the decision to invest in programmatic marketing, knowing what to do next can be overwhelming. While partnering with a company that can help you manage your data and turn it into actionable insights for your advertising strategy can make the process easier — you should have some general knowledge.
In this section, we’ll take a close look at a few programmatic best practices to help get your feet up off the ground. If you’ve chosen to work with an outside firm for your ad needs, this will allow you to understand what they are doing and why. It might even present some new opportunities you can take to your advertising partner.
Retarget Audiences to Increase Conversion Rates
Using your digital ads to retarget people who visited your website but left without making a purchase is a huge opportunity.
Retargeting is the idea of sending people ads based on their recent behaviors with your brand. This could be actions like browsing your website or engaging with a post on Facebook. These interactions allow you to understand your customer and pinpoint the products and services they are interested in.
Once that user leaves your site, you can then start to serve them advertisements for the items they left behind. These serve as a reminder to the user about the products they were recently browsing. In many scenarios, retargeting ad campaigns can drastically increase conversion rates.
Retargeting is a valuable tool that can help marketers improve conversion rates, increase branded searches, and bring more in more site visitors. By targeting customers based on their previous behaviors, the content is much more relevant and timely to their wants and needs. Image courtesy of Kinsta.
Retargeting should be a staple in your programmatic marketing strategy. Not only will this process bring customers back to your site to make a purchase, but it also opens the opportunity for things like cross-selling and product discovery.
Increase ROI with Optimized Ad Spending
Programmatic marketing can help you optimize your ad spending to increase campaign ROI. Having the ability to track and manage campaigns in real-time allows you to optimize and adjust as necessary. This means you can make minor tweaks and significant changes to your campaigns to ensure you see the highest ROI possible.
There are a few different ways you can optimize your ad spending to ensure you’re bringing in the highest return per campaign, including:
Leveraging predictive lifetime value (PLTV) to intelligent adjust campaigns to reach customers who will generate the most value
Identifying ads that are underperforming and making necessary adjustments in real-time
Understanding customer needs and only serving the most relevant ads to the right customers
Keeping a close eye on how each ad is performing will pay off in the long run. Not only will it help you optimize ads for better performance, but it will also give you insights into how to improve future campaigns and continue seeing that ROI number increase month after month.
Segment Marketing Campaigns
When developing your marketing campaigns, segmentation can help set your content apart. It will help you serve the right content to your customers based on their interests, in a more efficient manner.
By grouping your audiences into like-minded groups, you have the opportunity to target your ads directly to their interests — and it can make a big impact on the success of your campaign.
Segmenting your customers will improve the relevancy of your campaigns and provide you with higher conversion rates. This is also true when it comes to advertising. The more appropriate the content, the more likely people are to convert. Image courtesy of Tasil.
Using segmentation will make your content standout to your audience and catch their attention. Considering that people are exposed to nearly 5,000 ads per day, you need to find a way to make your content standout — and segmentation can do this.
Think about it this way, if you saw a generic ad on a website and an ad that was related to one of your interests, which would you likely stop and look at?
In a world where we are all becoming ad blind, the more ads that are more relevant and personalized will almost always win.
How to Make Programmatic Marketing Work For You
Okay, so now that you have a pretty good foundation on what programmatic marketing is you need to understand how to make it work for you.
Keeping in mind that programmatic is an automated process for running your ads, your main goal should be to develop a strategy for optimizing your content for this process. By setting standards and outlining your path forward, you’ll make the most out of your programmatic marketing campaigns.
Make the Content Engaging
First and foremost, you need to make sure your content is engaging.
This goes back to the idea that your audience is becoming ad blind. We often skimover ad content and totally forget what we saw as soon as we close out of the page — and that’s why engaging content is so important.
More often than not, consumers are not paying attention to every advertisement they see on the web. That’s why you need to create content that is engaging and stands out to your audience. Image courtesy of Neil Patel.
If your advertisement doesn’t capture the users attention, you’re never going to make it into the “thought the ad was relevant” part of the brain. And when you’re fighting to out bid ad space with other companies, you only get one chance to make that content resonate with the user.
Use Multiple Targeting Methods
We’ve already touched on the importance of targeting your audiences, but it’s also important to use multiple targeting methods.
You’re collecting data on your customers everyday. This means that you should have a variety of different options when it comes to targeting capabilities. So why only stick to using one or two of those methods?
To put that into perspective, here are a few common data points that companies use to develop targeted ads:
Location based targeting
Previous campaign engagement
Having all of this data and choosing not to use it to create hyper-personalized ads is a missed opportunity. Plan ahead and make the most out of the customer data you have.
As you collect data, you’ll begin to better understand who your customers are and predict their future needs. Your customers will appreciate the content and you’ll see higher performing campaigns.
Keep Your Branding Consistent
Advertising campaigns are a great way to build brand awareness. By keeping your branding consistent across all of your ads and platforms, your customers will start to identify your content without aid.
Having your brand appear in search ads, across other digital platforms, and on the websites people are visiting will continue to put your name out there. The more you do this, the more people will become with the look and feel of your brand.
Digital ads are a great way to increase your brand awareness and reach new audiences. By having a presence in the ad results, will put your name and branding in front of potential customers, but you have to make the most out of it. Image courtesy of Wordstream.
Eventually, your ads will be instantly recognizable and people will automatically associate the branding with your company. So as you’re developing your programmatic marketing strategy, don’t neglect your brand identity. Keep everything consistent and you’ll find that people start knowing your name.
Reach New Audience with Lookalike Audience
We talked a lot about retargeting messages and how they can improve your campaign performance, but another similar tool is lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are often thought of when advertising on Facebook, but are a great tool to consider.
It is the idea of finding new audiences to serve targeted content to through the customers you already have. By identifying audiences who are similar, or look like, your current customers you can identify and serve them relevant and targeted ads without even knowing them.
This is a huge opportunity to not only reach new audiences, but improve their ad experience with your brand. You don’t have to send them the generic, run of the mill advertisement just because you don’t have all of their data. These more targeted and personalized ads will convert new audiences quicker.
Track, Test, and Repeat
The secret to having a successful programmatic marketing strategy is to track, test, and repeat.
You need to consistently be monitoring and tracking how your ads are performing. This insight will help you to optimize your campaigns in real-time and learn what works and what doesn’t for future campaign development. Overtime, you’ll start to know what your audiences are engaging with and create campaigns based on this data,
Testing is also an important step in the process. By testing new ideas and techniques, you can continue to further improve your advertising strategy. While sticking with the status quo will keep you in a comfortable place, testing new ideas will set you apart from the competition.
Then, you need to repeat it all over again. If you’re not consistently tracking and tesitng your ads your content may become stagnant and audiences will start to go blind to your messages. So it’s always good to keep your content fresh and new.
8 Programmatic Marketing Tools
Getting started in the world of programmatic marketing can be challenging for companies that don’t have a vast knowledge of how paid advertising works. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available to make this process easier.
Finding the right partner to help you understand your data and put it into action is the first step in achieving programmatic success.
In this section, we’ll take a look at eight companies that can provide you with the programmatic tools you need to advance your business. We’ll break out a few highlights of each platform to help you better understand the benefits of each.
Listrak is a digital marketing automation platform that can help you improve your advertising strategy by better understanding your customers and creating a comprehensive brand experience. The more you know about your audience’s wants and needs, the better you can develop targeted ads.
The right tool can make a significant impact on your marketing strategy. Having the ability to target customers based on their real-time data will result in more effective ads that result in higher campaign conversions. Image courtesy of Listrak.
How Listrak can help you reach your advertising goals:
Collect critical customer data including real-time interactions including browsing behaviors, purchasing signals, and much more
Create cross channel campaigns that bring all of your digital advertising efforts together to create one comprehensive experience
Retarget customers with behavioral-based triggers to bring them back to your website and increase conversion rates
Use predictive technology to develop ads based on what you know your customers will need next
Customer portfolio includes: Alex and Ani, St. John, rue21, Vineyard Vines, Journeys
Pricing: custom based on business need
Adroll is an e-commerce marketing platform that allows you to manage, run, and measure your marketing efforts from one central platform. From creating the perfect retargeting ads to advanced tracking and targeting capabilities — Adroll can help you manage your advertising needs.
Knowing how your ads are performing provides you with valuable insight into how you can improve your current strategy. With real-time insights, you can adjust current and build new campaigns based on how your customers engage with your brand. Image courtesy of Adroll.
How Adroll can help you reach your advertising goals:
Collect the right customer data to ensure you’re spending money on the right ads and showing them in the right places
Develop cross channel campaigns that reach people at the right stage of their purchasing journey
Improve ad reach and targeting efforts by targeting by demographics, contextual data, and identifying lookalike audiences
Create personalized ad campaigns to peak customer interests and build a more loyal fan base
Customer portfolio includes: Lane Boots, Volcanic Coffee, Lugli Shirts
Pricing: there are three plan options: the Starter plan starting at $0 per month, the Essentials plan starting at $9 per month, and the Growth plan starting at $19 per month
TubeMogul is a programmatic advertising software that is part of the Adobe family. With this tool, you can easily plan, buy, measure, and optimize your advertising capabilities.
Track and manage your advertising campaigns from one central location. With this knowledge, you can simplify your ad planning and purchasing across various channels and devices. Image courtesy of Adobe.
How TubeMogul can help you reach your advertising goals:
Easily track ad performance with real-time metrics and make data-driven optimizations throughout the life of the campaign
Reach your target audience with the right ad format at the right time and place
Utilize machine learning technology to monitor campaign performance and find optimization opportunities
Improve your customer reach through improved data management and customer targeting
Pricing: is custom and based on business needs
Choozle is a digital advertising platform designed to help businesses improve their display, video, and mobile advertising capabilities. By making campaign management more straightforward and providing the insights you need, Choozle can help take your advertising strategy to the next level.
Develop highly targeted advertising campaigns that are designed to convert. Then stay ahead of how your ads are performing and continue to optimize. Image courtesy of Choozle.
How Choozle can help you reach your advertising goals:
Easily create and execute on all of your advertising campaign needs
Track campaign performance and utilize their auto-optimization tool to make the most of your ads
Create highly targeted ads using both first-party and third-party data and customer insights like geolocation, device data, and more
Develop customer segments to continue defining your audience and increase the relevance of your ads
Customer portfolio includes: Papa Johns, Whirlpool, Schneider
Pricing: the Growth plan is $99 per month. There are also customized plans available based on business needs
SmartyAds is a digital advertising tool that is designed for digital advertisers, publishers, and ad agencies. Take your ad strategy to the next level with the help of advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and big data.
Get to know your advertising analytics. With an easy to use dashboard, you can find everything you need to know about how your ads are performing and see what might need to be optimized. Image courtesy of SmartyAds.
How SmartyAds can help you reach your advertising goals:
Identify specific filters including demographics, online behavior, operating system, and more to improve your targeting capabilities
Gain access to the private marketplace and take advantage of their Automated Guaranteed and Programmatic Direct programs
Manage and track campaign performance in real-time to know how your ads are performing
Run highly targeted ad campaigns that result in high campaign conversion rates
Pricing: is custom based on business needs
ADVendio is a programmatic ad management platform that can help you create a holistic approach to your digital advertising efforts. This tool will provide you with full transparency into your programmatic marketing transactions and help you build a cross channel marketing campaign.
Keep track of your campaign success every step of the way with an easy to use KPI dashboard. This will allow you to quickly identify ads that are under or overperforming and tell you if you’re going to meet your campaign goals. Image courtesy of ADVendio.
How ADVendio can help you reach your advertising goals:
A central hub for all of your programmatic transactions so you can have full control of your advertising strategy
Integrate your advertising with Salesforce to eliminate data errors and utilize smart data connections
Create cross channel campaigns to drive conversions and build a consistent brand image
Develop and manage ad campaigns that convert and then use that data to improve future efforts
Customer portfolio includes: Sanoma, Crossplan, Pedestrian Group, Aller Media, Immobilien Scout24
Pricing: is customized based on business needs
Simpli.fi provides businesses with a programmatic marketing platform that makes bidding for ad space easy and efficient. By better understanding your customers and having access to real-time data, you can develop the most successful ad campaigns.
Know who your audience is and send them targeted ads based on their personal data and interactions. Whether that’s by location, browsing history, or something entirely custom — it will all improve campaign performance. Image courtesy of Simpli.fi.
How Simpli.fi can help you reach your advertising goals:
Build and target audiences based on their personal data, including browser type, geography, recent behaviors, and more
Optimize your campaigns by managing budgets and identifying ads that are higher performing and those that are underperforming
Create customized campaigns that include tactics such as site retargeting, keyword search retargeting, and contextual targeting
Gain access to the richest data set in programmatic and extract real-time data that can help drive ad success
Pricing: is customized and based on business needs
Outbrain is an advertising platform that can help you create, manage, and optimize all of your digital needs. This tool can help your transition to programmatic marketing simple and set you up for success.
Implement smart ads to serve customers the most appropriate content and improve your campaign success. The more timely and relevant your content — the more likely a user is to conert. Image courtesy of Outbrain.
How Outbrain can help you reach your advertising goals:
Create and manage digital ads to help expand your brand awareness
Identify who your audience is and create ads designed with their wants and needs in mind — then get your content in front of them
Develop multiple types of ads and use the most engaging format based on your customer interactions
Easily connect with the people you want to reach on the open web
Customer portfolio includes: Nissan, Babbel, Nestle, Samsung, Red Bull
Pricing: is custom and based on business needs
Get Started with Your Programmatic Marketing Plan
So there you have it. Programmatic marketing is a very powerful process that helps businesses make the most out of their digital advertising. From automating the bidding process to optimizing ads based on real-time audience data, you’re ad performance can reach new levels.
Whether you’re brand new to the idea of programmatics or have been slowly transitioning to this way of thinking, you’re on the right path. As more and more businesses make the investment in a programmatic tool the competition for ad space will continue to get tougher.
Now’s the time to take the dive into programmatic marketing. With the right tool and plan in place, you can expect to see improvements in your ad campaigns and a higher return on investment.
So what are you waiting for? Start connecting with partners who can help take your business to the next level