It's a good time to be an online marketer. Fueled by programmatic, the ad tech industry will reach nearly $100 billion in revenue by 2020, compared to the projected $30 billion for this year. And it's exciting to see that the industry has embraced programmatic principles and started to become very innovative in this space. It's time to get into the programmatic game.
So how do you get up to speed when all you see are crazy alphabetic combinations of programmatic jargon everywhere—acronyms such as DMPs, DSPs, CPMs, CPAs and VTs? The secret lies in the "textbook" Applied Programmatic Advertising Skills. Like the days of SAT testing, you will find power in this prep book when questions like these come up:
What exactly is programmatic?
Think of programmatic simply as the glue that brings together different data sets (or big data, as it's called) to make your marketing smarter. Doing this isn't always easy, so there has to be a payoff for your hard work. Programmatic's promise is that you can show fewer ads to each individual to get them to take the action you want. No more stalking them with retargeting ads until they hate you, and certainly no more wasted budget.
What's the special sauce of programmatic advertising?
It's data-driven, it's fast, it's efficient and it's personal. Programmatic couples a myriad of algorithms with data logics that continuously serve the best ads to the right audience. The perfect example of this at play is dynamic ad creative. For digital experts, this is the mecca of programmatic ads. You won't miss a window of opportunity to remind site visitors exactly what they were browsing for or just about to buy. Those red loafers, size 12 that Bob was checking out yesterday afternoon at a 20% discount? There's no reason for him to miss the end of the sale this weekend. Showing Bob the exact sale details before it's over is never a bad idea.
So remember, if anyone asks, it's all about data, speed and the right people.
Open exchange, private marketplace or direct buy? Answer A? B? C? All the above or none of the above?
Once upon a time, inventory available via the global exchange was considered to be low-quality leftover inventory. The rise of programmatic has turned the tables because more publishers are opening up their inventory so you can buy all types of inventory through programmatic. That part about efficiency and efficacy I mentioned before? Here's where it comes in. The real time bidding, or RTB, machine makes ad unit auctions possible in a live, millisecond environment. But the transactional options lie in the open exchange, private exchange or direct buys.
The open exchange is a great place for any buyer or seller to participate. Leverage the data from the global exchange to reach the people you like at a more cost effective price.
Want to go a step further? Willing to spend a bit more? According to eMarketer, 2014 was a pivotal year for the private marketplace and direct set-ups. Delve into private exchanges and you'll never miss a chance to reach your audience on more premium sites. Still think you can do more? Explore direct programmatic set-ups. While it's a non-RTB transaction, its potential is predicted to exponentially increase in the next few years. However, it is important to remember that programmatic is all about audiences, so don't get lost with specific sites.
So what do your digital marketers say about this? Bubble in "all of the above" on that scantron.
What about that 1x1 snippet that makes it all go round?
I pixeled, you pixeled, they pixeled, we all pixeled. Pixels are everywhere, and data is the key ingredient to the secret sauce. This tiny piece of code drives digital marketing efforts by getting the right information from site visits and actions taken on the site. Efficiently measuring campaign performance, tracking events and garnering audience insights is the power behind your campaign. Audience knowledge will keep loyal visitors coming back and help new lookalike visitors fall in love with what you do.
Going back to Bob, imagine if you knew that Bob's been emailing his best friend John about these red loafers. Turns out John also really likes those, but in blue. At the same time, they're both looking to travel to New York for their next vacation. Now you've got yourself a good match. You can efficiently let them dream of those red and blue loafers as they browse details on their next trip to the Big Apple without wasting ad spend on sites promoting California. Let their dreams and yours come true.
Don't underestimate the pixel—it's invisible but completely invincible in its capabilities.
Programmatic can be difficult to grasp. So let's unconfuse the confusing and uncomplicate the complicated. Are you ready to take the Programmatic 101 test?
Tackle the Applied Programmatic Advertising textbook. Review your terms, study those definitions and get the 2,400 score you deserve on the Applied Programmatic Advertising Skills test.
About the Author
With 14 years in the digital space, Dax Hamman has considerable experience in all things digital, including campaign strategy, media planning, usability, affiliate marketing and email marketing. Before joining Chango, Dax founded and led the global display media group at iCrossing, a role that cultivated the development of Performance Display, a data-driven method for building ROI-orientated campaigns. Before iCrossing, Dax headed the European division of Bluestreak (ad server and ESP). Dax frequently speaks at interactive marketing events, including ad:tech, Digiday, OMMA, SMX, SES, OMS, DAA and WOMMA. He also writes extensively on the digital space at daxthink.com.
About the Sponsor
Chango is a programmatic advertising company purpose-built for the marketer. The company uses exclusive intent data and technology to create relevant, timely advertising campaigns and produce rich customer insights. The company's unique live-profile technology makes intent data available faster than anyone else to help clients efficiently build brand awareness, acquire new customers and retarget site visitors. Chango works with more than 60 of Fortune 500 marketers and companies such as eBay, Sears, Clorox, Sprint and Toyota.