Category: marketing

Programmatic Advertising – what exactly is it, and how does it work?

If you spend any time in the marketing world, you have undoubtedly encountered the phrase “programmatic advertising” and – if you’re like me – scratched your head and pretended to know what it is. In an effort to educate my comrades-in-arms, I present to you a fairly thorough – if a bit dense – article on what it is and how it works.

You may have read about the ongoing battle between publishers and ad blockers. Since subscriptions are still a qualified success, and only in specific circumstances, digital advertising will continue to be an important part of any marketers toolkit.

“Although subscription video on demand (SVOD) and transactional video on demand (TVOD) have been successful, ad-supported content isn’t going away anytime soon, no matter the viewing device.”

In essence, it is an automated way for advertisers to identify potential customers based on their publicly available demographics and past buying behavior to target appropriate ads. The potential market is too big and the amount of work to reach them is too complex.

“In the ideal programmatic transaction, a user clicks on a website, and her internet address and browsing history are packaged and whisked off to an auction site. On behalf of advertisers, software scrutinizes her profile (or an anonymized version of it) and determines whether to bid for the right to place an ad next to the media she is about to view. If you’re looking for affluent women between 30 and 35 who own houses and dogs in a specific ZIP code in Dallas, you may hit a premium price. If you take a broader view—say, all viewers between 30 and 35—your pricing may go down, and the supply of viewers could go up substantially.”

This just scratches the surface, and you will need to be a bit patient in reading the article, but you may find that it gives you just enough understanding that you won’t feel left out when it comes to discussions of programmatic ad buying.

Good luck!

What kind of customer are you?

When I first entered the entertainment industry – specifically, the television business – I was introduced to the concept that programming was just the fluff between the commercials. The financial model was relatively simple: Make programs that people want to see, then pay for them with commercials that will hopefully entice those same people to purchase the items being advertised. You had a product, then exposed people to it via commercials, then people bought (or didn’t) buy the product.

But in reading this article from AdAge about the traditional “sales funnel” – and all you marketing folks will know that term – you might be inclined to agree with this:

“The sales funnel isn’t changing — it’s completely and utterly dead.”

But I’m not so sure. It is certainly in a state of flux, but the concept is still grounded in the scientific method. You create a model, test it, repeat it, and decide if the results are reliable. What I think we’re learning is that consumers have individual, but identifiable, traits and behaviors that help categorize their buying process. The author has one that is likely a result of his past experience with purchasing, and the ensuing sense of satisfaction he had with it. But I find that people have a “communication disposition” which reflects many aspects of their personality. If a person is uncomfortable with contemporaneous speaking, he/she may prefer a chat or email exchange. Some may prefer to use a big screen or small screen. Others may need to touch the product, or see it in action.

We are getting increasingly identified by our habits that reflect our comfort zone. This will be an important consideration in how marketers find and influence their target market. Exactly how is a work-in-progress.