by Evan Weber
Hey there! Thanks for reading my latest post. Well, you may have heard about or read about what they call "programmatic advertising." But what is it really? And will it work for your company? Or is it just a new way of referring to display advertising. We all know that running traditional banner campaigns with ad networks and portals, like Yahoo for instance, doesn't work in general because the cost of the campaign always out paces the revenue that results. It's safe to say most companies aren't interested in running display/banner advertising campaigns targeted by category or run of network, because they just don't work well enough! Even if they are optimized over time to see what's working, there just isn't enough data to make the necessary optimizations to turn it into a winning ad buy. Many years past in digital advertising, until some really smart people decided to code/build advertising platforms that can utilize multiple data points on users in order to serve up targeted ads to them based on factors like: offline buying behavior, online buying behavior, having visited particular websites, and having purchased from a company in the past. When ad networks know these types of data points on exact users, they can categorize this data as well as create algorithms to target users that are very similar to your ideal user demographics. Which is why programmatic advertising does work, depending on a how you do it and what type of campaigns you run, but in general it works much better than traditional display advertising, so it's safe to say it's led to a major renaissance in digital media buying. So that's very exciting because it opens up a a whole new way to drive targeted traffic to websites in order to drive in sales or leads in a profitable way.
So we now have what we call: programmatic ad campaigns. The difference essentially is just how targeted the advertising inventory is with this new more precise form of targeting that's used by programmatic ad networks. For instance, if you want to run ads to women that have purchased from designer boutiques in the last 6 months, you can do that. If you want to target moms with kids in elementary school, you can do that. If you wanted to target plus sizes women that shop for clothes online, you can target just that group. I think you get the picture. Essentially, you can leverage information on users from "data providers," or companies that know people's buying behavioral and other value data points you can utilize to target those people online with various types of ads and videos.
Sounds great right? Well it is generally speaking. The catch is, you have to pay a premium to access the data that allows you to targeted those users that should convert really well. So your website's "conversion rate" is a hugely important factor to how well or not the traffic will perform. Plus you pay a media cost to run the ads to those users through various ad networks like Facebook, Google, and large networks of websites people commonly visit. So, there ends up being a blended cost-per-thousand impressions for the media. Which the cost can vary based on which data provider you chose and how much the data provider is charging and what the media cost is for that audience, in a nut shell. And, since there are multiple potential data providers to choose from, you have to test multiple campaigns to see which campaigns convert the best and have the best return on investment (ROI). Which is why you need an experienced agency (like Experience Advertising - my agency) to track, manage, and optimize the campaigns for you. An experienced digital agency helps to make these types of online ad campaigns work as well as possible. We have gotten to the point at my agency where we require our clients to participate in a multi-step process to boost the conversion rate of their website or landing page so their ad campaigns perform as well as possible. Since these ad campaigns aren't dirt cheap, they need to be maximized through processes like boosting on-site conversions, effectively retargeting of non-converters, and A/B testing optimizations to increase the rate at which users are buying or filling out lead forms (which ever the client is going for).
Below you will find a slide presentation about programmatic ad buying that you may reference to explain the process further. If you would like to find out what types of programmatic ad campaigns may work for your company, send me a message or give me a call and we can discuss it.