The modern digital age is a difficult environment for marketing specialists. A combination of media fragmentation and the massive growth of personalized media have created an atmosphere in which the status quo is rapidly changing. Marketers are increasingly turning to large mounds of data and specialized programmers with the talent and know-how to deliver a relevant message. Programmatic marketing is a relatively new field of thinking within marketing, and is the term often used to describe the type of targeted messages created out of those mountains of data.
Defining Programmatic Marketing
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing the field of programmatic marketing is narrowing down a concise definition that is widely accepted. As pointed out on CIO.com, significant gaps still exist in the definition of programmatic marketing. Ask any two marketing specialists about the concept, and you are likely to hear two answers that have minor (if not significant) differences. According to Tara Sterger, Sales Directors at DataXu, programmatic marketing can be defined as follows:
“It is the concept of using data to make decisions about what ds to buy, and being able to do that in real time is an added benefit. What is exciting about it to me is that I think it creates this new layer of transparency and ownership for marketers.”
Elgin Kim, a Mobile Ad Monetization Consultant, defines programmatic marketing as a process that “involves machine-to-machine transactions, simple as that. It involves less guess work and more science. At the same time, publishers can create the art of programmatic on their own by looking at the data and being able to use that data for their purposes to monetize better.”
Programmatic Marketing in Action
The idea of programmatic marketing boils down to tracing the steps of consumers online as they interact with brands, products, and businesses. Digital marketers use a treasure trove of data to find ways of reaching consumers using multiple platforms. It is no longer good enough to use TV ads, for example, to reach a mass audience. Not only is the message diluted and not specific enough to a given audience, too little is known about the audience to be effective.
With so much data available to marketers about consumers, their online movements, and their behaviors, it is now possible to see the pages people visit, the items they are searching for, and the devices they are using to do all of this. Using that information, programmatic marketing allows digital marketers to target messages toward specific consumer groups and niches.
Consumers interact with programmatic marketing on a daily basis, even if they don’t realize it. The simplest example comes in the form of display ads seen on the side of webpages and search engine results. If someone visits a travel site and looks for airline tickets to a particular destination, it won’t be long before their subsequent surfing begins to include banner ads for specific travel sites or deals to the destination that was searched.
Programmatic marketing is not a fad, but is an institution that is here to stay. Digital marketers are desperate for a tool that allows them to keep up with the modern consumer, and with the help of big data and programmatic marketing, it is possible to keep pace.