Intent Marketer’s Guide to Programmatic Ads

Fed up with old school hit-and-miss advertising campaigns? It’s high time to take a plunge into adtech innovation with this short guide to programmatic advertising. With highly automated processes and relevant communications, programmatic ads give marketers the upper hand in competitive, noisy markets. You simply let the algorithms decide and buy digital ad space for you. Programmatic advertising uses real-time bidding (RTB) to make instant purchases, like a robot shopping and buying on your behalf. (For more terms related to programmatic marketing, spare a moment for “Do You Know These 17 Programmatic Marketing Terms?”)

As marketers worldwide turn to digital marketing, they invest more deeply in the evolving role of programmatic ads and intent data. But if you’re still somewhat lost amid the jargon, this blog’s for you. 

Take hyper-targeting to new levels

Programmatic ads use sophisticated algorithms and intent signal data to hyper-target audiences based on: 

  • Context of websites visits
  • User cookies 
  • Browsing history 
  • Keyword searches
  • Demographics (gender, location, etc.)
  • Audience data from a Data Management Platform (DMP)

A computerized “programmatic” model supports personalized digital advertising experiences at a scale traditional methods sometimes struggle to achieve. As a result, some CMOs are adapting and adopting to technological disruptions with enthusiasm and high hopes, seeing them as opening doors to innovations. 

Three guidelines for programmatic strategy

Next, this guide to programmatic advertising takes a look at three points to guide your journey: 

  • What are programmatic ads and intent data? 
  • Why are they useful to B2B marketers? 
  • Checklist for intent-driven marketers like you
  1. What are programmatic ads and intent data? 

Programmatic (using computer programs) refers to automation in buying and selling digital media or ad space. Brands or agencies (buyers) use a Demand Side Platform (DSP) to decide which impressions and ad spaces to buy and at what price, while publishers (sellers) use Supply Side Platform (SSP) to sell spaces to buyers. 

Advertisers get guaranteed impressions via programmatic ads, which means the price of the impression is mutually negotiated between buyers and sellers before they go live on targeted websites.

Intent data refers to behavioral signals that say something about a prospect’s intention. (See some of our many other blogs on intent data.)

  1. Why are programmatic ads useful to you?

Programmatic ads help intent-based marketers connect customized messaging with searchers who are interested in the information. Put simply, programmatic ads help you target better, and in turn make marketing campaigns successful. 

How programmatic advertising benefits B2B sellers:Efficiency: Automation lets a brand buy and display ads online very quickly, and you can sometimes see results almost immediately. When your ad spend hits the spot the first time, you don’t waste dollars for impressions on people who aren’t part of your target audiences. 

Measure in real time: It’s possible to measure results at all stages of the buying funnel and customer journey, but in practice, not everyone does. Accurate tracking and data collection help you increase the return on ad spend (ROAS) and double down on what’s working in engagement. Intent data gives you something to measure across the funnel, as buyers in-market progress through different stages.  

Transparency: In the automated buying of programmatic advertising, you can access valuable data about actual behaviors, like clicks, impressions, buying habits, browsing patterns and brand loyalty. This transparent view into the buyer’s behavior sets you up for better decisions and more control over marketing campaigns. 

Rich multichannel options: You can reach target audiences across a variety of channels via programmatic ads. These include: 

  • Display ads (banners and text)
  • Video ads (In-stream/out-stream) 
  • Mobile ads (for tablets, smartphones, etc.)
  • Native ads (for specific platforms like social media)
  • Connected TV (programmatic approach to TV ads with OTT technology)
  • Digital-out-of-home (DOOH in high-traffic spaces)
  • Social Advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat)
  • Search ads (for search engine result pages, typically pay-per-click)                               
  1. Checklist for Intent Marketers like YOU! 

Knowing about programmatic ads isn’t enough until you implement a strategy and yield results. To check whether you’re on the right track, have a glance at this checklist from our guide to programmatic advertising:

  • Identify campaign goals, define your objectives and target that audience 
  • Boost brand awareness by increasing relevant, timely touches and personalized strategies 
  • Choose and test digital ad formats for your programmatic advertising channels
  • Research adtech platforms and demand-side platforms (DSP) for running programmatic ads
  • When you choose your DSP, consider budget, channel mix and target audiences
  • Calculate the value of your ad spend based on CPM and CPC, and set the budget for your campaign or flight
  • Ensure regular updates of demand-side blacklists to prevent faulty ad placements on inappropriate sites 
  • Use a white list of approved sites to exclude low quality and sensitive sites for your ads 
  • Watch for fraudulent activity that might harm your brand
  • Focus on strategy to display creative, relevant content with personalized messages

This guide to programmatic advertising will get you started, but what if you still have some doubts about programmatic ads? Look around our various insightful resources and get more informed about various B2B advertising strategies. 

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