Five Key Changes… in Programmatic Advertising by Fiona McKinnon of Turn Left

Programmatic ad buying has changed the face of online advertising in recent years, but there remains confusion around what it actually is. Here is a short overview of why you should know about programmatic programming and what it could do for your business.

So what is Programmatic Advertising? Put simply, Programmatic is the automation of the advertising buying process through technology trading platforms. Programmatic trading first launched in 2007 and has since seen extreme growth. In 2017 over 70 precent of all digital display advertising spend in the UK will be traded programmatically.

Digital media and programmatic advertising is rife with jargon, data heavy decision-making and technical complexity. Cutting through the plethora of technology providers and acronyms can be complex, even for those that have always been in the advertising and marketing industry. At Turn Left Digital, we specialise in advising publishers, advertisers and ad tech businesses on programmatic advertising and data strategy, and the implementation of technology for optimal digital monetisation.

Here are five things you need to know about Programmatic Advertising:

1) It will become the advertising norm very soon. Emarketer has predicted that by 2020 programmatic advertising will drive 100 percent of digital display advertising spend in the UK.

2) Programmatic advertising technology is driven by data insights and allows for ‘smarter, dynamic’ ad placements where the decision to show an ad to a customer is made in real time. This will increase the targeting and individualisation capabilities for marketers and, as a consumer, means promotions will be tailored to your specific online behaviour, purchase intent and interests.

3) Programmatic automation will move into other areas of marketing. Mobile, TV, print, radio and out of home media outlets are adopting programmatic technology and data strategies within their industries.

4) The barrier to entry for programmatic is low: through a single piece of technology small and large businesses alike can reach their core customers and compete at the same price. Programmatic trading platforms operate on a second price auction model — you set the price you are willing to pay, the audience you want to reach and the technology does the rest. Providing the price is right, smaller brands can be on sites such as The Guardian and Financial Times for the same price as large corporations.

5) There is a worry that programmatic technology is replacing people. Programmatic technology will probably mean there are fewer ‘Mad Men’ in the world as technology replaces some of the more menial tasks that agencies have historically managed, however, advertising agencies are still required to optimise campaigns and to plan strategies. Technology and data insights allow for a more sophisticated approach to customer acquisition than ever before. This means that the balance of skill in advertising will start to shift from creative designers to analysts.

Fiona McKinnon is the founder and director of Turn Left Digital Ltd. She has over 17 years of digital marketing experience in sales, media, strategy, management, operations and technology.