What Is the Future of Programmatic Marketing?

05 Nov 2018

Remember the Sci-Fi movie Minority Report? There was an iconic scene where Tom Cruise’s character undergoes a retina scan. The next moment, a billboard tells him: "John Anderton! You could use a Guinness right about now!" 

In today's digital era, we're not too far from this kind of direct targeting. The advancements in technology now allow marketers to laser-target their audience at the exact time of need. 

Most customers have seen irrelevant ads at some point. Perhaps they’ve visited an online store and clicked on a product by mistake, and now they see ads featuring that product everywhere. If one of those ads was yours, you’ve wasted time and money. 

The marketing industry has adapted and evolved, so the risk of targeting the wrong customers is lower. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other cutting-edge technologies enable brands to create and deliver highly customized ads. Programmatic advertising is gaining momentum, and marketers are starting to invest heavily.

Programmatic Advertising: The Future Is Now 

Targeting the right customers at the right time is a marketer's dream. Thanks to the latest technology, this futuristic concept is now becoming reality. 

The digital landscape has grown tremendously over the past decades. In 2017, Millennials spent about 223 minutes per day on mobile devices. More than half of the population now uses a smartphone. The average Internet user has seven social media accounts. Facebook alone boasts over two billion users. 

Every time a customer goes online, his search data and other information are stored by advertisers. Having access to such a large and diverse database allows companies to directly market their products to a global audience at a fraction of what it would cost through traditional advertising channels. 

With the help of programmatic technology, marketers can blend this large online presence and data, and turn it into intelligently placed ads. This allows them to target those buyers who would most benefit from their products. Programmatic advertising uses AI and other technologies to deliver ads based on customers' interests, location, spending, and shopping patterns. 

Data-driven, targeted automatic ads unlock a world of marketing opportunities. Marketers can not only reach the right audience in the right context but also avoid unnecessary expenses. After all, it's no secret that traditional advertising, which involved mass marketing techniques like TV and radio, was costly and time-consuming. 

Programmatic technology has emerged as the foundation of digital media transactions. It has automated and revolutionized the way ads are traded, making it easier to scale personalized messages. 

Let’s take dynamic creative optimization as an example. This advertising model allows for the creation and delivery of personalized online ads using real-time technology. Basically, it displays media based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving. For instance, girls will see a pink background while boys will see a blue one. 

Programmatic also enables brands to build lasting relationships with their target audiences, which in turn, leads to more sales and increased customer loyalty. 

Considering these facts, it's no surprise that global programmatic spending has increased eight times over the past five years. With these trends evolving so quickly, we can't stop wondering what the future holds. 

One thing is for sure: we're seeing programmatic technology emerge as the go-to marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. 

Predictions for the Future of Programmatic Marketing 

This revolutionary technology is predicted to grow faster than any other digital medium. It has already become the norm in major markets, and it only keeps expanding. Its growth will be fueled by the advancement in software, machine learning, and data management platforms. 

Programmatic targeting is now possible due to sophisticated machines that collect anonymous data, such as a user's hobbies, location, and spending habits. Businesses can use this data to identify the prospects who are most likely to respond to their ad campaign and become customers. 

According to Cyrille Vincey - Ve Interactive’s Chief Data Officer, data collaboration is the next stage. Organizations are going to share customer data, such as UX and cross-device behavioral insights. 

Many companies, especially smaller ones, lack the data needed to target the ideal customer. Therefore, advertisers, businesses, and customers alike have more to gain than to lose from sharing data. 

Mark Abay- Ashton Media's Content Director - believes that the gap between manual and programmatic ad buying will widen in the upcoming years. With the fast growth of programmatic marketing, businesses that continue to manually buy ads will fall behind those who master automation. Some experts predict that this technology will drive 100 percent of advertising processes by 2020. 

Other experts say that programmatic TV advertising is the future. According to Videology, more than half of global TV buying will be programmatic within three to five years. This trend encompasses technologies like digital linear TV and video on demand (VoD). 

For instance, customers are now offered multiple ad options while watching TV instead of seeing just one ad. Another strategy is ad pause, which involves displaying creative media when a video ad is paused. Today's VoD service providers embed mini-sites within videos to display information rather than requiring users to check out the website. 

Adobe already embraced this trend, and even took it further. In 2017, the company has launched its first completely automated campaign. It used Adobe Advertising Cloud, its own programmatic software, to place ads on social networks, mobile devices, and TV. 

Experts also say that programmatic targeting and personalization are going to become more sophisticated. This will result in higher conversion rates, considering that 61 percent of customers feel more positively about brands that deliver personalized messages. 

Soon, programmatic storytelling will emerge as a common practice for most brands. Ad blocking rates will decline, and ad viewability will improve. Marketers can now maximize every opportunity to engage with the target audience and use smart data to its fullest potential. Future innovations in deep learning and digital technologies will drive this trend further.