Marketers have a single objective in their advertising efforts, and that is to deliver their message to the right audience at the right moment. However, beneath this is the ultimate goal of raising brand awareness and bringing audiences closer to a specific product or service. To achieve this, a growing number of brands is adopting programmatic advertising as the key tool in delivering relevant messages to targeted audiences, creating engaging experiences and ultimately, raising brand awareness. The use of programmatic for brands seems to be a trend which steadily extends among an increasing number of brand marketers.
Programmatic for brands: the challenge
Programmatic makes branding objectives of marketers easily attainable primarily because of the efficient audience targeting. Audience targeting can efficiently reach specific and potential consumers at scale, and therefore it carries an enormous potential to play a crucial role in the growing shift to programmatic, as it has been the case in recent years.
Building audience for branding has the aim to increase consideration and awareness about the brand among wider range of potential consumers, or those who fit in the specific targeting criteria of the marketer, for example, demographics (a woman, 30, wants to buy shoes online). The end goal is attracting new customers by creating and delivering a unique message.
Considerations before going programmatic
Marketers who wish to run their brand campaigns using programmatic technology should bear in mind several different perspectives before contacting a Demand-Side Platform to execute their strategies. Some of those are the following:
Preferred Inventory. Marketers should establish the type of inventory they would like their brand to be associated with, as well as the types of inventory they do not prefer. Most leading brands have a well-established policy related to the type of content they want their brand to be associated with. Also, leading brands often prefer above the fold inventory to maximize the chance that consumers will see their advertising and interact with it.
Specific audience. Marketers should determine the type of audience that their branding campaign would like to reach at scale in order to achieve the specific objectives. The types of data used to target audiences vary from demographics, past purchases or browsing history.
The right creative. In order to accomplish the goals of raising brand awareness and creating consumer engagement, brand marketers should consider creative that will be effective. The mission of the marketer is to choose the right creative that will drive greater awareness and increase audience engagement. Therefore, choosing the right ad format plays a crucial role in achieving these goals.
Measurement and analytics. Marketers can employ different measurement and analytical tactics that will provide insights into the success of the campaign and offer valuable information of its overall performance and results. Leaving traditional metrics such as ROI, CTR, etc. for campaigns, the ultimate test of the success of a campaign is how well it realizes the brand goals; in other words – whether it drives purchase intent or raises brand awareness.
Brands constantly strive for a high level of control of what they place in the media. Quality control is very important for brands, especially since it is directly related to the image of the relevant company, product or service. Although initially considered hardly achievable, this can be easily attained with data-driven programmatic buying.
With programmatic, marketers can maximize the use of data in a much smarter way. This means that audiences can be scaled, and based on the past interest and intent, different messages can be displayed to different consumers. Also, in order to establish the effect and value of the ad, different advanced metrics can be used to determine viewability and exposure. Brand marketers should use data and targeting wisely, which means they should place their ads in times when their target consumers understand the aim of the message conveyed with the ad. Fusing the creative message of the ad with the right moment and context in front of relevant consumers will raise brand awareness, and consumers will grasp the idea behind the message and engage with the brand.
The programmatic shift entails several important guidelines that could provide invaluable insights on the long run:
1. Long-term measurement tactics. Regarding the success of a campaign, marketers should adopt a different approach in the evaluation of their campaign outcomes rather than employing traditional direct response metrics. Instead of focusing on immediate brand metrics, marketers should shift towards measuring frequency, time on site, and unique reach of inventory.
2. It’s all about the (creative) message. If properly executed, creative formats can maximize brand exposure. Brand marketers should consider numerous opportunities before choosing the message they want to present to their audience since it will ultimately be the core of the audience engagement. In choosing the desired format, brand marketers should bear in mind that the message should be appealing and non-intrusive, and should keep their minds open to possibilities of combining several formats to get maximum audience impact.
3. Timing is crucial. One of the most ingenious assets of programmatic advertising is the ability to place relevant messages to targeted consumers at the right moment. Marketers should strive to make the most of this asset, simply because a carefully crafted and targeted creative message may fail to fulfill its purpose if placed in the wrong time or context, even if placed in front of the right consumers. Timing is of utmost importance in a brand campaign.
4. The importance of the story. Establishing a relationship with consumers presupposes placing relevant and creative message with which they can relate. The message should always tell some kind of story. With various ad formats today, the possibilities are virtually infinite. Brand marketers should make the message content their prior focus. They can make use of predictive algorithms to optimize their campaigns while also keeping the human touch as the key element.
Although still shadowed by some reluctance, statistics regarding the future growth of programmatic appear bright. Today, programmatic for brands can prove to be an indispensable tool that works to deliver relevant brand messages to relevant consumers through various channels, and more importantly, in relevant contexts and at the right moment.