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What is Programmatic Media?


What is Programmatic Media?

Programmatic media allows advertisers to set advanced audience targets and build custom segments, then serve targeted ads to those users in any format and on any device. Because it relies heavily on automation, it’s more focused, efficient and streamlined than other marketing approaches, driving a better return on investment. With programmatic media, traditional “spray and pray” strategies become a thing of the past.


How Does It Work?

Programmatic advertising uses artificial intelligence technologies and machine learning processes to store data and analyze user behavior. It then predicts which audiences are most likely to convert into customers and targets those audiences at the right time, in the right place, with the right messaging. Here’s how it works:

  • Programmatic advertising platforms use audience data to identify targeted users anywhere they are found in the digital ecosystem.
  • Using advanced technology, programmatic platforms bid on impressions via auctions. With bids determined in advance of the auction, the winning bidder earns the right to display ads to targeted audiences.
  • Within milliseconds of the auction, targeted users are shown ads that have previously proven to be effective at converting similar audiences into customers. This increases the chances that each impression will generate a conversion, improving overall campaign effectiveness.

You may be thinking: Wouldn’t the bidding process lead to steeper rates than traditional advertising? The fact is, everything happens behind the scenes, in real-time and in an automated fashion. This actually reduces costs and boosts effectiveness, increasing the marketing return on investment.

What's In It for Me?

Programmatic advertising allows even small marketing budgets to deliver highly customizable, targeted and effective advertising campaigns. The approach offers important advantages over other forms of digital advertising, and especially over traditional digital strategies. These include:

  • Custom audience targeting 
  • Real-time updates and optimizations
  • Reduced advertising waste
  • Streamlined campaign management
  • Precision targeting at scale
  • Access to all supply-side platforms
  • Retargeting options
  • Geotargeting capabilities
  • Reduced logistical demands


Let’s take a closer look at each of these to better understand what makes programmatic media such a compelling opportunity. 


Custom Audience Targeting

Programmatic platforms offer the ability to segment audiences, identify targets that are likely to convert and then buy ads that will be shown to this well-defined subset group of users. Audience targeting capabilities are extensive, including demographics (e.g., age, gender, income, education level) and behaviors/interests (e.g., cooking, gardening, fitness, politics).

Programmatic platforms can develop these audience targets using both first-party and third-party data, providing lots of flexibility for enhancing campaigns with additional data layers.


Real-Time Updates and Optimizations

Programmatic campaigns use artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies and machine learning processes to make decisions about whom to target, when to target, what to pay for impressions and what ads to serve via those impressions. This makes it possible to refine and optimize campaign strategies in real-time.

Compare this with the traditional digital advertising process, which allows for regular updates but requires a campaign manager to physically log into a system (or multiple systems), review performance data and make updates to the campaign strategy or tactics in order to improve results.

The ability to make updates in real-time means that programmatic campaigns can deploy rapid tests for new concepts and tactics, and arrive at the ideal marketing strategy, with exceptional speed and agility.


Reduced Advertising Waste

Programmatic advertising significantly reduces waste by ensuring that each individual impression is delivered to a targeted consumer. This is a big benefit to marketers with limited ad dollars. 

Compare this with traditional media buys, which provide a set number of impressions. It’s difficult to determine the percentage of those impressions that are shown to well-targeted users, as audience targeting is typically limited to contextual relevancy or broad demographic and behavioral details.


Streamlined Campaign Management

By hosting and integrating all campaign assets within a single platform, programmatic advertising allows marketers to drastically reduce campaign management requirements. As a result, more time can be spent on actual campaign strategy and less on logistical upkeep.


Precision Targeting at Scale

Programmatic advertising focuses on audiences, not websites, marketers can rapidly increase scale without losing targeting precision.

With inventory from nearly every format and channel, many audience targets have virtually unlimited scale. This gives programmatic traders the option to increase spends -- and the number of impressions -- at the push of a button.

This is a huge advantage over traditional media buys, where a scale increase typically requires additional negotiations, revised contracts and a great deal of logistical work.


Access to All Supply Side Platforms

Programmatic platforms are inventory-agnostic. This enables access to most supply-side platforms (SSPs), including Google and Spot X. It also allows programmatic marketers to optimize to better performing SSP’s, driving better results.


Retargeting Options

Retargeting is considered one of the most effective strategies in the modern media mix, allowing marketers to serve ads to audiences who have visited their website but not yet converted into customers.

Programmatic platforms make retargeting simple. They also provide a number of options for setting up campaign strategy and improving results, including frequency caps, detailed audience segmentations, rotating creatives and A/B testing strategies.


Geotargeting Capabilities

Programmatic marketing offers a range of geotargeting capabilities. For example, geographic targets can be set at different levels, such as delivering ads to specific geographic areas, all the way down to the zip code level.

Geotargeting options also make it possible to serve customized creative to audiences in different geographic regions and areas, allowing for A/B testing and optimizations to be performed.

These capabilities are especially important for local marketing strategies, including retail consumer sales and location-specific services.


Reduced Logistical Demands

Programmatic advertising significantly reduces logistical demands by consolidating all campaign management processes into a single, automated platform and removing the need for constant back-and-forth communications between media planners, buyers and publishers.

Without the need to negotiate terms and sign contracts for each specific publisher, buy, or media flight, you can focus on those activities that add value to your marketing campaign.


Go Programmatic With USIM

USIM combines the power of data with the scale of digital marketing to deliver targeted media impressions to the right audience at the right time via advanced programmatic media strategies.

Our team will ensure that your budget is used where it works best to deliver a successful campaign that maximizes return on investment.

USIM has been recognized three times as Programmatic Agency of the Year by MediaPost. We’d like to bring our leadership and industry experience to help you realize the wide-ranging benefits of programmatic media.

For details on how we can assist you, please call us at (310) 482-6700, or fill out our Contact Form.

Get in touch with USIM now!

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