Brands, CMOs and Programmatic

Standing-presentingCMOs don’t wish for their brand showing up against dicey or low-quality content due to automated placement, but more CMOs and their agency partners need to take advantage of emergent programmatic.

It will enable CMOs to embolden their brand’s reputation with more effective targeting, increased brand association with relevant content and enhanced brand loyalty by being everywhere customers are. Take Generation Z, they take in information instantaneously from a multitude of online sources and lose interest just as fast. How do you reach them?

Programmatic’s focus is narrow and it’s reach is wide from research and strategy, pre­production planning and production through to trafficking, team communication, media, social monitoring influencer management, reporting and analysis are all integrated in programmatic to show the effect of offline, online, owned, paid and earned media. It’s a factotum that’s more productive than people because there are too many sites for media planners to review simultaneously.

Harnessing programmatic has four key benefits:

  • Spend media dollars only when they will be most effective
  • Identify the true target audience in real time
  • Automate mundane tasks
  • Increase marketing resources without increasing overhead
    or agency budget.

To achieve these benefits programmatic needs to be understood by CMOs and agencies who currently think about programmatic as real time bidding. It’s far more than that, it’s about “selling cat food to cat owners”. A better perspective is that programmatic is where ads are bought similar to how products are acquired on Amazon. Only this time it’s buying targeted audiences using a ton of consumer data and analytics to calculate the best ad that’s on brand, on target and on time.

Consider this scenario for buying coffee: for those who love shopping there’s the manual approach where you travel to the store, get a shopping cart, peruse the aisles, select the brands you desire and wait at the cashier or you go on line, click the brands you want and it arrives at your door. Programmatic can do the same for media with a little eBay added for RTB (real-time bidding) for the auctioning of impressions. This is possible because programmatic considers diverse data points to make decisions in a split second for the most effective strategy and the optimum screen for the advertisement. This enables CMOs and agencies to focus on more priority areas like buying cross-platform and cross-device targeting.

ImageProgrammatic’s real time capabilities can create efficiencies in planning and buying, but it’s only as good as the content and targeting that’s employed. The main hurdle for programmatic is that a lot of marketing folks perceive that it’s about buying cheap, second-rate inventory. Hell has no fury than the second rate. Everyone agrees more transparency into the quality of inventory is urgent, but this is a canard, as there already exists an increasing amount of premium programmatic sold with higher CPMs.

Programmatic is the major disruptor in the media marketplace. In addition to providing more effective targeting and transparency when it comes to buying media programmatic enables CMOs and agencies to optimize operational efficiency and reduce headcount. That means more dollars can be reinvested into marketing; typically you need only a handful of people utilizing programmatic as opposed to a small army working on non-programmatic.

Planners and creative teams need to be comfortable with the Screen Shot 2012-08-10 at 8.28.22 AMcomplexity and must be willing to charter a new course in this programmatic world with an open mind, potent strategy and distinctive content. Instead of just targeting an ad, powerful creativity needs to generate content that’s relevant with the use of real time data to drive traffic. McDonald’s and Starbucks are great examples of major brands that have effectively implemented creativity into their programmatic programs.

Programmatic’s growth is not imperceptible. It’s bold, arrogant, cocksure and portentously a game changer that’s going to be hard to avoid. Currently programmatic handles $15B of US digital media ($58B). By the end of next year programmatic could be managing $20B according to industry pundits.

Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted”. Ultimately, programmatic is about making advertising more Imageaffordable and effective for any brand that can implement it. Perceiving programmatic as having baleful consequences is a huge mistake for CMOs. In the dark everything is possible and CMOs need to see the light and transform their outlook for a programmatic future or else face more intense competition for attention.



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