According to a study by Econsultancy, in partnership with Quantcast , based on interviews with both client side digital professionals, agencies and vendors and senior-level marketers, 62% of marketers surveyed said they were running programmatic advertising campaigns specifically for branding objectives as opposed to direct response.
On average, says the report, 40% of programming spending goes towards branding campaigns, with the advantages of programmatic branding most likely to be cited as ‘major benefits’ by marketers:
There are still barriers that must be overcome to enable further investment, says the report. According to the survey, 57% of marketers agreed that there is a skills gap in the programmatic advertising industry, highlighting the need for training on related skills. The survey also found that 41% of responding companies were doing programmatic advertising exclusively in-house.
Marketers also have their reservations over the control they cede in using programmatic, says the report. When asked about the barriers to increased investment in programmatic branding, 23% of respondents pointed to ‘data privacy’, while ‘lack of transparency’ (16%) and ‘brand safety issues’ (13%) were also cited as primary concerns.
Despite these challenges, it is clear that programming branding has a bright future, says the report. Marketers expect to have increased their programmatic ad spend by an average of 37% by 2017.
Marketers Respond To A Variety Of Programmatic Positions
We can create engaging video contend which will be delivered to the right audience
There is a skills gap in the programmatic ad industry
Effective multi-touch attribution is the key to further programmatic investment
Programmatic is only good for direct response advertising
I have a good understanding of programmatic brand advertising
By 2017 our programmatic direct spending will outstrip our real-time bidding spending
Programmatic advertising is ready for brand scale
We effectively integrate mobile into our programmatic branding campaigns
We can create smartphone ad experiences which do justice to our brand
Our programmatic direct spending outstrips real-time bidding (RTB) budget
Source: Econsultancy/Quantcast, May 2015
Other findings from the research include:
Programmatic: Ad technology, designed to power data-driven audience buying, and pointed largely at direct response advertising, has evolved sufficiently to support equity advertising. Once a single-channel medium (display), ad tech can now programmatically connect marketers to inventory across mobile screens, video players, addressable television and even digital out-of-home.
The proliferation of addressable channels that can be accessed programmatically, along with newly evolved reporting functionality, makes it possible for ambitious marketers to justify pulling budget from linear television, print and radio, and into digital channels where programmatic efficiencies and real-time delivery can increase lift at lower costs.
Programmatic has the potential of fulfilling the promises of digital marketing. In the survey, 64% of respondents considered that the increased efficiency of campaigns is a major benefit of programmatic, while 56% pointed to the ability to optimize and target the audience in real time.
Omnichannel: The traditional AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) funnel has evolved into a circuitous customer journey with multiple touchpoints. This new dynamic (where consumers consume media on multiple screens for different reasons throughout the day) has made it increasingly difficult for marketers to deliver the right message, at the right time, and right place.
Marketers must react to various signals, emanating from social channels, review sites, in-store mobile interactions and more to try and create awareness and influence brand sentiment. Gaining an omnichannel competency requires organizational disruption that starts with evolving the traditional marketing mindset, involves breaking existing data silos and gaining internal competencies around the programmatic delivery of paid, owned and earned brand messages.
An important aspect of building a truly omnichannel approach is an attribution framework. In our survey, 53% of respondents agreed that effective multi-touch attribution is the key to further programmatic branding investment, compared to only 9% who disagree.
Response to the statement: “Effective multi-touch attribution is the key to further programmatic branding investment”
% of Respondents
Source: Econsultancy/Quantcast, May 2015
Mobile: The rapid proliferation of mobile devices (90% global mobile penetration and 50% smartphone penetration in evolved markets) has also shaken marketers. Not only has attention shifted to multiple screens, but the amount of unique data that marketers can collect from mobile devices (hyper-location, elevation, biometrics, etc.) has changed the game from a targeting and analytics perspective.
Mobile has also impacted ecommerce in a fundamental way, disrupting the traditional notion of consumer ‘moment of truth’ brand decision-making, wherein consumers have immediate access to product information at all times, as well as the ability to interact, and comment on, brands. Marketers must be able to execute campaigns across the mobile channel to successfully create brand lift through programmatic tactics.
Measurement: Programmatic branding will not scale without the right tools to measure brand lift in the addressable market. Marketers must be proficient in both marketing execution (delivering messages through programmatic channels) and also measurement (understanding the impact of equity advertising using available KPI data). Key to this, says the report, will be the unification of offline and online measurement, such as Nielsen seeks to achieve with its on-going multi-touch attribution (MTA) initiatives that blend panel and user level data.
Data: As with all addressable advertising, data remains the key ingredient to success. In the case of programmatic branding, the role data plays starts with the unification of the consumer with all of their devices. By leveraging cross-device identity management (CDIM) techniques, programmatic marketers can control frequency of messaging, understand multi-touch attribution, create higher-level funnel analyses and do more precision targeting. Applying data for audience segmentation, targeting, optimization and analytics is at the core of developing a programmatic branding competency.
Programmatic represents the largest platform change for the advertising industry since the first banner ad appeared on the internet, concludes the report. It has driven incredible growth for the digital advertising industry and has still not reached its full potential. With the lower funnel seeing most programmatic usage over the years and brand safety concerns limiting the use of the technology at the higher end, this report is hoped to highlight the ever-increasing use of programmatic for branding activities.