Zoe-Lee Skelton

5 Secrets to Make Your Programmatic Marketing Successful

It’s all about the right product, the right place, and the right time, right?


Increased competition, media fragmentation and dwindling attention spans mean you need to identify and engage your audience in the quickest and most efficient way possible, in order to remain profitable.

But if you’re under the illusion that Programmatic Marketing is the silver bullet, one-stop solution to increasing sales, then think again. Because that’s only the start.

What is programmatic marketing and how does it work?

Programmatic marketing is the science of delivering YOUR message, triggered by a specific event, to an already primed customer. These campaigns are designed to drive conversions by first engaging – and later, re-engaging – with consumers at various points in the buying cycle.

The events that trigger programmatic marketing campaigns are defined partly by you, and partly by software algorithms.

Your campaign will initially consist of:

Remarketing: Remarketing helps you to reach prospects who have previously visited your website. This works by adding remarketing code to your website so when your customer leaves without converting, they are served with your banner ad on other websites they visit later on.

Personalised retargeting: Remarketing ads become smarter by personalising them based on a user’s past actions on your site. For example, a consumer visits your website and browses products A, B and C. You can then target those users by serving them ads displaying the products they were interested in. It Doesn’t End There!

Real-time bidding: One of the fastest growing methods is by real-time bidding. When a consumer visits your website, the browser communicates with an ad server – the technology that places adverts on websites. The server then sends a message to an ad exchange with information about that user, such as the IP address, location, and details of the website the consumer is visiting. As an advertiser, you – or your media buyer – send a bid electronically to the ad exchange via a demand-side platform. The buyer who bids the highest wins, and an ad is served when the website loads.

Programmatic marketing is all about data, which guides the buying process. You can select whether to show a user an ad based on their gender, age, browsing history, location, interests, purchase history and more. Mining your own data, such as that from your CRM system, is ideal for identifying your target audience.

By selecting the characteristics of the user you show the ad to determine where and when your ad is displayed, you specify your maximum bid and the technology automates and optimises the buying process.

Data is also created through campaign results, allowing you to refine your campaigns and targeting, significantly improving your ROI. However, most reporting systems will only show you online response.

Marketers are increasingly relying on mountains of data and talented programmers who can customise the delivery of relevant messages. Programmatic marketing is still a fairly new development, which is the future of digital marketing. Brands that fail to catch on now will be left behind. Digital marketers now also have to find ways to reach consumers across multiple different channels and devices.

Here are five methods that will help you on your way to achieving programmatic marketing success.

1. Call Tracking

mediahawk lead management system


Call tracking data bridges the gap between your marketing efforts and the offline response. It provides you with captured data, detailing information about your callers – such as who they are, and which advert or marketing they are responding to.

This data then enables you to understand what aspects of your marketing efforts are producing qualified leads and enquires, as well as identifying the campaigns that aren’t performing well. This will ensure that you focus your budget in the right areas to get results.

Programmatic buying is increasing in popularity, which is encouraging marketers to divert more of their budgets to digital. Call tracking is vital to this – providing marketers with the intelligence needed in order to make critical decisions about how to allocate their marketing budget.

Software that tracks and records telephone calls should be used as an important piece of your marketing puzzle, and can provide you with information about your target audience, as well as information about the consumers who actually make a purchase from you. Call tracking can capture many critical pieces of data about your callers, such as if they are a unique lead, and which ad they are responding to.

You will only know which of your campaigns are working if a consumer views a programmatic ad of yours on their smartphone, the television or through social media, if you are using call tracking. The key to call tracking is to assign each of your programmatic advertising or automated advertising campaigns with a specific phone number to be tracked.

For example, you will know if ‘phone call number 1’ saw your ad through your social media campaign, or if ‘phone call number 2’ is responding to your television ad. This will allow you to understand further which parts of your marketing plan are the most effective, and which aren’t working as well.

With programmatic advertising you can use today’s technology to reach your target consumers at scale, but also know how your consumers are responding to your advertising efforts – vital information you don’t want to miss out on! Call tracking can give you the ability to analyse what portions of your marketing efforts are effective, who your customers are, and where they’re coming from, all of which increases you ROI.

2. Attribution

Programmatic marketing is about automating the transaction of media between advertisers and publishers to support on-going, channel-agnostic customer engagement, and attribution is a critical component of this. The main part of this is the ability to identify and target distinct ‘audiences’ in the right place, at the right time, and with the right message in order to drive a conversion.

Advanced attribution solves this problem by allowing you to associate demographic, geographic, and behavioral information (that’s collected through the transaction process, surveys, or via any number of third-party data providers) to converting customers, so you can understand the value of particular audience segments and the mix of marketing tactics that produced them.

Atrribute Advert A Advert B Advert C
Cost of advert £1,000 £1,200 £800
Enquiries 200 160 210
Sales 10 2 5
Avg. Sales Value £50 £50 £50
Profit -£500 -£1,100 -£550

By providing insight into which segments have the highest lifetime value, which have the highest propensity to convert, and which tactics are producing them with the greatest efficiency, allowing attribution to enable you to optimise your spend for each distinct audience.

3. Measurement

Measuring your programmatic buys is extremely important to brands. Brand marketers can often be tempted to let the algorithms do everything, rather than measuring the campaign effectiveness based on core brand objectives.

Measurement seeks to enhance marketing efforts, not obstruct them. Reliable measurement will enable programmatic players to assess their current inputs and models and allow them to build better ones, improving the essential asset that lies at the heart of any programmatic strategy. Measurement will also help the industry evaluate the effectiveness of programmatic models, which are now beginning to focus on driving brand engagement as well as direct response. Reliable measurement can help programmatic buying achieve its full potential, and help those who pursue it build significant advantages.

4. Analytics

To make it work, a programmatic marketing platform needs big data analytics. By casting a wide net, seeking all manner of information, analysts find hidden patterns, trends and preferences. They will know information such as, the average age and gender of any given author’s readership.

For example, you might want to place your ads about gifts for women on a relevant website with a high readership of females between the ages of 25-54. You can check AdWords for placement demographics data, like those highlighted in the picture below:

ecards ad group

This permits an algorithmic distribution of advertisements predicated on behaviour and interests. The goal is to focus so narrowly on a given target that the ROI on the ad campaign should be extremely high.

5. Refining

When it comes to programmatic marketing, you should make sure you keep refining your strategy. As the technology goes mainstream in digital advertising, the following factors will shape the strategy for marketers:

Business objectives over experimentation: Successful brands are increasingly focusing on digital experiences over digital communications.

Adopt a real-time mindset: Marketers running real-time marketing programmes in owned and earned media will look at how paid media can enhance the brand dialogue.

Managing data at scale and speed: The old adage of matching the ‘right ad to the right person at the right time’ is now infinitely more possible. However as data continues to grow, programmatic strategies must adapt to reflect this.

By using these techniques your programmatic marketing strategy will continue to improve, helping you to deliver your message, and engage with potential customers.



Featured image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/franganillo/

Zoe-Lee Skelton

About Zoe-Lee Skelton

I’m an SEO Content Marketing Consultant in the UK. In my spare time I enjoy blogging about digital marketing and web analytics. Feel free to connect!

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