Real Time Bidding (RTB) is here to stay. To be more specific: the fully automatic matching of ad space and advertising demand has become synonymous for Programmatic. While this topic goes far beyond the automated market places. A lot of definitions is running nowadays, but let’s state it for the moment on: “the orchestrated use of technological tools, data and carriers in order to be able to create continuous and channel-independent customer engagement.” Are you still with me?
Research by the Winterberry Group shows that 85% of the interviewed advertisers is busy developing strategies on a (further) deployment of RTB. Put this amount against the 72% of the interviewed publishers… Asked about their intentions the numbers are even higher: 91% of the interviewed advertisers expect to invest in Programmatic the coming two years (while 83% of the publishers says the same).
Impressive numbers. But saying you are busy (further) developing a strategy or expecting to invest the coming two years is rather easy. It doesn’t say a thing about the actual deployment of Programmatic. At the most it is an indication on the ‘buzz’ surrounding the topic –completely righteous- today.
It is more interesting to look at the expectations around Programmatic by advertisers. Then we see that 79% of them looks at Programmatic as a means to be able to segment better in communications. An equal amount sees it as an opportunity to further automate media buying operations. Around the latter a push mechanism is undeniable in effect: while RTB is gaining ground quickly, as an advertiser you better be informed about it or you are paying too much.
Only 63% of the advertisers see Programmatic in the light of customer and behavioral insights. And a mere 47% signals the benefit of being able to tailor and optimize content as a primary motivation. So, Programmatic is mainly seen as something that’s beneficial in cost-cutting media buying costs.
While that is one (1) important benefit of Programmatic it is a rather short sided view on the topic. The benefits are much bigger. In the survey the implementation of a Tag Management System (TMS) is not mentioned once while asked about investment priorities while implementing a Programmatic marketing approach. You might conclude that is because all advertisers already have such a tool in place. We know better.
The crux is that the core of Programmatic (being able to act on real-time marketing insights) is still in the dark for many a marketer. Today it is mainly a cost-cutting game. Programmatic is promising even further lowering of media costs. But with the current approach (and lack of vision) the profit gained will not be put in better (as in ‘more profitable’) marketing and communication with customers and prospects. Media buying, Sales, IT and marketing/communications are different silos, aren’t they?