Data has shown that marketers are not fully leveraging programmatic for branding campaigns. In a report by Forrester, only 13% of marketers say they use programmatic buying for branding. In a discussion we led at the IAB SEA+India Programmatic Committee, we covered why marketers are missing out on this opportunity by using programmatic mostly as a direct response tool.
WHY HAS BRANDING WITHIN PROGRAMMATIC NOT MET ITS FULL POTENTIAL?
Programmatic in APAC is still being deemed non-premium digital media and therefore may not be perceived as good for branding; as we explain later, this perception isn’t true. Perception aside, there is also a measurement gap for programmatic when compared to traditional channels such as TV, which is associated with iconic branding campaigns. In contrast, programmatic measurement does not speak the same language in terms of metrics such as Gross Rating Point (GRP). Lastly, whilst we have made tremendous progress in terms of industry education, talent with a strong understanding of programmatic is still scarce which has slowed down adoption.
WHAT ARE THE TOP INGREDIENTS THAT MAKE BRANDING VIA PROGRAMMATIC SUCCESSFUL?
In spite of slow progress, programmatic has all the advantages that a traditional media execution offers (like mass reach) and more – take the possibility of more granular measurement, for example.
Brands can truly leverage programmatic to drive specific data-driven reach along with omnichannel engagement across channels such as display, video, and audio. Recent advances in dynamic creative also enable effective personalization with hundreds of creative variations that can be deployed across audience micro-segments. Another powerful ingredient that can bolster branding is the ability to generate cross-device insights and attributions which significantly improves branding effectiveness whilst reducing media wastage.
HOW WILL FUTURE TRENDS IN ADVERTISING BUSINESS MODELS MAKE BRANDING VIA PROGRAMMATIC EXCITING?
As more and more media becomes biddable, it offers marketers the possibility of running programmatic across traditional channels like mobile, desktop as well as upcoming channels like TV and DOOH, which offer more creative possibilities of storytelling. More volume and varieties of rich first-party data are increasingly becoming available on programmatic platforms – these for the first time have the possibility of shaping programmatic buys close to a brand manager’s ‘target persona’. At the same time, programmatic technology standards are evolving to accommodate more interesting storytelling ad formats and broader measurement frameworks to help brands power their branding outcomes.
PROGRAMMATIC CAN BE A GREAT TOOL FOR YOUR BRANDING CAMPAIGNS
Programmatic is not just for performance and we need to change the perception that programmatic is not a good tool for branding campaigns.
In fact, programmatic has the right ingredients such as data-driven targeting, granular measurements, omnichannel engagement, etc. to deliver effective branding campaigns whilst reducing media wastage.
As content consumption by users becomes fragmented across devices and locations, programmatic would be the only key way to engage audiences in a coherent, timely and relevant manner. Programmatic in the future will be seen as part of a digital workflow rather than a media buying channel – and this shall open up exciting possibilities!