Programmatic advertising is a tremendous marketing opportunity for agencies to drive new revenue streams, understand transparently how media works to drive business results, and even lower media costs.
It’s a broad term that encompasses a lot of different technology solutions, and I find that the broad scope of what programmatic often deters even senior executives from fully leveraging the ecosystem.
Programmatic is in some ways an unwieldy beast. On the Lumascape you’ll see over 300 company logos listed, and you’ll see categories of businesses that play a particular role in the broader ecosystem. If you haven’t been lucky enough to be immersed in this space jumping in now can seem daunting.
It shouldn’t be. With a little help you’ll probably find that programmatic can help you streamline your ad buying operations, give you a way to maintain parity with market players, and if done right, position your enterprise to flourish as most media attains some element of programmatic DNA into its routine operations.
The job of getting programmatic means looking at two distinct sets of knowledge – your current business and the fundamental capabilities of the programmatic ecosystem – and merging them in a smart way.
Here are four ways to make programmatic work for your enterprise, even if you programmatic operations are currently housed outside of your business.
Step 1 – Understand The Journey Will Lead You To New Places
It’s often a challenge to start a journey where you don’t know the destination. Do it. The often unseen destination that results from a programmatic journey exists because the space changes rapidly. Companies don’t need to recreate distribution channels or rebuild rudimentary solutions that have been created in the past. Innovators get to build on top of technology that already exists, so more emphasis is placed on solving real marketing challenges. As a result, the ecosystem changes quickly and dramatically. So, if you engage in this ecosystem in a meaningful way (i.e. you run programmatic buys rather than outsourcing), you’ll find your business evolving with the market. You’ll then see new opportunities come into existence that you never would have spotted had you not started on the journey.
Step 2 – Connect Business Challenges With Existing Programmatic Capabilities
Work with a group that understands the programmatic ecosystem, and have them integrate with leaders within the enterprise who are solving enterprise challenges. Don’t rely on vendors to educate you, because while the are great to give you feel for the elements you should be looking for, you’ll find that you need independent thinking to really hone in on the solutions you need. Most of the marketplace solutions will sound very similar, and it requires a keen understanding of your own unique business situation to find the right set of partners. That’s one important reason why we do this work, because we provide opinions that are foremost informed by our clients business needs, not the need to sell a specific technology product.
Understand existing challenges, and then look for a programmatic solution to them. You’ll realize that most of your competitors have done that, or are doing that today. In the future as innovation adapts to this new mode of operations your enterprise will be at least at parity, if not in a leadership position to drive programmatic innovation.
Step 3 – Develop Enterprise Knowledge of Programmatic Principles
You want to understand how programmatic was created, the challenges it solved, the motivating factors for industry entrants and how economics have evolved in the marketplace. This is a history lesson that will enable your group to see how we got to the marketplace that exists today, and it will help you understand the marketing opportunity for your business. It will also help you understand how the future of programmatic will evolve. Ensure your entire organization is committed to the change that programmatic will bring to your enterprise, because it will be a great ride that may end up changing, for the better, the nature of your business. Ensure that the staff can speak to what programmatic is and isn’t, and how your organization adopts programmatic principals. Enable the entire team to speak functionally about your offering, without passing the conversation to the one or more programmatic experts on your staff.
Step 4 – Develop Products With Programmatic Solutions, Not Programmatic Products
Developing programmatic solutions is like saying you are developing advertising solutions or marketing opportunities. Those are all three broad terms, even though programmatic rolls up into advertising, which rolls up into marketing. Programmatic is video, mobile, banners, native, social, desktop, data, creative, email and analytics. Your enterprise will likely use combinations of programmatic elements to build a productized set of solutions. So, don’t build programmatic products, use the programmatic ecosystem to build solutions. There are certainly exceptions, but it’s important to see that productizing operational aspects of the ecosystem will result in giving your customers some great solutions. There are exceptions to these rules, so analyze each situation independently.
In tomorrow’s blog post we’ll talk about a real life use case, how BrillMedia.co used these principals to evolve our business and create marketing opportunities for our clients.