We are experiencing an online explosion of personalized media. The old way of marketing tools like TV ads, newspaper and magazine ads have given way to marketing to vastly fragmented audiences. The changes are coming so fast and furious it is almost impossible to keep up. For example, the sudden rise of sites like Pinterest that have dramatically changed the playing field.
Effective online marketing requires tons of data along with some highly talented marketers who can customize relevant messages to highly targeted audiences. Online programmatic marketing is the way these challenges are being met. While the concept is still relatively new, there is little doubt it is the future of online marketing — at least until the next digital revolution comes along.
One of the largest challenges today is reaching consumers through the array of various devices they use. For instance, giving a consumer a smooth and consistent experience on her laptop, then iPad, and then smartphone is a monumental challenge. No wonder so many marketers are scurrying to try to catch up.
On the other hand, all of this digital technology has also provided marketers with an amazing opportunity they never had before — to target very specific consumers. The old way of marketing often involved merely throwing your ads up against the wall and then checking to find out what stuck. Ads reached mass audiences on TV or in magazines without really knowing who was seeing or reading them.
Online Programmatic Marketing Allows The Targeting of Small Consumer Niches
The digital revolution, however, is able to provide marketers with new data — some complain too much data to handle. We are now able to determine what pages folks visit, what they search for, what devices they are using, what social sites they belong to and visit. This has resulted in an opportunity to mold messages finely targeted to small consumer niches.
Perhaps you have heard of the term re-targeting. To understand how this works, imagine you go online click on an ad you notice for men’s suits from Joseph A. Banks Clothiers. Later in the day you are on a totally unrelated site but there is a banner ad for Joseph A. Banks Clothiers. This is re-targeting, and it’s really picking up steam. Simply put, re-targeting is a way to strike while the iron is hot by consistently going back to the individual who has shown interest in a product.
Another aspect of re-targeting is reaching customers based upon things they search for online. Using the same example, you may go online and search for men’s suits. Five minutes later, on an unrelated page, you notice a display ad for Joseph A. Banks. Imagine the benefits to Joseph A. Banks, who is getting targeted ads delivered to an individual who just happens to be shopping for a suit! It’s easy to understand why this is becoming an essential part of online programmatic marketing.
Online Programmatic Marketing: Getting Ads Delivered In Real-Time
Another important part of this new digital marketing technique is getting ads delivered in real time. By bidding on real-time display ads the marketer can determine ahead of time what he or she is willing to pay to reach their targeted market immediately.
Consider for a moment the Joseph A. Banks ads you kept seeing as you surfed online. Perhaps you saw an ad on a major sports site; you then went to check your Facebook page and discovered another ad from Joseph A. Banks. You learn many of your friends are fans of Banks. Your next stop is The Weather Channel — and another Joseph A. Banks ad with a discount coupon! Unknowingly, the message being delivered is building your confidence in the Banks brand.
When this cycle is repeated over and over each day, it’s easy to understand how an ad investment will pay returns exponentially greater and greater.
The next question facing today’s online marketers is is there a way to expand online programmatic marketing beyond online ads? Is there some way that content marketers can also benefit from this automated method of targeting an audience? Can they use similar techniques to direct consumers through this purchasing process with access to personal information?
Online Programmatic Email Marketing
Today more and more online marketers are quickly picking up on this ability to market to niche groups with razor sharp accuracy. They understand that the same general newsletter sent out to all of their customers cannot accomplish what niche specific communication can.
The marketers who are leading the pack today are using super-targeted emails to reach consumers. How can this be done? Imagine you have an online product page and you know one of your email subscribers just visited and looked at a specific product. The next logical step would be to send that customer an immediate email highlighting the benefits of the product.
Or let’s say you have a product review site and an individual on your list just visited one of the pages. This would be the perfect time to provide that person with additional information about the product.
One of the big challenges is customizing all these automated messages to fit the various channels consumers are using today. Imagine a customer walking down an aisle in a department store and being provided with a discount coupon for an item in that aisle! And it’s not just the marketers are becoming tech-savvy. Lots of smart shoppers use their smartphones to access discounts while they are shopping!
Its simple to understand that one size does not fit all. A discount coupon will not have the same affect on an individual working on their laptop at home as it will on a consumer in a department store standing in the exact aisle where the product is featured.
Designing these ads and reaching niche specific consumers in real-time is what online programmatic marketing is all about. As technologies continue to develop, this ability will become easier and easier for even small online marketers use.