What’s the Big Deal on Programmatic Advertising?
July 8, 2017
Programmatic advertising is the new buzz word in the digital media landscape. It is not just a just a buzz word, it a revolutionary way of using media to reach audiences effectively. The simplest definition of programmatic advertising that I have come across is; delivering the right content, at the right time, at the right place to the right audience, using technology. While we typically hear about programmatic in the digital space, it can be applied in above the line media like TV and radio.
In the image featured on this post (Courtesy of Coke Studio Africa), there are several people sitting at the table, and others watching, at this press conference. With programmatic media, every single person in that room would receive content that is relevant to them based on their interests, which could be music, sports, cooking, fashion, news. The only efficient way of doing so is using technology.
In the programmatic advertising landscape, there are many players: Simply put, on one side there is the marketing, and on the other side there is the consumer. In between the two there are several different players. Agencies, agency trading desks, demand side platform (DSP), the supply side platform (SSP), ad exchange, ad networks, ad servers, data management platforms (DMP), data aggregators, data suppliers, and publishers. It’s a complex environment that is powered by technology and it is evolving rapidly.
As much as the ecosystem appears complex, to the marketer, there are several advantages for using programmatic technology.
- Programmatic delivers actions!
My first experience with programmatic goes back to early in 2015 when I was running the Share a Coke marketing campaign in Nigeria for Coca-Cola. This coincided with the country’s presidential, national and gubernatorial elections. As expected there was media clutter on TV and radio as politicians invested heavily to get the word out.
What we didn’t expect was significant media clutter on digital as well. Both presidential candidates, Goodluck and Buhari were spending large amounts daily on Google Display Networks, and Social media platforms. This essentially drowned out our digital media efforts for the Share a Coke campaign and we saw very poor CTR and Conversion rates on the Share a Coke website.
Our agency, Sponge West Africa, through their programmatic arm, ARC, real time bidding specialists, suggested we use programmatic advertising to increase conversation rates of audiences to the Share a Coke Website. The day after the programmatic campaign was launched, the number of users visiting the site increased by 239%, from 2,363 to 8,008 visitors. This trend continued throughout the campaign resulting in its overall success.
2. Marketers should focus on buying audiences, and not sites
Through real time bidding (RTB), programmatic advertising enables the buying of audiences rather than buying sites or ad placements.
3. Programmatic eliminates wastage by optimizing media buying
In 2016 we started using Eskimi, a demand side platform that has great audience reach in Africa. Through this platform we were able to reach our target audience with engaging content at an optimized cost.
We ran the Coca-Cola Taste the Feeling campaign on Eskimi in 14 markets in Africa, and we were able to achieve Cost per Clicks (CPCs) of $0.04 that was 8 times lower than on other platforms used!
On video, through optimization our Cost per Views (CPVs) were 10 times lower than on other platforms. The reason behind this low CPV is simple: Through the Eskimi platform, we were able to target a specific audience e.g. mums or teens, making sure that we reached only people who are interested in watching this video, and hence we do not waste time or money on audiences who would just skip the video. The focus was put on placement on sites which generate higher conversion rates.
Check out what Industry Experts had to say about Programmatic Advertising at the Eskimi Talks held in Nairobi
4. Programmatic is performance driven unlike direct placements through publishers
A certain blog in Nigeria charges advertisers USD 6,000 for a banner each month on the home page. The amazing thing is that on that blog site there were multiple home page banners resulting in an eye sore of advertising. I did a quick count at all the banners on the site to calculate the revenue this publisher was getting and it was in the area of $30,000 in banner revenue a month! I almost wanted to quit my corporate job and go open a blog.
I asked about traffic to this site and content and guess what, the traffic is ok but the content is re-purposed and not of high quality.
Any marketer who will spend USD 6,000 a month a banner ad that doesn’t deliver impressions or CTRs is a joker! In this day and age performance of a banner should determine placement.
Programmatic is a performance based media buying strategy that ensures optimization hence ability to meet KPIs. Optimization ensures that a campaign is served where the performance is best. If a site, banner, operator, OS, browsers, audiences, is not delivering results, then placement simply stops the ones which do not deliver the CPC you need.
So with that, yes, programmatic is a big deal even here in Africa, as it is disrupting the way we traditionally buy media online.