Five Ways to Navigate Your Programmatic Journey

by Toccara Baker

Posted on 02-13-2018

A friend of mine once told me about a job his moth­er had back in the late 70s show­ing microwave ovens to unsus­pect­ing house­wives in a sub­ur­ban depart­ment store. While it wasn’t the most glam­orous of jobs, it did come with its perks— includ­ing the use of a microwave in his fam­i­ly home for a sum­mer. He actu­al­ly recalled his sis­ters putting food in the oven and turn­ing the dials just so they could watch it cook. Sad­ly, the job didn’t last too long since—despite the time sav­ings and effi­cien­cy offered by this new-fan­gled piece of equipment—the peo­ple of his com­mu­ni­ty sim­ply didn’t trust cook­ing with radi­a­tion, pre­fer­ring the tried-and-true oven.

You might laugh now, but pro­gram­mat­ic adver­tis­ing is just like that microwave oven. Mis­trust­ed for now but soon to be found in every home regard­less of the (poor­ly- per­ceived risks.

Pro­gram­mat­ic adver­tis­ing allows allow­ing adver­tis­ers to exe­cute cam­paigns using real-time met­rics and con­tent to pro­vide more rel­e­vant expe­ri­ences to tar­get­ed cus­tomers. But many busi­ness­es strug­gle with their pro­gram­mat­ic jour­ney— the peri­od of tran­si­tion from tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing chan­nels to this auto­mat­ed, test-dri­ven adver­tis­ing, which allows soft­ware to deter­mine the cus­tomer seg­ments they will tar­get with spe­cif­ic con­tent. Busi­ness­es realise that pro­gram­mat­ic soft­ware dri­ves per­son­alised strate­gies and increas­es ROI, but under­stand­ing this new technology—and how to imple­ment it—can be con­fus­ing. Soft­ware providers can assist their clients by edu­cat­ing them on how to imple­ment a pro­gram­mat­ic strat­e­gy that best fits their spe­cif­ic needs.

Here are five things every busi­ness should con­sid­er when begin­ning their pro­gram­mat­ic journey:

1. Secure inter­nal com­mit­ment .

It’s impor­tant to ensure that the busi­ness and its inter­nal stake­hold­ers are aligned in under­stand­ing pro­gram­mat­ic and their com­mit­ment to invest­ing in it. Be clear that this is an invest­ment not only in tech­nol­o­gy and in soft­ware, but also in a strat­e­gy that can be aligned around your tech­nol­o­gy stack. Com­mit­ment to the over­all ideas behind this tech­nol­o­gy is an essen­tial first step in the jour­ney. Ensure every­one in house under­stands that the busi­ness is invest­ing in tech­nol­o­gy and soft­ware. It’s nec­es­sary to make sure the busi­ness and inter­nal stake­hold­ers are aligned to invest in pro­gram­mat­ic, but for it to be seen as a media chan­nel that uses soft­ware. How do you do this using proof points and cus­tomer ref­er­ences? Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud has numer­ous exam­ples of how oth­er busi­ness­es have made the switch. Con­tact­ing an Adobe account man­ag­er will give you access to heaps of ref­er­ences show­ing you how oth­er com­pa­nies in your sec­tor have man­aged the process.

2. Under­stand your cur­rent tech stack. Under­stand how your adver­tis­ing cam­paigns are exe­cut­ed, and what pieces line up to make that hap­pen. What tech­nol­o­gy tools enable you to car­ry out your mar­ket­ing strate­gies across all chan­nels? Assess where your cre­ative comes from, and who decides where it goes. Fig­ure out who your poten­tial exter­nal part­ners may be, and what they will provide—for exam­ple, data or ana­lyt­ics. Your tech stack should be unique­ly struc­tured to meet your needs.

3. Do your home­work. Look at all the soft­ware solu­tions avail­able to eval­u­ate the spe­cif­ic changes you need to make. Ask ques­tions about how you’ll exe­cute the work, includ­ing which ele­ments you’ll han­dle in house, and which you’ll assign to an out­side part­ner Clar­i­fy what each ven­dor does, and whether or not that fits in with your spe­cif­ic requirements.

4. Keep your goals and objec­tives trans­par­ent. Iden­ti­fy real­is­tic mea­sures of suc­cess that will evolve along with your goals. Clear­ly iden­ti­fy your approach and expec­ta­tions, which met­rics you’ll mea­sure, and how that will help clients report back to your busi­ness in a way that adds value.

5. Stream­line your cre­ative. Have the right con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem in place to sup­port a tran­si­tion to pro­gram­mat­ic adver­tis­ing. When exam­in­ing your cur­rent tech stack (see item 2, above), pay spe­cial atten­tion to how con­tent is cre­at­ed, man­aged, and dis­trib­uted through­out your organ­i­sa­tion. Stream­lin­ing your process is extreme­ly use­ful as you begin to plug it in to your pro­gram­mat­ic strat­e­gy. Remem­ber that pro­gram­mat­ic ad buy­ing allows you to make near-instant deci­sions dur­ing your ad cam­paign. No longer do you have to wait until the ad buy is com­plete before you receive report­ing. By hav­ing the right con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem in place, you can make alter­ations to the cre­ative when you receive infor­ma­tion that cer­tain units are per­form­ing bet­ter than oth­ers. The right cre­ative on the right device at the right time = the right campaign.
More and more busi­ness­es are tak­ing con­trol over their data and spend by mov­ing to a pro­gram­mat­ic man­age­ment mod­el, and these five steps are an invalu­able prepa­ra­tion for that jour­ney. Pro­gram­mat­ic has emerged as a tru­ly rig­or­ous, data-dri­ven approach to media chan­nel and tac­ti­cal invest­ment that can increase speed to mar­ket and reduce cre­ative pro­duc­tion costs asso­ci­at­ed with mul­ti­ple cam­paigns. The tran­si­tion is not as chal­leng­ing as you might think—and with a part­ner like Adobe, we can make the change pip­ing hot—just like the microwave meal that once was the star of my mate’s kitchen.

Topics: Digital Transformation, advertising, Programmatic, Software, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA

Products: Advertising Cloud