Going beyond programmatic: why programmatic is only one piece of the puzzle

Programmatic advertising

Matthew Dunn says brands need to ‘go beyond’ programmatic and utilise all data sources to get the most our of modern marketing techniques

Programmatic advertising is great. It’s the future. I’m sold. It’s one of the most sophisticated ways to get in front of the relevant people at specific points in their experience with your brand.

It enables marketers to pinpoint specific user types to show ads to in realtime. It truly has the potential to protect your media spend and drive efficiency. Imagine only paying for adverts shown to people who are actually interested in your brand and your message? You wouldn’t be wasting a penny.

However, as is often the way with the latest thing in marketing, it’s important to not get carried away. Programmatic won’t solve everything. It won’t give you everything you need with a single flick of a switch. It’s ‘just’ another method of reaching potential customers and clients. As with other channels (email, SMS, social etc.) it’s the insight you have on the people you’re trying to reach that makes it so powerful.

Regardless of whether you’re running an acquisition campaign, retention campaign or reactivation campaign with your programmatic advertising – without the right data to work with you’re never going to be as effective as you could be.

A colleague of mine, James McGarva, recently wrote about the need to combine offline insights with online in order to get a more reliable profile of your customers and prospects. This is something I completely agree with – the digital profile isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of an individual. It lacks the narrative around that person and prevents us from understanding the context (and intent) around specific interactions.

So while programmatic provides marketers with the ability to communicate in realtime it is only as powerful as the data you plug into it.

And this is what brings me back to the title of this piece – marketers need to appreciate that programmatic is simply another piece of the jigsaw puzzle and in order to make the most out of the incredible capabilities we have at our fingertips all the pieces of that puzzle need to be brought together.

Beyond programmatic

There are so many interactions online that context is critical to building intelligent customer experiences

This is what we call ‘going beyond programmatic’. It’s the understanding that programmatic is only one facet. In order to build intelligent customer journeys marketers need to understand more about their customer than they can get online. They need to understand context and they need to understand relevance.

It’s all these pieces put together and powering programmatic advertising that is so exciting.

So when you’re choosing which DMP or ad-serving platform to put your money and precious data into, you need to make sure that platform is capable of utilising all the first, second and third party data required. If you are looking to utilise third party data (recommended) to add an extra layer of insight make sure the approach you take can easily accommodate additional data sources.

Remember, it all starts with the data. Get the data right and you’re one step closer to delivering relevant experiences to your customers – regardless of device, channel or time.

To find out how Experian can help your programmatic efforts click here or contact us.

Experian Marketing Services helps bring brands and customers closer together.  Using our own industry data and analytical expertise we can help businesses build up an accurate and actionable understanding of their customers.