Deemed as the solution to the “right message to the right person at the right time,” programmatic advertising aims to place ads in the most effective and efficient way. Instead of mass-marketing an ad to anyone and everyone, the ultimate goal is to reach consumers who would be most interested in your brand, therefore using advertising dollars in the most efficient way possible.
Using real-time bidding, programmatic reduces the risk of human error and expedites the process immensely by only having one human involved, the one who sets campaign parameters and tags that are then sent to the ad server. By having a machine process the rest of the advertiser’s needs and wants, the ad gets to the appropriate place in a timely fashion.
According to eMarketer, more than 70 percent of ad spending will be programmatic in 2016. Online, programmatic touches a number of types of campaigns including display, social media, mobile and video. Some marketers are trying to figure out how to introduce the technology to traditional platforms, for example, direct mailers.
Native advertising, a catch-all term for advertising that looks like it belongs – whether it’s sized correctly for your mobile screen or it’s content that looks and feels like all the other content around it – is one arena that Google thinks would benefit from programmatic.
Google recently announced that native ads can now be purchased through the DoubleClick Bid Manager. This technology is initially available to advertisers who already have a relationship with a publisher. Advertisers need to provide any imagery and text in the ad, and the content is automatically formatted to fit the device.
Native advertising, sometimes referred to as sponsored content, will constitute about half of Slate’s sponsored content and is projected to make up three-quarters of the Atlantic’s digital revenue, according to the New York Times. The publishing powerhouse has said sponsored content is a critical part of their revenue strategies.
Native ads are often more expensive than other advertisements because they need to be specifically created in order to be integrated with the consumer’s experience. With programmatic, the process is simplified and stripped of any unnecessary layers and costs.
Many advertisers see the partnership potential for programmatic and native advertising. The use of a publisher’s data and analytics can help advertisers better understand their audience and place more appropriate ads. For the audience, a streamlined website experience is possible when the ads match the content of the site. Advertisers, by targeting ads to an interested audience, automatically increase the engagement potential of that specific ad.
Some advertisers are concerned with the integration of native and programmatic advertising. The issues, show up because of the nature of programmatic. If native advertising is supposed to be native to a site, then how could it be native to more than one site? Website designs, topics and audiences can be similar, but will never be exactly the same, which some say is undermining the entire notion of native ads.
Automating the process of placing ads also causes concern to some. There’s a worry that native ad space will become commoditized, and with a rotation of never-ending “native” ads, the effectiveness of ads that were supposed to fit into a space will be diminished.
Because of the automation necessary for programmatic marketing, having rigid restrictions for placement purposes is critical. With limitations for where certain ads can be placed, native ads will maintain their value, says Chris Schreiber, vice president of marketing and communications at Sharethrough.
When it comes to premium content like native ads, programmatic has the potential to cut costs while making the process of placing ads more efficient. The data that an automated RTB system can offer native ads means they will be placed more appropriately. With DoubleClick’s involvement, the process will become even more streamlined, should advertisers choose to upload their native ad collateral into the system.