Why Programmatic is the Future of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a field that is constantly evolving as society shifts over time. Within the last ten years, we have witnessed a massive growth in technology as a marketing tool. In response to these changes, marketing companies must implement new strategies to maintain the cutting-edge of business technologies in order to avoid falling behind competitors.

In a recent episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, Josh Aston— founder and CMO of Above The Fold Digital— discussed how competitive digital marketing has become in the last few years. “You’ve got to be hyper efficient at what you do,” explained Aston. “The margin of error is very low at this point.” He continued on to explain why programmatic advertising will give you the competitive advantage that your company needs to maintain relevance and increase profits even when times are changing.

What is programmatic?

We’ve all seen how the ads on our internet page are tailored to fit our interests and the sites we have previously visited. While scrolling on your preferred social media, you will likely come across an ad promoting a website you visited earlier that week. This hyper-targeted marketing strategy is what Aston described as programmatic.

Programmatic is an advanced marketing strategy that uses automated technology to target users in specific contexts, resulting in relevant ads for the specific user. The programmatic process is essentially an auction between companies for ad space. Companies will set their maximum bid ahead of time, so when the user clicks on the site the advertising spot becomes available to the highest bidder that qualifies for that spot. Programmatic is strategic because it provides relevant content to targeted users all within milliseconds. No more wasting time and money marketing to a general audience and hoping for results.

What makes programmatic unique?

Digital marketers have lots of tools available to them to help them be successful. What makes programmatic a tool that stands out from the rest?

Aston stated, “The hyper-targeting part of programmatic is what makes it special.” You are only paying for relevant impressions which will result in a greater ROI for your business. He explains there are three different ways we can think about programmatic including behavioral, demographic, and geographic categories.

For example, there is no end to how you can use location to target an audience. Any location is very customizable and targetable with programmatic. Once you have figured out where your audience is going to be, programmatic makes it easy to put an ad in front of them.

Is programmatic a good fit for your company?

After understanding the benefits of programmatic, who would be the ideal company to implement it? In the podcast, Aston explained, “the people who do best are the people that are already running billboards, TV, radio, and direct mail.” In other words, those that are versatile in their marketing as they are utilizing several different mediums and are filling up their funnel with good prospects. The reason it works so well for them is because they already understand the value of those mediums. Programmatic helps build on to that funnel and helps drive people down the funnel with very hyper-targeted capabilities.

How do you measure the results?

The number one result that people like to measure is ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). Programmatic is leveraging technology so well that if it is set up the right way, it will do very well at fulfilling its purpose in maximizing dollars spent. Other results include an increase in foot traffic, online sales, brand searches, impressions, clicks, and actions.

Aston gave a great example of how programmatic made a massive impact for a law firm in California. When COVID began, the strict lockdown began to present some challenges for businesses. It was during that time that Above the Fold Digital and the Law Firm started working together. At the time, the firm was paying around $100 to $400 cost per click on Google. What Above the Fold Digital decided to do was to target places where they knew their clients would most likely be. As they targeted these people programmatically, it brought down the cost per click to about $5 to $7. This not only made their marketing more efficient, but also drastically decreased their costs.  

It’s important to stay up to date

Times are constantly changing, and people are too. Technology is evolving at a faster pace than ever before. The only way to survive is to keep up with the changes so your business strategies do not become obsolete. Programmatic is a new tool that that can keep your company competitive while saving you money and time. It might be time to start thinking about if programmatic is right for you.