“Programmatic buying” is a powerful way to introduce digital marketing into your marketing mix and restore control as the advertiser. Programmatic buying allows you to automate all of the targeting tactics that we once had to plug in manually.
What is Programmatic Buying?
We can refine these targeting tactics by using first- and third-party data lists, all within one platform. This gives you the ability to push and pull dozens of targeting “levers," all in real-time and based on performance and how people are interacting with your ads. As a result, you will have full control of your return on investment (ROI).
Let’s first define what we mean by first- and third-party data lists and why they are essential to programmatic buying.
What is First- and Third-Party Data?
First-party data is data that your company owns and has gathered and collected from your current customers and prospects. You may have collected the data through cookies, or they may have been voluntarily provided through online form submissions, buyer transactions, surveys, or collected via your sales team.
Third-party data, on the other hand, is data acquired via a third-party provider and is often sold to companies via a data collections company. You do not have a current relationship with the end-users in this third-party dataset, but you can acquire lists that closely align with your customers’ personas. Third-party data allows you to broaden your current program’s reach and build up your first-party data list. By using third-party lists, you can bring new eyeballs to your website who you can then cookie and nurture into becoming leads and members of your first-party list.
So why spend money on a placement in a publication that may sit unloved on a shelf for potential buyers over which will have no control, when you have an opportunity to target the exact people that you know you need to make a sale or build a relationship?
That being said, it is not the case that digital advertising and programmatic buying is the be-all and end-all for traditional marketing. Traditional marketing (TV, print, radio and direct mail) should still have its place in our marketing mix, but understanding its new locus in the field and properly aligning your expectations to their individual targeting capabilities is important.
In addition, the knowledge and insights you can gather from your target audience through programmatic buying can even be applied to your traditional marketing tactics and allow you to better reach your target audience. Just because a traditional medium doesn’t allow you this sophisticated level of targeting doesn't mean it is worthless, it just means it has its limitations. Be aware of those limitations going into it.
Many companies and industries have fallen behind on introducing digital marketing into their mix. But just because other people aren’t doing it doesn’t mean that you should sit on your heels; if your industry is falling behind, take this opportunity to move ahead.