Programmatic targeting of content to gain foothold in 2015

The industry will witness a critical mass of publishers beginning to leverage behavioural data to programmatically target content

e4m by Ankur Singh
Updated: Jan 15, 2015 8:41 AM  | 6 min read
Programmatic targeting of content to gain foothold in 2015

Programmatic targeting of ads is now very common for brands and advertisers. Industry experts feel that in 2015, the industry will witness a critical mass of publishers beginning to leverage behavioral data to programmatically target content to optimize experiences for users on publishers’ sites.

Content will be personalized and specifically aimed at individual consumers on websites and blog pages, similar to the way ads have been targeted until now. Medium-to-large sized publishers will also invest in data management platforms and in-house programmatic resources.

Display revamped

According to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, transition to programmatic has given a sharp boost to traditional display. Agencies are swiftly adopting programmatic buying, which allows them to target display ads accurately and efficiently. The technology has recently evolved to deliver better premium, brand-building experiences. This has provided a sharp boost to ‘traditional’ digital display, as well as video and social. Growth in traditional display leapt from 14 per cent in 2012 to 18 per cent in 2013, and we estimate it at 26 per cent in 2014, its fastest rate of growth since 2007.

“Around half of all display is bought directly by advertisers, most of them small local companies spending only a few thousand dollars a year. These currently have little access to the programmatic marketplace. Most programmatic technology has been designed for large-scale campaigns, and while a few companies are trying to adapt programmatic buying for small businesses, these attempts are at early stages. As technology evolves to bring the advantages of programmatic buying to small businesses we can expect another boost to traditional display spending,” the report stated.

“Programmatic buying that people have been talking about will take over most of the display spends. Therefore, technology driven agency trading desks and consolidated programmatic buying by clients will grow,” said Manish Vij, Co-founder & CEO, SVG Media.

Enabling efficiencies

Programmatic platforms have more to offer publishers than the automation of their operations. By leveraging sophisticated targeting, frequency capping and brand safety to more precisely identify and segment key audiences, publishers will be able to entice a greater number of premium brands. Programmatic data optimisation capabilities can especially help mid-long-tail publishers capture more premium buyers.

According to Saurabh Bhatia, CEO, Vdopia, “the trend of real-time automated marketing or programmatic buying and selling and bidding is catching up in a big way in the Indian advertising and marketing segment.”

“The programmatic marketplace saw a whopping 70 per cent growth rate in FY 2013- 14 in Asia Pacific,” he pointed out.

Leroy Alvares, President, Rediffusion Digital says, “Contextual and behavioral targeting is common in ad targeting and it only natural to see that progression to content as its fast becoming a key component in marketing. Two points that needs to be considered as we dig deeper using technology is the issue of privacy and capability – to deliver and create.”

Programmatic technologies will continue to transition from being used as an “efficiency/savings” assist to a dominant means of driving further effectiveness. Smart publishers will employ techniques like audience extension and re-targeting to augment their offerings. At the end of the day, publishers who can best plan, execute, analyse and report — across audiences, screens, ad formats, and content types – will see the greatest ROI.

“The entire objective of digital marketing was to be present where customers are and in a more effective way. Unlike a print ad which remains same for everyone, digital has the flexibility to customise according to screen type and user demographic. If we are not using programmatic targeting then mostly we are not utilising digital marketing fully, it is surely the way to go,” said Shikher Gupta, ‎Head of Digital Marketing at Videocon.

The India challenge

“Digital Media spending in India is increasing and many organizations are leveraging digital advertising to reach out to their customers. It helps in improving sales, directly or indirectly on mobile devices or on social media. Programmatic targeting of content allows a brand to meet consumer demands and helps to achieve one-on-one interaction. It also supports marketers to reach consumers and coordinate the campaigns through shared learning, targeting and dynamic messaging. Programmatic advertising has changed the way on how the digital ads are bought and sold which benefits both brand advertisers and direct response advertisers,” said Manav Sethi, Group Head – Marketing and Digital Products, AskMe.

“Programmatic targeting along with ads do give a platform to the brands so that they can expand their digital advertising efforts beyond search to reach prospects in terms of their sales. Well, content is essential to generate successful marketing and can be dynamically imbibed into an ad unit in real time. This would lead to an effective change of content in the ad to match the site it is appearing on. It can act as great means to create a boom in the content-based ads online,” he pointed out.

According to Suresh Eriyat, Founder and Creative Director, Eeksaurus, “In a market like India, there has to be extensive research to understand the niche groups and then understand the mediums they function with. Right now, there are hardly any companies that are using this tool to their advantage . While it makes better economic sense, many are not using it in the right manner. It comes down to where marketers assume that since it is on the digital medium, it will be cheaper, however, there is still a lack of understanding in this space.”

“Remember even though the digital advertising gathered a lot of momentum 6 years ago, it has hardly been able to make any progress in India. Brands and creative agencies speak about it, but they have not been able to successfully chalk out a plan to target their core audience. For example, in movies today, they are able to segregate audiences into youth, metro youth, under 18 and adults. Whereas, on the other hand there are still many films that follow the 6-60 age bracket looking for a mass audience. In order to explore the space of programmatic targeting of content better, creative agencies will be first required to put in certain tools and mark out a whole division within themselves that can cater to connecting with the audience on this level,” he added.

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