Programmatic advertising has taken the marketing world by storm. With the promise of flexibility, scalability, and transparency, it is undoubtedly an excellent way to achieve advertising goals. However, harvesting such fruits of one’s labour is only possible when businesses strategise their campaigns.
Amongst the many considerations, channel diversification is a pressing concern worthy of attention before venturing into programmatic advertising.
Businesses want to maximise reach and accessibility without rendering the campaign costly or ineffective. On that note, here is a round-up of some programmatic marketing channels that live up to the hype.
Top 5 Programmatic Marketing Channels
The following programmatic marketing channels should feature in your marketing mix:
#1 Digital Out-of-Home Displays
Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) are modern versions of traditional outdoor media like billboards and hoardings. These advertising assets are powered by AdTech, which infuses cutting-edge technologies into advertising for personalisation, tracking, geofencing, retargeting, attribution, and performance management.
While these characteristics are great from a brand’s perspective, DOOH also manages to engage and delight audiences. The way an F&B brand snuck into passerby’s hearts by dishing out wholesome compliments:
Or when a toy transformed a Canadian mall into a playfield for adults and children alike:
And these are campaigns of nearly half a decade ago. Modern-day DOOHs are futuristic and eye-catching programmatic marketing channels, as demonstrated by this footwear brand in the busy streets of Japan:
With such potential, it is unsurprising that DOOH remains the uncontested golden child of outdoor advertising.
#2 Websites & SERPs
Websites and SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) are hosts to native and digital ads. The former are clever ad campaigns that camouflage to match the host website’s look and feel.
From quizzes to clickable assets to animated text, this innovative advertising asset leaves no stone unturned to get the readers scrolling right to the end. At the same time, it fits the form and format of a typical high-quality publication native to the platform to develop a meaningful connection through storytelling.
Digital ads on SERPs are your typical pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These are highly targeted programmatic marketing channels as businesses bid for specific keywords that are relevant to their products or services. Plus, marketers get to experiment with different ad display formats.
#3 Social Media
Technically, social media is a part of a digital advertising ecosystem where the host is specific and well-defined – a social media platform. However, they hold their own as leading programmatic marketing channels due to their proven effectiveness.
Social media ads have come a long way. They’re indistinguishable from your everyday content (be it reels or stories) – in other words, they are well-integrated native ads. Popular Q&A forums like Reddit and Quora also follow a similar practice. Once again, brands get to reach their target audience through targeted keywords or hashtags and tweak ads based on a rich, detailed account profile.
#4 Connected TV & Over-the-Top Platforms
As the market for on-demand content continues to flourish, so does the prospect of advertising through Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms. Industry leaders like YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Hulu (to name a few) have made the OTT universe synonymous with video streaming.
As a result, brands are flocking to such platforms to advertise their wares. After all, such ads can be remnants of the yesteryears of TV ads sandwiched within shows.
Connected TVs (CTVs) allow video ad streaming to smart TVs and gaming consoles, while OTT platforms are more content- and device-agnostic.
However, there’s more to OTT programmatic advertising than just video ads. Marketers can turn to programmatic marketing channels that stream audio content like music or podcasts to sneak in audio announcements (think ads on the radio).
Even instant messaging platforms count as programmatic marketing channels, with Messenger, Telegram, LINE, and WeChat offering strategic ad placements.
#5 Smartphones & Mobile Devices
Smartphones and mobile devices are omnipresent forces, making them programmatic marketing channels worth reckoning. Marketers can make their way into the audience’s personal devices through an array of strategies. For starters, they can show up in in-app adverts through real-time bidding (RTB) over ad networks like Google AdMob.
Alternatively, it is possible to squeeze in interstitial ads between content transitions for apps or mobile-optimised websites.
Similarly, marketers can leverage an assortment of native adverts, from banners to videos, for an engaging customer experience for mobile users.
What to Consider While Picking Out Programmatic Marketing Channels?
Although we’ve talked at length about the top five programmatic marketing channels, there are a few factors that marketers should bear in mind before orchestrating a campaign. Here’s a brief list of major considerations:
- Target audience reach: Marketers should evaluate the reach of the programmatic marketing channel, particularly through the lens of how it aligns with the target audience. Close coupling along demographic, geographic, behavioural, and psychographic data ensures campaign success.
- Ad formats: As seen, ad formats will change in accordance with the programmatic marketing channels. Pick a format that resonates with your audience and then select the channel accordingly.
- Transparency and control: Transparency and control are some notable features of programmatic advertising. You can do away with channels that fail to abide by these principles.
- Integration: Marketers will also have to work out how well the channels integrate with the existing strategies and technologies.
- Performance data and analytics: The ability to qualitatively and quantitatively measure campaign performance through solid data and analytics can make certain channels more attractive than others.
Using these pointers, you can choose the right set of programmatic marketing channels for your brand.
To sum up, some of the best programmatic marketing channels include:
- Digital Out-of-Home Displays – for outdoor advertising
- Websites & SERPs – for widespread online exposure
- Social Media to establish closer connections
- Connected TV and Over-the-Top Platforms – to keep up with changing content consumption patterns
- Smartphones and Mobile Devices – for on-the-fly advertising in up close and personal spaces
However, the process of selecting the right set of programmatic marketing channels should take into consideration the target audience reach, ad format, transparency and control, integration, and performance data and analytics.
Working With M&C Saatchi Performance
With nearly two decades of experience under our belt, M&C Saatchi Performance is your perfect programmatic advertising consultant.
From selecting the right programmatic marketing channels to managing or optimising campaigns – we can do it all. Get in touch with our experts as we spin you a bespoke programmatic strategy.