What Marketers Should Know About Programmatic Advertising in 2023

In 2020, global programmatic advertising sales generated more than $329 billion. In 2021, investments in the US and Canada alone accounted for more than 40% of worldwide programmatic advertising dollars. Based on the latest data, that trajectory is expected to continue. The demand is so strong that market analysts predict spending will reach more than $723 billion by 2026. That’s a considerable increase in a relatively short amount of time. 

While these rather impressive statistics suggest programmatic advertising strategies are the key to marketing success, it’s become abundantly clear that capturing and retaining the attention of high-value audiences has become increasingly difficult, if not close to impossible. 

Recent polls suggest 70-80% of internet users scroll past sponsored search results. With the myriad of words and visuals that meet their eyes every second, this isn’t terribly surprising. In addition to the tendency to keep scrolling without absorbing ad content, more than 40% use ad-blocking software to block ads entirely. 

In response to this apparent ad fatigue, many of today’s most successful advertisers are taking advantage of placement opportunities that feel less intrusive in an effort to reach their audiences.

What Is Programmatic Advertising?

Not that long ago, most digital ads were purchased and sold manually. There were prices to negotiate, orders to place, and contracts to sign. A successful ad campaign required reaching out to multiple publishers and negotiating with each one individually. Over time, the landscape evolved as sheer necessity gave rise to the development of complex networks allowing advertisers to connect with multiple publishers with a single contract through an arrangement called an ad exchange. 

Although ad exchanges simplified the process considerably, this rather involved system was still somewhat cumbersome. Advertisers connected to the exchange from one end, publishers from another. To make the system work more efficiently, advertisers and publishers needed an intermediate product to connect to the ad exchange.

That necessity led to the creation of demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs), software designed to make it easier for DSPs to bid on space and SSPs to negotiate prices. The ability for both sides to connect and interact with the ad exchange was a game-changer, an advancement leading to what we know today as programmatic advertising, automation enabled by combining the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI), real-time bidding, and machine learning. 

With programmatic advertising, it’s easy to ensure your content appears on an abundance of digital channels. It’s your job to determine which audience will have the most impact for your client.

How Could Programmatic Advertising Benefit Your Clients?

With automated programmatic advertising, content placement “decisions” are based on hyper-specific data that gives your clients a distinct advantage—the ability to launch highly selective ad campaigns based on complex algorithms that determine where and when their ads should be placed. 

This approach to advertising provides an advantage over traditional advertising methods, as it allows for real-time optimizations and adjustments based on performance data. Additionally, it eliminates the need for manual ad placement and manual bid management, freeing up resources for other strategic initiatives. 

Before automation, that type of data-driven placement simply wasn’t possible. Advertisers had relatively little control over where and when bulk-purchased ads were placed, and it was nearly impossible to make effective course corrections or gauge the success of a campaign until its conclusion. Programmatic advertising offers far more transparency and overall flexibility.

Related: Ad Age Webcast: Behind The Screens – Marketer Perceptions Vs. Reality

Although programmatic advertising software could be one of the most valuable tools in your digital arsenal, investing in process automation probably won’t have much impact if your campaigns are inundating prospective customers with maximum exposure to the type of ads they’ll typically go out of their way to avoid. 

Instead, consider fostering a more positive user experience with contextual programmatic advertising offered alongside content viewers care about. As you’re contemplating the possibility of revising social media campaigns or investing in sponsored content, you’ll also want to consider offering your clients the option of taking their message to public spaces to engage digital out-of-home viewers.  

Could Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Elevate Your Next Marketing Campaign?

The concept of out-of-home marketing is nothing new. For decades, advertisers relied on billboards, posters, or ads painted on the sides of buses to attract consumer attention. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising works on a similar concept. But instead of placing a single ad intended to reach a large, diverse audience, programmatic digital ads shown in public spaces are far more targeted to location-specific consumer interests. 

It’s the type of advertising you’ll often see in elevators, on digital billboards, or in airports and office buildings. With its unique capacity for merging online and offline advertising, market analysts anticipate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 11% between 2022 and 2032.

Today’s advertising partners can offer clients everything they need to leverage access to a vast network of digital screens set in premium locations. If that service provider offers the option of investing in artificial intelligence (AI), real-time bidding, and machine learning, you’ll also have access to planning tools, features that support account-based marketing (ABM), and other programmatic necessities you can activate through the DSP of your choice. 

Related: Content that Contributes to a Positive Tenant Experience

Now that you know how the combined impact of programmatic advertising and digital out-of-home ad placement could impress your clients, you may also want to consider how the following benefits could impact the overall success of your next marketing campaign.

Presenting Content to Notoriously Hard-to-Reach Demographics

Digital screens are popping up just about everywhere you look, and the best screens offer viewers up-to-the-minute, valuable content that inspires action. Increasingly popular with advertisers, these screens can be connected to networks that help spread brand awareness and influence consumer perception as these decision makers go about their day. 

That alone could be why so many advertisers choose DOOH to reach consumers who typically don’t want to be interrupted by banner ads and pop-ups while browsing the internet. These ads are also one of the best ways to circumnavigate the imminent demise of the “cookie trails” so many advertisers and publishers have relied on for decades to personalize the user experience, analyze consumer behavior, build customer profiles, and target ads to key demographics. 

As an agency offering the option of digital out-of-home advertising opportunities, you’re providing a valuable service by bringing relevant digital content to notoriously hard-to-reach, high-value consumers and business professionals.

Executing an Engaging Viewer Experience

For many advertisers, investing a portion of their marketing budget on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram on behalf of their clients is a sound marketing decision, at least until “ad fatigue” sets in on the consumer end. Contextual advertising is far less likely to feel intrusive or invasive. 

With the right partner, you’ll have access to a network of screens mounted in prime locations, continuously displaying content selected to provide an engaging viewer experience in elevators, high-traffic corporate common areas, and upscale residential lobbies. These screens are so popular with residents they’re considered an amenity. 

Strategically implemented campaigns will optimize the distribution of your content, meaning ample opportunities to capture the attention of high-value shoppers as they head out the door, make their way to the office, or return home to shop online. DOOH has an outstanding reputation for delivering expertly curated content that consumers appreciate, including weather updates, entertainment news, stock market reports, health information, and more.

Access to a Brand-Safe Digital Environment

Brand safety is a highly nuanced, complex concept open to interpretation. In advertising, you’ll most often find “brand safety” discussed in terms of how, where, or when advertiser content is placed. Since poorly managed placement can have lasting repercussions on consumer perception and brand image, many organizations have been reevaluating their online marketing strategies over concerns that their products and services could become associated with factually questionable, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate content

The potential for backlash is real. Fortunately, experienced DOOH platform providers understand that the professional reputation of their advertisers, content providers, and even their own organization demands a steadfast commitment to keeping their environment controversy-free. With all sides of a private, reputable network working together, your clients are well-protected from the potentially devastating impact of unfortunate ad placement.

The Ability to Reach Consumers Across an Expansive Network

With the anticipated growth of DOOH, you’re sure to find numerous companies offering various services. But not all platform providers offer the same level of service or quality assurance. It’s important to choose wisely. 

As you’re browsing the options that will best serve your clients, look for a digital media partner that offers a vast network of digital screens located in premium locations and curated, relevant content to viewers. The best partner will have the resources to ensure contextually relevant ads are placed where influential business professionals and upscale consumers are most likely to be receptive to digital content. 

With the right platform provider, you’ll also have the planning tools you’ll need to establish marketing goals, use features that support account-based marketing (ABM), and make the most of programmatic tools you can activate through the DSP of your choice.

Are You Ready to Learn More About DOOH Programmatic Advertising?

You devote a considerable amount of time and talent to every client, scrutinizing minute details to ensure you’re meeting and exceeding expectations. But as you know, your efforts are not successful if your advertising campaign isn’t reaching its intended audience. Now that you’ve had a crash course on the basics, it’s easy to see why so many advertisers are investing in the services of digital out-of-home platform providers. 

At Captivate, we invest in brand (and agency) success by providing unrivaled access to  high-value audiences with data-driven, targeted advertising presented alongside great content  like news, stock market reports, weather updates, entertainment news, health information, and more. Our tailored solutions include ad formats, editorial alignment, gamification, and more. We also partner with measurement & attribution providers to track campaign performance. 

To expand your ability to connect your clients with those most likely to purchase their products and services, book a demonstration. When you partner with our team, you can count on customized brand alignment and sponsorship executions designed to optimize brand relevance and elevate consumer engagement. Let’s get started!

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