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Programmatic Video: Going From Tactical to Strategic


Dina-Zelikson“Data Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Dina Zelikson, senior marketing manager at Intuit.

Programmatically traded media continues its impressive growth, with 2013 spending projected to hit $7.5 billion in the US and $12 billion worldwide, according to Magna Global. Display accounts for the lion’s share of that spending, followed by mobile and then video.

The fact that programmatic video spending trails mobile, given the latter’s challenges with tracking and fragmentation, reveals that the strategic value of programmatic video remains to be unlocked.

Display Set The Course For Programmatic

As it matured, display advertising transitioned from generic, broad audience buying to more targeted, strategic media executions. The transition was largely enabled by the arrival of data management technology and the fact that display is addressable at the cookie level.

Having set the course for programmatic buying, display can serve as sort of a playbook for other channels.

Programmatic display gives marketers the ability to effectively reach data-driven, strategic audience segments wherever they are on the web. Targeting precision is fueled by accessible first and third party data, where prior brand touchpoints and consumer level data enable a level of marketing relevancy that a segment — such as women aged 25 to 54 — could not achieve. To translate this into more tangible terms, you can strategically re-engage an inactive subset of your customer base to prevent churn.

The ability to programmatically buy media against a consistently defined audience is another critical element to bringing strategic value. To get someone’s attention, it is necessary to be able to reach them across the digital ecosystem. Audience syndication functionality in programmatic solves for what is otherwise an existing challenge in media buying.

Bringing Out Unique Value With Video

Video has the unique value to engage through storytelling that a more static medium, like the banner, does not. As such, it’s long been seen as a premium venue for engaging with consumers.


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A programmatic approach to video should strive beyond delivering the tactical merits of efficiency and simpler execution. Sure, programmatic can help eliminate waste by reducing off-target buys, but stopping there would be like using a guitar to only ever play three chords.  Only the late Lou Reed could do that and still reach the apex of sophistication.

The programmatic approach provides precision at scale, addressability and agility in a dynamic market.

To unlock the strategic value of programmatic video and move beyond the tactical stage, the industry should discuss how to leverage the unique and inherent advantage of the video medium while harnessing the true power of programmatic. Media buyers should look beyond the gross rating points and one-dimensional demo segments to take on the challenge of connecting a strategically defined audience with a tailored and relevant message.

Follow Dina Zelikson (@DZelikson), Intuit (@Intuit) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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