Programmatic Is Table Stakes

joannaoconnelrevised“Marketer’s Note” is a weekly column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O’Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.  

As I was interviewing a senior level marketer in the beverage industry the other day for my customer lifecycle management research (which I’ll be presenting at the Industry Preview conference in January), our conversation turned to programmatic. His perspective on the subject seemed timely and well worth sharing as we race to the finish line of Q4, say goodbye to 2013, and turn our thoughts to the coming year:

“It’s silly that “programmatic” is this special thing. [More efficient targeting] is the most useful thing for us. We won’t spend less money. We’ll spend more in digital. We’ll get a better ROI. It’s a virtuous cycle.”

“There’s a little bit of laziness and a little bit of fear on [the big media agencies’] side and on the sites’ side that programmatic will ruin them – I don’t think that at all.   Not understanding it is what will really ruin them.”

The meaning is pretty clear, and he is saying something that I am hearing more and more marketers say (witness the now infamous CMO study on programmatic): I want to spend my money this way, so you’d better get on this train – agencies, publishers, technology partners – because it’s leaving the station with or without you.  I imagine there are many of you, particularly in the agency and publisher worlds, who have a million (great and not so great) reasons for, a) continuing to resist investing in building out a programmatic strategy, or b) continuing to avoid talking about what you are doing to current and prospective clients. The question is, at what point does that approach become more harmful than good?

Certainly, it’s an extremely complex issue. But, the simple message is critical to focus on – marketers increasingly believe in programmatic, and are increasingly frustrated when they’re not getting it, or not getting enough of it. So, go figure it out.

Now toss some of the complexity my way via comments and stories and we’ll keep the conversation going!


Follow Joanna O’Connell (@joannaoconnell ) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter. 

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1 Comment

  1. Programmatic does makes it easier to spend more. The value for the brand achieved through improved workflow, additional transparency, enhanced targeting, agility and control to buy more of what’s working best is driving the expansion from open exchanges to direct buys. In a meeting I attended this week, a brand marketer said that her recent discovery of buy side aligned programmatic technology is her “Christmas present”. Terrific to see brand execs starting to lean in.