The State of Programmatic Advertising

If there’s one trend in digital marketing that’s growing faster than social media or mobile, it is definitely programmatic advertising. This technology made a revolution in the marketing world, with over 50% of marketers spending a lion’s share of their budgets on programmatic advertising and 66% of them noticing it drives a better ROI than traditional media buying, according to AdRoll report.

Instead of displaying one and the same ad to all prospective customers across all platforms hoping it will work, marketers got a chance to approach every customer differently and send personalized messages based on his/her interests. Programmatic technologies analyze user behavior on your website and offer each visitor a different ad – the one that is more likely to convert in his or her case. Special software does most of the job, which eliminates the need for human intervention and saves both time and money for business owners.

Top trends of programmatic advertising

As the benefits of using programmatic technologies become more obvious, programmatic advertising continues to expand to new channels. 77% of marketers run dynamic ad campaigns on social media, and more than a half successfully embrace machine learning to advertise on mobile. According to eMarketer, by the end of this year 75% of all programmatic ads will be displayed on mobile devices.

Moreover, as Zenithmedia reports, even some television and radio platforms already offer programmatic trading. It proves that the use of dynamic ads is becoming the new normal and programmatic advertising will be dominating the digital marketing space very soon.

Another trend is online video. As targeting gets more precise, a vast majority of marketers are getting interested in programmatic video advertising hoping to reach their TV audiences. Reports state that 60% of all digital video spending will be programmatic by the end of 2017.

Targeting quality is also expected to grow. Deep learning algorithms that so many marketers were looking forward to are finally available, allowing specialists to predict user behavior much more accurately. It means that ads will become more creative, personalized, relevant, and less irritating, with user experience being put at the first place. Moreover, deep learning has been used in header bidding, a technology that ensures clean integration between advertisers and publishers. It will make programmatic more understandable and accessible for most marketers.

The Biggest Challenges in Programmatic

Unfortunately, as the growth of programmatic continues, marketers have to prepare for new challenges. For example, Pixalate states that 35% of US dynamic ad impressions were fraudulent in 2017. The fact that your ads may not be seen or clicked by actual humans is disturbing, especially given that it’s one third of your budget you’re wasting, not 1-2%.

The lack of transparency has always been a concern for marketers, who often don’t even know which sites their ads appear on. An investigation by The Times revealed that ads for many large brands are being displayed on extremist sites and sites for adults, with those brands being totally unaware of what’s happening. In order not to fall into a trap, companies are currently shifting away from traditional trading desks and prefer to work with independent partners, at the same time investing more into fraud-prevention tools.

Even though most advertisers are still on a 101-level of understanding programmatic due to various challenges described above, modern technologies such as deep learning will surely make programmatic advertising a must for every marketer in the nearest future. Dynamic ads are proven to be much more effective that traditional static ads most people simply ignore nowadays. So, it is only a matter of time till programmatic advertising replaces traditional ads completely.

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