Wait…what does that mean?
Basically, programmatic technology gives marketers a really powerful tool in being able to reach increasingly fragmented audiences across screens.
Programmatic TV, specifically, provides buyers of video ads the best of both the TV and digital worlds – the ability to transact against traditional age/sex TV demographics, while automatically optimizing ad spend using customized, more precise audience segments.
MAGNA GLOBAL, the investment and intelligence unit of IPG Mediabrands, is a first-mover in the programmatic TV space and has already run digital and TV campaigns through Adap.tv’s Audience Path platform.
So, what does this mean for TV? For digital? For media in general?
Here are five ways in which programmatic TV is the beginning of the future of media:
- Audience buying. Yes, more buzzwords, but this one is really important in understanding how TV is changing. Madison Avenue is very quickly changing from “buying media” (“I want a 30-second ad during Big Bang Theory”) to “buying audiences” (“I want to find and advertise to 5 million women who like mixed martial arts”). This small shift in how marketers are thinking and allocating their budgets is actually no small feat from a technology perspective, which automation and programmatic is solving for.
- Big data. With the ability to find much more specific audiences comes the need for marketers to have much more information, from multiple sources, at their disposal. So, data, lots of it, is key to making this all work.
- Less irrelevant commercials. People, like snowflakes, are very different from one another. Which is why mass TV advertising, though provides a huge reach, does not necessarily mean ad dollars are being spent the most effective way. Programmatic TV is eventually going to be able to execute what is called addressable TV, or the ability for advertisers to selectively segment TV audiences and serve different ads to each individual.
- Works in tandem with upfront buys. The super majority of TV advertising dollars are committed upfront, and those direct deals aren’t going to go away any time soon. But, for marketers, programmatic, with the addition of TV, allows them to avoid sales channel conflict and confusion by only selling data-defined audiences, never specific shows, networks, geographies or time slots, and do it in conjunction with any digital ad buys they may want to commit.
- TV is really the last frontier of the digital revolution. For as much as many like to say that TV is dying, TV has never been stronger — across screens, people have never watched more video content ever. But, for marketers, this cross-screen fragmentation presents many technological obstacles, which programmatic has begun to solve on the digital side. Twenty or 30 years ago, a marketer could do a single buy on TV and be pretty sure that they were going to hit the majority of Americans who were still relatively offline. Programmatic is helping to make that “single-click buy” a reality again, in a world filled with smartphones, tablets, computers and, yes, TV screens still.