Programmatic Buying: Tailoring Digital Advertising for Optimal Reach

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Tech has legitimized programmatic buying as a major component in the overall brand marketing equation, and one that will continue to grow.

Think for a moment about the lineage of brand marketing. At the dawn of the industrial age, marketers used print media as their exclusive resource.

Print was soon augmented by radio, which was subsequently complimented by television, and that trifecta lasted well into the new millennium. The explosion of the digital universe added a new promotional dimension, one that rendered its predecessors woefully primitive by comparison.

Now in 2015, and for the foreseeable future, technology has legitimized programmatic buying as a major component in the overall brand marketing equation, and one that will continue growing until surpassed by something bigger, better and more effective. 

Related Article: Get in the Game of Native Advertising

What is Programmatic Buying?

As powerful as programmatic buying can be, the concept still begs a quantifiable definition and description. In simplest terms, programmatic buying is a methodology that permits brands to exploit consumers’ tech footprints by tailoring personalized messages and responses to their given interests, whims, and trends.

If that sounds a bit Orwellian, it is, merely because technology has advanced to such levels of personalized tracking. Factor in the infinite scope of social media and the marketing world has the perfect scenario to maximize its collective reach by following consumers throughout their respective digital experiences.

A quick approximation of any individual’s time spent online will evidence how tech-centric our society has become. Such digital dependence has bled forth into the growth of e-commerce, once a quaint convenience, but now an economic juggernaut that could balance the Federal budget in mere months.

However, programmatic buying doesn’t simply tap into tech. It can be directed to target specific platforms according to consumers’ usages and preferences.

The Importance of Social Media

Social media has become a dominant force for all demographics of users, so much so that marketers have acquired squatters’ rights in a multitude of different digital arenas.

According to a chosen target audience, marketing efforts may jump back and forth from Facebook to Twitter, while avoiding LinkedIn or Pinterest, or vice versa. These Big Four social media platforms hold loyal and easily recognized bases, thus digital marketing efforts can be streamlined for a specific media resource. Let’s explore how programmatic buying can utilize each one:

  • Facebook: The heavyweight champion of everything social media, Facebook is the most widely used, and most highly regarded, social media option. It hosts the greatest content for users, and is the current standard for social media use.
  • Twitter: Strictly short and to-the-point industry messaging, the art of the tweet is a learned skill, one that requires sufficient time and practice to perfect. As with Facebook, video messaging has expanding appeal for users.
  • LinkedIn: The most business-oriented of the major social media players, LinkedIn caters to the corporate crowd, and focuses on brand development within the global business community.
  • Pinterest: For users motivated by visual content, Pinterest caters to B2C businesses looking for style and substance in their content. From recipes to fashion ensembles, strong visual imagery in a shareable format is Pinterest’s strong suit.

Related Article: Strike a Chord: Is Banjo Your Next Secret Weapon for Social Media?

The Tie-in Strategy

Taking the four primary platforms of social media and appreciating their individual and collective impact on users, it’s not difficult to see how programmatic buying can be a highly effective marketing tool that capitalizes on e-consumers. Yet, the key to successfully latching onto the social media train for programmatic buying comes by way of one essential ingredient: real-time access.

Social media was the perfect antidote for instant gratification culture, and the most logical extension of that was marketing. Programmatic buying has taken real-time social media marketing to the next plateau, as it truly attempts to customize the experience for all involved participants, from marketers to consumers, and everyone in between.

An easy way to visualize the programmatic buying template is to imagine a small drone flying overhead, one assigned to every e-consumer utilizing social media on a daily basis. Each time the e-consumer acts, the drone reacts instantly, monitoring the e-consumer’s decision-making processes.

Every e-consumer tweet generates a related response tweet; every Facebook post initiates a related offering. The drone shadows the e-consumer, and mirrors his/her preferences and thought directions.   

The Future Goal

Though programmatic buying is still in the embryonic stages, it is vital for marketers to embrace its potential, and get involved sooner rather than later. Tailoring promotional messaging via social media to specific demographics was unheard of only a decade ago, but progress has been made at an exponential rate, and will only continue on its current upward trajectory.

With this concept in mind, the future goal for digital marketers is to fully grasp the concept of programmatic buying, as well as its potential, then develop a plan for identifying how it can employed and deployed into a given proprietary marketing plan. 

Imagine how powerful your own marketing efforts could be if you were able to harness social media as a filter, thereby utilizing programmatic buying as a means to solicit specific consumers for your goods/services—without a cent being spent on hard copy or traditional media advertising.

Yea or Nay?

Is programmatic buying something you should incorporate into your business? Only you can make an accurate determination, but know that social media continues to evolve and expand. Why not have a tool like programmatic buying at your disposal to optimize e-commerce, now and in the future?

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