Everyone loves to hate on digital advertising, but it is here to stay—and adoption is on the rise. We all like the idea of uninterrupted content consumption, but someone has to pay for everything we do on the internet. The endless hours spent on social media or consuming streaming content wouldn’t exist without the programmatic solutions we use today.
But before everyone gets too excited about my defending the digital ad industry, let me focus my argument. I think marketers are better off today with digital advertising than they were during the days of the real Mad men. And my rationale is simple: There was no real way for advertisers back then to know if their ads were effective and no mechanism to get closer to their target market. If say L’Oréal wanted to target women of a certain age, there was no way to even tell if they were reaching men or women, let alone age range. This scenario is very different today.
Say what you want, targeting works
Programmatic is still evolving, but there’s no denying what it’s done for targeting. Today, you can reach everyone, everywhere with greater accuracy than it gets credit for. And it’s multichannel, which is a marketer’s holy grail.
And it’s not just the advertisers that benefit. Everything from one-to-one search, behavioral, engagement and contextual data, along with the technical ability to directly connect ad spots from individuals to purchases, have allowed us to create better experiences that are more engaging, relevant and appropriate for consumers.
Without getting too technical, higher granularity has enabled us to better understand our audiences, test our messaging and gain a more accurate understanding of campaign, brand and product performance.
And it’s only going to get better with time. With evolving data and trust, marketers will be able to get more specific about the audience they would like to reach, target their message further and not be so concerned about publishers or channels so they just let the data and algorithms find the audience you intend to reach.