Programmatic advertising has become the standard way of buying online ads. In order to truly create the ultimate customer experience, we need to utilize data (1st,2nd & 3rd party), combine it with personalized, inspiring and helpful content and deliver it at the right moment to the right device. Thus, we should consider the customer journey, keep the always-on marketing principles in mind and combine them with the right metrics. And the answer to tackling these various challenges is programmatic.

According to Zenith’s Programmatic Marketing Forecasts, 65% of all money spent on advertising in digital media in 2019 will be traded programmatically. In the Nordics, this level of spending is still far from its ceiling. At Marketing Clinic, we believe that programmatic buying should be connected more closely with strategy and customer understanding in order to reach outstanding results.

How will the market develop in 2019 then? Here’s our list of eight key trends to consider in order to be a programmatic winner this year.

1. Inspiring content and utilization of new formats

Have you been truly inspired after seeing a display ad in the last 30 days? Probably not. That’s right, most of the ad content we see online is hardly ever creative and seldom provides any extra value for the audience. Banner ads bring very little value to anyone unless they are at the very final stage of the buying process. In our opinion, the relation between media spend and content creation is skewed. Inspiring and relevant ad content can have 2 to 5 times more impact than “traditional” banners. There are lot of inspiring formats, such as video, native and rich media, each of which can be utilized in more creative ways.

2. From campaigns to customer journey modelling

Many advertisers are missing the truly valuable customer moments because of a lack of customer journey understanding and an inability to reach audiences with relevant messages and content. Many still have the culture of creating campaigns and much of their associated content. Campaign setup requires a lot of time and money, and in most cases, they require the creation of a lot of disposable content that cannot be utilized after the campaign is over.

Our approach is to help advertisers pay much more attention to ongoing marketing rather than one-time campaigns. When investing heavily in content, your focus should be long-term marketing, not just campaigns.

3. From multichannel to omnichannel

Connecting customer and 3rd party data seamlessly across all marketing channels is something we would like to see in 2019. Marketing automation often reaches owned channels only, but we need to connect bought media in the same loop and support content delivery in order to create a real digital omnichannel experience. Additionally, traditional offline channels such as OOH and TV are something we look forward to becoming part of the programmatic ecosystem in 2019.

4. Increasing video opportunities

Programmatic video has been here for years, but still we see that there’s plenty of opportunities to utilize it more fully. Time spent with online video is increasing rapidly, and we can reach most audiences effectively with this type of content. With online videos you can tell stories, be interactive and personalize messages in a much more efficient way than via linear TV.

5. Programmatic marketing as a branding tool

We rarely see any branding approach when we consider programmatic ads. As they are highly effective in targeting specific audiences, programmatic ads are usually used very tactically, despite their potential value in branding. For example, storytelling and personalized dynamic videos enable brands to reach customer segments much more efficiently.

6. Personalization

Online advertising should always be personalized. There’s a lot of irrelevant ads everywhere, and quite frankly, that just represents misspent budgets. Usually, the only ads that are truly personalized are the dynamic retargeting ads from e-commerce sites that are based on browsing history rather than interests. Dynamic ad tools enable you to tailor messages from the beginning to the end of the customer journey.

7. Brand tracking and attribution modelling

Advertisers tend to track programmatic ads with very few KPIs. Many advertisers still use last click analysis to measure conversion, which means that they don’t give any value to other touchpoints in a purchase journey. When you track sales and conversions only, you miss most of the brand impact your programmatic ads might be having. Integration of real-time brand tracking tools in campaigns in order to optimize creative elements and better understand the impact of marketing efforts is something we would like to see much more of during 2019.

8. AI unlocks time for being creative

AI is already a much better campaign optimizer than humans, so please let AI do the daily campaign optimization and shift your focus to developing campaigns that better follow the customer journey. Our job is to understand the audience and to create more relevant and inspiring content for our customers.

At Marketing Clinic we really believe that digital marketing should be inspiring and touch the heart of your customers. How are you utilizing programmatic opportunities at the moment in your marketing? In 2019, it’s time to get your paid digital marketing to the next level. Challenge yourself, be more creative and put more effort into your content!

Interested in learning more about the most relevant trends of 2019? Visit our other blogs to read about:

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