Programmatic for Branding

The term “Programmatic” has been attracting a great deal of attention in the past couple of years when it comes to the world of digital marketing. It has been credited with transforming digital marketing by bringing more efficiency, effectiveness, and scale to the online advertising ecosystem at large.

In the current climate of increasing digital media consumption, advertising experts are also encouraging brands to shift budgets from TV to online, video and mobile formats.

If you want to make the most of your digital branding efforts, you’d be wise to take the time to learn how programmatic can help you achieve this goal.

Read on for more information and insight on this very topic…

What is Programmatic?

Programmatic buying refers to any media buying that is run through an automated system. Today, almost all programmatic ads are managed through real-time bidding (RTB), which uses automated software and real-time auctions to bid on individual impressions across web, tablet, and mobile. It’s using machines to buy ads, basically.

Programmatic’s Rapid Adoption

Programmatic has quickly emerged as the star of new technologies available to media buyers in the digital era. It has effectively eliminated many of the menial tasks previously managed by ad buyers and salespeople, and delivers highly relevant, efficient, and measurable campaigns, helping brands of all sizes and verticals efficiently adapt to today’s disjointed digital media landscape with effortlessness.

Programmatic ads are proving highly beneficial, and advertisers are adjusting their budgets as a result. In just 12 months, programmatic digital display advertising is expected to increase from $10 billion (2014) to $15 billion by the close of 2015. Video ads ($2.2 billion) and Mobile ($8.4 billion) are key contributors to this $5 billion increase, and they are areas enjoying an obvious visible upward swing that is set to continue well into the future.

What’s caused Programmatic’s Accelerated Growth?

Customized Audience Targeting Programmatic will allow you to reach specific audiences based on demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and demonstrated consumer characteristics. That means you can get your message in front of a defined, targeted audience that is most receptive to your brand. Furthermore, you can leverage insights from customer data to identify and reach consumers with comparable characteristics, generating new customer growth. Efficiency The automated capability of programmatic, which allows media to be bought and sold in milliseconds, leads to optimum operational efficiency. You will also receive greater return on advertising spend simply because better targeting leads to fewer wasted impressions and increased cost effectiveness.

Reach and Scale The bottom line is programmatic advertising delivers a single, slick solution for connecting with consumers across today’s various media channels. It provides access to inventory across platforms and ad formats on a scale never before reached. With approximately 70 billion impressions served on open exchanges every day, its reach far exceeds that even of TV.

Measurement and Optimization Today, programmatic gives advertisers the ultimate visibility into campaign performance and results through almost real-time measurement and reporting. Many programmatic providers also apply machine learning, which includes campaign performance data to maximize targeting and ad delivery in real-time, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck from your digital spend and programmatic efforts.

Don’t Hold Back from Programmatic Out of Fear

Many Brand advertisers’ concerns about Programmatic have been addressed in the following ways:

Inventory Quality. Programmatic may have started out as a platform for sites to sell inferior leftover inventory, However, today prestige publishers including Time Inc, News Corp, ESPN, and even YouTube have largely embraced programmatic, now offering quality inventory. Programmatic also now offers higher impact ad formats that create more engaging experiences and are better equipped to tell your brand’s story in a way that you are satisfied with.

Viewability and Fraud. This has always been a concern for advertisers, and the industry is clearly invested in addressing viewability and fraud issues. After research determined that about 50% of impressions aren’t viewable, new industry standards and regulations were instigated, and the International Advertising Board has called for 70% viewability by the end of 2015.

You can now purchase digital media with viewability guarantees and video unit based on your ad’s Cost Per Completed View (CPCV). To win the fight against fraud, reputable vendors exclude entire categories with illegal or inappropriate content and low-quality sites. They even keep vigilant blacklists banning fraudulent sites, plus they constantly monitor sites to identify inappropriate ones with Double Verify and Integral Ad Science.

Contextual Control. Real-time bidding does not give you the luxury of precise cherry-picked placements, but features such as whitelists and blacklists have since been included in the digital advertising mix. They can make sure that your ads are only delivered to brand safe and brand appropriate sites, blocking your ads from blacklisted site categories, and further approving your ads for whitelisted site categories only.

Performance Validation. The key is to set the right success metrics for each individual campaign. Brand campaign KPIs vary from ad delivery to customer engagement with the brand, and increase in sales. Look for a credible vendor that has a strong emphasis on solutions that measure branding results.

How to Leverage Programmatic for Your Branding Campaigns

Programmatic is an invaluable tool that can elevate your branding campaigns to optimum visibility among your target audience. Consumers are bombarded with a sophisticated mix of screens, media outlets, social networks, blogs, and mobile apps that compete for consumer time and attention. The capacity to skip TV ads is also diluting the effectiveness of traditional advertising channels. Programmatic helps cut through today’s complicated digital media landscape. It can complement your traditional media buys by extending your brand’s reach across digital platforms to deliver maximum campaign effectiveness.

1 Connect with Your Audience Through Customized Audience Targeting

Programmatic helps you effectively use insights from real-time online consumer behavior to identify and target your audience with absolute precision and scale. Along with reaching the right gender, age, income bracket etc…, programmatic enables you to get even more specific and target the most relevant and responsive audiences to your brand, based on lifestyle and interest characteristics.

Programmatic can also allow you:

To use online media consumption and search behavior to target those shopping for products like yours or your direct competitors. To target consumers of specific competitor brands and influence them towards your brand. To personalize your campaigns and advertising messages to the correct audience segment for maximum relevance and results.

In addition, programmatic’s layers of targeting means you can connect with many of your audience often not reached by your direct online and offline, and mainstream media campaigns. It provides an extra touchpoint to reinforce your message. It helps to extend and fulfill your reach and frequency goals among your target audience in a way like never before.

2 Provide an Engaging Experience Via Reach Across Channels and Screens

Programmatic allows you to reach your desired customer wherever they are, regardless of the media that they consume, because you are targeting consumers at the individual level. By providing real-time access to ad inventory across screens, channels, publishers and formats, you have a seamless and scalable solution for connecting with your audience anytime, anywhere.


The primary aim of any branding is to elicit an emotional connection. Programmatic helps you achieve this goal by utilising the right ad formats for each campaign objective. You can engage your audience with video ads, high impact Rising Stars (brand-friendly ad units that tap into the breadth of cutting-edge technology available today), and rich media units with an immersive experience that showcases your brand or key features and benefits of your product or service. You can then customize and scale your campaign with display ads across web, mobile, social and in-app to ensure your each the right audience.

3 Connect With Your Audience at all Stages of the Path to Purchase

Programmatic’s targeting proficiencies allow you to continue the conversation with your audience with the right message at the right time throughout the path to purchase.

programmatic explination

First, you must generate brand awareness and spread your message to broader demographic and psychographic targets. Second, boost interest and build brand perceptions by implementing behavioral and contextual targeting to reach consumers who are interested in your product or have interests related to your brand. Third and finally, increase purchase intent and remain foremost in consumers’ mindsets by retargeting those who engaged with your brand campaign or site, encouraging them down the purchase path. Armed with the correct insights and audience segmentation, you can maintain a dialogue with your consumers throughout the buying cycle.


Programmatic media buying offers a scalable, flexible solution that connects advertisers with the right audiences across digital touchpoints as never before. It offers an unprecedented gateway to brand building and ad performance. Getting started is easy and fast, requiring only a small test budget to start seeing results. See for yourself how programmatic can take your branding campaigns to the next level.

The Digital Fuel Team is well equipped to help you with Programmatic, and together we can develop sales leads that convert to new customers across multiple digital channels. We have the technical skills and knowledge to further build your brand awareness with your desired audience, and to drive engagement with them ensuring a consistent message is delivered across multiple digital campaigns. Most importantly, Digital Fuel will turn that campaign traffic into real conversions and increased revenues.

Get in touch with us today to talk about your Programmatic advertising needs.

Author: Digital Fuel

Words by the Digital Fuel team members