The New Wave of Programmatic Marketing: $14B in 2015

TapAnalytics: Supporting the Programmatic Marketing Explosion

Programmatic Marketing digital marketing dashboard

Art: Courtesy Business Insider

Programmatic marketing has emerged as a critical marketing technique, and a key discussion topic, for marketers and media executives in the digital display space. The concept is not really new, because programmatic’s roots, in the automation of marketing processes and the emergence of biddable inventory, evolved from search to the display world, and is growing to impact other channels as well.

What is Programmatic Marketing?

Programmatic marketing (also known as programmatic media or programmatic advertising) refers to various technologies that automate the buying, placement and optimization of media inventory, replacing human-directed temporal methods. Automated systems and business rules place advertisements dynamically in electronically targeted media inventory, mediating supply and demand partners. Programmatic media is a fast-growing phenomenon in the global media and advertising industry. Here are definitions of some common concepts:

Programmatic Media Buying: Programmatic media buying leverages technology and audience insights, targeting messages to a particular individual, at a particular moment, in a specific context. Programmatically transacted media can span the spectrum of digital media (desktop, mobile and social media), TV, print, and radio. Many media agencies leverage technology partners with access to ad exchanges, while others have developed their own trading desks that allow them to directly transact in media programmatically. Technological innovation, an abundance of data, and liquidity in the media has democratized the process, and changed the mechanics of transacting media.

Ad Exchange:  A technology platform that facilitates the buying and selling of online media advertising inventory with prices determined through bidding from multiple ad networks. The approach is technology-driven as opposed to the historical approach of negotiating price on media inventory. Buyers and sellers allow algorithms to mediate media inventory, based on its value with reference to key performance indicators (KPIs.)

Real Time Bidding (RTB): Automated method of buying and selling media inventory via technology platforms such as ad exchanges or supply-side platforms, in real time. Sellers (publishers) make their inventory available for buyers (advertisers) who bid on the inventory in the marketplace, based on parameters specified by the advertisers such as bid price, network reach, and targets.  As a recent Forbes article commented on RTB, according to the IDC, “spending on real time-bidded display advertising will accelerate at a 59% compound annual growth rate through 2016, making in the fastest growing segment of digital advertising over the next few years.”

Demand Side Platform (DSP): Central hub connecting multiple data sources into a single platform and centralized data overview, providing an additional layer of control over media inventory and creating efficiencies for management, reporting and optimization.

Growth of Programmatic

Programmatic bidding — the online marketplace of ads — grew considerably in 2014, with predictions that total US programmatic digital display ad spending will surpass $14 billion this year. Along with that growth comes dozens of new vendors and providers.

Forecast Digital Ad Sales

As Business Insider commented in their Programmatic Advertising Report, real-time bidding is taking over the digital ad market. Automated ad buying and selling tools are increasingly driving digital ad sales in the U.S. That means less human-mediated, manual sales, and more opportunities for ad tech specialists to gain a share of ad spend.

Most marketers are already using several channels, or if not, will be soon.  The explosion of programmatic and digital marketing channels presents new challenges in determining which tactics, vendors, and campaign tools are most effective, with the greatest ROI.

“Think with Google,” in The Programmatic Opportunity collection, says that technology for automated buying, machine-based buying, programmatic buying, call it what you may, is changing the way media is being bought and sold. There, thought leaders across the industry share best practices and perspectives on what’s going to make programmatic work, and why it’s the way of the future.

TapAnalytics and Programmatic Marketing

As Target Marketing Magazine stated in their article, “Programmatic Marketing Demystified for Direct Marketers,” programmatic marketing is tailor made for direct marketers.

Tapclicks understands the power and promise of programmatic marketing. Programmatic is an offshoot and evolution of display advertising. Historically, companies had a media plan in advance, and executed it. With programmatic, companies can specify a budget and programmatic tools will invest in and report on what works best; tactics and channels are automatically being adjusted to reflect best practices and best prices. Programmatic marketing is dynamic.

SiteScout (a Centro company), one of TapClicks’ latest partnerships, is a good example of programmatic marketing. Google AdWords, DoubleClick, AppNexus, Rubicon, TheTradeDesk TubeMogul, El Toro, Jivox,, and Omniture are others, and the arena is exploding.

“Think with Google” has a guide now, Programmatic: A Brand Marketer’s Guide. They contend that soon, all brands will use programmatic buying to engage and move audiences when it matters most.

The powerful TapAnalytics platform from TapClicks, a complete digital marketing reporting and analytics platform, includes a specific view built around programmatic, and helps clients understand tactics and returns.

Programmatic marketing explains what works based on the device, tactic, site, keyword, ad size, audience segment, day, and geography, among other factors. Programmatic is best reported when it is segmented by the creative, not just the campaign. Naturally, as for traditional display advertising, under the above areas, metrics include impressions, clicks, CTR, cost, conversions (post click or post view) Margins and markups are always very important to track.

TapAnalytics monitors all programmatic marketing performance metrics, results, and analytics, as well as those for SEO, SEM, display ads, email marketing, call tracking, reputation management, and other digital marketing campaigns.  TapAnalytics delivers cloud-based, on-demand campaign performance dashboards, automated reporting and analytics for digital agencies and enterprise marketers. Within one integrated, customizable dashboard, TapAnalytics quickly integrates a rich spectrum of marketing campaign data (including SiteScout, Google AdWords, DoubleClick, AppNexus, Rubicon, TheTradeDesk TubeMogul, El Toro, Jivox,, and Omniture) and delivers regular updates on performance results for these campaigns with just a few clicks.

As James Aitken commented in Marketing Magazine, in a programmatic world, media agencies can’t go it alone. “There is a massive transformation in how media will be bought in the next 10 years. In 2013… 4% of global advertising was bought programmatically. Experts in our industry claim that 80% of all ad spend will be bought programmatically within the next 10 years.”

Programmatic I/O Conference Update

TapClicks recently attended the Programmatic I/O conference in San Francisco on April 16, 2015. Programmatic I/O is the world’s first and largest conference focused entirely on programmatic media and marketing. Hundreds of marketing executives representing top brands, media agencies, publishers and tech providers attended, as event speakers explored the newest creative design, technologies and strategies leading the evolution of programmatic marketing.

For supplemental information on programmatic marketing and its evolution, see the Winterberry Group and IAB’s latest research report, Programmatic Everywhere: Data Technology and the Future of Audience Engagement.

Learn more about TapAnalytics and Programmatic: