The Programmatic Future

  • Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
  • Author: Tim Maytom
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As more and more marketers buy mobile advertising programmatically, Jen Brown, director of marketing at Tealium, explores the opportunities and challenges ahead

jen brown tealiumThe IAB has stated that 50 per cent of marketers have bought mobile advertising inventory programmatically, and it is easy to understand why: mobile devices now account for more than half of all time spent on the internet. This, combined with the ability to produce advertising that is both targeted and automated, means that programmatic advertising on mobile is very appealing indeed.

A new channel, a new challenge
The ability to target an audience in such a direct way, straight to the device the majority of us are glued to for many hours each day, makes total sense. Why would we not want to drive our brand messaging and product offers to potential customers during their morning or evening commute, or link it to our TV campaigns when many people are dual screening – watching (or semi-watching) TV while browsing on their smartphone or tablet?

While it might seem both obvious and desirable that we should target people in a timely fashion on their most-used device, the growing expectation on marketers – to personalise, measure and analyse the entire customer engagement, across channels and devices – does present a significant challenge. And this challenge is magnified considerably by the emergence of mobile programmatic.

Mobile programmatic brings yet another channel for marketers to consider, either in isolation or as an extension of existing display campaigns. The challenge for marketers trying to engage customers consistently over time is magnified, because mobile programmatic is the combination of two engagements that are not typically last-touch converters: display and mobile.

The pressure to personalise the entire customer journey is intensified because without tying the mobile experience into all the other digital and bricks-and-mortar touch points, it will be harder for marketers to justify the spend on mobile programmatic. Unless the only objective is reach, marketers are going to face tough questions regarding return on investment.

Unifying data
The answer is to ensure that the interactions, both views and clicks, are stitched into the wider conversation between brands and customers. This needs to encompass owned (website), earned (social) and paid (display, PPC) media across all devices – particularly important when customers engage via mobile, but convert on desktop. Capturing and storing anonymous data is hugely important for all programmatic (and traditional) display activity, regardless of the device; the trick with mobile is to overcome the additional tracking complexities that exist.

Enter Tealium. With vast experience in web analytics and tag management, our customer data platform enables organisations to capture and unify all first-party data, regardless of the channel or device that it originated from. Tealium is not a data management platform (DMP) although the platform can enrich a DMP; nor is it a marketing execution platform. Instead, it is the glue between all your chosen MarTech platforms and tools. Tealium is the opposite of a single-tech stack, enabling organisations to achieve a single customer view in an agnostic way. We integrate and deliver data to well over 1,000 MarTech vendors in real-time.

mobile shopperFrom ‘nice to have’ to necessity
And time is of the essence. At present, the ability to engage with a customer consistently is relatively rare. The result is that, for now, the bar is set quite low; simple personalisation and connection of two or three channels can delight customers. However, as more and more organisations leverage their own data to deliver consistent messaging across channels and devices, that bar will continue to rise. Retail expert Mary Portas has predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake product as the primary competitive differentiator. In the foreseeable future, customer expectations and compliance will mean that all-encompassing personalisation will no longer be a ‘nice to have’ or a way to gain competitive advantage, it will be a necessity, a way to stay in business.

As an example, as recently as one year ago, if a company replied with a personal response to a complaint tweet, the customer would be likely to tell their friends and family about the positive experience. Now the reverse is true. A customer will tell their friends and family when a company does not respond. They are likely to post on Facebook or even tweet again to bemoan the fact that their original complaint has not been responded to – double the trouble.

Capturing all conversions
Social (earned) media measurement is going to be an important factor in proving the value of not just mobile programmatic, but all paid media. People tend to share more on mobile and convert on desktop or in-store, so tying the channels and devices together, visualised in attribution models, will be imperative to marketers retaining both their credibility with executives and, quite frankly, their sanity.

A single customer view should be the ultimate objective for marketers because it is not only the ability to engage relevantly and timely to drive revenue, but the opportunity to lower cost per acquisition. Margin improvement is achieved via paid media suppression, removing recent converters or serial non-converters from further engagement. Let’s face face it, there is nothing worse than paying to annoy our customers before they have had chance to consume the product or service purchased.

It is now common practice for a potential customer to research products and pricing while in store, for example. An important feature of mobile programmatic will be the ability to capture all conversions, regardless of where the conversion takes place.

Want to learn more about programmatic buying, and discuss with experts how it can benefit you? Book a place at our Mobile Marketing Programmatic Summit, taking place this September. Click here for more details.

This sponsored article first appeared in the September 2016 print edition of Mobile Marketing. You can read the whole issue here.