Programmatic Is the Vehicle, Insights Are the Solution

We all know that companies are embracing programmatic in order to better connect with consumers online. The growth in use of programmatic has been well documented, and is showing no signs of slowing. However, Bruce Falck (pictured below), CEO, Turn, tells ExchangeWire that the industry needs to move away from jargon and realise that programmatic is a means to an end, with the end goal being the insights generated by programmatic data. 

Recently, Unruly found that the UK has the highest adoption rate of the programmatic trading of online videos, at 23%; that’s 42% growth year-on-year. However, if we want to talk about the future growth of programmatic, we need to unpack the complex language and discussion that is confining it to the realms of the experts. The best way to do this is to agree on something that we absolutely know to be true: programmatic is really just a means to an end.

The end that we’re seeking is insight. True, lightbulb-moment-making insight. Not just data churned out by programmatic.

This goal is within our reach. Data from programmatic already drives analytics, which drive returns and campaign success. These analytics are also the pathway to deeper data-driven insights; and these insights will be our roadmap to the future of programmatic on new levels. The following sections dive into the steps that can take us even closer to the end goal of programmatic, industry-wide.

Data is your ally: insights deliver the best outcomes

Virtually every decision-making process in marketing comes down to data. The data that comes from programmatic creates a valuable resource for marketers. For example, our client Kraft Heinz has increased its marketing returns by as much as 200% through its data-driven efforts.

Bruce Falck | Turn_2jpgThe brand, graced with upwards of one billion online-consumer recipe interactions, turned to data analytics to understand how to bring millennials to its online content. Centralising, storing, and connecting its consumer profiles, Kraft Heinz adapted its food engagements in new directions – tweaking content and tone for more immersive recipe experiences that first- and third-party data indicated the younger target audience would love.

Using insights into what worked, and crucially why, meant that Kraft Heinz could cut down waste in marketing spend and allowed the team to refine and evolve marketing strategies. The company deployed a campaign based on insights about its customers, these insights played through to the end goal, and the campaign worked brilliantly, receiving over one billion recipe interactions a year. This approach is a virtuous cycle that benefits the company and consumers.

Omnichannel: the road to better insights  

If we are going to position insights as the end goal of programmatic tech for our industry, then we must also establish powerful pathways to get there. Omnichannel is the answer.

Data-forward brands are already transitioning campaigns from specialist marketing to holistic, omnichannel programmes, tapping technology’s ability to achieve new insights across multiple device types in complementary ways. Through digital, marketers have access to key insights about audience preferences.

This data shows us user affinities – they may derive from ads, but they can equally come from a number of other types of content such as native, or organic mentions. Having this breadth of data means marketers can deliver more relevant content to users. We can dovetail our inventory with what we gather about consumer interests and lifestyles and overall we can do so in modular, discrete ways across device types.

When we do this, we get to skip the usual wasteful traps – repeating a desktop video on the same consumer’s tablet, for example. This new era of insightful programmatic means that we are on the cusp of understanding not only what is working but also why it works.

Data is the resource; insights are the end goal that data analytics help us achieve. A major indicator that we’re reaching that end goal is when we have our ‘why’ moments — when we understand not only what works, but how it works, and why it works, it will likely work again.

The end goal of insight-rich marketing further suggests a time when we will be using data to know the next best action for a marketer to take. Beyond reacting to past information, insights become predictive, and even automated, under our omnichannel insights model.

This is a technological mission; one fuelled by building up our own technical knowledge that the industry and all its partners can offer. It is a mission worthy of the next five years, and beyond. By turning on the technology of today, we’ll be led to a future fuelled by the data-driven insights of tomorrow.