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The Fundamentals of a Programmatic Display Campaign .

Nina Howard, Display Executive

The author

Nina Howard

Display Executive

When running a programmatic display campaign, brands and agencies will have access to a wealth of customer data, but the key to success is the way in which this data is used and how it informs the campaign.

Our approach to programmatic display starts with utilising the data we have to make informed decisions, meaning that ads are relevant, personal and tailored to the user; increasing the overall customer experience.

By using data to continuously feed a campaign, brands and agencies can improve the campaign as it’s running, rather than analysing and evaluating aspects of the campaign at the end of the week or the month, when the budget has already been spent.

The following three fundamentals can form the basis of a successful programmatic approach: 

1. Transparency

An agency has the responsibility to continuously share all data with the brand they’re working with, as it’s rightfully theirs. This isn’t just a question of monitoring performance, it’s also about ownership.

This data doesn’t belong to agencies or suppliers, it is the brand’s, meaning they should have access to it.

This transparency should run through audience and contextual aspects of a programmatic display campaign. Brands should expect to see a dataset including: who the current audience is, how this audience influences the targeting strategies, and the display campaign performance overall. Brands should also have contextual visibility such as top site lists detailingwhere their ads are appearing.

Not only does this help brands to see which strategies are most successful, but allows them to have a view on the aspects their agency is optimising towards.                                      

2. Data and insight

The ability to view the performance of programmatic campaigns in real-time, as well as over longer time-frames, means that brands and agencies can analyse trends and apply these to current campaigns, whilst also using them to plan for future activity.

By working with an agency that offers detailed insights, brands can ensure that their campaigns are highly efficient by optimising and feeding back on what is and isn’t working. Campaigns can be further contextualised and made even more current by overlaying relevant external feeds and datasets such as weather information, or what is currently trending on social media.

Another consideration for agencies is the opportunity to use the brand’s first-party data, such as a CRM database to build a picture of existing customers, then using it to find and target new customers with a similar profile.

Dependent on the brand’s product, first-party data can also be used to target existing customers at the end of a purchase cycle to encourage them to come back and push up the lifetime value of a customer, or even to exclude existing customers from the campaign targeting.                  

3. Advanced tracking

Not all customers are the same. With this in mind, we’re able to unlock insights on customer purchase allowing allowing us to capture extra parameters from a conversion, which overall provides more insight into the value and the motivation behind that purchase.

For example, say customer A booked a last-minute winter holiday in the Carribean for two, whereas customer B booked a family holiday to Orlando a long time in advance.

It’s clear to us that these two customers have booked two very different holidays and so therefore, to be targeted effectively, they need to be served different creative messaging which is relevant to them and their purchase.

With advanced tracking, it’s possible to gain this customer purchase information and further fuel creative development to ensure that the content placed appeals to the audience, aids their decision process and ultimately serves a useful purpose.

It’s also possible to build audience segments, from specific data that has been gathered and then create look-a-like converters. This can uncover important customer subsets that haven’t been reached or reported on before.

This enables brands to show the most relevant ads to the user, as creative messaging can be tailored to suit each segment, enhancing the personalisation of each customer journey.

To conclude, there are many other factors that must be considered to run a successful programmatic display campaign, but if you have these fundamentals at the core of your approach, your campaigns will run effectively and efficiently.

From utilising real-time data to inform creative messaging, to how programmatic fits into the wider digital ecosystem; our guide to Data & the Art of Programmatic Display details the best practice approach to programmatic display. Request your own copy here.