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How to overcome programmatic challenges

Programmatic is changing the marketing landscape, and new obstacles pop up daily. We spoke to our iMedia Programmatic Bootcamp host Seth Haberman, founder of Visible World, at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Austin, Texas, to get a sense of where programmatic is now, where it's headed, and how we can navigate the obstacles.

Q: How has television advertising changed in the face of the digital revolution?

Audiences in general have become more fragmented, yet when you compare the reach and relative fragmentation of different advertising channels, TV advertising remains most effective in terms of the ability to reach large audiences on a timely basis. However, because digital advertising offers better targeting and measurement, it is perceived as being more efficient and effective.

The reality is that when cross-platform attribution includes both TV and digital marketing channels, it becomes evident that TV advertising remains and important and efficient driver of awareness, consideration, as well as sales, and helps lift the performance of digital marketing channels. This has been validated by Google (which acquired Adometry), AOL (which acquired Convertro), as well as independent cross-attribution application and services providers including C3 Metrics and MarketShare.

Q: How does fraud affect the industry and how can marketers combat it?

Advertisers have been enchanted with the audience targeting and retargeting capabilities of digital advertising, but more recently have raised concerns relative to fraudulent or at least misleading practices such as when ads are not shown on the sites the advertisers expected, or were not in view or even viewable, or were not shown to humans (robot traffic).

The best way for marketers to combat these issues is to demand audience exposure verification and/or guarantees. These are standard practices for TV advertising. For example, commercial ratings are based on viewers exposed to the advertising. And the use of set-top-box and Smart TV viewing data is making TV advertising even more accountable.

Q: Where do you see the future of programmatic moving in the industry?

The future of programmatic TV advertising will follow its own path relative to that of digital programmatic advertising. Programmatic TV advertising will leverage best practices from digital programmatic, such as advertiser defined audience aggregation, consumer privacy compliant use of 1st/3rd data sets to more precisely identify and target consumer audiences, and integration with sales and/or proxy sales data to measure the effectiveness of campaigns.

Unlike digital programmatic advertising, where automated execution is a given as the various participants rely on the internet and standard ad servers to traffic and deliver ads, TV largely lacks such a cohesive, automated, shared infrastructure. For programmatic TV advertising to scale, it needs to be increasingly automated not just for the identification and valuation of audiences, but all the way through to planning, execution and measurement. Last but not least, marketers will increasingly demand better cross-platform and multi-channel attribution of marketing effectiveness.

Q: Do you have a piece of advice for smaller companies looking to get more involved in programmatic?

Smaller advertisers or brands that have traditionally not been able to use TV advertising can now do so. Programmatic TV enables these brands to efficiently reach their specific target audiences using TV ads. For digital and e-commerce companies that have a national footprint, programmatic TV advertising enables them to substantially increase the reach of their desired audiences, and in doing so, lift the effectiveness of their overall marketing efforts. This the reason why leading e-commerce companies are increasingly using TV advertising, think of game apps or travel or dating sites.

As TV advertising evolves to become increasingly targetable and measurable, more brands large and small will discover or rediscover the value that it delivers. Think of it -- the reach of TV advertising with the targeting and measure ability of digital marketing campaigns. TV will prove to be the real game changer.

Agata is a writer, editor, and social media marketer living in Los Angeles. She's a former Associate Editor at iMedia Connection and Social Media Manager and Editor of MMX at Modern Marketing Summit. Before that, she worked in the healthcare,...

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