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How to get the most out of programmatic advertising during a global lockdown

When you hire an advertising company, you are swapping convenience for higher cost. But during a pandemic, that isn’t always a realistic trade-off. By incorporating AI into your marketing campaigns, you can keep marketing expenses down, and manage and learn from your customer data.

As the co-founder of an adtech startup and AI platform, I have seen the statistics. On the one hand, spend is decreasing, and businesses are starting to reconsider their marketing costs amid the health crisis. On the other hand, consumers continue to spend and in some cases spend even more than they did before the pandemic. This means the market has to adapt fast due to a mass behavior change.

Communicate Wisely With Your Customers

Worldwide health fears and social distancing have forced much of the population to stay home. So it is no surprise that people are now getting more dependent on their smartphones for work, entertainment and connecting with the outside world. People are spending more time reading, learning or watching content than ever before. This means not only an increase in mobile usage but also noticeable growth of organic installs.

No doubt these are hard times for industries that deal with the “real” or offline sector (e.g., events and entertainment, travel, HoReCa, car rentals, etc.). But on the flip side, we can see areas that are profitable or at least experiencing some short-term growth. According to the latest report by AppsFlyer, in the U.S. alone, shopping app revenue has leaped by 100% while the usage has risen by 45%.

Gaming apps are doing well — their revenue remains robust, showing a 40% increase since the end of February — and the trend remains steady.

Food delivery apps were exploding from mid-March till mid-April, with usage rising by 85% and revenue by 70%. They experienced a slight decline at the end of April, with nonorganic and organic installs dropping by 35% and 25% respectively.

Health and fitness apps experienced a significant boost in installs from March till mid-April, which led to usage and revenue uplift by 20% and 30% respectively.

Stuck within four walls with limited communication, people consume a huge amount of various content, but mainly video. Besides, an audience that previously had little time for mobile devices can finally catch up on what they have missed.

With such an uplift of viewership, mobile programmatic is becoming an attractive strategy for advertisers. According to the recent eMarketer report, the U.S. ad spending forecast completed on March 6 shows ad spends on mobile display ads grew by 22% to $61 billion, where more than half of display ad spending was for rich media, with mobile video comprising the largest portion. Here are some reasons why:

AI-based solutions eventually leave old-fashioned media buying methods behind. Machine learning algorithms collect and process colossal amounts of data and are able to notice even the subtle patterns in users’ behavior. Your most relevant audience sees personalized ads at the right time. Data is key to understanding how consumer preferences have changed, how competitors are behaving and which products will be of interest to the user.

Bidding in real-time auctions provides top ad positions for reasonable and competitive prices. While some advertisers are holding their investment back until better times, agile buyers can get wildly efficient rates for high-quality inventory and very granulated audiences.

Programmatic buying makes the market secure and transparent. The industry has implemented new verification standards to safeguard the advertisers placing ads. It is now easier to prevent fraudulent actions with ad inventory and be sure about brand safety as well. Adjusting messaging in real time, based on page content, ensures your ads are only delivered to secure and relevant environments.

Pros And Cons Of Programmatic Advertising

Despite the fact that programmatic is relatively new to the wider world of advertising, more and more advertisers are leaning toward this method of acquiring new customers. It comes with a number of pros and cons that are important to take into account:

• Data: The beauty of programmatic advertising is that your targeting abilities cut through millions of users to place the right ad at the right time. With AI and the right dataset, you can target the right users you need to achieve the desired outcome. AI does all the heavy analysis so that the right decision is made at the right time.

• Fraud: Security is a key topic for all advertisers. With technology advancing at such a fast pace, fraud has become a problem for every brand. Most programmatic platforms have learned to filter and blacklist various fraud attempts to clean out traffic sold to partners.

• Transparency: Clear insight is a very important component for most DSPs to be successful — with transparency comes knowledge and understanding where a product is advertised and to whom.

• Audience And Price: Given the intensive adoption of programmatic in the past couple years, SSPs see demand growing, which makes it more expensive to run campaigns. With more demand, supply becomes scarce, and therefore the bid for the same user starts to grow, which increases demand for placing an ad. As with all advertising, programmatic comes with its own risks and high price tags, but in most cases, it can be worth the risk.

• Targeting: If comparing programmatic to, for example, social networks, programmatic does not have the same datasets or ability to target by gender and age. In very rare occasions do DSPs have access to this data.

Bottom Line

Brands should adapt to changing user behavior and desires, and offer what consumers wish in a more engaging and entertaining way.

The market is definitely going through hard times, but nonetheless, it’s a vital opportunity to embrace the power of adtech and outperform your competitors.

by Boris Abaev
source: Forbes