In simple terms, programmatic advertising is the use of automation technology to buy and sell ads, primarily online. Instead of negotiating prices and making calls, marketers who use this technology simply set a budget and let machines discover and purchase their digital media for them leaving more time for ongoing analysis and optimization.
Marketers are overwhelmingly adopting programmatic technology — in fact, data from eMarketer estimated that in 2017, nearly four of every five U.S. digital display dollars have been spent on this type of advertising, totaling $32.56 billion. But despite the popularity, some marketers are still making a few common mistakes. Here are five missteps to avoid.
1. Setting Ineffective KPIs
When you create this type of advertising campaign, you may be tempted to nail down all the creation details early on and then "set it and forget it." However, this approach may not always yield the best results.
Clarify campaign objectives, carefully vet analytical tools and develop key performance indicators that actually align with your goals. Social media shares are great — if they actually indicate success. Effective KPIs can help you determine what works and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn't.
2. Straying From a Budget
While some types of advertising do allow for budget flexibility, it's important not to get too ambitious with your spending, even if the campaign is doing well. It can be tempting to imagine that the extra money you funnel into additional marketing will come back to you through higher conversions, but it's very important to stick to a plan. See the campaign through and aim to reevaluate your spending once it's finished.
3. Too Many Tweaks
It's easy to get bogged down in the piles of data gathered during an advertising campaign, tracking every minuscule detail. One common mistake marketers make is changing a campaign based on every fluctuation in day-to-day metrics. If you see a trend emerging over and over again, then it might make sense to reevaluate — but don't rush into big changes based on a day or two of data.
4. Staying Superficial
When the time does come to evaluate your campaign and make changes, it's important to examine the whole picture to best optimize future campaigns. Don't just look at overall CTR. Look at where those clicks are coming from so you know whether to invest in mobile, new demographics or other opportunities in the future.
Superficial analysis is tempting because it's easy, but looking for ways to improve is always a better option. Forbes reported that one of the greatest threats to any ad campaign is complacency.
5. Ignoring Experts
While this sort of advertising is designed to be easy, there's a lot of expertise required to make good campaigns great. Only a specialist in digital marketing will be able to point business owners in the right direction when it comes to optimization, targeting and a plan for long-term growth.
Programmatic advertising may still be a young strategy, but in less than a decade, this type of automated advertising has taken over the world of digital marketing. If you can avoid these common mistakes, you can also utilize this technology to its fullest potential.