Programmatic TV is a leap in advertising technology. It can be defined as "a technology-automated and data-driven method of buying and delivering ads against TV content," according to Think With Google.
Marketers use hyper-personalized consumer data to exclusively target the viewers they want. That precision targeting reduces ad waste, yields higher ROI, and gets marketers' messages across to viewers most likely to buy their products or services.
But programmatic TV isn't right for every brand.
When the programmatic agency where I worked pitches existing and prospective clients, it carefully scrutinizes the business before determining whether it's a good fit.
Programmatic TV works (and I have the data to prove it), but for the right brands. Check out the following questions to ask when deciding whether a brand is a good fit for Programmatic TV.
1. Is the brand big enough?
Precision targeting is great, but you need to have a brand with targets spanning across multiple markets for it to truly work. The limited number of network providers that offer Programmatic TV won't even work with local brands in the first place.
Because select providers offer Programmatic TV ads, the majority of TV viewers are eliminated right off the bat. Household addressable makes sense if your brand is regional or—even better—national, so your messaging can be broadcasted to enough households.
Most network providers out there have a minimum number of houses you can hit per send, and the number is in the hundreds of thousands. In short, ideal candidates for Programmatic are larger businesses that offer their product or service across multiple DMAs.
2. Are my prospective customers targetable?
If the intended demographic for a particular product is too specific or too limited, you probably won't hit providers' minimum household quota. In general, most niche businesses cannot expect to hit that minimum. And even if you could somehow reach enough households for a business, like say a national chain of vintage record shops, the providers might not offer attributes to target such a specific interest.
We're able to target viewers based on such attributes as income level, age, and gender. We can even target based on more specific attributes based on records like house ownership, car leasing, and pet adoption.
Programmatic TV is all about data—but if there's no consumer data available for targeting a certain demographic, it's not a worthwhile venture in my book.
3. Do we have the right connections?
Getting the best ROI for your brand means having the right connections. My agency has been in business with these providers for years, so we already have the relationships in place to get the best deals possible for our clients.
If you're a brand without direct connections to the major providers offering Programmatic TV, you're better off hiring an agency like mine to negotiate for you. Otherwise, you risk buying Programmatic real estate at much higher rates than you should be paying. You can test the waters for yourself, but you won't get the most efficient buys.
4. Can my brand afford it?
Programmatic TV is the answer to a lot of questions in advertising—the who, what, where, when, and why—but it's the brand's wallet that answers the how. If you're thinking Programmatic is the end-all ad solution for marketing efforts, think again.
It's a complementary tactic of your larger, multi-disciplinary marketing strategy.
Bottom line: don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you want to blow through your entire ad budget with Programmatic TV, don't do it. However, if you want to aid marketing efforts and yield jaw-dropping ROI as a slice of your overall strategy, Programmatic TV is for you.
5. Do we have a diverse creative portfolio?
Laser-like targeting is what makes Programmatic TV advertising so incredible. And If you're aiming to reach a particular audience, you're going to want creative intended for that particular audience.
If serving up Programmatic TV ads to multiple demographics, you should either have creative spots earmarked for individual subsets or have the budget to create new ones for each demographic you plan on targeting.
Hitting the right audience is powerful, but you also must be sending the right message.
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