Programmatic (or how I learned to love automated ads)

3 Henry Kingston


I have a confession to make: at first I didn’t like the term “programmatic”. Even though it is undoubtedly this year’s digital marketing buzzword, to me it sounded a bit strange. Firstly, I thought it was worryingly similar to “problematic” (when in fact it’s the exact opposite) and secondly a large amount of people failed to explain it to me properly which I attributed to the fact that the word was too confusing.

Luckily, we have a number of brains to pick here at Gravytrain, which means I now have a much better understanding of the term. In fact, since it was explained to me properly I have jumped on the programmatic bandwagon and now believe that it’s the best thing since sliced bread not only for our clients but also for everyone in our agency.

For those who feel out of the loop, here is a simple explanation:

Programmed Adverts?

At first glance you may think that this sounds exactly what can be achieved using a PPC platform such as Google Adwords, and you would be right. However, programmatic goes so much further – but only if you have the know-how.

This is the most important piece of information any company needs to know about programmatic right now: even though some agencies already offer it, it’s rarely used to its full potential.

The whole point of programmatic is that you can ‘program’ ads so that certain features run ‘automatically’ (get it?) A simple example is if a product on your website runs out of stock: adverts promoting it will automatically be turned off, thus saving you money.

However, programmatic can do so, so much more. As with most tools, the more data you put into it the more you get out of it, so if you want to make the most out of programmatic you need to start collecting as much data about your audiences as possible. By truly understanding your target demographics you will have the ability to create adverts that will be personalised and therefore more likely to save and/or make you money.

Using Programmatic

Here are a couple of tasks that can be automatically actioned using programmatic:

  • Turn adverts on/off for chosen demographics when they are in certain locations
  • Increase bids if the weather is sunny/cloudy
  • Change the type of adverts displayed depending on the football scores

In fact, you can practically do anything using programmatic, as all you need to tell it is “if A then B”. However, as we all know when it comes to maths even simple equations can become extremely complex (e.g. if A or B then Z or Y but only if P=true). Unfortunately, a number of out-the-box programmatic platforms out there do not provide this level of complexity.

Not willing to do things by half, Gravytrain has come up with a solution: create our own programmatic tools for the exclusive use of our clients. These tools are not on the market, they are not for sale and they are certainly not ordinary. Our tools integrate the Gravytrain team’s vast knowledge of PPC, Display Advertising, Web Development and a few other secrets to create a programmatic machine that is truly worth its title.

Programmatic for your Business

The ultimate goal of programmatic is to have adverts that are so smart they automatically know when and where are the best times to catch you audiences. This turns traditional reactive selling into proactive selling which understands not only what your customer wants today but what they’ll want tomorrow, next week or in a year’s time.

Even though the term “programmatic” was originally not my favourite, I can truly say that I am now a proud convert. However, as with most things, if you want to make the most out of it you need to make sure you do it properly.

Programmatic is paid marketing but smarter, quicker, better, and in the long-term, cheaper – if I’ve tempted you to try it then make sure you get in touch with us today!