Programmatic I/O is the world’s largest conference dedicated to educating marketers, publishers, agencies, and technologies on the latest developments in programmatic media management.

This October, Major Tom attended the Programmatic I/O Conference in New York. Here we shared our own expertise and got the lowdown on how the programmatic media field is evolving to meet the demands of modern media consumers.

But what exactly is programmatic advertising and how can it benefit organizations?

What exactly does programmatic mean?

The term “programmatic” has become an increasingly prominent part of the digital marketing landscape over recent years. But what exactly does it mean? For those in need of a quick recap, Marketing Land sums up the definition pretty well:

“Programmatic advertising helps automate the decision-making process of media buying by targeting specific audiences and demographics. Programmatic ads are placed using artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time bidding (RTB) for online display, social media advertising, mobile and video campaigns, and is expanding to traditional TV advertising marketplaces.”

It’s never been easier to reach your audience, but it’s never been harder to make yourself heard. By utilizing programmatic advertising you can make sure that your message is reaching the right people at the right time. All while ensuring that your investment in digital ad buys is actually moving the needle for your organization.

Key takeaways from Programmatic I/O 2018

With more than 90 expert speakers from organizations at the cutting-edge of programmatic advertising, there was no shortage of insight on offer at this year’s conference. Here are just three of the key observations that we took away from Programmatic I/O 2018.

1. Personalization is key

With mobile continuing to dominate the market, the demand for personalization has never been greater. The digital consumer has different needs, different wants, and different attention spans – as such, they demand more from their online advertising.

The days of one-size-fits-all approach to advertising are long gone. Instead, when it comes to creative, today’s consumers expect ads to be tailored specifically to their individual wants and needs. So if you don’t make personalization a priority, your campaigns will simply get lost in the crowd.

2. Combining creative and data (human and machine)

The concept of developing personalized creative for each individual customer can feel like a daunting task. However, with the rise of AI technology – particularly within the programmatic arena – personalizing creative has never been easier.  To see this in action, see our case study on blending AI and advertising to drive aggressive growth.

One of the principal benefits of programmatic is that it can leverage AI algorithms to automate creative production. By providing ad pieces rather than a whole ad, we can leverage programmatic AI to build out dynamic ads that are catered specifically to an individual’s wants and needs rather than creating these by hand.

The idea is to produce the building blocks of campaigns, rather than finished ads and letting the AI do the rest. For example, Google released Smart Display ads on GDN back in April of 2017, allowing advertisers to upload building blocks that Google’s AI algorithm would then use to automatically generate ads that would be best fit the audience and drive the best performance.

Learn how this also applies to Google’s Universal App Campaigns, helping advertisers market their apps.

3. Programmatic for all ad formats

One of the most interesting topics discussed at the conference surrounded the benefits of engaging a programmatic vendor to deliver all of your ad formats. As opposed to segregating out video vs. mobile vs. display.

The consensus among experts was that by utilizing a single agency for all ad and device types, you are enabling vendors to see the bigger picture. Therefore, giving them access to a more complete data set so that they can learn what is working and why. Then, armed with this information, they are able to put that information to work across the entirety of your ad activity.

This is likely to be a key driver in how organizations allocate their ad spend in 2019. According to a study conducted by Advertiser Perceptions, as much as 41% of ad spend will be going towards programmatic in the next 12 months. That’s a significant chunk of media dollars and a big shift in how organizations are choosing to allocate their resources.

Why the shift? According to Kevin Mannion, Chief Strategy Officer at Advertiser Perceptions, marketers today are looking to leverage programmatic to help them with targeting, expanding audience reach, creating efficiencies, and leveraging data.

For organizations that are looking to take advantage of programmatic ads, the key will be finding a partner who can bridge the gap between insight and creative, utilizing both data and design in conjunction to ensure that online ads are personalized for each individual user.

As an agency that is designed to help organizations navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, Major Tom has been working at the forefront of programmatic advertising. Find out more about the media services our team of experts provide and how programmatic could impact your organization.