“If you ask 3 people what is programmatic, you’ll probably get 3 different answers,” Matomy COO Sagi Niri stated at the beginning of his talk on Mobile & The Power of Programmatic at Israel AdTech. The only problem is that there still doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what defines programmatic. The one thing advertisers can agree on is that programmatic ad spend has grown significantly, especially in the last two years – with approximately 66% of advertisers planning to boost their programmatic ad spend in 2016.
What is Programmatic?
Until recently the term “programmatic” was used to refer to many different aspects of advertising technology: bidding, data processing, artificial intelligence, order processing, and more. But increasingly “programmatic” is being used to refer to any ad space bought automatically by targeting specific audiences and demographics. This is by either bidding on the space via real-time bidding on Google, Facebook, or many other platforms like Matomy’s – or buying directly.
From Manual to Programmatic
Why programmatic? You could say it’s the natural evolution of advertising. More and more processes that were previously done manually are being done automatically – programmatically in fact. And it’s not only online advertisers and publishers. Just look at Time Inc. as an example. Time started selling print ads with automated technology last February, Niri reminded the audience. And in the past month, AOL announced the launch of their own self-serve programmatic TV buying.
The Present & Future of Advertising: Mobile & Video
Mobile is the driving force behind the growth in programmatic advertising. Well, that, and video. We’ve heard time and time again that 2016 is the year of video. Other discussions at Israel AdTech confirmed the immense popularity of video ads and lauded it for actually engaging users and improving user experience overall. But video is only a small part, whereas “mobile is taking the programmatic world by storm,” according to Niri.
Last year, mobile programmatic spending was higher than desktop: $9.3 billion compared to desktop’s $6.1 billion. This trend is only expected to continue growing with an estimation that mobile will account for 77% of the programmatic market by 2017.
Mobile has risen so fast because mobile is essential to our everyday lives. Or as Niri put it, “Mobile devices are an extension of ourselves. The utility they provide, from maps to shopping, banking, general communication, and entertainment. We read, travel, play, play, and listen on our phones. They have expanded our capabilities perhaps more than anything.”
Mobile technology has completely altered the way we function and exist, creating new behavior and opportunities for the world at large.
Customized Advertising Through Mobile Insights
Did you know that the average person looks at their phone nearly 150 times a day? And it’s this constant connectivity that has changed advertising for the better. We now have richer data than ever before. We’ve improved geo-targeting, and with beacons we’ll be able to get even deeper insights on user behavior. We finally have a chance to create accurate user personas and understand users, their interests, and so much more. For example, today we can see what are a user’s favorite apps, how often they use them, where, and how long.
A lot of this information is from Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has played a substantial role in mobile’s programmatic growth, with US revenues expected to reach $5.9 billion this year and $12.1 billion by 2017. With this information, advertisers can create a personalized advertising experience for consumers, one that they’ll actually appreciate and not want to block.
From Mobile to Holistic
Now all of this isn’t to say that companies should drop desktop, or focus only on mobile – instead they should consolidate.
More and more companies like Matomy are bringing display, mobile, video – all of their channels under one roof, to create one “omniplatform” gateway for cross-channel advertising. A recent Matomy survey revealed that 80% of mobile developers are using 3 or fewer app promotion partners, which only proves that more and more advertisers are embracing a holistic approach to marketing, with mobile at its core.