Programmatic advertising can be adapted throughout the buyer journey. It’s seen as the future of digital advertising. In fact, according to Forrester, programmatic advertising will account for the majority of all advertising spend over the next few years.

The only thing standing in most marketers’ way is a lack of true understanding about what programmatic ads are and how to optimize them. It requires a comprehensive and enlightened approach that uses intent data to be successful.

How Does Programmatic Advertising Work?

Typically, ads are targeted to a company profile (company size, industry, geography). However, intent-fueled programmatic ads allow marketers to target companies/users based on whether or not they demonstrate intent to buy. In this way, you place your ads into the hands of those individuals who actually make purchase decisions and those who are looking to purchase.

Programmatic ads help you achieve better response rates because they target accounts only when they’re at the buying stage of their journey and on a device where buying is possible. When done correctly, these ads eliminate general blanket promotion and automate bidding in real-time so specific customers see specific ads in a specific context.

4 Ways to Get the Most Value out of Your Programmatic Ads

You can run programmatic ads in countless ways. However, not all programmatic ads are created equal. There are a few critical features that you must look for if you want the best click-thru, view-thru, and spend/conversion rates.

1. Ask the Right Questions

Before you choose the right programmatic ad company and third-party data for your advertising campaign, you need to make sure you’ve asked the right questions. This will tell you if you’ll have access to the features you need for successful programmatic ads.

  • What ad exchanges does the company partner with? Examples include AppNexus, BrightRoll, DoubleClick, etc.
  • What third-party data sources do they use? Is best-in-class intent data available?
  • What variables can you adjust (audience, time of day, device, buyer journey stage, creative size, etc.)?
  • How is the ad invoiced (dynamic CPM is far better than fixed CPM)?

2. Program Ads Based on Device Intent

Few programmatic ads take intent device into consideration. They don’t take into account which devices within a company are actually involved in a purchase decision, so they must target all devices within the company’s IP range and hope that the right devices are also included. This means you’ll waste ad spend and impressions on worthless devices.

Instead, you need to look for Best-in-Class intent programmatic to avoid placing ads on devices that aren’t showing intent. In this way, you’ll only pay to show your ad on company devices belonging to buyers. It also means you’ll avoid placing ads on devices that show a fraudulent intent pattern, which means you won’t eat up impressions or receive false clicks.

3. Deliver Ads Based on the Account’s Buyer Journey

It’s not enough just to show your ads to a user who has the ability to make a purchase decision; they have to be at a point where they are ready to make a purchase. Ads are only valuable if they are shown to buyers at the appropriate stage of their buyer journey.

Best-in-class intent programmatic ads let you know exactly where an account stands. From there, you can create and push appropriate ads based on their stage: early (nurturing), middle (endorsement), or late (vendor-sort). This means you can get rid of generic ads that are only relevant to a select few individuals and instead create highly specific ads buyers will actually click.

4. Align Your Channel

If you don’t send your ad out on the right channel, it might as well be worthless. Not every communication channel is appropriate for every content medium. For example, you wouldn’t try to drive lead form submissions on your website with a TV commercial. Instead, you need to make sure that every piece of your advertisement matches your campaign goals for the best results.

Social media ads, Google Ads, PPC ads, industry forums, conferences, trade association websites all have their place. Before you create your programmatic ad and use intent data to reach your audience, research the best channel for your message and goal and then move forward from there.

Final Thoughts

Best-in-Class programmatic ads will ensure that you don’t waste impressions and ad spend on accounts that don’t matter. The key is how you use intent data to tune your ads to the right device, the buyer’s journey, and the channel. Once you get the right message into the right hands in the right context, you’ll inevitably boost response rates and ROI.