Programmatic Advertising and Real-time Bidding: Changing the Game of Local Marketing

programmatic, programmatic advertising, local, local marketing, mobile, mobile marketing, real-time bidding

The smartphone is king, and its reign over advertising and marketing continues to grow. Consumers trust their smartphones to help them find just about everything they need – it’s how they access the world. For National Brands, the challenge has been how to target consumers who are on the move and then, once they’ve been delivered a relevant, targeted ad, how to take them from clicks to conversions.

What makes programmatic valuable to advertisers is its “secret sauce” of combining data from multiple sources in real-time to identify and deliver the right message to the right consumer at the right time. For this reason alone, it has become one of the most promising methods for targeting, reaching, engaging, and converting customers with relevancy and precision. And thanks to its machine learning and real-time optimization capabilities, it has quickly become an effective and efficient tool for maximizing advertising ROI as well. So it should come as no surprise that programmatic is estimated to account for 50% of digital ad sales by 2018.

Seeing how this paints a picture of programmatic increasingly becoming the direction in which the future of advertising is moving, now is the time for marketers to not only learn how to use it, but also embrace it as a valuable tool in their advertising arsenal.

What Exactly Is Programmatic Advertising?

Before jumping on the bandwagon, you may be asking, “What exactly is programmatic advertising?” Explained by Marketing Land, it’s a process in which media buying is automated and selected for placement according to specific audiences and demographics. In days past, marketers would cast a wide net with a campaign, measure results, redefine parameters, and try again in a constant process of trying to reach the right consumers at the right time. Programmatic advertising automates that process and places ads using artificial intelligence and real-time bidding to maximize results. In simpler terms, it takes out a lot of the guesswork out of advertising optimization to deliver more effective and relevant results.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of time spent on smartphones now takes place on apps (86%) vs. mobile websites (14%), but the rules of (programmatic) engagement are not entirely the same for each. Unlike websites where accurate location data can oftentimes be hard to come by, the always-on and always-connected nature of smartphones has made it possible to retrieve real-time location data quite easily once a user has given an app permission to access that information. Advertisers can then, in turn, use that location data programmatically as an indicator of purchase intent, helping to more accurately inform which messages will resonate most with their target consumers based on their current physical location or even locations they have recently visited.

Driving Local Results –
The Right Consumer at the Right Time

The real power of programmatic advertising comes when it is paired with real-time bidding for local search results. Real-time bidding means finding Joe Smith when he is a mile away from your store’s location at the exact moment he searched for “auto parts.” Then it places a relevant, local ad in front of him. Decisions are made with complex algorithms in a fraction of a second to target consumers who are purchase-ready. So why pre-buy ad space when you can dedicate marketing dollars only on the leads that have a greater chance of converting from potential to actual customers?

Local search marketing platforms, like ypSearch Marketplace, gather data to better pinpoint the types of audiences that programmatic campaigns are likely to reach. Through this platform, real-time bidding (RTB), geo-targeting, keyword search advertising, and cost-per-click converge to create campaigns that deliver real results.

The impact of programmatic on local search should therefore be fairly clear: more qualified leads and fewer wasted advertising dollars as a result of targeting the right consumers at the exact moment when they are ready to purchase – all of which equates to increased ROI.

Clicks to Conversions

It’s important to take note of a few things when adjusting campaigns for better conversions:

  • Programmatic advertising thrives on tracked data. However, according to Adobe’s CMO, tracking mobile behavior via cookies, IP addresses, and browser history is still evolving.
  • Mobile programmatic advertising best aligns with local search marketing because of mobile users’ intent to purchase.
  • Programmatic campaigns may produce different results depending on whether ads are purchased directly, through RTB, or through a private marketplace.
  • Third-party applications, like social media platforms, help boost local mobile programmatic campaigns through big data development and greater access to data inventory like tracked browsing habits.
  • The proliferation of smartphones and apps has made a large amount of location data available to local advertisers, which means they can now more effectively target users on mobile apps via location-based intent.

The Bottom Line

According to The NPD Group, “nearly 75 percent of smartphone owners are using their device as part of their overall shopping experience.” Mobile is already entrenched in the lives of consumers everywhere and the data shows that trend to only be growing. Mobile programmatic advertising with real-time bidding is going to be key for National Brands looking to target relevant, local consumers. In the end, it’s a symbiotic relationship that pairs the right goods and services with the people searching for them at any given moment in time. The moral of the story: savvy marketers are leaning on programmatic advertising to make sure their brands are always there to meet those needs.


Photo Credit: Adobe Stock (Standard License)


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