What Is Programmatic Marketing—and How Can It Supercharge Your ROI?

Katie Cavanaugh
October 20, 2022

The advertisement landscape continues to grow increasingly competitive. To keep up, many marketers have turned to programmatic marketing to get the most out of their ad investment. 

But, what is programmatic marketing? Why is it a good fit for companies of all shapes and sizes, and what are the best ways to approach it?

We’ll break it down and offer our best recommendations.  

What Is Programmatic Marketing? 

At its simplest, we can define programmatic marketing as “the use of software to buy digital advertising.” While that may not sound like an earth-shattering phenomenon, what differentiates programmatic marketing is the use of automated bidding and placements that rely on machine learning to optimize ad spending—all in real-time.

Traditionally, ad marketplaces require a lot of logistics and back and forth around proposals, quotes, negotiation, and more. In contrast, programmatic marketing opens the door for iterative ad strategy and highly targeted and optimized campaigns—to name just a few of the benefits.  

Why Is Programmatic Marketing So Effective? 

The key advantage of programmatic marketing is that it drastically decreases manual work for marketers, happens instantaneously, and offers highly customized and scalable targeting. The only thing marketers and advertisers must do is set up the bounds for their ads and the program optimizes for the right placement, audience, and price. 

This frees up marketers to focus on the logistics less and consider the strategy of their ad campaign. For example, with programmatic marketing, marketers can make sure they optimize their ads by:  

  • Price: What is the optimized price to pay within the maximum set budget?  
  • Relevancy: Why would I pay for ads served to an irrelevant audience? 
  • Frequency: What is the ideal balance for how often we display the ad? 
  • Medium: What medium aligns best with the targeted base? 
  • Demographic: Who does our content best serve and how do we reach them? 

These are just the foundational aspects that we can optimize for in programmatic marketing. From here, marketers can see the results of their ad strategy and continue to iterate on their approach. 

What Is the ROI of Programmatic Marketing?  

Besides enabling very targeted and real-time ad campaigns, what is the larger return on investment of using programmatic marketing? 

Minimize manual work

Because programmatic marketing employs automation and machine learning, a lot of the work that used to be done manually for marketers and advertisers—like creating ad orders and negotiating prices—occurs within the program. This frees up marketing teams to focus on more impactful and strategic initiatives that move the business forward. 

Reach a larger audience with high scalability 

Another benefit of the automated approach to programmatic marketing is the scalability it achieves for ad campaigns. Programmatic marketing has helped companies reach new levels of impressions that not only boost brand awareness but surface important data points to understand potential audiences for future ad campaigns. 

Optimize your budget 

Beyond the manual nature of negotiation, often with traditional marketing, it’s difficult to stick to an ideal budget. With programmatic marketing, marketers give the program a maximum budget and the program optimizes the ad campaign with the price cap always in mind. This allows for extremely budget-efficient campaigns that then save marketing dollars for other campaigns, projects, and initiatives. 

Harness a strategy that works for companies of all shapes and sizes 

Unless your company doesn’t rely on ads to attract and retain customers, then programmatic marketing could be a beneficial strategy to include in your marketing arsenal. Companies of any size, type, and industry can create scalable programs tailored to reach their ideal customer. 

Why Investing in a Programmatic Marketing Agency Is Worth It 

Despite programmatic marketing being a good fit for companies of all shapes and sizes, it’s always intimidating to employ a new strategy.

Whether you’re new to paid advertising or haven’t used programmatic marketing before, one way to ensure you’re getting the best return on investment is to work with an experienced programmatic marketing agency. Programmatic marketing agencies come with the expertise needed to understand your audience, set up the program, iterate on your strategy and optimize your spend. In the end, the agency should pay for itself. 

If you’re looking for some programmatic marketing expertise to supercharge your campaign performance, our team is here to help. Request your comprehensive digital marketing audit. 

Katie Cavanaugh
Junior Copywriter

Originally from Mequon, Wisconsin, Katie Cavanaugh is a senior at Northwestern University. She loves rowing for the Northwestern club crew team, Bananagrams, and biking on Chicago’s lakefront path. Growing up, she wanted to become a Supreme Court judge.

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