Blog Post

Top Programmatic Marketing Innovations for 2020

October 20, 2020 - Brenna Betsch

Throughout the past year, as consumers have adopted new habits in light of changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, new programmatic marketing innovations and tactics have come to fruition in response to the changes in consumers’ lives. 

There are countless platforms that are accessed through programmatic advertising including desktop, mobile, tablet, audio, video, CTV, audio, and digital-out-of-home. With so many accessible channels, it’s obvious that trends and innovations are constantly changing. However, three programmatic marketing innovations have stood out among the rest during 2020. We’ve outlined them below. 

What is programmatic marketing?

Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising between brands and/or agencies and suppliers. The brands or agencies use a demand-side platform, or DSP, to essentially decide which impressions to buy and how much they should pay for each impression. The suppliers use a supply-side platform, or SSP, which is where they sell these impressions to brands and agencies.  

What are the biggest programmatic marketing innovations for 2020?

Connected TV Advertising

With more people than ever at home right now, it’s no surprise that Connected TV and Over-the-top TV has been one of the top programmatic marketing innovations of 2020. As COVID-19 spread to the United States, the time spent watching TV on CTV grew exponentially, especially with the loss of live sports. During the height of the countrywide shelter-in-place orders, consumers were streaming over 4 billion hours of CTV per week according to Nielsen. When comparing CTV advertising impressions to the overall number of advertising impressions throughout the month of May, CTV accounted for 39-49% of impressions. This demonstrates how the time viewing video content at home skyrocketed. As states have started to ease up on shelter-in-place orders, CTV usage remains higher than before coronavirus as the number of cord-cutters continues to increase. 

Similar to typical programmatic advertising, CTV has the ability to target audiences based on demographics, however, it also has the ability to target by device type and screen size – for example: large monitors (TVs), PCs, and mobile devices. It also gives brands the ability to garner useful insights in real-time by seeing how responsive viewers are to their ads – this can be measured by the video completion rate (VCR) or tracking ad exposures. 

One of the greatest benefits advertisers have gained by incorporating CTV into their digital advertising plans is the ability to connect with millennials. As one of the youngest and most mobile groups of consumers, most brands will have a growing desire to reach them. Many consumers of this age group have been cord-cutters for years and advertisers now have the opportunity to effectively reach and target this group. 

Digital Audio Advertising

n 2019, digital audio advertising grew by 30% and listener traffic increased to 191.6 million. This drastic growth clearly showcases why brands are now incorporating this screenless ad format into their digital marketing mix in 2020. In today’s environment, digital audio advertising is one of the most cost-effective ways for advertisers to reach their target audience across a multitude of devices. Digital Audio ads work similar to video ads as they are very customizable and can be catered specifically towards your target audience. The main difference between the two is that digital audio can be utilized when visual ads are not possible – for example when people are driving in the car.

Beyond the audience reach benefits, digital audio advertising has been one of the key programmatic marketing innovations as it is very easy to track and verycost-effective. Advertisers can monitor how effective they are both financially and performance-wise. Digital audio uses impression-based ad tagging so advertisers can see how many users are listening to a specific ad in its entirety and track attribution to see results from native ads. Digital audio also offers voice-activated ads and companion banner ads. 

Not only are digital audio advertisements usually more cost-effective to produce (than say video or display ads), but they have been booming in 2020 due to the high customer engagement rate. These ads usually have extremely high listen-through rates so brands are able to get their entire message across. According to Nielsen Media Lab – audio ads have a 25% higher recall rate than display ads; in addition to that, according to the Midroll Media Reports – 60% of podcast listeners made a purchase after listening to a podcast audio ad. 

Digital Out of Home

Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) is a marketing channel that allows brands to serve ads dynamically and digitally in outdoor public places – this is where the name “Out of home” originated. Some examples of these ads placement are on screens in airports, food courts, and kiosks in major cities. This form of advertising has seen its ad spend double over the last year now totaling $181.6 million and projected to reach $533.8 million by 2022.

Advertisers have seen several major benefits of incorporating DOOH into their marketing mix this year – one is that it allows brands to connect outdoor and online initiatives. In big cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago, there are kiosks with ad displays on heavily populated sidewalks. These kiosks work as free public wifi hotspots with the ability to track the number of devices (smartphone, wearable, etc.) connected to each. This allows the brand to gauge overall foot-traffic in the area.

Another benefit of DOOH advertising is that it leverages true rich media, a form of advertisements that consumers are able to interact with rather than just view/see. This form of advertising truly captures the audience’s attention which typically results in “impulse purchasing behavior”. The best example of this is when you are in a food court in a mall and you see an ad for McDonald’s. 

As COVID restrictions continue to loosen, DOOH will most likely see an increase in ad spend in the next several months. 

Implementing these programmatic marketing innovations into your media plan

2020 has pushed advertisers to make adjustments to their advertising campaign as consumer behavior continues to shift and diversity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the changing consumer behavior has come great programmatic marketing innovations and opportunities. New and emerging channels such as CTV, digital audio, and DOOH all enhance digital advertising campaigns with greater audience reach, alternative targeting capabilities, and a push for greater metric-driven campaigns. 

As new and emerging technologies continue to appear in the digital advertising space, you may have questions about how best to incorporate these channels into your media plans. As a platform-agnostic partner, the Digilant team has a deep understanding of leading technology platforms and providers. Interested in learning more about how Digialnt can leverage our industry knowledge to help boost your digital advertising campaigns? Let’s talk

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