By Jonathan Schwartz, CEO
Have you filled out your bracket yet? As March Madness begins, basketball fans across the country are making calculated decisions to determine which teams are favored to win the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, at Bullseye Strategy, we’re reviewing our own “final four”: the top digital technologies.
No, this didn’t involve looking at free-throw percentages or points per game. But we are quite impressed with the assist these key players provide in our digital marketing game. Like the white rectangle on a backboard, these four innovative solutions help us narrow in on the target, so we never miss a shot.
Team Bullseye Strategy in their college gear
1. Programmatic Media Buying
What is Programmatic Media Buying?
In short, programmatic advertising uses software-driven technology to automate the buying and selling of ads. In other words, it’s pressing the easy button on what usually is a long and cumbersome process. If you’re familiar with traditional media buying, you know it’s manual and requires human-to-human negotiations between an advertiser and a publisher. Programmatic media buying, on the other hand, uses software to bid for ad impressions in real time. As soon as the software system identifies a match to the advertiser’s target customer, it automatically bids on the impression.
As MarTech Today explains it, the technology is able to quickly and more accurately identify the right target audience, because it pulls information from multiple data sources. For one, it can pull from a website’s or app’s cookies or user login IDs, which track users’ searches and the types of content they consume. The software can also use third-party data, from data aggregators like Bluekai or Epsilon. These aggregators supply a range of customer insights, such as household income, job title, whether someone is in-market for particular goods or services and so much more.
And, of course, the advertiser has their own customer data, including email addresses, purchase history, and average order value. Together, these data points feed into the software’s ad-buying decisions. As soon a match is found, the software gets to work – no waiting around for someone to send an email.
Best of all, this data accumulates throughout the course of the ad campaign. As information comes in, the system learns more about the target audience and adjusts its ad buying accordingly. This automated optimization is a major advantage over traditional media buying.
It’s important to remember that, like most new digital technologies, programmatic advertising is constantly evolving. For now, you can expect to see programmatic advertising being used in a variety of media, including digital out-of-home, television and even audio.
Why We Use It: Programmatic advertising makes traditional media buying seem as dated as dinosaurs. Using this newer technology is simply one way we stay at the top of our game. Of course, that’s not the only reason we run this play. Programmatic media buying is cost-efficient and extremely effective. Thanks to software algorithms, we can more accurately hit your target customer, which saves time and generates a higher ROI.
There is one other key differentiator. Unlike traditional methods that rely on the ad publisher to manage your campaign, programmatic advertising gives marketers the power to manage the ad space. With more control over your digital advertising, we can better serve your target customer and, ultimately, your business.
What is Advanced TV?
Advanced TV is a term used to encompass Programmatic TV, Connected TV, and Addressable TV. Each of these offers a unique way to run ads on television, all of which are different from traditional buying methods. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Programmatic TV – Like programmatic advertising, this is an automated, data-driven ad-buying process. Advertisers leverage technology to purchase linear TV ads, which are the spots viewers see while watching a television program on its original channel, during its original broadcast time slot.
Connected TV – The term simply refers to a television set that is connected to the internet, such as a smart TV, streaming device (Roku, Amazon Fire Sticks, TiVo and the like) or even gaming console (PlayStation and X-Box). Connected TV ads are those that are sold through a similar automated, data-based system and served up while a consumer is watching content on their Connected TV.
Addressable TV – What sets Addressable TV apart is the fact that it can deliver targeted ads based on audience characteristics. This type of advertising is highly specific, so much so that viewers within the same household may see completely different ads if they watch the same program at different times.
Connected TV and Addressable TV advertising are often used interchangeably. Just know that they are both forms of Advanced TV advertising and refer to buying video ads that will be viewed on a Connected TV.
Why We Use It:
Broadcast and cable are no longer the only ways consumers watch television programs. Streaming content via a streaming device or smart TV is growing in popularity. An eMarketer report estimates that there are 88.7 million Connected TV households in the U.S. alone, which accounts for 71.6 percent of all households. The quick adoption of this new technology is reason enough for us to prioritize Advanced TV advertising in our digital marketing strategies. Add to that the ability to buy just the customers we want to reach as opposed to everyone who watches a particular show, the efficiency is off the shot charts. After all, we can’t serve our clients if we can’t serve their customers.
What is Geo-Fencing?
As CIO explains it, geo-fencing is a location-based service that uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to define a geofence, or virtual boundary. Geo-fenced ads are the messages that show up on a mobile device that has entered a geofence. These messages can be in the form of a text, a push notification or a targeted ad on social media or within another mobile application (we’re looking at you, Words With Friends).
However, for the geo-fenced ads to appear, the customer’s mobile settings must be configured to allow the application to use his or her location. In other words, geo-fencing is an opt-in service. But once a consumer opts in, geo-fencing’s potential is practically endless. Geo-fenced ads can be used to deliver in-store promotions as soon as someone is within a certain radius of the retailer. Want to reach people who walked into your competitor’s store? Yes please and thank you very much because we can do that too.
Why We Use It:
In an era where everything is digital, e-commerce isn’t the only way to win share of wallet. Geo-fencing allows brick-and-mortar stores to send messages to potential customers who are within a stone’s throw of their location. One minute a potential customer is scrolling Instagram at a traffic light (not you of course but the person in the car next to you), and the next she gets served an ad for the home décor store that’s just a few blocks down the road. This instantaneous, location-based messaging is what makes geo-fenced ads so exciting to us as digital marketers.
4. Connected Tech/Internet of Things
What is Connected Tech?
According to a 2014 Forbes.com article, the Internet of Things (IoT) “is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).” Everything from a coffee maker to the jet engine of an airplane can be a part of IoT, because it can, technically, be connected to the internet.
When we talk about IoT in the digital marketing world, we’re generally talking about wearable tech and virtual assistants; think Apple Watch and Amazon’s Alexa. However, IoT for marketers can also include laundry machines, coffee makers, lamps and even tech-enabled cars. These devices offer a new kind of space for brands to communicate with customers.
Connected tech has changed the game for marketers trying to target users on search. It’s no longer just about serving up an interactive ad after a search query and hoping the customer clicks through to your website. To retrieve information, consumers can simply shout at Alexa or shake their wrist. According to ComScore, half of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020. To maintain a competitive edge, marketers will have to adjust their SEO strategies to meet new voice search trends.
Why We Use It:
More and more consumers are using some form of connected tech every day, which gives brands the opportunity to fully integrate into their lives. In fact, one age group with considerable buying power has already been identified as a “heavy” user of voice-enabled technology.
The 2018 PwC Consumer Intelligence Series voice assistants survey found that 65 percent of 25- to 49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day. The survey also found that 57 percent of 18-24-year-olds say they will increase their voice device usage in the coming years. At Bullseye Strategy, we realize the marketing value of this consumer activity; being able to reach customers on such a regular basis helps keep your brand top-of-mind.
More importantly, voice-enabled devices are increasingly becoming a place to shop. A Narvar consumer report found that more consumers of all ages are using their devices to help them make a purchase. There was a 41 percent increase in 2018 alone.
Statista projects the total number of connected devices worldwide will reach 31 billion by 2020. It’s obvious to us that connected tech is a truly valuable opportunity for digital marketers, and we are excited to explore its potential as the landscape evolves.
Score With New Digital Technologies
As digital marketing strategists, it is our mission to be ahead of the consumer curve. Thankfully, these digital technologies make our mission possible. With options like Addressable TV and geo-fencing, we can put your brand at center court, and then fill the stadium with an engaged audience.
Interested to know how these new technologies can help build your business? Shoot us an email, and one of our digital marketing experts will happily talk strategy with you.