Magazine article CRM Magazine

Why Marketing Automation Means More Than Faster, Better, Cheaper: Programmatic Ads Make Precision Marketing a Reality

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Why Marketing Automation Means More Than Faster, Better, Cheaper: Programmatic Ads Make Precision Marketing a Reality

Article excerpt

ANYONE WHO does business with Madison Avenue knows there's a revolution afoot. Some big advertising agency holding companies are spending billions buying up tech ventures that play key roles in the burgeoning marketing category of ad-tech. Large technology companies are aggressively acquiring elements to assemble what they call a "marketing stack" or "marketing cloud." And Internet giants are building, buying, and partnering to establish market dominance as the world's most powerful advertising services companies, based on privileged access to some of the highest-quality first-party customer data of any advertising platform in the world.

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For anyone who believes that the past few years have been business as usual for marketers, a rude awakening awaits. But for those who have anxiously anticipated the moment when CRM would enter mainstream marketing, it's time to get excited. No longer are one-to-one communications with consumers limited to direct response communications. Now, individually targeted messaging is becoming a fact of life--or at least an option--for marketers in the mainstream.

Indeed, marketers finally have an intelligent response to that conundrum posed by 19th-century department store magnate John Wanamaker, who lamented, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." While we haven't exorcised Wanamaker's ghost entirely, we can challenge his dictum when it comes to digitally addressable media.

Only recently has digital media become a significant part of most marketing programs. Of the $550 billion projected marketing investments in 2015, roughly 25 percent will be for digital media. Digital media provides an opportunity for marketers to track advertising investments against outcomes with unprecedented rigor.

Of course, increasing precision in measurement thanks to digital technology is nothing new. What's new is the rise of marketing automation. This is what Madison Avenue is abuzz about: namely, the programmatic buying and selling of advertising.

Digital advertising is increasingly bought and sold in public and private marketplaces known as advertising exchanges. In these fully electronic markets, buyers (brands and their agencies) come together with sellers (publishers and their representatives) to exchange dollars for placements across every conceivable type of digital media. …

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