There is often scepticism about change, and in the digital marketing world, the emergence of programmatic is a revolutionary one. The data-driven approach automates ad buying and uses algorithms that enable marketers to reach increasingly specific target demographics. This new reliance on software has led to fears that programmatic is replacing humans with technology and eliminating the need for creative content. So are the sceptics right – is programmatic a creative-killer?
Positive evolution of marketing roles
People are hardwired to dislike change, preferring things that have been around longer. While there is undoubtedly an element of fear, ‘it’s also that they genuinely believe that when you’ve been doing something a particular way for some time, it must be a good way to do things’. Programmatic methods mean that technology is now doing the buying and placing of ad inventory instead of people. But this doesn’t mean humans are no longer needed – ‘it just means that their role in the process is changing’.
This evolution in the roles of marketers is hugely positive, and allows them to focus on more important parts of the process, one of these being creative content. Programmatic provides a vastly improved level of efficiency and effectiveness across the buying and placing of ad inventory, but the right amount of creativity is vital in maintaining a successful balance.
Programmatic gives creatives the power to tackle challenges
Today’s consumers expect a certain amount of personalisation, and the type of advertising they respond to varies depending on numerous factors such as the device they are using, the site they are on and even the weather. For example, people don’t want ads that take them on a journey when they’re browsing Facebook. Marketers also need to deal with the challenges of reaching consumers who don’t directly engage with ads: ‘They need to understand that ultimately the key decider of their campaign’s success is what it looks like to the 99% of people who won’t click on it.’.
Programmatic gives creatives the information and parameters they need to tackle these challenges and develop engaging content. Because it provides such an abundance of rich data, ‘creativity today encompasses more than just visual design and animation skills’, requiring ‘curiosity, flexibility, and a product mindset’. In fact, ‘it’s a rich territory where you can take consumers individually through fantastic sequential stories, without relying on them putting the effort in to get there themselves’.
Creatives essential for optimum results
Although change might seem a little scary, programmatic is set to remain a key methodology in digital marketing for the foreseeable future, and with it comes a wealth of positive evolution in terms of data-driven efficiency. This does not mean the end for creatives, but a new era, ‘laying the ground for a new wave of creative thinking’. Indeed, without the creatives, programmatic could not be effective, as ads must pique the interest of consumers, and thus a union of the two is essential for optimum results.