Reach audiences across screens

Programmatic buying helps brands engage audiences, wherever they may be at any given moment. The most fitting impression for a brand campaign could be on any screen, such as a smartphone, tablet, or desktop screen, or in any channel, such as display, mobile web, in-app or video. With the reach programmatic has across screens, channels and formats, it can make a real-time decision to show a mobile video ad to one person, while showing a display ad on a tablet device to another -- based on what will drive the greatest impact.

Not only does programmatic enable reach across devices and channels, but the emergence of premium inventory available through programmatic buying ensures brands connect with their audiences in brand-safe environments. And as newer inventory - like linear TV - becomes available programmatically, brands will enhance their campaigns with this high-impact form of premium inventory. In the not-so-distant future, brands will use programmatic buying to evaluate inventory such as this on a level playing field with all other media channels, and have even greater flexibility to reach the right person, at the right moment, in the right context.

More programmatic buys are now happening across channels and ad formats

- "The Programmatic Revolution: How Technology is Transforming Marketing", Advertising Age and DoubleClick, September 2014

Why it matters

Advertising programmatically makes it possible to deliver a brand's message across screens at the best moment of opportunity while leveraging the unique attributes of different devices. Brands no longer have to decide ahead of time where their message will get the best response. Instead, their ads can fluidly reach each person in their audience at the best time, place and channel for that person. If that happens to be in the morning, on a smartphone, on YouTube, then programmatic buying can deliver a mobile video ad. If that happens to be during prime time TV, on a tablet, on a news website, then programmatic buying can deliver an HTML5 ad. Further, as audiences adopt new types of connected devices and consume content in new ways, programmatic technologies will adapt to those, too.

How to succeed

Follow these steps to seamlessly reach audiences across screens and channels:

  1. Transition digital buys to programmatic buying

    Consider using programmatic buying when possible for digital buys. Depending on the desired mix of control and scale, brands can use the optimal buying option, be it open auction or programmatic direct buys.

    Programmatic is going premium

    The number of private exchanges running on Google systems has nearly doubled year-over-year

    - Google internal data, Q3 2014
  2. Unify display, mobile and video campaigns

    Programmatic allows brands to focus on the audience, beyond specific formats and channels. The availability of mobile and video inventory via programmatic is skyrocketing, so take advantage of the efficient access programmatic buying offers to these high-impact channels.

    Programmatic video snapshot

    4X growth in impressions for videos transacted programmatically

    - Google internal data, 2014
    Programmatic mobile snapshot

    297% projected industry mobile programmatic growth in 2014

    - "Worldwide and U.S. Real-Time Bidding Forecast," IDC, Nov 2013
  3. Have multiple ad formats on the ready

    Prepare dynamic ads to run in all ad sizes, build them using HTML5 so they can run across screens, and produce video ads for programmatic placement. Use programmatic buying to distribute the ads. Look for opportunities to pair highly creative units to programmatic direct deals.

    Keep in mind

    If your brand is thinking about search, display, mobile and video separately, then you're not thinking like your consumer.

Case study

See how Burberry leveraged programmatic direct to reach their audience across screens

  1. Burberry

    In 2013, luxury fashion brand Burberry delivered Burberry Kisses - a beautiful, emotional experience across screens, executed with engaging HTML5 creative and programmatic buying. The brief was to create an emotional connection between the Burberry brand and their Millennial target audience. The campaign included “kissable” desktop and mobile display ads that allowed users to send messages to loved ones, sealed with their own kiss. Burberry negotiated programmatic deals with select publishers for the campaign. Thanks to HTML5 creative, users were treated to the same engaging ad across screens. On mobile, Burberry enhanced the creative with device-specific capabilities to let users actually kiss their touch-screen to send their kiss. Burberry delivered this experience at scale in a true “build once, run everywhere” fashion. The campaign achieved high engagement levels, with people in over 13,000 cities sending a kiss in the first 10 days. It also increased searches for the "Burberry Kisses" keyword on by over 250,000.

Executive summary

  • Step 1 – Organize audience insights
  • Step 2 – Design compelling creative
  • Step 3 – Execute with integrated technology
Step 4 - Reach audiences across screens

Use programmatic buying to engage audiences, wherever they may be at any given moment, on any screen, or on any channel.

  • Use programmatic for all digital buying using a combination of open auction and programmatic direct methods.
  • Focus on accessing audiences, wherever they may be -- on display, mobile or video -- through programmatic buying.
  • Prepare ads to run in all ad sizes, build them using HTML5 so they can run across screens, and produce video ads for programmatic placement.
  • Step 5 – Measure the impact

Be there in the moment of opportunity on any screen and in any channel

Programmatic buying may have started with open exchanges and real-time bidding, but it has quickly advanced beyond that. Programmatic direct methods of buying have emerged to meet the needs of brand buyers. A greater diversity of inventory than ever before is now available in display, mobile and video. And with skyrocketing growth rates of both mobile and video, programmatic buying will soon meet the needs for the majority of inventory demands across screens.

A guide compiled by