Executive Summary

Programmatic buying is no longer just for direct response campaigns. It's for brand campaigns, too. It's helping brands realize the ultimate promise of advertising in the digital age: to efficiently and effectively run highly relevant, creative, responsive and measurable campaigns, at scale. Brands are getting started with programmatic buying by investing in data and technology while also empowering their teams to leverage these investments. To make the most of programmatic buying, read about, test and operationalize the five key steps for programmatic success. Brand love is close at hand.

Step 1


Organize audience insights

Be relevant in the moments that matter by organizing audience insights, owning customer data and appealing to what the audience wants. Consumers will respond with their purchases, loyalty and brand advocacy.

  • Gather your audience data using a tag management system that can gather your audience interactions across all touchpoints.
  • Get a cross-device, cross-channel view by aggregating insights from historical and real-time sources of insight including digital analytics data, offline data, CRM data, campaign data, first-party and third-party data.
  • Regularly analyze audience, creative and media insights to learn what's working and what's not and take instant action to improve campaign strategies.
Step 2


Design compelling creative

Get creativity and technology working together so that audience insights inform creative in real-time, ads render across screens and programmatic technologies deliver relevant, engaging ads.

  • Build creative that is ready for all screens and all channels at all times. Include HTML5 creative and some creative units that take advantage of the unique characteristics of mobile devices.
  • Use dynamic creative to deliver the most relevant ad for each viewer, in real-time.
  • Share campaign results with creative teams so that they can optimize the creative strategy.
Step 3


Execute with integrated technology

Use integrated technology to evaluate, purchase, activate and measure media on a global scale in real time. It considerably enhances the value of audience insights and creative ads by efficiently and effectively delivering brand messaging to audiences across channels and screens.

  • Select a preferred programmatic partner who can globally scale across all media channels and business units to provide a single source of truth for digital marketing.
  • Unify marketing efforts with an integrated platform that provides consolidated audience insights, one control center from which to execute programmatic and reservation campaigns, and unified reporting across channels, devices and formats.
  • Use programmatic buying to iterate through experimentation by trying new ideas, gathering feedback and quickly acting on results.
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

Adopt user-first, open and actionable brand measurement and attribution capabilities to make sure consumers see ads, understand how ads impact consumer perception and measure what consumers do after ad exposure.

  • Use programmatic buying to target viewable impressions and ensure ads are seen.
  • Understand audience reach and composition with an integrated digital GRP tool.
  • Use brand lift tools to generate real-time feedback on ad recall and brand awareness. Use these results to iterate and improve digital campaigns.
  • Find the attribution model that provides the most accurate view of all digital touchpoints, informs how each touchpoint relates to conversions, and uncovers the most effective touchpoints at influencing audiences to take action.

Soon, all brands will be confident in their ability to use programmatic buying to engage and move audiences when it matters most. Using the five key steps for programmatic success, they can organize audience insights, design compelling creative, execute with integrated technology, reach audiences across screens and be able to measure the impact.

A guide compiled by