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The holy grail of programmatic advertising

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Senior Content Marketing Manager, Communications Sector, IBM Analytics

Understanding who consumers are and what they really want has been called the holy grail of programmatic advertising. But take a step back and ask yourself this question. In the landscape of digital marketing, how well do you understand what programmatic really means?

Now, that question isn’t just about a search for a magical object that drives increased performance and revenue. It represents a crusade for a data-driven evolution of technology and tools that add value to both the advertiser and the consumer. Across industries, this quest is not new. The entire display ad tech landscape has been developing these tools and techniques for quite some time. However, cultivating that relationship—getting past the demographic and to the heart of who a customer really is—requires data science, according to Tim Moran, sales director at Ziff Davis. “If we connect the right advertising with the right person at the right time," says Moran, “it’s going to enhance that experience.”

Real-time adjustments and buyer behavior

IBM’s solutions for media companies, including ad tech, empower you to make real-time advertising adjustments using location-based data and an individual customer’s unique buying behavior. And as companies work to improve the digital media experience to deliver a better, less-intrusive, more relevant experience on the Internet, ad tech leaders have learned to embrace both sides of the ecosystem—the customer and the advertiser.

For the customer, the data has to be reliable, ethical and hyper-accurate. A multitude of third-party consumer data sources are available that can be combined with mountains of social and other consumer data sources to build 360-degree profiles. For the advertiser, the key is to build models that are both accurate and additive to match the consumer’s lifestyle. Otherwise, you’ll cross that fine line from fantastic to freaky—or worse, you’ll be wildly inaccurate and wind up blocked.

Ad tech has shown that if advertisers stay accurate, they can go beyond the persona to get to the person and deliver a win-win experience for all. And that, as Moran said, is all about practicing good data science. From harnessing historical data and analyzing past performance to building predictive models that enable companies of any size to know their customers as individuals, the goal should be to scale customer service, marketing, advertising and content to actually be personalized.

Dual ecosystems and targeted advertising

Advertisers who can achieve that level of dual-ecosystem harmony can prevent those pesky ad blockers from being used by consumers as a tool of last resort to improve their experience. They won’t need to block you because you’ll be doing the heavy lifting for them—with analytics. “It’s not necessarily the size of the data,” Moran said.“It’s what you do with it.”

Watch how targeted advertising can improve the customer experience and advertiser engagement. And explore how IBM analytics augments paid marketing with insights from real-time data.