How To Maximize Your Reach With Programmatic Advertising

Graham Ericksen, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer

Graham Ericksen

Partner | Chief Strategy Officer

Successful Audience Targeting in Programmatic Advertising

When it comes to reaching the right audience in 2023, marketers have a wealth of options. One of the most promising is programmatic advertising, which offers broad reach in growing channels like display, CTV, and digital audio. With over two-thirds of the US population using CTV and digital audio, advertisers have responded by significantly increasing ad spend in these channels. The key to successful programmatic advertising lies in having an effective targeting strategy to maximize that spend.

What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising uses algorithmic software to buy and sell ads. Unlike traditional digital advertising, where ads are purchased directly through a publisher, with programmatic, automated technology looks for signals from your target audience to match your ads across an open network of platforms. One of the benefits of programmatic is that campaigns can be optimized in real time, which is a big reason why more than 90% of display ads run programmatically.

Understanding your audience

Before you’re able to effectively find your target audience, you need to understand who that audience is. Understanding the demographics, behavior, and key characteristics of your target audience will help you choose which targeting tactics are right for you. This can be done in a variety of ways such as market research like surveys, focus groups, and competitor analysis, or by learning from other channel data. Gathering basic demographic information such as age, gender, income, and location as well as more detailed information such as behavior patterns and psychographic data will give your targeting a head start. Determine the qualities and characteristics that qualify your target audience. Ultimately, a strong testing strategy and proper tracking will help you refine targeting options, but gathering this complex information first will allow you to choose where to start your audience strategy.

Using the right tools

Once you understand your target audience, you need the tools to effectively reach them. The first tool is a DSP, or Demand Side Platform, that automates the buying and selling of digital advertising. Most modern DSPs have overlap in basic audience targeting and channel tools, but to be sure you’re choosing the right partner you’ll want to understand which tactics are right for your audience. Targeting tactics like demographic, behavioral, interest, contextual, geotargeting, and more can be combined to find the right audience. Even with continued changes to third-party data and privacy regulations, these tactics will help you find the right audience.

Using data to target effectively

The next crucial aspect of successful programmatic media is data. By using data, you can gain insights into your target audience and develop a more sophisticated and effective strategy. First-party data from your customer database or collected through your website or app can be used to create custom audience segments. Although third-party data is in the midst of change, it still remains an important part of targeting. These audience segments can be accessed through your DSP and offer a variety of targeting options. Other “cookie-proof” data options like contextual comes with their own set of options to reach your audience through their interests and browsing behavior. As long as you’re complying with current data privacy regulations, data-driven information can be vital to effective targeting.

Programmatic advertising is a valuable tool for marketers looking to reach the right audience. By understanding your target audience, using the right tools and tactics, and leveraging data effectively, you can increase the chances of success with your programmatic advertising campaigns. Whether it's through market research, demographic data, or cookie-resistant data sources, the key to success lies in gathering the right information and using it to inform your targeting strategy. With a strategic approach and the right tools, programmatic advertising can help you effectively reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.

Graham Ericksen, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer
Written by

Graham Ericksen

Partner | Chief Strategy Officer

More Ideas & Insights