Zehnder Communications, Inc.

Programmatic Marketing Is Here and Now

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that programmatic marketing is the future of digital advertising. But what is it?

Programmatic marketing uses automated technology to simplify media buying, making it easier to purchase advertising space. Programmatic buying uses analytics and algorithms to deliver ads to the right audience at the right moment, driving conversions without the manual hassle. 

Your ad could be a show-stopper, but if it doesn’t reach the right audience at the right time, what’s the point? This blog will help you fine-tune your strategy and drive conversions so you stay ahead of the curve instead of getting left in the dust. 

Why Programmatic Marketing Should Be in Your 2023 Media Plan

Are you buying programmatic? If not you should be.

Programmatic ads come in many different forms, from digital display and video to connected TV, audio and native ads. Programmatic marketing is a cut above manual media buying. Before programmatic came into the picture, media buying was long and labor-intensive. 

With multiple insertion orders and interpersonal negotiations to contend with, manual media buying can be sluggish and time-consuming. Ads are often bought in bulk, giving advertisers little to no control over placement. But with programmatic marketing, you can lighten your workload and regain control of the media buying process.

Programmatic works because it’s efficient, scalable, and targeted. Using time and resources efficiently, programmatic’s algorithm does the legwork. The only thing you need to worry about is inputting your campaign, target audience, and KPIs into the program. The algorithm does the rest, figuring out where your advertising budget is best spent. 

In addition to launching your campaign, a programmatic algorithm can also keep tabs on your ad spend. By identifying areas of improvement, you can make your budget go further. Programmatic advertising offers a better return on investment. It’s also perfect for small businesses and large corporations, offering a scalable approach to digital marketing.

However, programmatic advertising is not totally automated - it still retains that human-centered touch. Programmatic advertising simply frees up time so you can optimize and improve your ads, helping you achieve campaign success on every front. A balanced campaign combines the efficiency of programmatic marketing with the time-tested skills of your marketing team. Automation still needs a human touch to make it feel authentic.

In 2019, US marketing spend on programmatic advertisements was around $61 billion. But in 2023, that statistic is projected to double (and then some), skyrocketing to $133 billion. That constitutes over 91% of gross digital ad spend, meaning that programmatic is on the rise with no signs of slowing down.

Trends You Need to Know

If you haven’t considered programmatic marketing, here’s what it would look like….and why you need it in your toolbox. Read on to keep up with the latest trends in programmatic marketing.

1. Keep an eye on connected TV (CTV)
CTV is the device embedded in your smart TV that allows you to launch Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other content streaming services. And since the pandemic, U.S. streaming revenue has skyrocketed and will likely continue to do so. The data agrees. CTV ad spend is estimated to increase by $1.95 billion in 2022, paving the way for more programmatic marketing on these platforms.

In the past, content streaming services have used a subscription-based, ad-free model. But now, premium content providers such as Disney+ are joining the likes of Hulu, YouTubeTV, Peacock, Paramount+ and Discovery+ as premium streaming services with ad insertions. And marketers need to be prepared.

2. A rise in programmatic audio
Programmatic audio advertising works just like its display counterpart, automating the buying and selling of ads in aural content.

Programmatic audio content (such as ads during podcasts) can be accessed across a wide variety of devices from desktops to smartphones and smart speakers. And because they don’t depend on visual engagement, they can grab customers’ attention in ways that visual ads cannot.

The popularity of podcasts in particular is on the rise, making podcast sponsorships a good way to reach new customers. Edison Research estimates that 79% of Americans are familiar with podcasts, and at least 38% of the U.S. population listens to them regularly. Because there is no ad blocker for podcasts and other audio programming, your unskippable ads will reach more ears and drive more conversions in the coming years.

3. Shift to in-house programmatic campaigns
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, over two-thirds (or 69%) of agencies have totally or partly moved their programmatic advertising campaigns in-house. This number is expected to rise.

In-house programmatic allows for greater transparency across the media buying timeline, strengthening strategy. Additionally, in-house programmatic marketing saves money and resources, operating more efficiently. Many agencies with in-house teams have seen a higher return on ad spend without the burden of third-party management costs.

4. Don't ditch video ads
Year after year, video ad spend is on the rise, and next year will be no different. Video ads are estimated to reach 82% of consumers in 2022, with no signs of slowing down in 2023.

To stay current, American advertisers are expected to spend nearly $43 billion on programmatic video ads. This is a $7 billion increase from last year.

The numbers don’t lie: video is consistently the most popular choice for display ads. In 2023, programmatic video spend is predicted to account for 52.7% of total U.S. programmatic digital display spend. Programmatic makes it easier to distribute digital commercials and other video marketing, increasing your content’s reach. It’s safe to say that programmatic marketing will soon become the gold standard for video advertising.

Get on Board

By automating the sales of ads, programmatic marketing optimizes ad spend so you can see the greatest return on investment. And with easy access to top-notch reporting tools, you can take stock of what’s working and what’s not.

However, changes in targeting may soon complicate third-party data capture. So while you’re fleshing out your programmatic plan, you should invest in first-party data strategies to combat the challenges programmatic ads will face in 2023. While the industry heavily relies on third-party cookies for ad targeting, shifting from third-party to first-party cookies will keep you up to date and in control. 

Programmatic marketing is the easiest way to fine-tune your brand messaging and campaign strategy according to the target audience. It removes the guesswork from digital marketing, helping you to build your campaign on facts and data rather than assumptions. 

Reach & engage with your target audience without the hassle. Save time by cutting down on repetitive tasks! Make audience connections and fine-tune your marketing with the help of Zehnder. Reach out to the experts to learn more about programmatic marketing and how it can help your business. Shoot us an email at

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