Programmatic buying is taking online advertising by storm, but not all lead generation marketers have embraced the technology. That’s a mistake, according to Bill Lederer, founder and CEO of MediaCrossing, Inc., who says that programmatic buys can use automated processes to differentiate lead quality while lowering costs.
“For direct response companies as opposed to branding companies, programmatic provides a dual opportunity to not only narrow the focus of the media being bought by audience and context among other dimensions, but also to help DR advertisers purchase media systematically and much less expensively,” says Lederer.
Programmatic buying, which involves the use of rule-based processes to execute campaigns automatically, can lower an advertiser’s costs in many ways. “With programmatic, the cost of the media is meaningfully less expensive,” Lederer notes. “But it’s not just media costs—a programmatic approach can also reduce data costs for targeting and measurement, technology costs for executing and buying and overhead costs that are related to the execution of the buy.”
While programmatic buying has become a major part of many direct response marketers’ online display strategies, Lederer says that lead generation offers additional opportunities that many marketers haven’t yet considered. “We’re learning that the lead-gen community can best work from the CRM system backwards. You want to start with your existing customers and most qualified leads, and analyze that data first. This means names, addresses, emails, lifecycle stages, demographics, purchase histories, event triggers, etc. You can take all of that data and apply it to your programmatic campaigns, causing performance to rise considerably,” Lederer notes. “Even just email and search campaigns are a powerful tool to retarget ads programmatically.”
Lederer believes we are at the beginning of a long evolution of programmatic media planning and buying. With many smaller marketers and agencies still lacking the technology and qualified personnel to scale programmatic campaigns and with a great deal of uncertainty about measuring performance across platforms, there is much work to be done before lead generation campaigns take advantage of the full power of programmatic buying processes to target consumers across screens and platforms.
“Some lead generators are beginning to embrace video, mobile and social, in addition to display, but attributing performance across these platforms remains unclear to many in the market,” Lederer notes. “Yet, the technology already exists to see if people were exposed to your campaign’s message along the way, and I’m sure more people will be using it in the future.”
At this year’s LeadsCon in New York, Lederer will be joined by Frans Van Hulle of ReviMedia, Joe Charlson at CallerReady and Adam Lovallo at Grow.co to discuss how programmatic buying is already improving the performance of many lead generation campaigns and how the future of programmatic buying will unfold.