It’s true — the shine of programmatic advertising is tarnished. Touted as ‘the next big thing’ just a few years ago, it’s currently in what Gartner aptly terms the trough of disillusionment. If what Proctor and Gamble’s CMO Marc Pritchard said earlier this year is anything to go by, this is an industry-wide phenomenon. Pritchard called out the wastefulness of digital advertising and stated that Proctor and Gamble would “slash the money it spends on "wasted media" by 50%, having already reduced the figure by 20%”.
The argument is fair enough. As it stands, it’s just not delivering on its potential. Businesses using programmatic advertising have been promised a fantastic, intelligent way of tracking online behaviours so that they can send targeted advertising their way, via app or browser. In reality, the expectation doesn’t match the return on investment.
But there’s a reason for this. Programmatic advertising is deployed through demand side platforms (DSPs) that track behaviours at the cookie level. But these cookies are anonymised, which is a problem. Marketers can’t tell if the people behind these cookies are actually interested in product x (yes! I am a buyer) or if it just appears that they are (I’m a student researching a paper). The assumption is made that there is interest and the eyeballs behind the click are targeted with an ad.
Here’s the second problem; the way success is measured. The popular metric is impressions but they don’t necessarily mean anything, only that someone has seen the advert. The true metrics are converting impressions to click throughs (to a website, for example) to engagement (filling in a form or talking to a chatbot).
Issue number three: how many impressions are needed to get one conversion? Too many. And at great cost. We may as well go back to the old tactic of ‘spray and pray’ that direct marketing did so well. The average click through rate is just 0.06% and from that the number of conversions is even less.
So, is this the end for programmatic advertising? Of course not. We just need to get a bit smarter about the tech we use. Enter Nexus Engage. It’s a new add-on to our existing Nexus B2B customer behaviour platform. Nexus Engage is an audience activation module that takes customer intent audience segments and integrates them with DSPs. As a result, they can be used directly in digital marketing campaigns.
This means marketers can actually target the interested eyeballs behind those cookies (a group of 2-5%) instead of spending money showing a specific ad to a massive audience that just isn’t interested. Click through rates increase by 6x because we use high-quality behavioural tracking.
The Cyance Nexus platform is an account-based advertising (ABA) solution that builds audiences from customer behaviour and intent within accounts of interest. The addition of Nexus Engage makes it even more powerful, and opens the door for use in digital advertising – making campaigns more cost-effective and targeted.