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February 5, 2016, Article

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The Drum: How marketers can maximise the impact of video advertising through programmatic

Video is a powerful medium for building brand awareness and developing consumer relationships. But to be most effective, video advertising requires more than just inspirational creative.

To maximise the impact of video advertising on an omnichannel campaign, brands must couple engaging creative with data-driven insights to efficiently target their message to the right consumer. Programmatic video advertising is experiencing huge growth as advertisers increasingly shift budget from linear TV. European programmatic video ad revenues are expected to increase by almost 40 per cent per year, nearing €2bn by 2020.

So what is driving the growth of programmatic video and how can brands integrate this emerging channel into their omnichannel marketing campaigns?

Brand marketers choose to execute video campaigns programmatically for many of the same reasons they choose automated ad buying for other channels. The main benefits of programmatic are scale, with access to massive supply, and increased efficiency through automation of the workflow buying process.

More specifically, programmatic video offers increased levels of interactivity and measurability when compared with TV advertising. Marketing technology can determine how users respond to ads and use these insights to better tailor content – optimising to marketing goals in real time. Finally, programmatic video is an effective tool for reaching specific audiences such as millennials, who are the most active video viewers of any age group.

Ebay has already embraced the benefits of programmatic video by delivering a campaign to target users that had interacted with a fashion or technology video on the eBay site. These users were served a 15 or 30-second video, and those who clicked on the video were then served relevant retargeting banner display ads.

The video campaign delivered excellent results with ROI far exceeding that of previous video campaigns. Furthermore, combining revenue data with programmatic technology enabled the daily evaluation of campaign performance, empowering eBay to optimise its CPM strategies and reduce costs.

For brand marketers looking to follow eBay’s lead and successfully integrate programmatic video into campaigns, there are three key points to keep in mind:

Consider how viewability is assessed
Determining the value of video inventory is always a challenge, and viewability is the most frequently used KPI to measure the success of programmatic video. But the industry needs to align thinking around a common standard for video viewability. While the IAB has introduced a standard that states 50 per cent of pixels must be in view for two seconds, disparity in measurement tools and techniques make it difficult to understand the full picture. Ultimately measuring user engagement and business outcomes are the best ways to assess the success of programmatic video.

Embrace the benefits of DSP technology
A programmatic video buying platform gives marketers control over where ads appear, and enables them to exclude specific sources to maintain brand safety. Brands should choose a DSP that looks across all supply sources to find video inventory that connects with target audiences as efficiently as possible. Ideally marketers should opt for an independent platform rather than one provided by a media owner to avoid potential conflicts of interest, and to ensure the DSP is working in the brand’s best interests.

Increase programmatic video knowledge
One in five UK marketers feels their programmatic video knowledge is very poor – a situation that must be remedied before brands can make full use of this emerging channel. Misconceptions about programmatic TV and video prevail, with an enduring but erroneous belief that ad slots are only available on low quality, late night, remnant inventory. The industry needs to play its part in educating marketers about the benefits of programmatic video, and organisations such as the New Marketing Institute have been set up with the goal of educating and empowering digital marketers.

As part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, programmatic video is increasingly being embraced by brands keen to reach highly targeted audiences at scale with impactful and engaging creative. By educating themselves on the role of programmatic video, considering how video viewability is assessed, and choosing the right technology platform, brand marketers can enjoy the impressive performance this emerging channel can deliver.

Dave Reed, Managing Director EMEA, MediaMath

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