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Extending our focus on programmatic, we decided to ask expert Edwin Lee, VP of Strategic Accounts at MediaMath his views on how the industry’s favourite buzzword will affect retail as its influence continues to engulf retail.

Will programmatic revive retail in the face of online migration?
It may be just one piece of a retailers’ business puzzle today, but programmatic is crucial to target consumers effectively and drive profitable business results. It becomes even more important considering today’s omni-channel consumer who, operating across a variety of channels and devices, expects immediate access to products and services at their fingertips.

As the lines between offline and online shopping become blurred, smart retailers are approaching the consumer experience holistically. Programmatic allows retail marketers to target consumers with relevant advertising, helping them to find the products they require at exactly the right time. And it’s not just taking place online. As MediaMath just proved through their groundbreaking programmatic print pilot with publisher Time Inc. and US retailer Target, programmatic buying will eventually encompass all media forms.

How do you think consumers will respond to a programmatic future?
Programmatic media buying ensures that advertising is relevant and targeted to consumers. It is a mutually beneficial relationship; the brand is able to reach consumers more inclined to purchase their goods and the consumer is targeted with goods that are actually of interest. Considering the vast amount of consumer choices that are available today – both online and offline – timely advertising and targeting can source the best deals, helping the consumer to make informed decisions about what to buy and where. With useful, meaningful adverts, consumers are much more likely to embrace a programmatic future.

Programmatic versus paid search: Which is more effective and why?
These are two very different marketing vehicles. Technically, paid search will ‘win’ a direct head-to-head measurement because it serves an advert in response to a consumer making a physical search. But what happens to searches that mention words relating to a brand when programmatic advertising is utilised? Programmatic media buying benefits from allowing advertisers to target each visitor on an individual basis, serving them relevant ads based on their personal details such as age, location, and site visits. Rather than just showing an advert to anyone who types in a keyword, programmatic combines valuable audience data with searches and advertisers’ bids, resulting in greater potential for higher conversions.

How can retailers effectively capture consumers across multiple channels for measureable results?
As well as operating in the real world, consumers are also flitting from websites to apps to messaging devices. This fragmentation of media consumption presents unique challenges to brands and marketers when measuring the effectiveness of advertising against sales. For retail marketers, the ideal solution is to be empowered with the ability to focus on the channels that work, in real-time. Many large brands have social listening centres that monitor the social network activity of their consumers. So why don’t brands have digital marketing centres that are able to monitor and measure sales results of advertising campaigns?

Top five programmatic trends for 2015
1. First-party data from website analytics platforms, CRM systems, and business analysis tools will be increasingly utilised to target returning consumers.
2. More cross-device and mobile marketers will adopt programmatic buying to reach audiences on the devices they use the most.
3. Attribution technologies will come to the fore as more marketers realise that last-click models do not effectively measure the contributing factors leading to a sale.
4. Programmatic will continue to migrate to non-traditional channels such as television and print.
5. The advertising and marketing technology sectors – both enjoying rapid growth – will converge to take control of the marketing tool set.