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ARTICLE

Power Retail: Are You Unlocking the Power of Programmatic?

February 3, 2016 — by Saurabh Dangwhal    

This post originally appeared on Retail in Asia.

Despite consumers becoming more enthusiastic about online shopping and digital interactions with retailers, their actual purchase behaviour lags behind—retailers clearly have an opportunity to close this gap by meeting consumer expectations better and turning clicks to picks.

Retail marketers are increasingly shifting to programmatic in an effort to increase consumer engagement and brand advocacy and to meet the need for personalisation and one-to-one marketing.

Embracing programmatic allows retail marketers to become more technologically agile and use meaningful data insights to deliver the most relevant and customised experience consumers expect.

Programmatic in Asia Pacific is on a rapid growth trajectory—in fact, programmatic penetration in the region is predicted to double in the next few years—yet some retail marketers are struggling to advance their strategies towards this.

So why should programmatic be top of the shopping list for retail marketers looking to gain consumer loyalty and boost business results?

Programmatic creates buzz not noise

Modern consumers are exposed to a huge volume of digital information from an ever-growing number of sources. As a result, they have learned to tune out irrelevant messaging. For content to resonate with consumers and capture their attention, it needs to offer real value through highly relevant promotions or targeted recommendations that are personalised to the individual.

A growing number of consumers want to receive personalised promotions from retailers and they also value personalised communications with retailers when they are online. By using a programmatic marketing operating system, retailers can leverage consumer data to tailor real-time messaging to the consumer’s specific context.

Programmatic is effective across multiple channels

Apprehension over programmatic means some retailers only implement the technology for a single channel such as display and are therefore not experiencing the full benefits of delivering a consistent, streamlined retail customer experience across all media channels. Programmatic can run across smartphone, desktop, tablet, video, social and even print—all elements of the increasingly fragmented path to purchase. However, the technology is most effective when used across all media to create holistic, channel agnostic marketing campaigns.

This is where the use of a marketing operating system provides a significant edge to marketers. With a multitude of channels to manage, a central media buying platform helps marketers understand where brand message is resonating, what tactics are working and who is responding to messaging across which channels—all within a single view. Crucially, a single central platform efficiently optimises customer interactions across all addressable media and campaigns without having to constantly log in and out of different media buying systems.

Access to premium audiences

In the past, programmatic has been associated with remnant display inventory but this is no longer the case. Recent technological developments allow advertisers to view and reserve publishers’ premium media inventory through private marketplaces in a demand-side platform. Retailers should look for a tech partner who has access to their preferred premium and private deals (or the technical flexibility to plug in their preferred publisher) so as to enjoy programmatically optimised media buys.

Programmatic can be used throughout the retail journey

Programmatic is not just for retargeting, it can be used throughout the entire consumer journey including brand-marketing tactics such as driving brand awareness. Today’s path to purchase is a complex journey involving product browsing, content consumption, social sharing and purchasing decisions. Retailers need to speak to consumers with messaging that is relevant to their stage of the journey – helping them find the products and information they require at exactly the right time.

For example, consumers at the start of the retail journey might receive high-level product information, while those close to conversion might receive relevant offers or more detailed product specifications. Consumers that have already converted may be targeted with cross-sells. Using a programmatic marketing operating system, retailers can combine consumer data, campaign data, and dynamic creative to deliver highly personalised advertising that is specific to the consumer’s position on the path to purchase.

Programmatic adoption is a journey for retailers and it is often taken one step at a time. But by fully embracing programmatic, retail marketers become more consumer-centric—reaching their customers with relevant, personalised messaging, across all channels and at all stages of the path to purchase. Taking this approach empowers retailers to significantly improve engagement and brand advocacy, as well as gain a better understanding of their digital ROI.

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Saurabh Dangwhal

Saurabh leads sales for MediaMath in APAC. Prior to joining, he was Mediacom's head of P&G's digital account for Australia, ASEAN, India, Philippines, Japan & Korea, based in Singapore. Saurabh was responsible for P&G’s digital marketing strategy for these regions. Prior to joining Mediacom, he was an entrepreneur doing consulting assignments with ad technology startups to enable their businesses in digital space. Saurabh has also worked in sales teams in various companies like Yahoo!, CNBC and Komli, contributing to the development and execution of sales strategies across South East Asia.