Amping up the power of programmatic with retargeting

The days of a uniform media strategy are long gone. With the advent of digital channels, it has come imperative for all brands to create customized ads for their targeted customers. And, it has become even more important for them to customize their content for specific segments of their targeted audience.

But, like Harsh Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Industries has said, the Digital advertising and Adtech space in India are mired intheir own set of issues. Adtech costs are unpredictable and opaque, viewability is suspect, and the brand is subject to unpredictable forces that impact its safety. This opacity of cost models,the lack of talent capable of deploying analytical tools, and data security are the top concerns of brands and marketers. Mariwalahas also noted that companies have woken up to the opportunities in this hyper-connected and complicated world. The numbers bear out that assessment. According to Dentsu Aegis Network, the digital ad spend in India is slated to touch Rs. 25000 crores in 2021. This expectation is that this growth will be driven by trends like voice-based search technology, vernacular content, and video.

Given the dynamics of the rapidly changing environment and the increasing competition, most marketers have had to don the hat of a data analyst. They have the responsibility of trying to make sense of the immense amount of data available to them.  It’s not possible to waste resources on “trial and error”approaches. And this is where marketers have started using programmatic ad strategies to retarget their customers.

Programmatic is the automation of buying and selling online advertising. Automation brings in the requisite efficiency into the process. Programmatic is being seen as a disruptive tactic that is being used to target the most promising customers with content that will appeal the most to them. Using programmatic strategies, brands can also target customers who are sitting on the fence and need just that little push for conversion. Through intelligent automation, programmatic can eliminate human error and can improve the marketer’s understanding of the customer. The 360-degree view of the customer allows brands to connect with them not just where they are but when they are ready.

The Indian advertising industry was first Introduced to Programmatic a few years ago. The sheer opportunityfor growth due to improved efficiencies in the buying process as well as the maturity of data gathering and analytics technologies is acting as a driver for growth in programmatic. By some estimates, as much as 78% of the digital advertising market in 2023 could be generated through programmatic advertising.

India in 2020, will witness the spurt of new digital ad channels like TikTok, Vigo, Bigo, etc. It is also likely that we will see more and more regional and vernacular content being created across these apps. Mobile data networks are already widely available and cheap in India. This will also propel the growth of AR usage. AI for retargeting and voice-driven e-commerce are other major trends the Indian ad Industry could witness. 

Among channels, Amazon has the lion’s share of the programmatic pie. Factordaily reports that Amazon made more than Rs. 600 crores in India from its digital ad business in FY 18-19. Of that 90% is estimated to come from programmatic.

By analyzing a multitude of customer interactions, programmatic can provide insights into customer behavior as well as their engagement with the brand. By various estimates, both B2B, as well as B2C brands, have witnessed around 50% growth in conversion by relying on automation and programmatic.Retargeting holds forth a similar promise. In the context of serving ads, retargeting works better than both searches and emails.

Programmatic retargeting has two important facets, mobile and social media.  And of course, both can help us know if the subject has engaged with the brand previously or not. This knowledge is the key condition for retargeting. The mobile has become popular for retargeting in both B2C as well as B2B segments. The smartphone has enabled customers to be always connected. The attraction to the customer is that they can publish their views about any product and the content can reach millions. For both B2C as well as B2B, retargeting helps in driving social engagement. This, in turn, helps drive brand awareness. All that comes together to help drive sales.

Maintaining customer loyalty, lead generation & nurturing, and cross/upselling can also be improved with programmatic. Programmatic can create great synergies with cross-device retargeting, analyzing social media data, using data for search, and email targeting.

Retargeting has given a fresh fillip to data-driven decision making by converting people who browse through the site and then leave. By combining that information with a robust programmatic strategy, the brand can drive more effective marketing and advertising strategies.

Programmatic retargeting has become a tool to do much more than filling up those abandoned shopping carts in the customer’s e-commerce account. It has also started spreading its wings in India. New players and advertisers are coming and disrupting the playing field regularly. Brands like Swiggy and Flipkart are already looking to leverage programmatic. Traditional retail giants like Loreal are also employing programmatic in India to increase brand visibility, engagement, and sales. These brands are showing that retargeting is an effective way of driving sales and revenue generation. If it’s ROI you’re seeking from your digital ad campaigns, then the combination of programmatic and retargeting may well be the strategy for you.