As brands increasingly go for digital, programmatic spends have risen dramatically, especially by FMCG and e-commerce companies, says Dimpy Yadav, Head of Client Engagement at Xaxis India.
“We clearly see that brands are adopting a digital-first approach. So yes, programmatic spends have clearly increased almost by 2X this year. FMCG and e-commerce remain the dominating sectors spend wise.”
“In the time of crisis, advertisers are trying to get maximum ROI on the money they are deploying. Programmatic advertising helps you target the audience in a much-unified manner via the omni-channel approach, helping one increase the effectiveness of media. Plus, via personalisation approach, it helps one understand the user in a real-time environment across the journey. Thus, an advertiser won’t limit himself to just affinity or intent-based targeting.”
Explaining how programmatic can ensure a privacy-conscious and consumer-first approach, she said brand safety and media both work in parallel to ensure all kinds of consumers are protected. With a massive rise in internet consumption this year, the concern over toxic data is also alarming for brands. Along with brand safety, brand suitability is also a major concern for brands in these times.
“With the internet penetration on the surge, there are a lot of technological solutions that really help brands to safeguard their money, including manual ways of channel blocking using keywords and other programmatic targeting solutions, which ensure all campaigns are in a safe environment. Plus, as we know that media planners are spanning across platforms like gaming, OTT, etc., the strategy for brand suitability and safety has to be very custom because it protects brands from not only ad fraud but also limit campaign spends beyond a wall,” she added.
The need of the hour, however, Yadav says, is to have a brand safety and suitability with an omni-channel approach, which has to be customised as per each platform or medium. And that is what, she said, will also be one of the biggest trends for the next year — more advertisers adopting the omni-channel approach for communication, with newer channels coming in.
Today, programmatic growth is not coming just because of moving budgets from one particular pocket to another pocket but because of new channels in India. The year 2020, especially, witnessed the adoption of new channels.
“More new channels are coming in. Especially when I talk about 2020, like online gaming as a channel is rapidly growing as a media channel and advertisers are considering it, leveraging this in the media mix. Similarly, connected TV is one of the areas where consumers are shifting from OTT consumption on smartphone to OTT consumption on the connected TV. So, this year has been a year where brands have been exploring multiple new channels for themselves,” she added.
Going forward, she mentioned how personalisation is the key factor that is going to create a lot of buzz and adoption in 2021.
For instance, audio as a channel has been evolving with multiple ad formats (in case of podcasts), which makes audiences talk back to the ad. So, there is a lot of personalisation that can be driven from understanding consumer behaviour and advertisers are navigating their ways in this space. That is why, she added, ad formats have evolved from traditional to conversational, which is an opportunity for advertisers to increase engagement. And this, she believes, will fuel the growth of programmatic advertising even further.
Apart from this, while digital has expanded and dominated this year, she believes the medium won’t replicate the traditional altogether.
“Digital advertising is a gravitational pivot for both advertisers and consumers. Consumers are getting very habitual of virtual experiences and brands are also shifting their advertising strategy to digital first for sure. But I cannot say digital will replicate traditional altogether. Traditional mediums are still being utilised for media-dark areas. Digital might take the first approach, especially in urban areas in 2021, but as per holistic approach of advertising, traditional will still play a very important role,” she said.