The Trade Desk

Day 30: 5 ways to build brand stories using programmatic

We explore how programmatic needn't just be about performance - and how automated buying and cross-device targeting can help build brands

Day 30: 5 ways to build brand stories using programmatic

Programmatic is robot buying, essentially. But despite its lack of a human touch, it’s created an opportunity for advertisers: to serve consumers stories that are personal and relevant. Add in the ability to target consumers across devices, and it’s possible to deliver relevant messaging at all touchpoints of their purchasing journey.

In the past 12 months digital advertising has been under attack. Consumers block, fast-forward, switch off and ignore ads. The rise of ad-blocking has given way to a new fear among digital marketers. But the industry is making progress, moving away from interruptive marketing, to marketing that’s more personal, relevant and authentic.

Of course, there’s still a need for advertisers to create new experiences (there always will be) and for brands to connect with their audience on an emotional level.

Inspired by everything we've learned over our 30 Days of Dmexco series – and our recent roundtable discussion on cross-device marketing – we've put together five key ways you can use programmatic for brand building.

Moving beyond performance campaigns

Brand building and storytelling on or offline is an enormous challenge in itself. But to tell a story to the same user across multiple devices is an even bigger challenge.

Programmatic has seen spectacular growth in recent years, with more and more marketers increasing their budget allocation in this area. Where once it was a successful tool for performance-based marketing, our increased understanding and development of new technologies mean programmatic can now play a vital role in online brand building.

Brand stories can be told quickly and at huge scale. It’s accepted across the industry that consumers use more than one device to perform a single task, so programmatic means advertisers can use this knowledge to serve messages across each device, sequentially.

So how do you create clear and creative messages that cut-through the noise and translate perfectly across channels – online and offline?

There’s still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to how to move away from direct-response focused programmatic to campaigns built around branding. But with many brands already successfully using it as a brand-building device, we’ll begin to see the role of programmatic in storytelling become indispensable.

Programmatic and storytelling

  1. Take it back to basics. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Programmatic is known for its speedy automation and efficiency – but you need to know what story you want to tell. This might take time. Secondly, programmatic is all about timing. When is the best time to start your story? Be seasonal. Be relevant.
  2. Tap into emotion. Tell a story and be creative. You’re asking the audience to connect with your brand beyond the product or service – give them a reason. Give them a connection.
  3. Go beyond pop-up. There are many high impact ad units in the marketplace. And your creative story doesn’t need only to consist of images. Search for non-intrusive ad formats that work for you.
  4. Redefine metrics. This isn’t a case of metrics v storytelling but consider what defines success in your campaign. Consider measuring dwell time and frequency. What other metrics will paint a wider picture of the campaign in long-term?
  5. Protect the brand. Consider private marketplaces and have control over ad placements.

We're counting down the days until Dmexco kicks off – and we've got something new for you every day until the big event. Check back here daily for articles and insights – or just something to stoke your anticipation for the big event.

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About The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk is a technology company that empowers buyers of advertising. The Trade Desk provides a self-service platform that enables ad buyers to manage data-driven digital advertising campaigns using their own teams across various advertising formats, including display, video, and social, and on a multitude of devices, including computers, mobile devices, and connected TV.

Headquartered in Ventura, Calif., The Trade Desk has offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia.