Setting The Bar With Programmatic Adtech

While the global programmatic advertising market is set to reach $150 billion, the Middle East is recognising the greater benefits of the advanced adtech, including pDOOH Sixty programmatic ad versions resulted in 650,000 new prospective customers and a 10:1 ROI — The Economist wanted to persuade readers to buy and trust their publication. Leveraging programmatic […]


  • While the global programmatic advertising market is set to reach $150 billion, the Middle East is recognising the greater benefits of the advanced adtech, including pDOOH

    Sixty programmatic ad versions resulted in 650,000 new prospective customers and a 10:1 ROI — The Economist wanted to persuade readers to buy and trust their publication. Leveraging programmatic advertising, the brand customised its ads to target various audiences and create specialised audience cohorts that received hyper-personalised ads. As the numbers suggest, it was quite a success. 

    The world is fast adopting programmatic advertising, and the market is expected to cross $150 billion this year. Recently,, a programmatic advertising based platform received an equity investment from Blackstone at a $5.1 billion valuation. In the MENA region, this form of advertising is picking up pace. An Israel-based online advertising agency EZmob has a specialised programmatic advertising media team and they utilise several creatives and ad formats, including video, display, native, and interstitial ad formats. They have direct access to programmatic inventory for lower cost-per-impression, better control of viewability, and scalability. 

    With several digital agencies and Google partners in Dubai, programmatic advertising is piquing interests not only in Dubai but in the Middle East region. Several research studies expect 100 per cent of brands to implement programmatic advertising by 2022. 

    However, experts believe that it is one of the least understood marketing strategies despite being one of the most important tools in any company’s ad stack. Before creating a programmatic marketing campaign, it is important to understand its benefits and methodologies. 

    What Brands Need to Know

    A business should first look at itself from a future perspective. How will it be known? Is it a casual or a serious brand? Would it indulge in conversational marketing or formal, business-driven marketing? 

    Meanwhile, it is critical to begin with a broad target audience and then upgrade the campaign when more data is available. Industry leaders believe continuous iterative optimisation could be the best strategy for a successful programmatic advertising campaign. In other traditional marketing campaigns, analysis and optimisation are conducted after the end of the campaign, but with programmatic advertising, it can be done in real-time. Companies can run any number of tests to figure out better strategies for programmatic advertising and create dozens of ads. As The Economist depicts, it is always preferred to be outspent by your rival companies but being out-tested will not bring results. 

    Additionally, the telecom company 02 chose to leverage programmatic advertising to promote their TV commercial. They created more than 1000 video versions and the results featured a 128 per cent increase in clickthrough rates. 

    Meanwhile, many Middle East businesses are only now beginning to understand the potential of programmatic, which was once leveraged only in the direct-to-consumer area, As a B2B target audience is much smaller than a B2C target audience, programmatic advertising is a well-suited advertising and marketing strategy. Unlike display advertising that is purchased upfront, data-driven targeting is a much more customisable strategy that can ensure expected results. 

    Also Read: Omnichannel Programmatic is The Way Ahead in 2019

    Exploring Benefits

    Marketing teams need not create ad orders or invest their time in other mundane tasks. Programmatic advertising takes care of creating better brand awareness through efficient cost per thousand (CPM) impressions. They also optimise the exact best targeting and reduce ad fraud through Machine Learning (ML) that helps companies identify malicious clicks. Taking all its benefits into consideration, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a programmatic approach was harnessed by the television and radio advertising industry as well. 

    pDOOH On the Rise

    “Programmatic advertising is certainly a game-changer,” said Gulab Patil, founder, Lemma, Dubai.

    Lemma, an out-of-home advertising firm, launched its first pDOOH campaign in Dubai for Microsoft’s Azure brand message, ‘Global cloud, Local presence.’ Lemma partnered with Elevision Media to increase exposure through impressions and dynamic ads on 36 large format screens across Dubai International Financial Centre. As a result, the data-enabled targeting decision campaign attained higher OTS.

    Programmatic Digital Out Of Home (pDOOH) advertising is the automated buying, selling, and delivery of out-of-home advertising. Advertisers have access to data metrics such as viewer ad exposure and audience affinity index. DOOH evolved into PDOOH to solve inefficiencies by allowing advertisers a greater degree of flexibility and cost-efficiency. 

    This one-to-many channel is a paradigm shift from common digital ad channels where advertisements are usually individually served. pDOOH leverages the audience multiplier (AX) where one ad is seen by many individuals. pDOOH also uses loop frequency with which suppliers allocate slots and create a loop, which plays out on the ad inventory. 

    Although programmatic advertising covers media metrics and audience insights, there are some complications that pDOOH is yet to solve. For instance, the Demand Side Platform (DSP) running the campaigns can only report on limited media metrics. For other issues, the DSP must be requested from the supplier. 

    Experts reckon that further developments in pDOOH would lead to better adoption and encourage suppliers to look for additional inventory and improve their addressability. 

    Also Read: How Intent Analysis Can Help Programmatic Advertising

    Programming a Future 

    Increased digital advancements, including AR and VR technologies, into the programmatic approach is a natural progression. Companies will be able to insert hyper-specific targeted products and services into the prospective customer’s virtual environment. It isn’t just  B2C companies, even  B2B companies are leveraging immersive technologies increasingly. 

    Meanwhile, with the raging privacy issue and newly established regulations, the global industries are entering a new phase of innovation where advertisers place user privacy as the centre of their strategy. Many companies are focused on creating an anonymised ecosystem to preserve consumer privacy. 

    With the fall of the cookie, advertising agencies have begun to innovate products for the open internet that are out of the control of the walled garden, giving wide access to brands. With marketers increasingly capitalising on the programmatic growth, omnichannel approaches and pDOOH will become vital advertising techniques in the Middle East, soon. After all, it is everything conventional display advertising is not. 


    More Like This