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How Statistics is Changing the Programmatic Advertising Ecosystem - You've Been Served!

22 Jul 2019

JUL 12, 2019, 08:00 IST

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Possibly one of the fastest growing components of the near 10-billion-dollar Indian advertising and marketing industry (Source: Dentsu Aegis Network 2019 Digital Report), the programmatic advertising ecosystem stands promising, contributing to nearly 20% of spends in the digital ecosystem within the country. While spends (and hence client trust) in this mode of advertising buys has more than doubled since 2016, the question remains – do we really know what’s going on in the programmatic scheme of things? 

So What’s All The Hype About? 

The birth of this ecosystem really happened, and was propelled by Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick for US$ 3.1 billion nearly 12 years ago (now of course AdECN – Microsoft, Right Media – Yahoo and a few others existed before that, but nothing really brought this environment into the forefront like Google’s DoubleClick did). For thefirst time, the once challenged idea that communication could be transacted and targeted on an impression-by-impression basis at scale and in an open and real-time market by machines, came in to shape and how! 
While the digitally savvy embraced this new era of addressability at scale with a large degree of personalization, traditional thought was challenged, which led many to question whether this new age tech would eventually replace all of digital advertising or drastically suck traditional advertising budgets towards it. Pretty much thethoughts of those muddled bystanders in Metropolis that began to make assumptions on Superman as he approached them – It’s a Bird or Plane? 

Teenage Sex 

Much like Dan Ariely’s notorious comparison of big data to teenage sex; the programmatic advertising mindset inthe country today is pretty much the same: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it. Gartner’s 2018 Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising pegs a lot of the components of programmatic advertising (such as real time marketing, predictive analytics etc) in the Innovation Trigger & Peak of Inflated Expectations stage – driving home the point that not many understand why certain line items or elements perform in certain campaigns and how must one take remedial measures to prevent doom. 

Enter the New Sheriff In Town – Statistics 

With the modern-day marketer aiming to better understand his audiences and to achieve personalization at scale, comes a new weapon to help analyse data – Statistics. Forming the base of nearly every Machine Learning Algorithm, statistics helps not only in analyzing trends in campaign performance but also in forecasting – one of the powerful elements used to denote likelihood of performance and equip the modern-day marketer withthe tools to take course-corrective actions. 

The Bottom Line 

While the quest to attain the elusive unified audience view whilst striving for achieving personalization at scale continues, the evolved marketer is now backed by tools that are powered by sophisticated tech that harness thetrue power of data. With statistics coming to the forefront, marketers are able to easily capitalize on the strengths ofthe programmatic advertising ecosystem and set for themselves guiding lights & guard-rails as they meander through a sea of tumult in an effort to conquer their ideal customer! 

Abhinay Bhasin is Director, Data Sciences at Dentsu Aegis Network, South Asia. He plays a lead in delivering solutions around the marriage of Data & Programmatic through the use of DAN proprietary tech developed by theData Sciences team of Dentsu Aegis Network. (Social Handles: LinkedIn: @AbhinayBhasin).