Programmatic ad buys represent untapped potential for many small businesses

programmatic ad buys

Getting started with programmatic

Despite heavy adoption, programmatic ad campaigns still remain out of reach for many businesses.

Some simply can’t afford it. Others are too busy buried in the day-to-day of running a business to understand how it can change the game for their ad strategies.

If you’re an ad agency serving small businesses, maybe you haven’t found a way to affordably offer it to customers.

But with eMarketer predicting more than 90% of digital display ad dollars will be transacted programmatically during 2022, it’s becoming impossible to ignore.

Why is programmatic important?

Programmatic involves buying advertising on digital properties in an automated way. The business decides who they want to reach, what they want to spend and computers figure out where to find that audience and how much to pay. They’ll be competing with other businesses doing the same. As a result, the price of running an ad on a certain digital property (say, a popular local news site) can fluctuate from moment to moment.

Sound complicated?

It can be and this is why many smaller businesses have stayed with the tried and true. Like the car dealership running ads in the newspaper, on radio, and local billboards.

But here’s the thing. There are growth opportunities at play here that will go untapped if small businesses can’t adapt to changing market realities that the bigger competition with bigger budgets are already capitalizing on.

McKinsey & Company did a great job putting this in perspective recently. While small and midsize companies are the heart of the economy and represent 70% of employees, they tend to be underserved. Coming out of the pandemic, they lost 30% of revenues. Now, they need partners that can help them grow without reaching deeper into their pockets.

Putting programmatic within reach

What makes programmatic such a great fit for small businesses is that it can adjust to their budgets, adapt to changing dynamics in real-time, and help find the exact right audience at the exact right moment.

What’s historically made programmatic hard for some smaller agencies to offer to clients is the high cost of getting started and the complexity of ongoing management.

The minimum cost per month for a seat at the desk of a major programmatic platform can be upwards of $100K. Then there’s the in-house software to manage and a requirement for someone to run it locally.

Sure, using Google Ads is an option for programmatic exposure. But then you are stuck in their walled garden without a clear sense of who you’re reaching and the impact. Google can’t measure foot traffic to stores, and their analytics and attribution solutions are often questioned.

There’s a better way

As privacy norms shift, there is a trend toward the use of personally identifiable information (PII) to support smarter, more cost-effective ad campaigns.

PII data comes from consumers who have opted in to provide it. What makes it so effective is that businesses know exactly who they are targeting and whether there was engagement on an ad.

If a strategy is working, more budget can be funneled toward it. If it’s not working, this is understood in real-time so the budget can shift accordingly.

When paired with programmatic advertising, PII is a major force that can be the foundation of growth initiatives for businesses of any size.

For independent ad agencies, it can be both a path to new revenue streams and an opportunity to better serve clients.

Ahh, but there are still those heavy costs and management requirements to sort.

The good news on this front is that these barriers are finally falling.

For instance, at BRIDGE, we’ve introduced a service that removes all the upfront costs and provides management of programmatic ad spending as a service.

Because we own our own audience data, we can make it available to smaller ad agencies at bulk, wholesale discounts.

Access to cutting-edge, next-gen growth opportunities should not be limited to only those with deep pockets. This new path to programmatic is leveling the playing field just in time to help businesses of any size adapt to the changing realities around them.

Get in touch today so we can help you understand what PII + programmatic can do for you and your clients.

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