Programmatic – Today’s Vocabulary Word in Media and Marketing


1. of the nature of or according to a program, schedule, or method.
“a programmatic approach to change”

A few days ago, I started shopping for some professional video lighting solutions. I checked out eBay, Amazon and B&H Photo. Immediately thereafter, the shade of display advertising that I see on other unrelated Websites and social media picked up the beat and started showing me numerous ads for, you guessed it!  …professional video lighting solutions.

Personal advertising of the future in the year 2054, as predicted in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 hit film Minority Report, has arrived 40 years earlier than expected. Programmatic data acquisition provides the threads that can be used to connect numerous portions of my virtual identity to: marketing suggestions in targeted display advertising,  prompts for a like on Facebook, providing me with relevant coupons, offering me ticket reservations for a  movie or a concert or asking me to book a test drive at my local auto dealership.

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For $1,495 plus travel expenses you can try to comprehend the shift at PROGRAMMATIC I/O on March 24, 2014 in San Francisco. In a single day, more than 30 expert speakers plan to cover the latest trends in programmatic media and marketing, including: Evolution of Ad Exchanges, Real-time bidding (RTB), Retargeting, Video, Private Exchanges and Marketplaces, Mobile and Tablet, Connected TV, eCommerce, Data Management, Data Visualization, Attribution, Viewability, Analytics and Insights, User Experience (UX) and more.

What would a small business owner do besides dropping $2-3K on a one-day trip to the West Coast? I prefer to research, experiment and buy a few good books…

You can start by creating your own loyalty groups and then reward them.

loyalty-leap“Customers can only be acquired, churned, and reactivated so many times before they tire of your brand,” says author Bryan Pearson. “There is a proven marketing equation in which customers willingly share information with you in the expectation of being better served and valued during future transactions. Capitaliz­ing on that equation is our business responsibility.”

As Bryan Pearson explains in his book, it comes down to using the customer information you have to change the way you manage your business.

A recent SocialBakers study found that “61.7% of brands’ social media strategies are focused on customer acquisition, while only 28.9% are focused on customer care.” There’s a huge disconnect here.

Are you collecting customer data? Do you have a mailing list? Have you set up an email data management program?  Service providers like Constant Contact not only allow you to manage subscribers and send email, they also allow you to expand the data fields you collect and then reach out to specific targeted groups.

“The key to making The Loyalty Leap is shifting your company’s focus away from products or services and instead putting people (customers and employees) at the heart of your purpose. Bryan Pearson walks us through this intriguing journey, drawing on firsthand stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes that illustrate how everyday data can build emotional loyalty.” — Chester Elton, author of The Carrot Principle

The world in 2054… Targeted Advertising and Location-based Ads

“Originally, the whole idea, from a script point of view, was that the advertisements would recognize you – not only recognize you, but recognize your state of mind,” says Jeff Boortz, the creative director and creative lead on the “Minority Report” ads. Once upon a time there were only five media types: TV, radio, billboards, magazines and newspapers.


That’s the scene in “Minority Report“, the 2002 futuristic thriller in which Tom Cruise’s character, John Anderson is walking through a shopping mall. With the help of contemporary advertisers like Guinness, Bulgari, Lexus, Reebok, Nokia, Pepsi-Cola’s Aquafina and a “think tank” of MIT futurists, director Steven Spielberg and production designer Alex McDowell painted a fascinating picture of what advertising might look like in 2054. Iris-recognition targets the advertisements directly to John Anderson’s personal preferences… just like Facebook, Google and Yahoo. The future is here now.

“Targeted advertising today is based entirely on keywords, but in the future it will be based on a deeper understanding of the specific personality, desires, and needs of each consumer,” says Ray Kurzweil.

Yahoo calls them “Interest-based Ads” – and now they give you the option of opting out of the behavioral targeting and categories that they have already opted you into.

On March 13, 2010 Facebook overtook Google as the world’s number one Web site… and with an average user time of more than 55 minutes.

“If the 2000s was the Google decade, then the 2010s will be the Facebook decade,says Steve Rubel, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital, a division of Edelman – the world’s largest independent PR firm. “As with the last 10 years, this era will unleash an avalanche of change for media companies and advertisers. You can see the writing on the wall, pun intended.”

Facebook already knows an incredible amount of each user’s highly specific demographic details, because users are continuously telling each other who they are. With more than 500 million users it has the audience and  the knowledge to sell targeted advertising that can pinpoint viewers by age, gender, special interests and a number of other selectable measures.

And… over 100 million of those FB users are accessing via handheld devices, Facebook will soon follow Twitter by adding location-based technologies to the mix.

“Location is Everything,” was once a maxim reserved exclusively for the real estate market;  now it’s about the Internet.

I predict that within a year SEO experts will rephrase British real estate developer Harold Samuel‘s famous quote about property to say, “There are three things you need in regard to Search Engine Optimization, these are: location, location, and location.”

Advertising is undergoing a rapid and dramatic shift toward location-based targeting. Social networking services like BrightKite, Loopt, Foursquare and Gowalla provide users with GPS-aware devices, to check-in, rate and add tips that other users can reference when in unfamiliar territory.

“There’s a lot of attention being focused on location-based services and mobile social networks right now, and for good reason,” Sam Altman, Co-Founder and CEO of Loopt. “These applications represent the future of social media. They’re expanding our circle of friends online and offline. They’re changing how we meet people. They’re affecting where we go and why. They’re forging important connections between our online networks and real life.”

Altman tells the Wall Street Journal that he calls the set of all places that you go (and information about when you go, for how long, who with, etc.) your Life Graph. The rise in popularity of location-based social networking goes hand-in-hand with the ubiquity of hand-held devices like the Android, iPhone and Blackberry – smart phones that have the ability to determine a user’s current location by employing GPS or cellular tower triangulation.

Steve Rubel says, “Websites will become less important over time. They will be primarily transactional and/or utilitarian. Brands will shift more of their dollars and resources to creating a robust presence where people already are and figure out how to use them to build relationships.”

Here at DesignWise Studios we are continuing to shift with the times as evidenced by our own CMS-driven Web site… not to mention our focus on social media, video production and now, location-based technology. Here’s one last provocative question: Have you seen your own spectacular Web site as displayed on a hand held device? The experience might be chilling. Our design team is also tech-savy in that regard… Contact us if you are ready to enter the 21st century.

“Life is change. How it differs from the rocks.” – Jefferson Airplane