Nikodem Rudziński Programmatic Strategist

8 Ways to Drive Brand Awareness with Programmatic Advertising


As businesses seek to scale their marketing campaigns, many want to diversify beyond the traditional confines of Meta Ads (formerly Facebook Ads) and Google Ads. While these platforms are highly effective for driving purchase conversions and direct response marketing, they are not ideally suited for building brand awareness. The increasing saturation and competition on these platforms further limit their ability to achieve broad-based brand recognition. To learn more about how programmatic advertising can enhance your business success, check out our detailed guide.

A critical question for many businesses is how to build brand awareness in a crowded digital marketplace effectively. It is not just about reaching a broad audience but about creating a lasting impression that resonates with potential customers. This requires a strategic approach that leverages data-driven insights and advanced targeting capabilities.

Programmatic advertising represents the pinnacle of modern digital marketing, offering unparalleled precision, efficiency, and scalability. By automating the ad buying process and utilizing sophisticated targeting mechanisms, programmatic allows brands to deliver highly relevant messages to the right audiences at the right times. And how can it enhance brand awareness efforts?

In this article, we outline eight specific ways in which programmatic advertising can drive brand awareness, demonstrating why it is considered the best approach for achieving sustained brand growth in today’s competitive landscape. Whether you’re looking to reach new audiences or reinforce your brand message across multiple channels, programmatic advertising offers the tools and strategies that are needed to succeed.

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is an advanced digital advertising method that uses automated technology for buying and optimizing ads. This process relies on software and algorithms to handle the placement and purchase of ad space in real-time, making it more efficient and targeted than traditional ad-buying methods.

How Programmatic Advertising Works

Programmatic advertising involves several key elements, such as:

  1. Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs): These tools enable advertisers to buy digital ad inventory from various exchanges and websites. Advertisers use DSPs to set campaign parameters, define their target audience, and bid for ad placements in real-time.
  2. Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs): These platforms allow publishers to sell their ad space. SSPs connect with multiple ad exchanges, facilitating the sale of inventory to the highest bidder.
  3. Ad Exchanges: These digital marketplaces connect DSPs and SSPs, conducting real-time auctions where advertisers bid for ad space as web pages or apps load.

What are Programmatic Advertising Platforms and Tools?

Programmatic advertising platforms and tools are essential components in the modern digital marketing landscape. They provide advertisers with the means to buy and manage ad inventory efficiently and effectively. Numerous Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) are available globally, each offering unique features and capabilities to meet advertisers’ diverse needs.

Popular DSPs and Their Access Requirements

Many DSPs are utilized by specialists worldwide to automate and optimize their ad-buying processes. These platforms include:

  • Google Display & Video 360 (DV360)
  • The Trade Desk
  • Adform
  • Adobe Advertising Cloud
  • Amazon DSP

Access to these platforms is often restricted and requires meeting specific criteria. Typically, this includes obtaining a license, adhering to certain compliance standards, and maintaining a minimum ad spend budget on the platform. These requirements ensure that only serious advertisers who manage significant campaigns and budgets can access these advanced tools.

Platforms Used by MTA Digital

At MTA Digital, we primarily use the licensed ecosystem of Google, specifically Display & Video 360 (DV360) and Campaign Manager 360. These platforms are part of the Google Marketing Platform and offer robust features for comprehensive campaign management, including:

  • DV360: provides integrated tools for planning, buying, and optimizing digital media across various formats and channels.
  • Campaign Manager 360: offers detailed insights and reporting capabilities to track and measure the performance of campaigns accurately.

In addition to Google’s ecosystem, we also leverage other specialized platforms to cater to the unique needs of our clients:

  • Criteo: Known for its exceptional capabilities in running e-commerce campaigns, Criteo helps drive sales and increase conversion rates by targeting users with highly personalized ads based on their browsing behavior and purchase history.
  • Taboola: Ideal for running native advertising campaigns, Taboola allows us to promote content in a way that blends seamlessly with the user experience on various publisher sites. This platform excels in driving engagement and increasing brand awareness through non-intrusive ads.
  • The Trade Desk: With extensive experience working on The Trade Desk, we can offer our clients advanced targeting options, real-time reporting, and powerful optimization tools to maximize the impact of their advertising efforts.

By utilizing a range of programmatic advertising platforms, MTA Digital ensures that we can meet the diverse needs of our clients and deliver highly effective marketing campaigns. The combination of Google’s robust tools with specialized platforms like Criteo, Taboola, and The Trade Desk allows us to create comprehensive strategies that drive both brand awareness and conversion goals.

Key Features and Benefits of Programmatic

  1. Real-Time Bidding (RTB): This feature allows advertisers to bid for ad space in real-time. When a user visits a webpage, an auction happens within milliseconds to determine which ad will be shown based on the highest bid and relevance to the user.
  2. Precise Targeting: Programmatic advertising allows for highly specific targeting based on user data such as demographics, behavior, and location, resulting in more relevant and effective ads.
  3. Automation and Efficiency: Automating the buying process reduces the need for manual negotiations, speeding up the process and increasing efficiency. Advertisers can dynamically manage and optimize campaigns.
  4. Data Utilization: Programmatic advertising leverages advanced data analytics to optimize campaigns, improving decision-making and performance continuously.

Emerging Trends in Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is evolving with several notable trends:

  1. AI and Machine Learning: These technologies enhance the precision of targeting and predictive analytics, improving campaign optimization and personalization.
  2. Privacy-First Strategies: With stricter regulations like GDPR and CCPA, there is a growing focus on privacy-first advertising, using first-party data and contextual targeting to maintain efficacy while respecting user privacy.
  3. New Ad Formats: The programmatic scope is expanding beyond traditional display ads to include audio, video, and Connected TV (CTV) ads, opening up new channels for engaging audiences. HTML5 and native formats, for instance, are highly captivating and engaging.

In essence, programmatic advertising is revolutionizing the digital marketing landscape by making ad buying more efficient, data-driven, and automated. Its ability to use real-time data and machine learning ensures ads reach the right audience at the right moment, maximizing the impact of advertising efforts.

8 Ways to Increase Brand Awareness with Programmatic

Programmatic advertising allows us to improve branding strategies using data across multiple devices and in a safe way for the brand. Here are eight key ways in which Programmatic buying can increase brand awareness.

1. Precision Targeting

Programmatic advertising allows for highly precise targeting based on various data points such as demographics, interests, and online behavior. This means brands can deliver their messages to the most relevant audiences, increasing the likelihood of engagement and recall. Targeting capabilities include geo-targeting, behavioral targeting, and contextual targeting, which ensures that ads are shown to users who are more likely to be interested in the brand.

2. Scalability

With programmatic, brands can easily scale their campaigns to reach a broader audience across multiple platforms and devices. This particularly benefits brand awareness campaigns, ensuring consistent messaging and presence across the digital landscape. The automation involved in programmatic advertising makes it easier to manage large-scale campaigns without a proportional increase in manual effort.

3. Real-Time Optimization

One of the most significant benefits of programmatic advertising is real-time optimization. Brands can monitor the performance of their campaigns in real-time and make adjustments on the fly. This allows for immediate correction of underperforming elements and ensures that the budget is spent efficiently. Real-time data and analytics provide insights that help in refining targeting strategies and improving ad creatives.

4. Cost Efficiency

Programmatic advertising often results in better cost efficiency compared to traditional methods. The real-time bidding process ensures that brands pay only for the impressions that are likely to have the most impact. Additionally, automation reduces the overhead costs associated with manual ad-buying processes. This cost efficiency allows brands to maximize their reach and frequency within their budget constraints.

5. Enhanced Personalization

Programmatic advertising supports the creation of highly personalized ad experiences. By using data-driven insights, brands can tailor their messages to individual user preferences and behaviors. Personalized ads are more likely to capture attention and resonate with the audience, thereby enhancing brand awareness and loyalty. Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) tools within programmatic platforms enable automatically customizing ad creatives based on user data.

6. Improved Transparency and Accountability

Programmatic platforms provide detailed reporting and analytics, which offer greater transparency into how ad spend is being used and what the return on investment (ROI) looks like. Brands can track metrics such as impressions, click-through rates (CTR), conversions, and more, providing a clear picture of campaign performance. This transparency helps stakeholders make informed decisions and demonstrates the value of advertising efforts.

7. Access to Premium Inventory

Through Programmatic Guaranteed deals (PG) and private marketplaces (PMPs), brands can access premium ad inventory that ensures higher-quality placements and brand safety. This access to premium inventory helps maintain a brand’s reputation and ensures that ads are displayed in a conducive environment for building brand awareness.

One significant advantage of using platforms like Display & Video 360 is the ability to run non-skippable YouTube ads (30 or 60 seconds) and YouTube Masthead placements. Non-skippable ads ensure the audience watches the entire message, a feature unavailable in standard Google Ads. The YouTube Masthead, prominently displayed on the YouTube homepage, offers high visibility, perfect for major announcements or product launches.

Leveraging these premium placements helps brands achieve greater visibility and engagement, crucial for building strong brand awareness.

8. Cross-Channel Integration

Programmatic advertising enables seamless integration across various channels, including display, video, mobile, and social media. This cross-channel approach ensures that brand messages are consistent and cohesive, reinforcing brand awareness as consumers encounter the brand across different touchpoints. Such integration helps in creating a unified brand experience for the audience.

In summary, programmatic advertising offers a powerful set of tools and strategies for building brand awareness. Its precision targeting, scalability, real-time optimization, cost efficiency, enhanced personalization, improved transparency, access to premium inventory, and cross-channel integration make it an essential component of modern digital marketing campaigns.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Brand Awareness Campaigns

Measuring the effectiveness of brand awareness campaigns requires a different set of key performance indicators (KPIs) than those used for direct response or conversion-focused campaigns. While metrics like cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), viewable CPM (vCPM), and cost-per-click (CPC) are important, the real value lies in understanding how well your campaign is resonating with your target audience. Here’s a breakdown of the essential KPIs and advanced measurement techniques you can use:

Basic KPIs for Brand Awareness

  1. CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions): CPM measures the cost of 1,000 ad impressions. It’s a basic metric to understand how much you’re spending to reach a broad audience.
  2. vCPM (Viewable Cost Per Thousand Impressions): vCPM goes a step further by measuring the cost of 1,000 viewable impressions. An impression is considered viewable when at least 50% of the ad is visible on the screen for at least one second (for display ads) or two seconds (for video ads).
  3. CPC (Cost Per Click): While primarily a performance metric, CPC can also be useful in brand awareness campaigns to gauge initial interest and engagement with your ad content.

Advanced Measurement Techniques: Brand Lift Studies

Advanced techniques like brand lift studies are invaluable for truly measuring the impact of your brand awareness campaigns, especially in terms of how well your message is being received and remembered by your audience. Google’s Display & Video 360 (DV360) offers robust tools for conducting these studies.

Brand Lift Tests:

  • Brand Lift studies help you understand the direct impact of your advertising on brand perception and consideration. After your ad is shown, DV360 can serve surveys to users who saw the ad and to a control group who didn’t. These surveys ask questions about brand recall, brand favorability, and purchase intent.

How It Works:

  • Control and Exposed Groups: The audience is divided into two groups – one that sees the ad (exposed group) and one that doesn’t (control group).
  • Survey Delivery: After exposure, both groups receive surveys designed to measure key brand metrics.
  • Analysis: The differences in responses between the two groups provide insights into the effectiveness of the ad campaign. For example, if the exposed group shows a significantly higher brand recall or purchase intent, the campaign can be considered successful.

Benefits of Brand Lift Studies:

  • Direct User Feedback: By asking users directly about their perceptions and intentions, you get a clear picture of how your ads are influencing brand awareness and consideration.
  • Quantifiable Impact: Brand Lift studies provide concrete data on how well your campaign performs beyond clicks and impressions.
  • Optimization Insights: Understanding which ads and messages are most effective helps refine future campaigns for better performance.

In conclusion, while traditional metrics like CPM, vCPM, and CPC provide a baseline understanding of your campaign’s reach and cost efficiency, advanced techniques like Brand Lift studies offer deeper insights into how your ads influence brand awareness and consumer behavior. Leveraging tools like DV360’s Brand Lift can provide the direct feedback and data needed to optimize your brand awareness strategies effectively.

Market Growth and Future Prospects

The programmatic advertising market is poised for substantial growth. In 2023, the market was valued at approximately $21.1 billion and is projected to reach $120.7 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.3% (Business Research Insights) (Research & Markets). This rapid growth is driven by the increasing adoption of AI and machine learning technologies, which enhance targeting and optimization capabilities, and the growing importance of mobile and video advertising (MarketDigits) (Orion Market Research).

In conclusion, programmatic advertising is the premier method for enhancing brand awareness in today’s competitive market. Its ability to leverage data-driven insights, automate processes, and reach the right audiences at the right moments makes it an indispensable tool for any comprehensive marketing strategy. By staying informed and adaptable, businesses can harness the full potential of programmatic advertising to achieve sustained brand growth and recognition.

Conclusion and Takeaways

Programmatic advertising has revolutionized the world of digital marketing, offering significant advantages for building brand awareness. This article has highlighted how programmatic advertising’s automation, precise targeting, and real-time data capabilities enhance the reach and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Enhanced Cost Efficiency: Programmatic advertising optimizes ad spend by automating the buying process and using real-time bidding, reducing waste and ensuring that ads are shown to the most relevant audiences.
  2. Precision Targeting: The ability to target specific demographics, behaviors, and contextual signals allows brands to reach their ideal audience with high relevance, improving engagement and recall.
  3. Greater Campaign Control: Advanced analytics and reporting tools provide detailed insights into campaign performance, enabling real-time adjustments and optimizations to maximize impact.
  4. Scalability and Reach: Programmatic platforms facilitate extensive reach across multiple channels and devices, ensuring consistent messaging and brand presence, which is crucial for maintaining a strong brand awareness strategy.
  5. Advanced Measurement Techniques: Tools like Google’s Display & Video 360 offer Brand Lift studies, providing direct feedback from users on brand recall and favorability. These insights help measure the true impact of campaigns on brand awareness.
  6. Integration with Specialized Platforms: Platforms such as Criteo for e-commerce, Taboola for native advertising, and The Trade Desk for advanced targeting allow businesses to tailor their strategies to specific needs, further enhancing the effectiveness of their brand awareness campaigns.

If you’re interested in running programmatic advertising campaigns, our team of specialists is here to help, including myself, Nikodem Rudzinski. Let’s collaborate and create a successful programmatic campaign together, step by step. Contact me to get started and leverage our expertise for your brand’s success!

Nikodem Rudziński Programmatic Strategist I’m a passionate digital marketer specializing in Programmatic Advertising. With extensive experience building brand awareness for top-tier clients, I excel in using Display&Video 360 to craft impactful campaigns. Certified in Digital Marketing, I constantly explore innovative strategies to stay ahead. When I’m not enhancing brand presence, I relax by gardening or playing the drums. Shall we create an exciting campaign together?

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