Ashish Shah
Aug 23, 2018

Opinion: Programmatic advertising - the India chapter

The author explains how programmatic advertising is all set to change the face of the advertising industry in India.

Opinion: Programmatic advertising - the India chapter
What if I tell you that you can increase your CTR by 66 per cent and serve 43 per cent more ads using programmatic advertising? What if I tell you that programmatic advertising, driven by futuristic technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, can turn advertisers’ and publishers’ dreams into reality? Believe it or not, these are solid facts backed by data. Today, advertisers are achieving an unimaginable brand reach by serving a shocking 30 billion ads per day! This was impossible a decade ago. But today, programmatic advertising has made this feat possible.
Programmatic advertising has already transformed the advertising industry in countries as advanced as the USA and the UK. One can only imagine the great revolution it can bring about in the Indian advertising industry. The good news is that India is now being introduced to programmatic advertising, which has already transformed digital advertising across the West. Programmatic advertising companies are playing an important part in bringing about this revolution in India.The magnificent heights they have been able to scale within a short time span, is a testimony to the growth potential of programmatic advertising in India.
Programmatic advertising is, at times, taken to be synonymous with the term digital advertising. It is, therefore, paramount to get a clear distinction between these terms. To put it simply, all the online ads are included under the ambit of digital ads, but not every digital ad is a programmatic ad. Hence, we can say that it is the super set of digital advertising. 
Programmatic advertising includes all such digital advertising which involves automating the ad buying and selling process, minimising the human intervention. It is a way of buying and selling ads that automates the entire process using codes and algorithms, making it faster and more efficient, as opposed to the traditional methods, which involved human intervention like phone calls, negotiations, scouting for the right buyers and sellers of the ad inventory, written I/Os, and all the hassle.
Let’s look at the international cues. The West has already upgraded to programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising enjoys a major share of the ad spends in countries like the USA and the UK. In other countries, for instance, Australia, programmatic buying is in the range of 40 - 60 per cent. However, this trend is now catching up in the Apac region as well. 
India is quite close on the heels in following these trends. India is one of the recent entrants in the industry. At present, nearly 20 per cent of the ad budgets go to programmatic advertising in India. It is important to note here that India still on a learning curve. The Indian industry is slowly becoming aware about the immense opportunities brought in by programmatic advertising. As the ‘educating’ phase passes, the industry will be elucidated upon its unique and unprecedented benefits. Post that, a phenomenal growth is bound to happen. 
The growth speculations for programmatic advertising are quite high for India. Programmatic ad-buying is among the top three technologies that Indian marketers plan to implement in order to support their marketing activities. Experts have projected the share of programmatic advertising in the Apac region to rise up to 36 per cent in 2020. Several factors are responsible for such positive outlook from the industry. Smartphone and Internet penetration in rural areas, the upward trend towards digitisation, and the increasing awareness about the industry are a few of them.
That being said, the high growth prospects are majorly credited to its numerous unique and unprecedented advantages. The one that tops the list is its unique targeting capability. Programmatic allows advertisers to have niche targeting like geo targeting, demographic targeting, targeting on the device and device ID, O.S. and O.S. version, browser and browser version, etc. Next, it enables the implementation of advanced techniques like Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) that dynamically creates personalised ads based on the viewer’s run-time data.
This is made possible owing to the ability of gathering data, analysing it and drawing invaluable insights from it. This enables advertisers to know their customers and form personalised targeting strategies based on their respective preferences, likes and dislikes. 
Further, as programmatic advertising uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, it maximises the precision and minimizes the human errors. This naturally brings in a better ROI.
These benefits have shown to considerably increase the advertisers’ earnings by directly boosting their sales. Hence, they are a must-have for every advertiser. 
The industry is gradually embracing programmatic advertising as it discovers its takeaways. Replicating the global trends closer home, programmatic advertising is all set to change the face of the advertising industry in India.
(The author is founder and CEO, Vertoz Advertising)
Campaign India

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