To say the previous 18 months have been a tumultuous one for businesses would be an understatement. While the most significant impact of the pandemic on customer spending does seem to be behind us, at least for the time being, it’s likely that the end of 2021 will also see some unexpected shifts in buying habits.
This makes managing your digital marketing along the pathway to one of the busiest periods in the year challenging, whatever your stance is on programmatic. Whether you’re a newcomer to programmatic advertising or it’s a cornerstone of how you operate, it’s crucial to understand if it’s the right platform for you at this point of relative uncertainty.
There isn’t a great deal of precedent to help inform this decision making. Q4 in 2020 was unusual, with the second wave of Covid-19 impacting businesses across the globe, particularly in the retail and hospitality industries. There was, however, generally a resurgence in customer expenditure, particularly in light of the reduced spending brought about by spring and summer.
Although Q4 in 2021 should be closer to a standard trading period, businesses face a degree of risk about approaching it. Although it’s a period that traditionally sees the most prominent advertising spend, the lingering impact of the pandemic is bound to leave a degree of trepidation among business owners.
How will 2021 end?
Nobody has a crystal ball, but the data suggests 2021 will end on a more positive note for businesses. The UK can boast one of the most successful vaccination programmes globally, even with the onset of new variants. And it’s likely that the world should also be better off as globalisation improves and international economies continue with their revival.
There’s already been a surge in manufacturing due to pent up demand, the biggest in three decades, with JP Morgan predicting more robust spending in US markets with the return of consumer spending. So a generally positive increase in consumer behaviour suggests a stronger Q4 lies in wait.
An influx of spending has the potential to deliver a positive impact for your business, whatever sector you operate within, and whilst the pandemic isn’t disappearing and the risk of a return to restrictions always looms, there’s an opportune moment to capitalise on renewed customer confidence. The question is, how best to adapt that to your marketing strategy to make the right decision around your ad spend?
The answer to that will, of course, vary from business to business, sector to sector. There is, however, one solution that is perfect for the rapid scaling that can help you excel in a situation such as this; programmatic.
Can programmatic help your business?
A sudden upturn in customer interest means your marketing will need to reach these new or resurgent customers efficiently and quickly; or face the reality your competitors will. Programmatic is well placed to assist in this area, enabling you to deliver the brand uplift necessary to succeed at this point.
Using AI and machine learning to shift your ad campaigns from platform to platform, programmatic is the perfect solution if you are looking to increase your ad presence without committing exclusively to one channel. It’s particularly potent for upper-funnel growth, making it an excellent tactic when you want to focus on a sudden pique in buying behaviour.
Programmatic’s agility also makes it ideal when uncertainty is still high. An optimist would hope that the end of restrictions means more customers will be outside and active, but even localised lockdowns could send more customers online. Programmatic allows for rapid targeting should this happen, ensuring that if customers are at home again, you can reach more of them as they spend increased time online. It enables you to react quickly to how your customers behave, and at a point when unexpected circumstances mean not even they know how that will be, programmatic helps you offset an element of your risk.
It also offers much stronger budgetary controls. You don’t need to commit a set amount to a single ad network or type of programmatic, instead relaying the spend across differing networks where it will have a more significant impact on your customer. This enables you to increase the presence across every touchpoint of your customer’s journey, allowing to scale impressions, organic traffic and general product visibility, which is perfect at a point when customers will likely be spending more.
Programmatic Advertising and Social Media
While many people look at programmatic campaigns as a solution for display advertising with their PPC, it’s equally as proficient across social. The pandemic led to a rapid increase in social media usage, and people will continue to do so even as the world opens up again. More customers on social more often opens it up perfectly for a programmatic approach.
You can reach audiences targeted by interest within specific channels such as Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, then nurturing them and others with relevant ads once they’ve expressed an interest in your product. It’s particularly potent as the central focus in an omnichannel approach, helping your advertising sit at every point of the customer journey as they move from consideration to conversion.
Overall the versatility of programmatic makes it a solution that stands out as the year draws to an end. You could use it to hugely increase awareness and conversions of your e-commerce products during the fervent purchasing of Black Friday or locate new customers exploring financial solutions as they plan for 2022. The responsiveness of it also allows you to let your advertising react to your customer’s needs, ensuring wherever they spend their time on the internet, you can reach them.
Although there’s still a degree of trepidation with the economy, there’s scope for cautious optimism as we approach Q4. Programmatic enables you to plan for this period, ready to pounce on the opportunities or react swiftly to any setbacks; can you afford not to have it as a central tenet of your approach?
Want to know more about how adding programmatic to an omnichannel approach can give your business the uplift it needs to end 2021 on a high? You can uncover more about how we approach it as a programmatic agency by booking a discovery call today.