Why Retail Marketers Need to Invest in Programmatic Buying

By Tinuiti Team

*This article was written by Andreas Roell, Executive Chairman (Katana Connect)

Programmatic Buying for Retail Marketers

Retail marketing is one of the most competitive spaces with so many companies competing for customers and advertising impressions.

This puts a special emphasis on ensuring that campaigns are successful – including targeting the right messages, to the right audiences, when they’re ready to buy.

Further, consumers want messages that are more personalized to their needs. Programmatic buying is the most cost efficient and efficient way to delivering content to target audiences.

Many retail marketers, however, are not overly familiar with programmatic and how to use it.

What is Programmatic?

Put simply, programmatic buying is the purchasing of digital media via automatic and direct inventory access. The original form of programmatic is paid search, but it it is now available across channels including display, social media, mobile, radio and even TV.

Most retail marketers have allocated certain portions of their budgets to paid search, PLA or retargeting campaigns, which can all be classified as programmatic buying methods. But now, the expansion of programmatic technologies has opened up a larger set of new channels to execute effective, data driven, and highly optimized campaigns.

Why You Should Be Using It

Based on our findings, many retail marketers have not expanded their efforts by adding additional channels into their programmatic buying approach. Here are some reasons why marketers need to get over their fears.



If retail marketers are on the fence about embracing programmatic buying, they need to remember this. Their competitors are already doing it and planning on investing even more in the technology. It is estimated that retailers will spend $3.71 billion on programmatic digital display ads in 2015.


Those who are using programmatic are also seeing solid returns from such efforts throughout the purchase funnel. Programmatic buying makes executing a “full-funnel” approach much easier.

Using many data sets, you can make strategic decisions that focus on precise audience targeting and allocate your budget across the entire purchase funnel.


Most retail marketers have used paid search and seen success, but marketers tend to stick with the tried-and-true methods and channels. Programmatic allows marketers to expand into areas that they have tried or where campaigns have previously failed.

Programmatic buying abilities are rapidly expanding, meaning that there is a high chance of these campaigns succeeding and providing new sales and customer opportunities.

Programmatic allows retailers to distinguish between those who may be just curious about a brand, and focus ad spend dollars on the “ideal customers” that may actually be ready to buy.

Programmatic uses data points that signal when someone is ready to buy, which is typically beyond standard search campaigns.


The amount of available data about consumers has grown – and will continue to exponentially grow over the coming years. This means that retailers will have more access to data to track consumers throughout the buying lifecycle.

Marketers now have the opportunity to use different data points and algorithms to find the right audience and serve highly targeted digital ads or content.

Sophisticated programmatic campaigns target audiences based on aggregate data, including past buying history, search history, interests, age group and other demographic and psychographic information.


In the past, marketers would target audiences via interests or types of websites in the hopes that they were hitting the right marks to reach their audiences. Programmatic eliminates the guesswork by only targeting those websites or platforms where the audience is known to visit.


Programmatic removes the human interface and provides direct access to inventory. The cost of each ad impression tends to be significantly cheaper when purchased programmatically.

When purchasing the same or similar inventory from the same publisher, you can see significant cost savings when bought programmatically. The efficiency of the programmatic buying process and competitive inventory availability drive these impressive cost savings.


Programmatic allows marketers to perform deeper optimization and targeting, which provides a distinct advantage of over traditional marketing practices, especially in cross-channel programmatic campaigns.

This means improvement across all types of campaigns, including display, mobile, video and social media.


Programmatic provides marketers with the ability to manage campaigns in real-time. Optimization algorithms process campaign data, making adjustments while your campaign runs to make it more efficient. This also reduces campaign dollar waste, especially in paid search campaigns.


To Learn More:

Katana and CPC Strategy will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 24th at 11:00 am PST for retail marketers interested in learning more about programmatic buying.

Titled “Programmatic Buying for Retail Marketers”, the webinar will focus on the following topics:programmatic-buying-course


 Join us for the 60-minute course, and learn how you can add programmatic to your digital marketing portfolio.

Programmatic Buying for Retail Marketers




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