Localized Programmatic: Who Has Adopted It and Who Needs It


The recent shift in digital advertising towards localization has highlighted the need for advertisers to take a different approach to audience targeting. The time has come to take action. By adopting a localized programmatic strategy, advertisers are able to localize ad targeting and content, deliver performance on high volumes of localized campaigns, and receive deep insights on their dynamic audiences.


Defining the “Localized” in Localized Programmatic

In today’s programmatic industry, the importance of localizing audience targeting simply cannot be overstated. Nomenclature, local preferences, and buying habits vary widely from city to city across the country. This makes it crucial for advertisers to be able to optimize audiences to local needs and deliver customized creatives to different locations.

Take BBQ for example. While the idea of barbecuing is basically the same at its core – meat, smoke, and the precise mix of time and temperature – the execution varies immensely across the country. From mesquite to hickory, pork to beef, traditions and preferences are unique to each region. Texans swear by their brisket. In the Carolinas, pulled pork and ‘slaw dominate. Memphis is all about the ribs. Kansas City sweet sauce is nationally renowned. The list goes on and on.

What is true about regional preferences in BBQ is also true about the regional preferences when it comes to advertising. Advertisers need to be able to run campaigns that take these differences into account, which is where the importance of localized programmatic comes into play. You wouldn’t serve an ad for Memphis-style dry ribs to a pitmaster in Austin, TX, would you?

The advertisers who stand to benefit the most from a localized programmatic strategy are multi-location brands, the agencies who service them, and local media groups, as well as companies who want to achieve performance on a high volume of localized campaigns. Many of them have become clients and are already reaping the rewards of utilizing localized programmatic with Simpli.fi. And these numbers continue to grow, as more and more advertisers see the writing on the wall in regards to localization.

While the reasons to adopt a localized programmatic strategy are many, it is important to understand that in order to unlock localized programmatic’s potential, marketers must leverage unstructured data.


The Transformative Power of Unstructured Data

When it comes to programmatic advertising, data is king. Thus, it makes sense that the ability to leverage data effectively is the foundation that the entire programmatic paradigm is built on. And there’s more of it than ever before. By 2020, the global datasphere will contain more than 163 zettabytes of data (International Data Corporation).

It’s no surprise, then, that it’s hard for marketers to make heads or tails out of all this available data. That’s why most Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) rely on digital gatekeepers to archive and organize certain data points to instill some structure upon the massive amounts of data that exist. However, there are many limitations that come with using structured data in this way, and it’s important for marketers to know the difference between structured data vs. unstructured data and what can be achieved by leveraging unstructured data within programmatic.

Structured data is information that has been organized and lumped into prepackaged categories. In advertising terms, this means the data has been placed into a nontransparent audience segment – a digital black box of sorts – and sold to marketers and DSPs as being indicative of potential consumer behavior. For marketers, whose ultimate goal is to connect with individual consumers on a personalized level, this can be problematic. Audience segments have significant limitations when it comes to programmatic marketing, including: unknown data sources, invisible data, limited insights into recency of intent or action, and the fact that optimization can only occur at the segment level.

leftThird-party audience segments don’t take into account local knowledge, preferences,nomenclature, and buying habits.

Unstructured data, on the other hand, offers more information, more flexibility, and more reliability. The freedom to target dynamic audiences with pinpoint precision, right down to the exact mix of desired individual data points, provides advertisers with the ability to create and customize their campaigns at scale. Add things like recency, localization, and other unstructured elements to the mix, and the targeting possibilities become truly transformative. Additionally, advertisers can optimize campaigns in real-time, throughout the duration of a campaign, to minimize wasted impressions and drive higher performance.

leftWith unstructured data, you can incorporate local knowledge and preferences to ensure you are serving the right ads to the right people.


Four Big Benefits to Utilizing Unstructured Data

Simpli.fi’s localized programmatic platform was built from the ground up to consume and act on a vast amount of unstructured data. The benefits to this are numerous, but the following are four big ones:

  1. Deeper Insights into Dynamic Audiences
    The Simpli.fi platform optimizes audiences in real time — and it does so at the data element level. So if, for instance, ads served within a certain time of day have a higher click-through rate than those served outside that window, the platform adjusts its combinatorial bidding models accordingly to ensure the most optimal point for delivery. This same ability to adapt applies to each and every data point, such as device type, and location, so as Simpli.fi’s platform learns what’s working and what isn’t, the audience will evolve throughout the life of the campaign. Couple that with a completely transparent and highly granular analytics system, and advertisers receive more nuanced and insightful analysis, which in turn enables brands to continually improve their marketing efforts.
  2. Ability to Customize Audiences to Local Needs
    Personalization as a marketing strategy is as vital and ubiquitous as ever before. So, it stands to reason that a brand’s strategy towards BBQ in, say, Dallas, Texas might differ from its strategy in Charlotte, North Carolina. And the widespread use of mobile devices and location data is helping marketers stretch their budgets by considering local preferences, nomenclature, and buying habits — helping to better inform their campaign strategies and get the most bang for their marketing buck.
  3. Delivering Performance on High Volumes of Localized Campaigns
    Because it’s more flexible than its structured data counterpart, Simpli.fi’s use of unstructured data can deliver more efficient campaign performance at higher volumes, with fewer impressions. Additionally, Simpli.fi’s automated processes for campaign entry, management, optimization, and reporting enable delivery of more robust performance on a high quantity of localized programmatic campaigns, whether you’re running 30 or 30,000.Currently, there are over 90,000 live campaigns on Simpli.fi’s platform. The ability to scale large numbers of highly targeted campaigns is a key facet of localized programmatic.
  4.  Transparency
    Every marketer deserves to know who they’re targeting, what it’ll cost, that the results are real and brand-appropriate, and why the campaign did or didn’t work. Since unstructured data doesn’t rely on prepackaged audience segments, it illuminates the data source in ways structured data cannot, providing marketers with a deeper understanding of how, why, and where their ad dollars are being spent and enabling them to target, bid, optimize, and report at the data-element level.

The move towards localization necessitates that advertisers adapt or be left behind. Check out more details around the importance of localized programmatic, key drivers of growth, and reasons for advertisers to consider localizing their strategy within our exclusive industry report, The State of Localized Programmatic. Email us at hi@simpli.fi or continue the conversation with us on Twitter at @simpli_fi.