Track be nimble

Demand Side Platforms* are offering more audience segmentation, using specific criteria to identify the right consumers for a product, service, or destination.

The software builds a deployment based on social media likes, recently visited sites, purchase history, lookalike profiles, and search terms.

Terrifying, from an information standpoint, but certainly efficient from an advertising perspective—both on the agency side and the audience side. Let’s show people ads that they might actually be interested in.

Destination ads for the Deerfield Valley in Southern VT appear on the Travel+Leisure website, The Lonely Planet, and the The Travel Channel. Click for a closer look.

If You Build It: Creative + Content + DSP = Engaged audience

Based on clean data and strategic decisions about whom to approach, programmatic buys are largely automated, which can be helpful with overlapping platforms* and types of media—social posts, display ads, video, and animated content.

This sets the stage for personalized advertising, delivered in context—ideal for Millennials and their younger counterparts, who eschew any corporate advertising in favor of an organic, self-discovery of a product.

The results are an open book of button clicks, website hits, video views, and social shares. Transparency* is the industry term, because the attention is measurable and the ad spend is quantifiable.

To review, this approach to media is:
specific, information-based, automated, and trackable.

Match the Message: Use the data to tailor your communication

All of that data, strategy, and execution will just fall flat without incredible content. The variable nature of programmatic media allows agencies to create ad campaigns that are personal and relevant, and that’s expected at this point.

It’s an audience-focused undertaking, and for many brands, that means a shift from general messaging to specific benefits—much closer to one-on-one than one-for-all.

Digital ad suite for SUNY Agriculture, specific to Fisheries majors. Search terms might include: brook trout, Rapala, charter, fly, bait, bass, reel.
Digital ad suite for SUNY Agriculture, specific to Dairy majors. Social likes might include: Cabot, Heifer International, Four H, FFA.
Digital ad suite for SUNY Agriculture, specific to Diesel Tech majors. Favorite sites might include: Craftsman, John Deere, Volkswagen, Ford.

Experiment: See what fits

The trackable nature and automated roll-out of programmatic buys make it easy to try out more than one concept, and measure success against different metrics like geography, gender, or age.

Two different ad sets for paddling in Southern Vermont. The more successful of the two, based on clicks, will be boosted. The other can be shelved, or revised and run again. Click for a closer look.

The Buildout: One size doesn’t fit all

The information is available to create content for every dimension. Apply as much effort to fitting each space as you do to engaging each audience.

Seven static digital ad sizes, specific pixel dimensions for Facebook and Instagram, 16 x 9 aspect ratio for digital video, and portrait edits for social stories—a full complement of resized creative designed to offer as many insertions as possible. Depending on how many campaign silos the strategy calls for, based on audience, it means extensive design work. Can your agency handle it?

Destination campaign for the towns of Dover and Wilmington, Vermont, specific to Fishing.
Destination campaign for the towns of Dover and Wilmington, Vermont, specific to Antiques.



* Self-Important Market speak Glossary for this blog post:

Using machines to buy and place ad space.

Truthful reporting of campaign results.

Different types of tech. Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon.

A/B Testing:
Experimenting to see if one concept performs better than another.

Demand Side Platform—software to manage digital advertising.