Programatic trading of media is clever automated technology that is spawning (AI enabled) services which will automate the creation of ad messages as well – more efficiency and cost reduction then. (This does not matter a lot as most ads- online- are fairly formulaic response/offer type stuff already)
But Programatic also attacks one of our most important beliefs in brand building – that it matters where you are seen not just what you have to say.
Stripping communication of its context is not good from a psychological point of view – we know that the human brain has evolved to notice context ( see Kahneman et al). Indeed all judgements that we make about people and brands are contextual.
Brands are now being drawn (by the lure of cost effective sales) into an online version selling out of the back of a van on a rainy trading estate. What to do ?
Well two answers
-When buying programmatic, cost effectiveness can’t be the only metric – a smarter programmatic is needed that controls for quality too. Brands need to demand this – and not merely the reassurance that they will not appear in some tawdry click baity site ( or worse)
-Control your own context by becoming a publisher online. This difficult for brands and not for everyone. This piece (just published in Aurora) explores how, why it is difficult and some of the insights into how to do it well from a really useful new book by Laz Dzamic ( declaration of interest- i worked with him at Google)