Oh, the possibilities of programmatic! The advancements in recent years has blessed us with unprecedented access and insight into consumer data and behaviour, and it's no wonder that 83.6% of all advertising dollars are expected to transact programmatically. For marketers, the absolute beauty of programmatic is that it's the ideal way to reach customers at scale.

Digital advertising has completely changed the face of media buying - the advertising landscape has shifted from a mass-media driven marketing activity to a supremely sophisticated and targeted marketing communication tool.

The new focus for marketers now is effectively taking advantage of all it has to offer - at once a challenge and an opportunity. Read on to find four strategies you can use in your marketing approach to maximize the impact of your campaign:

1. Value segmentation

As a marketer, you most likely have a good idea of who your target audience is. That said, the insights gained from your actual clickers - audiences that are highly engaged - will inevitably determine the value that audience brings. Once that information has been gleaned, it’s a good idea to segment your audiences according to their values at specific stages in the purchase funnel so that you can cater your messaging to satisfy both their needs and their buying characteristics (i.e. their responsiveness to different types of messaging, marketing, and sales channels).

For example, auto intender audiences that are in the last stage of the funnel and ready to purchase will respond enthusiastically to mobile-centered messaging that lets them know about exclusive pricing offers that convey a feeling of obtaining the best possible price. [Are you an auto intender? Click here to read about digital advertising strategies to capitalize on the five micro-moments that define an auto buyer’s journey.]

Value segmentation is an important first step, allowing your marketing department to know which customers to focus efforts and resources on. It also helps to minimize wasted ad spend by highlighting and targeting groups that represent low hanging fruit - audiences that may be better served with a lower-cost digital strategy.

2. Personalized messaging

Knowing this information and segmenting your audiences accordingly also gives insight into personalizing your messaging for spend efficiency. One size doesn’t fit all, and it’s most true here.

Customers do not want to be targeted with advertisements that are irrelevant to their interests - in fact, quite the opposite. In fact, the millennial audience (25-34 year olds) reported seeing value in brands engaging them with personalized advertising and offers. Today, audiences are aware of the value exchange that occurs - they provide brands with personal data and don’t only want, but expect that information to be used in ways that provides them with tangible benefits.

For companies who don’t target according to the individual needs of their audience members, delivering a great customer experience will be out of the question - as will staying competitive.

3. Pixel your campaigns for retargeting and much more

Each of your advertisements has the ability to generate digital ‘breadcrumbs’ that you can follow to glean insights on your audience. This is a large part of being able to delivery personalized messaging effectively. An example?

We deliver advertisements for a higher education institution’s global recruitment strategy. Their audiences follow a well defined recruitment funnel that spans three phases - Recruit, Accept, and Choose. They have pixels placed on all of their advertisements, as well as the landing pages that the ads lead to and across the institution’s website. This allows them to gauge exactly which programs the converted audience members expressed interest in, and allows for them to retarget them accordingly, providing relevant messaging and effectively guiding them throughout the application lifecycle. This well-developed retargeting strategy has resulted in a staggering 8,620% (yes, eight thousand) increase in applications year over year.

It doesn’t stop there. You can also use virtual pixels for your offline advertising and track people in the vicinity of your subway poster or highway billboard.

4. Identify lookalikes

When you have identified and targeted your niche audiences, you start to realize that delivering your advertising at scale is just not possible with such a small audience. What do you do when there’s a whole world of potential customers out there that you haven’t already included in your audiences?

Creating a lookalike audience involves taking the niche audiences you have built based on your access to data, or the audiences that have interacted with your brand (audiences you have been able to curate with the use of pixels as discussed above), and extrapolating them to find audiences with similar characteristics and equal propensity to buy.