IAB Agency Day: Katana CEO on Programmatic Radio

IAB Agency

Recently, Katana’s CEO, Melissa Lopez, joined other distinguished panelists to speak at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Digital Audio Agency Day in Los Angeles. The IAB agency offers events throughout the year to help marketers, advertisers, agencies and publishers understand trends in the interactive advertising realm and to learn about the latest technologies, techniques and tools.
The IAB Digital Audio Agency Day is designed to provide information on trends, research, insights and best practices for digital audio as both an entertainment and advertising platform.

The panel focused on:
· Big data and programmatic buying as a means for reaching the right audience online
· Creating the right creative for the target and learning how to buy at scale
· Obstacles that radio clients need to address before even considering using big data and programmatic.

Katana served as the programmatic service-based agency representative in the discussion. Many of the other panelists were digital audio companies, including Triton Media and Live365.The audience for this panel was primarily radio professionals, radio agencies, media broadcast stations. Here are the key takeaways from the discussion:

Why Agencies Should Be Using Programmatic

Lopez stressed the importance of an integrated approach to programmatic buying, and within this approach, digital radio provides a critical lift for the awareness and prospecting areas of the funnel. Consumer behavioral habits are rapidly changing. If you want to reach your audience with the right, relevant messaging across any and all channels and platforms, then utilizing programmatic for radio is a viable opportunity that should be explored and considered. Unlike other platforms, radio doesn’t focus on direct placement. It requires figuring out where the audience is and reaching them with the relevant audio message at the appropriate time – and programmatic makes this process more efficient.

Programmatic Radio Potential Obstacles

Programmatic radio buying is different from other programmatic digital channels because buyers cannot get overly “niche” with messages. Messages are pre-recorded and can’t be tweaked in real-time based on the audience. For example, with a display ad, marketers can change the messaging slightly depending on the audience that they’re serving up the ad to during real-time. Radio programmatic doesn’t currently offer the agility audio words to be changed, so this somewhat limits its potential impact on serving up to hyper-segmented audiences.

How is Programmatic Radio Measured for Success

One issue that Lopez addressed during the discussion was how clients can measure the value of programmatic radio in campaigns. Programmatic radio is geared to top-of-the-funnel brand awareness, but can also play a viable role within the prospecting and retargeting areas of consumer outreach. While it is important to recognize that very few targets will hear an ad, pull out their smartphones or tablets, and buy the product right then and there, this component of the digital buy does provide critical touch points needed to get people familiar and aware with a particular brand. Programmatic radio allows marketers to find these prospects – perhaps even when they’re further down the funnel and ready to buy. This can be done with retargeting with programmatic radio messaging.

Creating Creative for Programmatic Radio

There is a great potential for creativity with programmatic audio. The panel discussed sequential retargeting as one way that marketers can use creativity with their programmatic campaigns. Let’s say there are two different consumers interested in travel: One buys a ticket on Delta.com, while the other one just visits, performs some searches, but does not buy a ticket. This second person can be retargeted with audio via sequential retargeting. This can be set up with a series of messages that drive the person down to conversion. The messages, however, for both of these customers would be very different. They are at different points in the funnel: One has already bought a ticket while the other one is still doing research.

While programmatic radio may still be in its infancy, marketers shouldn’t just push it to the back burner. Lopez stressed to her audience the importance of the integrated approach to marketing – and why programmatic radio should be part of this approach. Programmatic radio has plenty of potential for helping agencies and marketers find their audiences where they already are – listening to their favorite online station or streaming music platform.