Programmatic seems to be brand, not performance based, at the moment. Yet, it really seems to depend on who you talk to. What are your thoughts on this key issue?
Garcia notes, “When I look at programmatic, I think that it’s essentially doing what it was meant to do. It was meant to be a performance tool. I think programmatic has progressed so much to the point where we’re not looking at it anymore in the lens of how efficient is it? That’s the fundamental use case for programmatic. And that’s really how programmatic came into the space, but now it’s becoming more than that. And I think that with investments shifting more into that space, then we’re going to see more challenges rise and how do we solve for those challenges? If we can get programmatic right from a multicultural lens, we will achieve media peace.”
How and why is programmatic such an important area for multiculturalism? If you think about the narrative that marketers like to use from an activation perspective, we want to be able to serve the right message to the right people at the right time, at the right place.
“It’s more of that one to one communication that we all instinctively know is going to resonate best,” says Garcia. “And that’s what’s going to get people engaged. But in order to fulfill that, there has to be some things that have to give. And when we look at multicultural audiences and the growth of that population, particularly within the U.S., and is more representative and becoming technically the minority majority, then that whole one to one narrative has to reconcile itself with this growing population. If we don’t reconcile that, with how we are operating programmatically, then we won’t get anywhere. Systemically, everybody wins from understanding that new lens.”
As far as growth in fundamental areas, there’s tech, in that we mean software, data, and activation itself. How would you break those down? Programmatic is such an umbrella term. But there’s a lot more to it. All of those things have to work in unison and or at least those have to be weeded through the process to be able to have what we would deem a successful programmatic operation.
Garcia adds, “When we look at things from a multicultural perspective, we tend to notice a lot of bias. So if the tech part is not there from an unbiased perspective or having, I would say, automated assist, automated where there are some human intervention within those processes, then you are definitely doing your due diligence in making sure that the tech part of it is being representative of what it has to do from that lens of representation across all segments.”
Then there’s the data part of it. “If you don’t have the people that are interpreting that data correctly, then that’s where bias can come in or misinterpretation or skewed data or just bad data in general.”
She continues, “And then there’s the activation part. Including measurement, those things have to work in unison so that whatever we’re trying to achieve from a programmatic perspective is optimal regardless of what the outcome is. I think the outcome, we need to stop looking at it from like, oh, we targeted the wrong people. Well, what did the outcome say? I look at it full circle. Then what did we do at the beginning of that process that brought us to that outcome and just bring it back, everything should be connected.”
While a full circle approach may sound easy there are plenty of challenges along the way.
“I think that when you have people or, you know, the proper interventions and the proper people to be able to identify what those breakdowns are, then the less likely we will have those types of question marks in our heads. Why did this happen? You have the people to sort of dig under the hood, then we can tell you why that happens. And you learn from it,” says Garcia.
Watch the full video for more of Jennifer Garcia and Seth Adler’s discussion on programmatic, data partnership challenges, benchmarks and standards, the OFA coalition, the authentic approach and more.