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The Programmatic Love Machine

February 13, 2015

There are many words that conjure up romantic images and associations, but programmatic is certainly not one of them. The old saying is that opposites attract, and this Valentine’s Day programmatic will see sparks fly between brands and online consumers.

Love is big business and with more than half of the U.S. population (61.8%) due to celebrate the holiday this year, the average American will spend $142.31 on Valentine’s Day with total spending expected to reach an $18.9 million dollar high. A quarter of consumers will shop online for Valentine’s Day, so it is essential for brands to reach lovebirds with relevant gift ideas. Here are five programmatic marketing tips to make consumers swoon.

Love gets mobile

Smart devices play an important role in Valentine’s gifting. Business intelligence from The Exchange Lab shows couples spend their weekends researching ideas on their mobile devices, with online traffic peaking during weekday rush-hour travel times and purchases reaching their highest levels at the beginning of the week via desktops. Marketers looking to connect effectively with consumers need to adopt a cross device approach. Over half (62%) of all restaurant searches take place on mobile devices and since dining out is the most popular way to celebrate Valentine’s Day – Americans spent over $10,399 million on dining out in 2014 – mobile is the channel that brands cannot afford to neglect. By utilizing geolocation technology, brands can serve timely and relevant ads to consumers on their mobile devices, and offer a coupon, or highlight a special promotion.

Sweets for your sweet

Sweet treats are the order of the day for many couples and is the second most popular gift – Americans alone spent almost $2,958 million on Valentine’s Day candy in 2014. Programmatic can help sweeten the deal for brands looking to target an engaged audience. Brands marketing to chocolate lovers can utilize programmatic insights to plan their campaign and through data optimization, improve their campaign performance in real-time. First and third party data also work together to unify the view of the consumer, with in-depth analysis feeding back into a broader marketing strategy.

How much do I mean to you?

Levels of expenditure varies by gender with men spending an average of $130 on gifts – more than double the amount women spend. This is just as well, as 53% of women said they would end their relationship if they did not receive a gift from their partner. To reach consumers spending greater amounts – for example on romantic weekends away – travel companies should consider the benefits programmatic can offer. Rich media formats such as video and high impact designs, along with careful retargeting to accompany consumers on their path to purchase, ensure that the romantic destination is front of mind when consumers book online.

Come out smelling of roses

Flowers are a traditional gift option for Valentine’s Day with 73% of men planning to purchase flowers for their loved one this year and 14% of women planning to send themselves flowers. Retargeting and look-a-like modelling are both tactics that make online consumer targeting more efficient. Catch their eye with high-impact ads that should allow brands to stand out from the competition.

Personalize it 

Research reveals that 73% of American men and 78% of American women see personalization as critical to online and mobile purchases, especially when it comes to making secondary purchases. Marketers can tailor their advertising through dynamic creative optimization by analyzing the contextual environment and geographical location. Customers are then re-targeted with creative designed to increase engagement, ensuring the brand’s profile is aligned and content is tailored to the individual.

While the love machine’s programmatic algorithms can do the math, the real connection requires chemistry and is made complete with a little human interaction. Like every successful relationship, the best programmatic practices require the tender touch of a human to truly succeed. Ensure your programmatic partner is open, transparent, and listens to all your needs this February and beyond.