I recently came across this statement from a Center for Media Research Brief:
According to a 2014 Millward Brown Digital Study, current digital advertising spending trends show that digital marketers fairly evenly allocate budgets across ad formats. However, the majority of digital marketers say that digital advertising hasn’t lived up to its promise and feel that branding ads bought via programmatic methods raise concerns. They are searching for the best way to connect with consumers on an emotional level to bridge the delta between the branding promise of digital and real-world success.
Well, no wonder. When brands use programmatic buying for online space they seek to reach a particular target market based on criteria that they set for the audience characteristics. While it may be important to reach particular individuals the effort is not campaign-based. As such, an ad aimed at someone while they are online and not seeking specific information or looking to engage with a brand may not deliver the desired results. Ad networks sell targets who partake in certain actions, which may or may not be brand related. Chances are that those people reached in this way and in the target have already seen the ads and they are not working.
A better strategy would be to set the goals for the campaign, determine the target and reach them at moments when they are receptive to the message.