Programmatic advertising has taken the advertising industry by storm. According to a recent AdRoll report, “66 percent of advertisers polled said they plan to increase their programmatic ad spend in 2016”. Adweek’s Social Times states, “87 percent of marketers are seeing greater return through programmatic compared to traditional media buying.” It offers many advantages, including automating media buying across multiple devices and focusing on targeting consumers that the brand is eager to reach. This frequency will keep the brand top-of-mind increasing the likelihood of converting them into loyal customers.

While this is great news for marketers, automated advertising is not a flawless methodology. In fact, the technology is only as good as the creative ideas that are being served up for digital impressions. Programmatic advertising does not take the place of creative ideas. As most in the industry already know, it doesn’t create content at all. It merely takes a piece of content and puts it in front of eyeballs. If the content doesn’t captivate or make an impact, the programmatic buy is useless. This is where the skills of a strategic media planner coupled with great creative are imperative to the success of any advertising campaign. Programmatic technology may streamline the media buying process and target specific audiences, but it doesn’t provide the insights that only come with years of experience.

Creativity and quality of content are the keys to successful advertising and should not be forgotten in the mass of technology innovations. Marketers are turning to the latest and greatest devices, software programs, apps and streaming technologies with the misconception that by merely using these innovations, they will have a successful campaign. They are fast to jump on the Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, etc. bandwagon, that they forget to ask themselves, “What will I be posting, capturing or live streaming?” The same goes with programmatic buying – it’s not just about using the method that will be effective, but rather how well the creative content aligns with the targeted audiences.

So the lesson learned is to balance strategy and technology. Peter Daboll states, “Bad ads hurt everyone in the ecosystem”. Thanks to the improved efficiencies of programmatic, brands will only fail faster if they don’t get their message right first.