Thinker Award Runner Up: How Programmatic Advertising is Shaping Consumer Behaviour


Our runner up for the Thinker Award, Chloe Hoffmann, addresses the influence of digital innovation, particularly programmatic advertising, and how it has shaped consumer shopping behaviour.

Amongst all of the digital emergences that are changing the way we buy, the one that is perhaps having the greatest impact on consumerism is – programmatic. Gone are the days where your world is spammed by irrelevant products. An advertiser need not waste his dollars serving ads in the dark. Programmatic means that space is being used more cleverly, and the ads you are being served are more germane than ever before. It’s one of the greatest synergies between vendor and consumer since the advent of advertising.

Big brother is all around. Every click you take, every move you make, every single day, every time you write “bae”, they are watching you. They are tracking you, they are analysing you behaviours and they are they are classifying you. They are then using this information to sell their products to the right people, at the right time, in the right place. Our devices are reading our behaviours and forecasting exactly what we want and when we want it. Whether we want it or not.


And as data collection becomes more sophisticated (as it is already becoming (cue Big Data et al)), and accountability becomes more proliferate, so too does the process become more streamlined and the precision of the targeting will only increase. And with this precision increase, the relevance of the ads increases and in no time, digital ads are serving you your wants and needs before you’ve had the chance to consider them yourself.

And as programmatic rolls out across TV and outdoor over the next few year (as it is already beginning to do), so too will this effect only become stronger. And so our desires and needs will become ubiquitous; temptation everywhere – curated to your exact tastes as long as you are within reach of anything with an internet connection.

4 o clock comes around, you’re looking for dinner inspiration…?’ping!’ there’s a ‘KFC family box’ special happening 1km down the road. Sold!  Perusing Junkee Media for your daily hit of what’s cool…wondering how to be cooler…’ping!’ – Nike has a new sneaker line!!! – sold. Couldn’t decide whether or not to take the plunge on that plasma screen yesterday…? ‘ping!’ ooh there it is again! Must be a sign…Sold!

In the US alone, over 10billion dollars was spent on programmatic advertising in 2014. This was double the prior year and programmatic is forecasted to make up 63% ad spend in the US by the end of 2016 and predicted to surpass television spend by 2018.

So while there will always be emergences like the ibeacon, fancy formats and ‘click and collect’, inevitably shaping the way we buy and sell, these are only vehicles for the true culprit which will ultimately be the real influencer on how much, how often, when and where we choose to invest. Programmatic. Resistance is futile.


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