The rise in prominence of programmatic targeting has been noticeable. Dun & Bradstreet conducted a survey this year of over 100 B2B marketers. They discovered that 78 percent planned to spend up to half of their advertising budgets on programmatic advertising this year, and 65 percent would spend more on programmatic advertising this year than ever before.*

However, many outside advertising and marketing won’t have heard of the term ‘programmatic targeting’. So, what is it, and how does this technology impact content providers?


The right audience with the right message at the right time

Programmatic targeting promises the ability to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time. Traditionally, advertising has had a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Hit enough people with your message and you’ll find the small percentage that actually care about what you have to say. This kind of targeting is made possible through a mix of collected data and clever modelling.

A few months ago we launched Ingenta Audience, a solution that does exactly this. To learn about your audiences, we take a survey-based, closer look at a tiny percentage of them. The answers from this small sample group allow us to create a sophisticated prediction model that we use to extend the surveyed offline data points to cover your full audience, with amazing accuracy. Essentially, those who are happy to share their data, enable us to build models which predict the composition and interests of the complete audience. More than that, content providers are collecting a wealth of data on consumer habits through the content they engage with. All of this can be fed into your model. For a more detailed explanation, watch the video below.

So why is this technology important for content providers? Now that we have the ability to understand our audiences on an individual level, having a large audience just became even more valuable. This is especially true for publishers of digital content. Here are a couple of ways publishers can capitalise on this.

Charge higher prices for advertising space

Many digital publishers sell advertising space on their sites and inside their content as a way (sometimes the primary way) to generate revenue. But banner ads on a website, up until now, have taken the ‘one size fits all’ approach. Quantity over quality.

An accurate profile of an audience allows advertisers to be much more targeted and relevant in their adverts, resulting in better returns on their advertising investment. This means that a content owner can charge higher prices for advertising space. There is also an additional gain for the content owner in that the ads are much more relevant for the consumers of the publisher’s content, and so do not lower the user experience with irrelevant advertising.

Take away the guess work

Knowing about your consumers also allows you to point them more effectively towards your own resources. When your audience is surveyed, you can ask them any questions you want to help build helpful profiles for understanding your audience. But there is also a wealth of data available from the content that your audience is consuming. This allows you to build a more sophisticated model and takes away the guess work from content recommendations.

For example, we might assume that someone who downloaded an eBook called “A guide to Wine” might also be interested in a new eBook called “Spanish Wines”. That is an assumption based on a single connection. In reality, we often find that peoples buying/consuming habits are far more complex.

Take an item on amazon and look at the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. If I look at “Wine Folly: A Visual Guide to the World of Wine”, I can see in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section various other wine books, as you might expect. But if I dig a little deeper, I also find that people who bought this book also bought makeup cleansing cloths, a golf rule book and a panoramic snorkel mask. Would you have guessed that people who bought a wine book would be interested in these items? I wouldn’t. But as content providers, if we’re able to model this sort of behaviour we can offer our consumers a much fuller, richer experience.

Understanding our audiences is one of the single most powerful things we can do to help shape what we do – provide great customer satisfaction and drive revenue.


Do you sell advertising space, or are you looking to implement better content recommendations on your site? Talk to our Audience specialists to see how programmatic targeting can help drive extra revenue from your content.

You can also manage your content more effectively with our CMS solution.