As the most efficient and scalable way to buy digital ads, programmatic advertising is a key channel for ecommerce brands in the current advertising landscape.

In 2024, US programmatic ad spend is projected to approach $170 billion.

Traditionally, advertisers have had to spend time going directly to publishers, with a limited amount of inventory available per month. Poor targeting capabilities and a lack of campaign-level frequency have often created a trap for wasted ad spend.

Programmatic advertising allows brands to strike the perfect balance of shoppers seeing and being compelled by an ad without feeling overwhelmed. There’s an array of effective programmatic ad types to choose from, including cross-device display, video, streaming audio, and out-of-home.

Implementing key performance indicators (KPIs) will not only reveal the cost and effectiveness of your programmatic campaigns across channels but also supercharge your brand’s conversions and profitability.

The ecommerce landscape is shifting, and programmatic trends are changing along with it. Read this blog to discover how trends like personalized ads, generative AI, privacy restrictions, and the cookieless future are shaping the future of programmatic.

Determining Your Programmatic Advertising KPIs

Programmatic can help your brand reach customers along their entire path to purchase and drive more valuable conversions. It’s no wonder that marketers are putting more than 50% of their media budget into programmatic advertising. But the first step is determining what you want to achieve with your programmatic campaign and what metrics to use to track performance.

Key performance indicator (KPI): A measurable outcome used to evaluate campaign success against a specific goal.

Knowing what you want your programmatic campaign to accomplish is the first step of establishing a KPI. Then, you’ll put the right metrics in place to measure the campaign’s success in reaching your goal.

In other words, your goal informs the KPI you should be tracking. For example, if the goal of your programmatic campaign is to increase brand awareness, you might consider a KPI of impressions.

Implementing KPIs can put you a step ahead of your competitors by allowing you to make quick and agile decisions – an invaluable tool in the current fast-paced, competitive post-pandemic marketplace.

Whether your programmatic campaigns are focused on upper- and mid-funnel prospecting or lower-funnel channels like paid search or social media remarketing, KPIs can help you understand how your programmatic campaigns are performing across the entire marketing funnel.

Upper-Funnel Programmatic KPIs & Strategies

The goal of top-of-funnel programmatic advertising campaigns is typically to increase brand awareness. KPIs like impressions and reach will help indicate whether your upper-funnel programmatic campaign is achieving its brand awareness goal.

Upper-funnel programmatic campaigns can also help with lead generation. As a key channel for driving new customers, digital ad spend on lead gen will surpass $3 billion for the first time this year. Some KPIs that can be tracked with programmatic lead gen campaigns include lead volume, cost per lead, and number of qualified leads.

To build awareness, drive in-store traffic, and build loyalty, consider a streaming audio campaign. The precise targeting of Programmatic means brands can serve ads with exactly the right messaging for the moment based on the time of day and other anonymized consumer data.

US digital radio ad spend will surpass $5.5 billion in 2024.

Audience targeting will also be a crucial component of your programmatic campaign. Highly contextual campaigns based on audience behaviors and interests are more likely to boost metrics like impressions and reach. Programmatic’s highly advanced targeting capabilities are there waiting for you to capitalize off of them!

Mid-Funnel Programmatic KPIs & Strategies

The decision of where to spend your brand’s marketing budget becomes even more important the further shoppers move down the funnel. As a crucial component of the product consideration phase, the middle of the funnel presents myriad possible goals for programmatic advertising campaigns. Brand awareness can still be relevant to track, along with traffic and engagement.

KPIs like number of unique website visitors, number of qualified prospects, clicks, and cost per click can all reveal the success of your mid-funnel programmatic campaign.

For example, comparing your monthly unique visitors before and after your campaign launches can indicate how effective your campaign was in introducing more shoppers to your brand. Your KPI can also track how long it takes for your average prospect to turn into a qualified lead from your programmatic campaign.

A mobile-first focus will help your brand reach the most customers, and a hyperlocal campaign that reaches shoppers at an opportune moment to buy can help you stand out from the competition.

Lower-Funnel Programmatic KPIs & Strategies

The bottom of the funnel is where a browser becomes a buyer. The end goal of this stage is to make a sale, but there are many relevant metrics that can be tracked around that goal.

For example, tracking customer conversions and conversion rates will help your brand understand the bottom line of your programmatic campaign’s success. But what about cost per customer acquisition (CPA)? Reducing CPA can be a back door to increasing the overall ROI of your programmatic campaigns. ROI can also be tracked as a separate metric for lower-funnel programmatic campaigns.

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is another wise KPI to track at the bottom of the funnel. If you’re running programmatic ads that are part of a longer-term campaign, CLV provides a longer-term view of your programmatic performance than KPIs like click-through rate.

76% of companies see CLV as important to their organization.

Remarketing and lead nurturing are a critical part of any lower-funnel digital strategy, and programmatic is no different. If your upper-funnel campaign focuses on generating new leads, they can be nurtured through programmatic ads at this point in the cycle to continue building their relationship with your brand and encourage them to become repeat customers. KPIs for lead nurturing include click-through rates and conversion rates.

Book a Meeting to Start Crushing Your Programmatic KPIs

There’s never such a thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Tracking the most relevant KPIs for your campaign is a critical part of a successful programmatic campaign.

What if you had a team of experts by your side to help you determine KPIs you should track for programmatic success? To explore the profitable programmatic growth opportunities you could uncover with us, book a meeting with our team today.