Kathy O'Dowd, Netflix's global director/programmatic marketplace and channel development, discussed this topic at MediaPost's OMMA Programmatic Display conference.
"We are moving to programmatic, in part, because it is so efficient, she said. (For more, including tips for brands, publishers and agencies, read Warc's exclusive report: Netflix's programmatic defence balances man and machine.)
"We can be more individualised in the kind of marketing that we're doing – and that's ultimately, I think, every advertiser's dream."
Given that Netflix has an extremely broad potential audience, its need for tailored digital communications is especially powerful.
"You think about Netflix as a brand: we could be a fit for anyone with a credit card and an internet connection. But that doesn't mean that we're going to benefit from approaching everyone in the exact same way," O'Dowd said.
"So, programmatic allows for that database buying. Then, on the flipside, the automation of it is great because we can do individualised marketing at scale."
One of the organisation's main objectives on programmatic, she continued, is to attract new customers.
And by leveraging its vast tranche of in-house data, the company is able to construct detailed profiles covering the probable attitudes and habits of these target consumers.
"Our ultimate advertising goal is to build the business, and so we're looking for people who haven't subscribed yet across the countries where we are live," said O'Dowd.
"And so our current user data is interesting to help us understand, 'Well, what other kinds of titles are people interested in?' 'What do these fans look like?' so we can use that as a proxy for informing third-party and second-party data buys.
"In programmatic, we have the added benefit of saying, 'I know something intentional, I know something behavioural about a person, and then I'm also going to find them in a venue where they are in the correct frame of mind'."
Data sourced from Warc