ORLANDO, FL: Anheuser-Busch InBev, the global brewer, has witnessed significant benefits from tapping into the power of programmatic advertising in a nuanced way.

Lucas Herscovici, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s global marketing VP/consumer connections, insights and innovation, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Media Conference.

“Programmatic is big,” he said, “but the main reason why it's big – and why it works – is that it’s more effective.” (For more, read WARC’s report: How programmatic buying drives double-digit hike in AB InBev’s advertising investment.)

Automation and cost savings are among the impacts most commonly associated with programmatic, but “what is more important is that it helps you achieve your business objectives”.

One example: AB InBev can target a subset of drinkers by leveraging programmatic and purchase-based data to identify, and focus on, people who prefer a beer brand made by a rival company.

“We were able to find people who are ‘competitive buyers’ [in that] they’re not purchasing our product, but are purchasing products from the competition,” said Herscovici.

And with the marketing program adjusted to reflect the insights, “The data allows us to target those consumers, and then to measure whether we’re achieving an ROI that pays off our incremental cost.”

In addition, the brewers’ planners and marketers carefully weigh frequency – namely, the amount of times that people purchase a product over a certain period, and target consumers based around particular drinking occasions.

AB InBev has not only increased its quantity of programmatic activity, but is also ensuring that it can obtain the desired levels of quality.

“I encourage [marketers] to do what we did two-and-a-half-years ago: We brought in people who had worked on programmatic trading desks to educate us as to what programmatic was about,” Herscovici said.

At the same time, the technologists examined on-going programs to discover strengths and weaknesses of the initiatives that its various agencies had put into place. “We experimented with it all and we delivered,” he added.

The principal finding? “We were able to prove that when you have people doing programmatic who have true ownership in the system, and understand it well, they can achieve better quality,” said Herscovici.

Sourced from WARC