Lori Steger, marketing manager at ABEO, a medical billing and coding audit company, has worn many hats in her marketing experience – from planning strategic branding initiatives all the way to tracking and executing projects.
Her career has ranged from luxury retail to medical billing and beyond.
Throughout her career, Lori has developed a keen eye for seeing the big picture – how the various undercurrents and changes in marketing could affect her company and her customers.
We interviewed this self-described “out-of-the-box” thinker to get her insights on programmatic advertising, its impact and the future of digital advertising in general.
PA.O: How is programmatic currently affecting your workplace, and what intrigues you about it? What’s next in programmatic for you?
Lori Steger: For us, the most intriguing part is that I can tell that no one in our direct niche industry is participating in any type of programmatic advertising campaign. I feel that we have an upper hand on our competitors right now because we are the first ones doing it. You know, I guess I am excited to see kind of what the next stages will be as we get our analytics more tied into our programmatic. We have used programmatic for a year thus far, so I think that we’ve now got the program – the fundamentals down. This second year, I am trying to take the information we are gaining to the next level. [With] anonymous site user identification, it will be interesting to see how it enhances what we already have. As far as where we are going in the future, I think we will have a better understanding of our audience and knowing who we are talking to.
PA.O: Targeted advertising is definitely changing the way businesses approach advertising. From our point-of-view, it’s been pretty disruptive. What other area of digital advertising do you think will be affected by targeted and programmatic buying?
Lori Steger: I’m kind of thinking we will see more and more of it rather than [seeing an increase in] companies that are just selling out direct space, which is what the publications we are associated with do. I see that kind of shifting. If you can prove and gather the information that your programmatic partner is able to provide and see more direct results than a [direct-buy] banner, [programmatic] is definitely more valuable. We have definitely cut back on our print, but hey, that’s’ nothing new.
PA.O: Are there any companies that do a really great job of getting your message outon preferred platforms and media? What about those companies stand out to you?
Lori Steger: We do digital ads with a company that provides a quarterly report to us. They kind of just digest what has taken place and send us a PDF [file]. They show examples of what type of ads are out there, and that ends up being the content. I’ve found that to be beneficial and proactive on their part.
PA.O: All of this new technology is coming out – like the latest wearables on the horizon. What affect is it having? How do you think it is going to change the essence of advertising when it comes to targeted behaviors?
Lori Steger: I think [advertising] will definitely become more personalized as the databases grow for these companies to capture more customer information and sell it. I think they are going to gather more and more information based on [consumer] social media habits – digesting data how we digest the news online.
We have doctors who are looking at using Google Glasses and the like for surgery, and from the billing standpoint, for coding right there in the practice or in the OR. So, It’s kind of 24/7 with even more access to people than before.
PA.O: It’s so funny. I feel like advertising is really changing our culture. From a marketing professional’s perspective, do you think that’s a good thing? Is it too pervasive? But then there is the ability through the programmatic advertising side to laser point our customers.
Lori Steger: I do think it is a bit pervasive; I think it is something that we are going to have to change and just be as sensitive [to it] as [we] can be, depending on who [our] target audience is. I think it can be a good thing from the perspective of the people being advertised to – both good and bad – because they can somewhat control what they see and [ads] are more targeted toward them. But like I said, on the other hand, it is a little invasive on one’s privacy. People have yet to understand how many eyes are on them in the digital world.
PA.O: What are you excited about in the future of advertising – taking into consideration the disruption that programmatic has had? What are you anticipating in the digital advertising space?
Lori Steger: Because you can target who you are speaking to, you can provide the most relevant information. It doesn’t have to be quite so generic and broad anymore. You can narrow down your message and really provide what is relevant to [your audience] based on their preferences. You have more and more capabilities to do that.
PA.O: Do you think that with the rapid pace of technology and information sent around the Web, companies lose sight of the fact that they are actually communicating with people,?
Lori Steger: I think there has definitely been a loss of human-to-human interaction because of that.
PA.O: You would pursue alternatives for making the human interaction seem real – in lieu of just letting it feel like it’s all technology?
Lori Steger: Yes!