As advertising grows more dependent on technology, marketers will need to rethink what they once labeled as “developer things.”
Take APIs, for example. Sitting at the heart of all customer data, advertising APIs simplify cross-channel integrations, eliminate tedious manual tasks, and enable marketers to quickly pull large data sets from any platform. They are the foundation of new workflows and even business models.
Here’s what you should know about marketing APIs (and why you should care).
What the Heck is an API?
Think of an API (application programming interface) as a plug. Just like your iPhone has an expectation of the wall socket to conform to certain rules, which allows you to plug in and charge, APIs are built to follow predictable patterns so you can plug in and consume a service from a third-party provider.
For example, businesses that operate several Facebook apps use the Facebook Business Mapping API to sync user IDs. Thanks to the flexibility of the Giphy API, you can send GIFs to your co-workers on Slack.
Programmable Web counts 506 advertising APIs available on the market today, out of total 18,544 APIs listed on its website. From social ad creation to direct mail, events, and SEO, here’re a few marketing API examples you may be familiar with if you work in advertising.
Facebook’s Canvas API allows advertisers to create Canvas ads and campaigns on Facebook. You can use photos and videos to create Canvas ads and link to products or even store locations within the ad. Advertisers can create canvas components via API such as header, footer, carousel, button, and text.
The AdWords API allows apps to interact directly with the AdWords platform, vastly increasing the efficiency of managing large or complex AdWords accounts and campaigns. The Google AdWords API lets developers build applications that interact directly with the AdWords platform. With the AdWords API, you can build software that manages accounts from the customer level down to the keyword level.
The MailChimp marketing API syncs email campaigns with your CRM and helps pull campaign stats and test different calls and endpoints before pushing to production.
The Eloqua API allows users to integrate their existing services with the Eloqua platform, transfer data and manage a variety of assets in platform’s data store.
With AdStage’s API, marketing teams can grab performance data from Google AdWords, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yahoo Gemini, and ship it in a normalized form to BI tools, marketing automation systems, and CRM.
Why Should Marketers Care About Marketing Data APIs?
Your Targeting Will Get Even More Granular
Marketers will need to take the leap from channels to ecosystems and use data from multiple sources to better target niche audiences.
Digital media buying, including pay-per-click, relies on collecting data, making sense of it, and acting on that data quickly. To be successful, marketers must collect and analyze data from multiple sources, including web, CRM, and social, and making continuous adjustments and optimizations across many channels at scale.
You’ll Be Adding More Channels and Networks
Here’s the thing: advertising is not about Facebook or Linkedin. Believe it or not, it’s not even about Google. Advertising is how you reach people — wherever they are.
Your audiences are on the web, mobile, social, or using conversational interfaces on home devices. Marketers will need to be flexible and have a data strategy in place to gather insights across all channels.
You’ll Compete on Customer Data
Time and time again, businesses that are serious about customer data have disrupted traditional industries and multi-billion-dollar corporations. Think Glossier, Warby Parker, MeUndies, Chubbies Shorts, and other businesses that are laser-focused on delivering highly personalized experiences for niche audiences. Customer empathy and highly relatable content builds loyal customer base — especially when amplified by data-driven PPC advertising.
Big Data Will Keep Getting Bigger
Your data is moving around in massive streams across different channels. You need a way to organize your data in order to make sense of it. Advertising APIs allow multiple applications to “talk” with each other, which means you can organize your data to get better insights.
Gear Up for the Internet of Things
Marketers must be ready to move their content where your consumers will go. Today, it’s the web, mobile, and the conversational interfaces of personal and home devices. Tomorrow, it’s VR or something else. Whatever that something is, APIs will enable apps to exchange data and give marketers access needed to act quickly on it at scale.