Simply put it’s a change from the traditional ad buying to programmatic media buying. It is the algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time. The software is used to automate the buying, placement, and optimization of media inventory via a bidding system.

By automating the process it means that it can be done without relying on a human, manual insertions and manual trading. Programmatic media buying allows the “owner, brand, company” to tailor a specific message to the right person, at the right time, in the right context, using audience insight. The campaigns are based on sheer volume of impressions.

Programmatic buying will make up $14.88 Bn of the approximately $58.6Bn digital advertising pie this year, according to eMarketer.

In a report released from Gartner entitled Market Guide for Ad Tech, the first two key findings spoke directly on the importance and impact of programmatic advertising.

  1. Programmatic techniques and technologies are transforming the advertising marketplace, but their proliferation and complexity tend to often obscure their true value to marketers.
  2. Automated media buying and selling systems are challenging media and marketing agencies, they are capturing a significant share of value in the majority of digital media transactions.

In fact, one of the brands who has already been transformed by programmatic is Zipcar. The world’s leading car sharing network. When it comes to targeting their member base, 100% of their ad buy is programmatic. “With today’s targeting technologies, it doesn’t make sense for us to buy on a publisher basis,” says Millie Park, Sr. Director of Member Marketing.

“We know who our customers are, and we can find them.”

Millie adds that she doesn’t anticipate diverging from 100% programmatic in favor of buying direct from publishers in the future.

Another brand who uses programmatic is National Cellular Directory. CEO, JD Herzog says they use programmatic in their social media campaigns. “Like other brands, we use programmatic because we want to maximize our ad spend and reach our target audience.”

Keep in mind while the overall awareness level of programmatic advertising is up in the marketing community, most programmatic buying is done by a handful of experts either at agencies or direct by certain companies that have hired programmatic talent. Unless you fall under that expert group, it is really hard to understand exactly how to leverage programmatic as it all seems quite complex.

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about brands moving towards 100% programmatic advertising and marketing, however, the percentage of marketers who truly understand programmatic buying and the ability to leverage it to their benefit is another story. Only incredibly savvy marketers and agencies with a wealth of financial and technical resources, and not to mention smart talent to support them will be able to adopt a 100% in-house programmatic strategy.

At Insane Digital, we believe programmatic should be part of every CMO’s marketing strategy, in fact, it just may be the best way a CMO can get cost-effective access to large numbers and a wide range of consumers across all content channels, times of day, and devices.

We optimize on real business goals and the path that the consumer takes to make a conversion happen. We develop strong and clear KPIs as some campaigns do not have a conversion like a purchase, so having strong KPI goals keep the campaign on pace to achieve the maximum ROI for that specific client.

If you found this article valuable we would love to hear from you, especially if you are seeking a results-driven programmatic strategy. We offer an initial one-time consultation free of charge to see if this is something that would be a good fit for you.