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Programmatic Buying - An Introduction

Last year, income derived from real-time bidding (RTB) exceeded $1.6 billion and 34% of all display advertising incomes are expected to come from RTB by 2017. Programmatic buying is therefore clearly set to become essential to any media buyer’s strategy.

But why are media buyers now moving so radically to programmatic buying as part of their arsenal? Read on to find out more.

What is Programmatic Buying?

Simply put, programmatic buying is a powerful strategy that automates every process that formerly gave advertisers stress headaches. RTB allows a media buyer to set parameters like network reach and bid price; these parameters are then layered with audience and behavioural data within the same platform. This means that marketers are able to define goals, budgets and attribution models whilst the platform realigns dozens of different variables in real time based on performance in order to produce the right campaign model to achieve the desired ROI.

The algorithms that allow this data filtering give the online advertiser much more time to spend on creativity rather than interpreting spreadsheets full of data.

The Value of Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying offers a pricing model that is totally transparent and this is obviously of great benefit to both brand and direct response advertisers. Buyers can cherry pick impressions and optimise at the impression level and the placement process is automated by programmatic buying. In a programmatic campaign, ads are only shown to campaign-applicable site visitors who are browsing a specific website.

This facility allows buyers to accomplish greater control. A custom pool of users can be created who the marketer knows will want to engage with the brand through running a targeted ad buy based on knowledge of existing client traits. To refine the pool further, site-based retargeting can be used focusing on previous site visitors.

The Myth of Remnant Inventory

There have been concerns expressed that programmatic buying will simply provide access to remnant, low quality inventory but this is not so. Many premium sites accessible through ad exchanges do not qualify their inventory as remnant as their available ad space is all high quality.

It’s about achieving a balance and integrating direct ad buys with programmatic buying.

Is Programmatic Buying the Future?

As with all forms of technology these days, the approaches to programmatic buying will surely become more and more sophisticated. There is already an established ecosystem around programmatic buying with some larger agencies having their own in-house platforms and specialised providers aplenty. RTB has already been added to social networking sites like Facebook and new strategies are bound to appear that weren’t previously possible. Programmatic buying has rapidly become an essential weapon in the digital marketers’ armory and appears set to go from strength to strength.

Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at http://www.theladywriter.co.uk

Alison Page

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