The technology that drives online advertising is continually improving. In an effort to make the purchasing of ad space more efficient, new methods are constantly being tried and tested. Currently, those that buy media ads are leaning heavily towards making programmatic buying a part of their online marketing program. Real-time bidding is the backbone of programmatic buying, and last year the revenue from this RTB reached $1.6 billion. It is speculated that by the year 2017, 34% of all display-advertising revenues will come from RTB, and soon, programmatic buying will be a must for anyone who purchases media.
Programmatic buying automates all of the processes that, in the past, have caused headaches for advertisers. This automation has made programmatic buying a very powerful tool. Now buyers using RTB can set parameters, such as bid price and network reach. A programmatic purchase can layer these parameters with data that reflects the behaviors and information of a targeted audience … all within the same platform. According to CRO for Simpli.fi, James Moore, “This means marketing professionals can define the budget, goals, and attribution model while the platform rapidly adjusts dozens of variables in real time based on performance to determine the right campaign settings to achieve the desired ROI.” Online advertisers can spend more time working on creativity and less time pouring over spreadsheets, thanks to the algorithms that filter impressions based on the behavioral data of the targeted demographic.
There are great benefits provided to direct response, as well as brand advertisers, utilizing automated media planning through ad exchanges and DSPs. The pricing model of programmatic buying is completely transparent. Third-party data can be leveraged by buyers to cherry pick impressions and optimize at the level of impression. The placement process is automated by programmatic buying by determining to whom the impressions should be served, based on data that is deemed pertinent to the campaign by the buyer. With a programmatic marketing campaign, an ad may only show up on a particular website in the event that the right person is browsing that site.
There are some advertisers that believe that programmatic buying will only provide access to low quality, or “remnant” inventory, which is not the case. Several premium websites that are accessible through ad exchanges do not categorize any of their inventories as “remnant,” because all of their available ad space is of a high quality. There are those who are skeptical about brand building. They tend to get hung up on “sure things,” such as buying ads direct. However, there are some brand-centric advertisers that have found a happy balance. Programmatic buying is an integral part of the marketing machine, and a vital component to buying media.
It is a safe bet to speculate that the buyers' approaches to programmatic buying will increase in sophistication. It is also safe to say that eventually programmatic buying will have the lion’s share of the market’s online display purchases.