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What Is Programmatic Buying?

For years, the world of business has been going through a linguistic metamorphosis. The terminologies used in business and in marketing today differs so much to what we got even a decade ago, that sometimes it can feel like a whole new world. Naturally, too, terms such as Programmatic Buying can sound rather over-the-top; coined for a marketing era. That isn’t the case, however, and the term itself – and many of the other new-age terms – all have a clear reason for existence.

So, what is Programmatic Buying? And why does knowing what it is help you in the long-term?

First off, let’s look at what it isn’t; a revolution. Many people are freaking out, certain that Programmatic Buying is going to lead to a wholesale wipeout of the old marketing industries. Even taking the hyperbole out of it, that’s a ludicrous suggestion. This is a form of marketing optimization, and will work as a solid alternative to those who buy advertisements manually at present.

While some want to portray it as an apocalyptic change that is going to see marketing change forever, it’s not the case. Programmatic buying is basically creating an automated system instead of doing it yourself. This is any form of advertising space that has been automatically purchased on a website, whether that is winning an automated bid or bought directly to make sure you have the full space to yourself.

It’s more for display advertising than normal advertising, though, so you can’t ditch that Google AdWords campaign just yet. For anyone looking to use this form of advertising, it’s important to know that this is an evolution rather than a revolution.

You utilize a service known as real-time bidding to help win display rights. By using websites listed on what is known as an Ad Exchange, you can buy up the rights to advertise on their website to help make sure you can potentially get some extra visibility. However, this also works by making sure that bids are taking place all the time so that when the page loads, the ‘winner’ of the bid gets their ad shown.

These take milliseconds to go through meaning that you could never put one on yourself. For that reason, you can utilize the service of Programmatic Buying through a digital marketing agency to make sure you have an algorithmic set of parameters to keep auto-buying the spaces you need on the correct websites.

By using what is known as a Demand-Side platform, the system works by automatically deciding when it should invest in a particular advertisement bid for you. This allows you to be more targeted in looking around, making sure your adverts are more likely to be shown on sites that are going to be of relevance to your market.

While Programmatic Targeting is still growing and is not really for everyone (yet), we recommend keeping an eye on it. In some time, we’ll be likely to see a wholesale change to how displays ads are purchased because of it.