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Programmatic Media Buying Overview

When George Orwell wrote, what is arguably, his most famous novel Nineteen Eighty Four, the world was a very different place. There were no computers, no passenger planes, TVs were black and white with only 2 channels from which to choose, the country was in the grips of the aftermath of the war and the trials and tribulations of rationing. However, this author of a past world coined an expression which is omnipresent in today’s society – “big brother is watching you!”

In reality, although the government, aka Big Brother, is capable of watching you, it probably won’t unless there is a reason to do so. Added to which, there are various Acts of Parliament (https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/acts/) which safeguard our rights to a private life, even from the prying eyes of the state.

However, our digital online profile is another matter altogether which is where Programmatic Media Buying comes in. To a certain extent it is the natural transition of the traditional, profile and interest based advertising in a digital environment, however it is much more highly targeted and managed by machine algorithms!

In the “Good Old Days”, advertisers would look at customer profile data and try to match their products or services to that, buying space in publications where their customer’s interests appeared to lie. The space was regimented and charged for in accordance with very strict criteria. In terms of newspaper advertising for example the prime spots were Front Quarter Page, Page 2, and outside back cover spots. There were content aligned positions too of various sizes, or you could buy your space in set sizes as “run of paper” for less money, which meant that it went wherever the publication had the right sized space. It worked, but as Henry Ford is famously quoted as saying “I know that half of my advertising works, I just don’t know which half”.
Programmatic Real Time Media Buying is a very different concept and heralded as a “game changer” in digital advertising.

What is Programmatic Real Time Media Buying

Programmatic means “via computer programme” so basically specially designed software is used to create algorithms to dictate which display advertising media space to buy and when. The media buying occurs in real time, so if a customer is surfing the net, looking at Aston Martins on competitor sites in your geographic area, the programme will identify them and post your ad right in front of them while they are surfing.

programmatic spending(img: http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2015/09/18/the-current-state-of-programmatic-advertising/)

How is it different to normal Real Time buying?

Unlike normal Real Time Buying where it is based on a live auction, Programmatic advertising uses technology which promises to make the ad buying system more efficient. The programmatic software also allows advertisers to buy guaranteed ad impressions, in advance, from specific publisher sites. When a quality prospect is looking at that site, the software will know to place the ad directly in front of that potential customer.

The advantage of programmatic technology means that the media buyers can create highly customised and sophisticated selection criteria for their display advertising. Thereby the advertisers will increase their ROI when compared to the old “pay and spray” approach which is based on broader readership profiles.

Contact an experienced digital marketing and SEO agency to find out how you can take advantage of the savings and benefits of this astonishingly effective system.

Is programmatic the future of all advertising?

If you have seen the Tom Cruise film Minority Report, you may recall that everywhere he walks in his futuristic city, advertising bill boards were selling directly to him. We are not quite at that stage yet, but as we progress deeper into the digital age, it is certainly a possibility in the future. The digital displays in public spaces are already preloaded to support such a transition. The Satellite TV networks are also investigating the possibilities of a Programmatic (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/programmatic-guide/) approach, for certain channels at certain times of the day.
Big Brother may not be watching you, yet, but it certainly can work out what you are interested in.