Marketing Keys’ Buzzword Of The Week: Programmatic Buying

There’s no denying it: we are in an industry that is chock full of buzzwords, and few people seem to know what they actually entail. I’m sure you’ve heard them before: phrases like “native advertising” and “big data” get thrown around like they’re going out of style (which they probably will when the next new technology springs up);  and while some people have a good grasp on these terms and concepts, many just get by with a vague understanding of what they really mean and nod their heads.

This week’s buzzword is Programmatic Buying.

WHAT IS IT?

Programmatic buying is merely an automated buying system that takes into account behavioral targeting, intent-based targeting, real-time bidding, and exchange based buying of inventory. In simpler terms, Adweek’s Mike Shields puts it as “buying specific audiences using lots of data to figure out the right ad, the right person, the right time.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Computers, instead of humans, will conduct the digital/TV media buying process (IOs, sending paperwork back and forth, trafficking, spreadsheets, optimization etc.) and make it more efficient.

WHAT ARE THE PROS?

  • Programmatic buying can save money for media buyers/advertisers. Because the automated process is more efficient, transactions become more efficient as well.
  • Ads are more likely to reach the right audience, since programmatic buying eliminates the guesswork involved in traditional targeting.

WHAT ARE THE CONS?

  • Many media buyers and advertisers believe that programmatic buying will render them obsolete, giving the concept a negative connotation.
  • Fraud is a huge concern with digital advertising and programmatic buying.

While this was a very brief definition of “programmatic buying”, the concept in itself is very simple. What are your thoughts on the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of programmatic buying?