Myths of Programmatic Buying
Consumer Insights | Untitled-13 3 min read

Myths Of Programmatic Buying: Part 2

by Bench August 17, 2015

In our first article of this two-part series, we looked at the myths surrounding programmatic media buying, such as the myth that programmatic can only access remnant inventory and that programmatic buying is simply technology-based media buying.

In this article, we will take a look at some more of the myths surrounding programmatic buying that should give you a better idea of the industry and the media buying landscape.

Myth: Programmatic only focuses on display

Wrong again. It’s true that programmatic buying became famous for its utility in Display media. It recognised that there was value in the remaining inventory for which there was very little demand. By making the process of buying more efficient, programmatic buying created a demand for the unused ad space. As programmatic buying evolve, new channels for programmatic have emerged, some of which include social, video, mobile and tablet. In fact, value of the programmatic buying industry is predicted to treble its value to a staggering $33 billion by the year 2017.

Myth: Programmatic buying is synonymous with Audience Targeting

Programmatic used to operate on a less sophisticated model than it does today. It was a model where only the third-party data was used in targeting – things like intention to purchase or demographics, for example. Nowadays, the programmatic buying process involves ‘data activation’ of the first-party data of either the advertiser or publisher. Instead of “renting” data, you now own it. This is where much of the value lies in the world of programmatic buying. Advertisers can now target their audience using their customers’ unique data. One area where this functionality might come in handy would be in filtering customers who have already completed transactions offline.

Myth: Agencies are facing extinction because of programmatic buying

Trading desks, ad networks and exchanges, and publishers are the main groups managing spend on programmatic buying for advertisers. Most agencies, although very skilled in providing creative, strategy and a holistic view of media to advertisers, often lack the ability to execute programmatic buying in-house. For this reason, most service-based agencies will outsource the programmatic media-buying component of their campaign to groups that are solely dedicated to, and talented in, data and media buying, such as trading desks.

Some believe that full-service agencies will soon bring programmatic buying in-house, as traditional advertisers increase their knowledge and understanding of the digital media landscape. Advertisers who are protective of their 1st party data are likely to attempt programmatic media buying in-house. Without the skills or know-how to bid effectively against robust trading desk technology though, this trend is not likely to take off.

Myth: Programmatic is only for acquisition

Traditionally, marketers understood the purchase funnel to begin with brand awareness, and end in purchase, but in the world or programmatic media buying, this linear view of the customer journey has become somewhat redundant.

What was once a journey from perhaps a TV commercial, to a magazine ad, to a radio spot, has now become a complex multi-channel, multi-device media spectrum.

Online, customers interact with brands in a many different ways. With each online customer using multiple media touch-points to access and assess brand equity, brands need to adapt quickly, and present themselves on a myriad of channels, to remain front-of-mind.