What You Need to Know to Capitalize on Programmatic Buying's Potential

April 19, 2016

By Matt Prohaska, ANA Faculty

eMarketer estimates programmatic display ad spend will increase from roughly a third of digital advertising, where it finished in 2015, to 50 percent by 2019.

As it grows, programmatic buying is changing rapidly, continuing to provide marketers with new and exciting opportunities. Depending on your brand's budget and KPIs, there are a number of marketplaces and types of programmatic buying in which you can participate, including:

  • Automatic guaranteed, with reserved inventory and fixed pricing.
  • Unreserved fixed rate, which, as the name implies, has unreserved, fixed inventory.
  • Invitation-only auction, which offers unreserved inventory in an auction environment to a limited set of buyers.
  • Open auction, which provides unreserved inventory in an auction setting in an open environment to many buyers.

No matter the marketplace, the success of your programmatic buying programs is similar to other marketing programs. You need a strong strategy, buys that adhere to stated strategic principles, and ongoing evaluation. But there are important differences in the way these elements are developed and implemented.

For example:

  • Beyond assessing the value of media companies that may be part of your buy, you have to consider the impact of the different vendors that comprise your buying structure.
  • It is important to consider how tightly you define your target audience. Targets that are too small will impact your ability to meet your goals.
  • Monitoring programmatic buys requires more active management or monitoring than more traditional media buys.

Through executive roles with ad agencies and publishers, Matt has greatly contributed to the growth of online advertising since the early 1990s. He currently serves as CEO & Principal at Prohaska Consulting. At his upcoming workshop, he'll discuss the ways in which programmatic buying can fulfill your marketing needs and methods for capitalizing on its potential. 

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