Programmatic Is Not Automatic


ADOTAS – In the last year there has been a dramatic rise in programmatic marketing in the digital advertising industry. Of the $42 billion spent on digital advertising, programmatic buying accounted for more than one third of the market, totaling $16.2 billion. In the coming years, programmatic is expected to dominate the digital media buying world and perhaps even transform traditional advertising.

But what exactly is programmatic buying? There are a multitude of ways to define this trend, all slightly nuanced in description. For me, programmatic buying is the process of executing media buys in an automated fashion using digital platforms. Technology is constantly impacting on every aspect of our lives; from automating our houses to self-parking our cars, innovation helps organize and pave the way to more efficient use of our time. Programmatic buying, for all its complexity, does just that: provides a much smarter way to buy media at a pace that is faster and more efficient than ever before.

What is certainly true of all those time-saving and efficiency-driving applications, is that interacting with professionals is necessary to implement and achieve ultimate success. When dealing with both advertisers and publishers, our motto at dmg is always “programmatic is not automatic.” You cannot rely solely on the technology without experts there to ensure your campaign achieves its goals with precision from the beginning to the very end.

Programmatic buying utilizes the targeting of segmented audiences through calculations determined by analysis of demographic or contextual data, and prices each view of a particular population on a per-impression basis in real time. That is all well and good. But programmatic buying without proper planning is like deciding to run a marathon after months of sitting on your couch. Not a good idea.

You wouldn’t run a marathon without training. That training period prepares you for running your optimum performance on race day. You know when to run faster and when to run slower. Your continued training after the race helps in your healing.  A similar combination of professional media buying and programmatic capabilities can work the same wonders for both publishers and advertisers.

Despite programmatic’s obvious advantages, alone it creates a disconnect between those selling and those buying.  However, an ad network delivers what automation cannot: insight into suitable matches for media, beyond data-driven machine learning. With access to both the advertisers and the publishers, the added value of working with an ad network is the ability to combine the automation of programmatic buying with the knowledge and expertise of perfectly matching those buying with those selling. To put it plainly, the human interaction provides the right audience at the right time, in the right place, for the right price.

Another issue that arises with programmatic buying is remnant media. A programmatic-only approach to media buying leaves a certain percentage of media that won’t be able to find a match, and that is why professional ad networks are there to help monetize the remnant media at a fill rate of 100%. Ad networks provide the necessary transparency for remnant media buying and selling, ensuring that the huge percentage of media that isn’t monetized by programmatic means isn’t lost in an infinite pool of blind media “leftovers.”

Technology is constantly changing and for our industry it only helps us do our jobs better and more efficiently. Remember that “programmatic is not automatic.” By combining the best of both worlds, technological innovation with human expertise, your campaigns can provide the results you really deserve. Don’t run the race alone; train hard so you can run faster.


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