Programmatic Media Buying: when technology disrupts old concepts

Native advertising was a big buzzword this year and will continue to be in 2015 according to Matt Van Wagner, in his post “2015 Search Marketing Predictions from Matt Van Wagner,” but as I mentioned in a previous blog post, Native advertising is simply a good old advertorial concept that one-day, met technology and changed or adapted.  I think programmatic media buying is the same and we will hear a whole lot more about programmatic this coming year.

First of all, programmatic is great for our industry! It is a much-needed change that online marketers were praying for.  The concept of being able to manage bids, see results in real-time, and optimize daily has always been a passion that drives our careers. Now, let’s do it for TV ads, radio ads, or billboards. This is what programmatic is after!

It is not a new word for RTB, but a real change in the market place.  As of now, most of the Programmatic Platforms are now offering a superior quality for display, mobile, or video advertising.  They are very good at automating the ad placement process for premium inventory. But seeing in real life what they can do, they are going after a much broader spectrum than just what RTB is offering.

Be careful, the terms are changing!

A typical discussion for digital performance marketers starts with the word: conversion.  When you dive into the programmatic ecosystem: “viewability” becomes the new word! It is all about if someone saw your ads, or not. But not just saw; engage! Did they watch 100% of your video ad without doing anything else (open a new tab on their browser, open another window in front of your ad placement).  Forget about the view stats on Youtube, it is much more powerful! This not so cool and not profitable keyword called “branding” is coming back in the game, but now with the right tools to measure it in real-time.  If you have worked or plan to work with programmatic, you will have to define new objectives with your client, learn a new language, but you will be the best at execution. You can still talk about conversions, but you will have to include those branding term as part of the discussion.

Execution: The key to success!

Execution will remain the key success factor of every campaign.  In programmatic, the environment is changing, but not so much.  Managing bids, ad placements, ad formats, and optimization will remain the biggest part of the success. Your “viewability rate” will become the KPI you will be more obsessed about as it is the Conv. Rate or CPA for the performance-based channels.

It is another advertising channel

You think Programmatic will take on Search, Social, or Display? Not at all, Programmatic is a new channel with a great value proposition. Remember, you are placing a buy (fix or not) for an ad placement, not a bet. This creates a whole new way for digital traders to act since this buy is not done by phone or email, it is done the same as placing a bet for a keyword. Moreover, the data will flow through in real-time for quick optimization.


I think the most interesting part of this new channel will be when an effective attribution model is built to finally measure what kind of impact TV ads can make in a search campaign directly in our Acquisio Dashboard!  That will be awesome.


Programmatic is definitely a trend to follow, try and learn. Like any new ad platform, it has to be tested to see the results. But with the potential it has in terms of finally merging a big portion of traditional media into programmatic buy, it is for sure something you want to look into.

I wish you all Happy Holidays and good luck with programmatic in the New Year! 

acquisio trade desk



Entrepreneur and Founder at Planning Media, an internet advertising company that helps ad agencies and businesses to acquire, maintain, and retain customers via the internet. I am passionate about internet/digital/mobile advertising, and aviation. Everything is managed by data and passion: internet campaigns & aircraft.

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