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By Sara-Beth Donovan, SVP, Media, Mintz + Hoke

Thought Thursday: Programmatic Buying

A Fast-Growing Part of the Media Mix

The online advertising world is changing by the minute, and the fast growth of programmatic is no exception. Programmatic buying uses technology to automate the process of buying, placing and optimizing advertising. It is an algorithmic targeting of specific audiences through an aggregation of audience information across multiple online and offline channels. Agencies work closely with technology vendors that provide access to ad inventories and data, allowing media professionals to effectively—and efficiently—select and reach their audiences.

According to recent figures from eMarketer, 2014 saw “the most dramatic growth and expansion in programmatic advertising to date,” and predicts spending to increase by almost 48% in 2015—doubling 2014’s total to reach more than $20.41 billion (or 63.0% ) of U.S. digital display ad spending by next year.

So what does this mean for companies and brands? “Programmatic is revolutionizing the way we reach our audiences. It can help to identify efficiencies in the buying process, and because of targeting and data available, we’re able to layer on data sets and go after the exact audience we’re looking to reach,” says Sara-Beth Donovan, SVP, Media, Mintz + Hoke.

Donovan recently participated in a panel discussion on “What is Programmatic Media Buying?” hosted by the Advertising Club of Connecticut. Rounding out the discussion were vendors that provide programmatic offerings in the digital and broadcast space as well as individuals from the research side.

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“One of the key takeaways from the discussion is that, foundational marketing strategies are crucial to success in programmatic, which serves as one of many tools that clients can benefit from. With multiple media platforms, programmatic serves as one component to the overall media strategy,” Donovan notes. “Beyond the right placement to the right audience remains the right message. Creative is critically important to a programmatic campaign.”

There remains much to be learned and addressed for true success to be realized in programmatic. Issues of transparency and viewability—and ultimately trust—need to be reconciled. “Until that resolution happens, agency professionals need to be mindful of analytics all the way through to conversion to adequately capture the value programmatic is bringing,” added Donovan.



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