The value of programmatic buying: Industry experts discuss cost effectiveness, transparency and other benefits of the channel

Published: April 26, 2013 

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As technology advances to increase real-time advertising opportunities, The Drum catches up with a cross-section of the industry to discuss the benefits of programmatic buying.

Tanzil Bukhari, head of buyer relations EMEA, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, Google

With the age-old adage of delivering the right ad to the right user at the right time, historically the assumptions made on where that user was were very subjective. Advertisers committed budget based on those assumptions.

A retail site selling a mountain bike, for example, would have had no idea what percentage of its readership had just bought the bike. It was a hit and miss, scatter-gun approach. The scale at which you could target may have been extreme, but it was hard to manage the ROI.

With real-time bidding (RTB), before you purchase the impression and deliver the ad you have a certain amount of data against that user – you understand whether that user has been to your site before, or if they have seen your ad before. So you can leverage a whole load of data and then make a decision if that user is ideal for targeting.

Katie Camenzuli, head of display, iProspect UK

Programmatic buying allows for the cost effective fusion of inventory and data in today’s highly fragmented display ecosystem. Rather than purchasing inventory based on environment and assumed behaviour at a set price, advertisers are now empowered to bid for impression worth.

RTB is able to add greater value to publisher impressions as first and third party data can be overlaid to make buying decisions in real time. No longer are the site and media owner the only determiners of price; advertisers have the purchase and decision power.

Erich Wasserman, co-founder, GM EMEA & APAC, MediaMath

Programmatic buying offers a great number of benefits to marketers. Most important among these are bottom line results: the reason for the massive growth in programmatic buying is its ability to grow business at scales between 10-100x traditional buying and optimisation methodologies.

The reasons for this are multifold: immediate access to audiences globally, the ability to finely target and optimise amongst those audiences centrally, and ability to measure results quickly and efficiently. Have a marketing meeting at 9am that concludes with the requirement to change media mix? See those changes in the market by 11am, with initial results by noon.

Sandy Hubert, head of Cadreon UK

Programmatic buying enables advertisers to target the right audience in the right environment. The media buying process is more streamlined and creates efficiencies as advertisers get to deliver campaigns to targeted audience at scale. A greater level of transparency on the inventory bought provides additional reassurance to advertisers that their brand equity is preserved.

Combined with RTB, advertisers can leverage third party data to automatically select impressions and optimise at impressions level.

Pierre Naggar, managing director, Turn

Europe In essence, programmatic buying helps connect advertisers with audiences faster and smarter, on any device and on any channel in milliseconds.  The proof of the effectiveness of programmatic trading is increasingly there for all to see in the numbers and its popularity is growing at a phenomenal rate, due to the greater efficiencies in targeting and return on ad spend it delivers for advertisers. According to the latest IDC research, programmatic now represents 17 per cent of total UK display ad sales and is estimated to grow to 30 per cent in the UK by 2016.

Marc Galens, VP International, TubeMogul

For brands the ease of being able to plan and update their campaigns in real-time, based on performance analytics, is invaluable. This is especially true when sophisticated platforms can report on every single impression bought, allowing brands to leverage audience profile data so they can find their ideal customer.

Dynamic optimisation and real-time analytics mean that advertisers can adjust their campaigns when big news stories hit, or add and subtract ad units on the fly based on their audience’s online viewing habits.

Martin Brown, director enterprise sales EMEA, DataXu

Programmatic buying enables marketers to select inventory for all their digital campaigns one impression at a time, based on very specific criteria: the user behind the impression, context, the creative most likely to drive a desired behaviour or outcome, and more. Nothing is random anymore; all decisions are made with precision.  Programmatic buying automatically delivers strategic insights that drive media buying and that the marketer can interpret to make strategic, high-impact decisions.

Top brands—and savvy consultants – are discovering the competitive advantage of not just programmatic buying, but of using a new and disruptive approach to customer-centric marketing. It’s called 'programmatic marketing', signalling the role that technology can play in empowering the marketer to manage all the channels that make up the consumer experience.

Using data and analytics to automate targeting, engagement, and media optimisation, programmatic marketing enables brands to more optimally manage their investments at every point in the buying journey.

Duncan Chamberlain, EMEA director, Advertiser Solutions, PubMatic

Programmatic trading offers long awaited transparency to advertisers, agencies and publishers, which increases confidence from all parties and creates a higher value transaction, not just in eCPM but in valued audience segments. With added transparency and increased multi-sourced data supply, advertisers can pursue the trading of their premium inventory programmatically with the knowledge they are targeting the correct audience, at the right time.