Programmatic buying is the automation of the buying of online display, Facebook, video, and mobile ads using real-time-bidding. Ads are booked, flighted, analyzed, and optimized via demand side platforms (DSP)s. Programmatic buying is often associated with real time bidding (RTB), but also includes buy types like Facebook Ads API and the Google Display Network.
The core element to Programmatic buying is really the bidding process and the real-time fulfillment of the impression. In this real-time space you are able to layer on all kinds of additional targeting predictive, behavioral, demographic and more.
So what does this mean to our clients. Well basically we are able to eliminate some of the middle-men that not only provided little value add, but impeded transparency of the buy. Those middle-men like ad-networks really focused on revenue per thousand (RPM) and not the clients goals. What we do is pass the cost of the media through without mark-up and we buy the media based on achieving the clients goals not on maximizing the spread between what we pay for the media and what we sell it for to the client.
Depending on who you talk to you get everything very simple definitions of programmatic buying to definition that talks about the predictive bidding based on complex formulas that take into consideration hundreds of factors.
Our point of view is that even with all the algorithms, tools, and option programmatic buying brings to the table it all comes down to who is running it for you and how it is aligned with the other elements that make the difference between successful campaigns and poor performing campaigns.
So when you do programmatic focus on the people not the technology.