Traditionally, media buying was all about scale. Agencies would use a client's budget to negotiate discounts and best rates. The more you had to spend, the better deal you would get. While this is still true in TV and some print venues, when it comes to digital buying, programmatic buying creates huge opportunities for smaller agencies and/or clients with smaller budgets.
So what is programmatic buying?
Programmatic is a catchall term that many people are using to categorize everything from behavioral and intent-based targeting to real-time bidding and exchange-based buying of inventory,” says Peter Naylor, former evp at NBCUniversal. “Programmatic is advertising’s newer, better mousetrap.” (Adweek, Programmatic for Dummies, Nov. 2013)
One example of this is real-time bidding (RTB). RTB allows advertisers to purchase impressions in real-time auctions based on unique combinations of site, end-user and other factors. You can focus your client’s media budget in exact areas that will generate the highest ROI.
Benefits of RTB include:
1) Faster Optimization: RTB speeds up access to the results letting you optimize campaigns as they are running. You can see the sites where they appear and results on a daily basis. This allows you to eliminate those that aren't performing and redirect spend to others that are delivering well.
2) Transparency: You can see where your ads appear, how much you're paying for each impression and results.
3) Targeting: Programmatic buying is smart about which impressions to purchase because it uses data to assess which consumers are behind each ad unit. You can target users based on location, demographics, income, etc. For example, a restaurant in town might run a campaign to target middle income families in certain zip codes, with ads running from 3-5 p.m. in hopes of catching them during a time when they're deciding what to eat for dinner that night.
You don't need a $50,000+ budget to run RTB ads or dip a toe in the digital campaign water. In the end, strategy, creative and content will ultimately drive success. We see it time and time again with our digital ad campaigns.