6 Questions You Want Answered About Programmatic Buying

Chukwuemeka Ndu, Aug. 14, 2019Programmatic Advertising
6 Questions You Want Answered About Programmatic Buying

Like its predecessors ‘Big Data’ and ‘Gamification’, Programmatic buying is shaping up to become one of the biggest marketing/advertising buzzwords this year. With its growing popularity, there tends to be a cumbersome amount of information and fluff on the World Wide Web. This article should simplify the topic by covering questions You want answered about programmatic buying using the 5Ws and 1H principle: What, When, Who, Where, Why and How? 

What is programmatic buying?

There is no universal definition for the concept and various sources define it differently. The first thing you should know is that programmatic simply means “automatic” and refers to the process of buying ads in real time using dedicated software.

How does it work?

There are many aspects to how programmatic works and there are a number of aspects to it. One aspect is through real time bidding (RTB). It takes the real-time data and finds a particular audience for the campaign. It then automatically buys ads and displays them one impression at a time. It is mostly used for video, display and mobile ads. This video for acuity explains this process in an interactive way, easy to understand for beginners.

Why programmatic buying?

Three reasons programmatic helps businesses achieve results:

  1. Targeting is more refined with the use of machines and data.
  2. Marketers can measure and optimize campaign performance in real-time.
  3. It saves time from repetitive ad buying tasks such as making phone orders and meeting with publishers. With the automation, humans can focus on other aspects of advertising.

Who does it?

When it comes to the programmatic landscape, there are a number of players with different roles. They include but are not limited to:

  • Agency platforms
  • Demand side platforms
  • Ad Exchanges
  • Data partners
  • Supply side partners
  • Ad Networks

For a more detailed look into the roles played in RTB, I recommend watching these 4-minute video clips: Digital Advertising Ecosystem 101 and especially Digital Advertising Ecosystem102 by Mark Dye (co-founder of Bizo). They give a very detailed but clear look into the digital advertising landscape.

When is it going to be widespread?

According to Magna Global, programmatic trading will grow to be more than 50% of the total spend for display, video and mobile by 2017 in most developed countries.

Where is it going?


The programmatic field has an immense growth opportunity. According to a report by Business Insider Intelligence, RTB will account for $18.2 billion of digital ad sales in the U.S, up from $3.1 billion in 2013. Check out the report here.

Hopefully with these questions answered you have a better idea of what programmatic buying is all about. There are some benefits with real time bidding and refined targeting, but there are also concerns about then loss of control to machines and the lack of transparency within the programmatic platform.

Are you are seeking additional information about RTB and how it can be applied to your business? Contact 7marketz associate and we’d be glad to discuss your digital campaigns and plan your next programmatic advertising project.

What are your thoughts on programmatic advertising? What platforms have you used in the past? What results did your campaign bring? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the community!

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