Just two decades ago it was common for a company to have an advertising team that would call up to different media to make an ad buy. Today, you are less likely to find advertising teams on the phone placing ads and more time on the computer setting up a system of programmatic media buying. This type of buying removes the human aspect of the process, giving businesses a way to quickly buy, target and tailor ads to their audience.
Moving Beyond Direct Response
Programmatic buying started with the realm of direct response advertising where it was targeted directly to a specific audience. Now, this type of buying is also integrated in more traditional ad channels such as television. When a person watches a show online, for example, they can now be given a banner ad or popup that leads them to a company once they view the company’s commercial. This can also work with integrated systems where someone is watching traditional broadcast television and gets additional information for products and services delivered to a phone or tablet device.
Targeting Data Points
The one big advantage of programmatic buying for media is that a company can tailor the ads to very specific target markets. This goes well beyond gender, age and location demographics. This data can also narrow an audience further by using the shows they watch, the sites they visit and the frequency of online shopping to get the best ads in front of the right audience. This makes it easier for companies to pay for high quality ads that will work, instead of spending less on trying to create advertising that is more broadly appealing.
Beware of Fraud
Like many aspects of business, there are the good guys and the bad guys. Programmatic buying does have the vulnerability of fraud when it comes to URL masking in particular. This practice makes buyers think their ads are running in one location, when in fact they cannot track what websites exactly are running their ads, giving the buyer less quality information about the ad reach that may not even get in front of the target audience. Making sure you work with a reputable company can help minimize your brand’s risk for fraud.