Programmatic Advertising: Clearing Up Some Misconceptions

You can’t escape the topic of programmatic ad buying these days. It’s seemingly everywhere. In all the hype and hoopla, however, considerable confusion has crept in. Here are four misconceptions that we encounter on virtually a daily basis:

Just Calling It “Programmatic” Doesn’t Make it So

“Programmatic” is used to describe so much that it’s become diluted to the point of barely meaning anything. Just because one uses data, however broadly defined, in their media buying doesn’t make it programmatic. Media buyers have been using data since, well, there’s been media buying. Programmatic, when properly applied as a descriptor, means incorporating predictive analytics as well as ongoing evaluation and optimization.

Programmatic is Not “Hands Free”

According to some, a computer can take care of all your media buying needs: Just plug in some parameters, sit back and let the machine aggregate, book and flight your ads. It sure sounds enticing, but it’s a fantasy. Programmatic advertising, when used to maximum benefit, still requires human monitoring and optimization. Without this, programmatic may be fast and efficient, but it won’t be as effective as it otherwise could be. We constantly monitor and adjust our programmatic buys and have seen significant improvements as a result.

Programmatic Isn’t So Automatic

It’s tough to resist the Siren’s call of programmatic buying. It’s purported ease and efficiency speaks to every overworked, drowning-in-data ad exec. But, like all number-driven endeavors, programmatic is hugely problematic if you don’t have top-shelf data on your target audience and crystal clear objectives. Without these to act as guardrails, programmatic will surely disappoint.

It’s Not Just For Display Ads

While digital display ads have been the primary focus of programmatic to date, that’s changing. And fast. These articles, which focus on different media types, will give you a sense of the emerging possibilities:

The ease and benefits of programmatic buying are overstated and over-hyped, but it’s still a powerful tool when used responsibly and creatively.