Digital Advertising: Media Buying
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Aug 18

3 myths of programmatic media buying

With increased access, programmatic media buying brands of all sizes are taking the process in-house and applying it to their media plans and implementation. As a result, myths have emerged about the process of programmatic media buying. Here are the ones heard more frequently:

Myth #1: There’s no transparency in programmatic buying.

Based on how advertising campaigns (even traditional media buying) are executed, many marketers cannot confirm if they are effectively targeting their desired audience with the correct brand message. As a result, marketers are already wary and uncertain if their online spend is being spent efficiently and effectively. This level of uncertainty is why marketers remain wary of and intimidated by programmatic buying.

Myth #1 Debunked: The efficiencies of programmatic media buying landscape allow for inventory, audience and optimization transparency. In particular, knowing what inventory and audience are performing well can help you make your campaigns successful. There is NO reason inventory, audience, and results need to be hidden in a black box. If they are, you should question that programmatic buying solution.

Myth #2: Automation will replace media management.

Many marketers hear the word programmatic and think that the ‘robots’ will take care of the media management and planning process of their campaigns. Which can be one reason why marketers are wary of adopting programmatic media buying for their brand or agency.

Myth #2 Debunked: The human element of programmatic buying is critical to its success. Programmatic media buying is both an art and a science. The scientific component—the algorithm— gets most of the glory, but the human element is crucial to proper execution. Algorithms are only as good as the data that feeds them. And data is only as good as the strategies it informs.

Myth #3: Inventory is no good.

Some of the hesitations of programmatic media buying can be tied to the quality of inventory available through the ad exchanges and networks. This can be attributed to some platforms hiding this information in a black box and give the impression that inventory is less than desirable.

Myth #3 Debunked: There is, in fact, quality inventory available to advertisers and real push from within our industry for publishers to police their inventory and expand the creative canvases available for programmatic buying. Some of the most premium publishers around the web open their inventory. Top-tier pubs like Forbes, Conde Nast, and Hearst have all opened up their inventory to allow for programmatic buying.

These are just some of the myths that consistently pop up when discussing programmatic media buying. As time and processes evolve, myths will dispel and programmatic buying will continue to be a driving force in the digital marketing ecosystem.

About The Author

Megan Sullivan-Jenks is director of marketing & communications at Choozle – Easy Digital Advertising®. A self-proclaimed tinkerer, Megan's a problem solver for marketing and advertising strategies and execution. From nonprofits to consumer goods and software, she's an expert at creating online and offline marketing & communications strategies that are engaging and results-driven. Outside of the office, Megan rolls up her sleeves to enjoy all things DIY like sewing and woodworking.