Media Mix: Traditional vs Programmatic Buying?

Category: Platforms Posted at: 2016-08-18

There’s a reason programmatic is expected to grow nearly 1,000% in the next three years: It’s efficient.

Written I/Os, phone calls, and working lunches were all hallmarks of traditional media buying, but nowadays many advertisers are choosing to automate the process.  After all, who wouldn’t want to free up his or her calendar and make online buys that are more targeted and cost effective at the same time?

That said, some buyers are still reticent to engage with programmatic out of concerns for brand safety.  They prefer instead to work directly with publishers, ensuring their ads are placed on the sites and specific sections of their choosing.

So which is right for your brand? And do you even need to choose?

The fact is that you probably don’t. According to recent research release by Adomic, most brands today are balancing a blend of media purchased through RTB, networks and direct sales.  Adobe, for example, buys 26% of their media programmatically, 33% through networks and 41% directly – and they’re identified as a “typical” advertiser.

It makes sense. Programmatic buys offer granular targeting tools, as well as a more efficient process for placing ads at scale. If your target audience is wealthy soccer moms who drive SUVs, it’s likely you’ll be able to reach them with your programmatic buy – generally at a significantly lower cost than purchasing slots directly from the publisher. Furthermore, the Adomic data confirms that more and more top tier publishers are engaging in programmatic selling of their inventory, so it’s likely that you won’t sacrifice quality for efficiency. In fact, you may be advertising with the same publishers from whom you’re buying media directly today.

Needless to say, RTB won’t be right for everyone.  Companies like Disney that are assiduous about brand safety may be better served by a private marketplace exchange deal where they can specify the publisher, vertical, and scale of their digital marketing campaigns.  Often referred to as ‘programmatic premium,’ this category of media buying combines many advantages of RTB (workflow efficiency, deep analytic insights, cost effectiveness) with the comfort of knowing exactly where your ads will run. Brands can work with publishers they know and trust while skipping the endless back-and-forth involved with traditional media buying.

In the last few years, real-time programmatic has emerged as a centerpiece of most digital marketing campaigns. If you already have IAB standard assets and a few dollars to work with, why not give it a shot?

(Source: MediaMath)