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Programmatic advertising - which is the purchase of media inventory based on audience-focused factors - has recently established itself as one of the most popular topics in the world of digital marketing. Within the B2B community, programmatic ad buying has taken center stage for companies looking to get ahead of the trends, to innovate and optimize how they reach out to and connect with potential customers and clients.

The programmatic ad buying process utilizes automated technology for the buying and selling of digital media, across a wide range of websites. This option is generally used as a fast-paced, effective alternative to relying on human interaction to secure ad placements. Basically, if you use a machine to deliver or purchase a digital ad, then you've become a part of a programmatic transaction.


Although the concept of a marketing world run primarily by machines may sound like the stuff science fiction stories are made of, eMarketer suggests that around 83 percent of all ad buying activity by 2017 will be programmatic.

With programmatic ad buying, the purchase of media for businesses becomes an uncomplicated, efficient, and cost effective affair. 

Here are some of the reasons why programmatic ad buying could be one of the most important strategies you employ in the coming year. 

1. Programmatic ad buying is highly targeted

Whether you're a seasoned B2B marketer or a new B2C marketer, chances are you know just how important it is to find and access the most relevant audience segments to your particular product or service. When it comes to achieving a better return on investment (ROI), knowing who the right people are to market to across the industry can make all the difference.

Typically, the decisions made for B2B purchases can involve up to 10 people every time, so simply investing in a one-off media buy for a website that you think they might read could be a frivolous use of your media budget.


By using programmatic buying instead, you'll have the opportunity to tailor specific messages to certain people across different devices in real-time. You can hone in on your most beneficial customer targets based on the data you collect.

2. Programmatic buying opens up new environments for business

If you're selling widgets or apps, it's safe to assume that you will reach out to your ideal customer on a website that specifically talks about apps and widgets. However, it's important to recognize that your ideal buyer may also have other interests that can be found anywhere on the Web.

Programmatic ad buying changes the way that businesses approach new potential customers by emphasizing a focus on audience buying, as opposed to site buying. This allows you to find the prospects that you need in environments outside of the typical sites that most other marketers may use. Engaging with audiences in a whole new set of circumstances can open many new doors of opportunity for your company.

3. Programmatic ads improve results and efficiency

When it comes to advertising and marketing, the number one aim is to generate favorable results that ultimately favorably impact ROI. Research has found that programmatic ad buying allows brands to pinpoint the audiences that they want to reach out to, ensuring that they deliver the perfect message, in the perfect location, at the perfect time. This minimizes the amount of wasted media; enhancing overall campaign effectiveness while also making good use of the marketing budget.

For example, a recent campaign designed to help boost the sales of roaming packages for Vodafone used a programmatic campaign with IP data, inventory scaling, and GPS targeting. Consequently, their conversion rates saw an improvement of 198 percent.

4. Programmatic ad buying is automated, which makes your life easier

Largely automated, programmatic ad buying is based on variables that you can set yourself within a particular algorithm. These variables will include:

  • How much you're willing to spend on each advertisement that you buy.
  • Which platforms for advertising are most important and speak to your professional objectives. 
  • How many individual buys do you aim to generate within a particular time frame.

Once you've set your algorithm, start running the campaign and stop worrying about it.


After setting the algorithm, the automated technology will handle most of the meticulous labor; allowing you to get the best out of the Internet. Its operational efficiency replaces tedious processes, including manual requests for proposals and separate insertion orders. Additionally, it can help you avoid rack-based, cost-per-thousand pricing, saving both time and money. 

In conclusion

The inherently convenient, automated functionality of programmatic media purchases has many industry experts thinking that it is the next big thing in terms of ensuring every dollar within the marketing budget is well spent. Recently, the digital advertising industry has pushed publishers to police their inventory and take advantage of the creative canvases available for programmatic buying - the result of which has been rapid expansion into premium inventory channels. If things continue at this rate, we can assume that programmatic ad buying will only continue to increase in value for advertisers that seek to significantly impact the appropriate consumers.

Note: Article was originally published November 13, 2015 on ClickZ.com.

Topics: Programmatic Media Buying, Behavioral Targeting, Real-Time Bidding, Real-Time Media Buying, RTB, Cross Device Advertising, B2C, Programmatic Ad Buying, Cross-Channel, B2B

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI and SouthWest Florida.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.

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