Marketers May Be Missing Out On Hidden Intelligence Available In Programmatic Ad-Buying

By Richard H. Levey, Contributing Writer Marketers may be tempted to view programmatic advertising purchases — online ad placements made through automated exchanges on the basis of pre-set targeting parameters — as a quick-service ad buying process. Those who do, however, miss out on a substantial part of these systems’ value, according to online publishers and industry experts. “Clients recognize the value of data and audience targeting…when [ad inventory] is tied to data to more effectively meet client business objectives,” said Pete Duborg, VP of Advertising Sales For Programmatic at Turner (formerly Turner Broadcasting System). Making maximum use of programmatic ad strategies means treating them as more than just set ‘em and forget ‘em insertion systems, experts suggest. “Programmatic is an automated way of buying [impressions] using algorithms,” said Alanna Gombert, Senior VP and General Manager at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab, New York City. “When [ad space] inventory is offered for sale, it is tagged and uploaded into an exchange. Impressions are offered for sale in an auction environment, and a buyer either buys it or not based on different criteria. “These criteria could be contextual — ‘I’d like to buy on this page that has the word Chanel on it’ — or they could be prospect-based — an advertiser is looking for consumers who fall into specific buckets, such as geographic location or purchase intent,” Gombert continued. The good news is that there’s a fair amount of targeting flexibility. By and large, publishers and other organizations that offer ad inventory serve up