Programmatic: The Evolution of Media Buying

In the early 1990s, AT&T ran the first-ever ad campaign and the campaign performance was something that would make today’s marketers envy. With almost 44% of Click Through Rate (CTR), you can call the campaign a huge success and it will still be an understatement. Well, people were more ready to click then and there were fewer distractions and zero competition. 


Things are completely different today. That ad placement was hardcoded and nothing about it was automated. Getting the user’s attention, making them click, and perform other actions have only kept getting tougher over the decades. To offer assistance to marketers, programmatic has been a great help. Saving time and effort while adding efficiency to the campaign performance (even though not as much as 44% CTR), there are various contributions that programmatic ads make to makes the advertiser’s life easier.


This article is about the recent trends and practices that have evolved in recent times.


Programmatic is not just an option

Programmatic advertising is not just an option, but a necessity now. There is hardly any marketer or media publisher that is still relying on the other outdated alternatives. If you are opting for the right targeting metrics and have trained a Demand Side Platform enough, programmatic media buying can enable a whole world of good for your advertising requirements. From bringing down the expenses of the campaign to raising the results (be it impressions, engagement, or conversion), programmatic has the potential of doing better than most other traditional methods.


Advertisers like to start early and entirely

Early means at the top of the marketing funnel and entirely means throughout the funnel. During its early days, programmatic wasn’t considered a full-funnel solution and was usually brought into use after a certain level of presence was established in the market and the audience was already built.


Now an increasing number of advertisers and agencies are adopting the programmatic earlier in their media buying cycle. In the app marketing environment, programmatic is serving from the scaling stage to the retention. Features like lookalike and audience intelligence are great at expanding the relevant audience faster while connecting with them in a more actionable way.


Ad formats are evolving with it

There was a time when programmatic media was limited to display. It has evolved across the formats and channels - in-app, native, video, interstitial, and whatnot. With mobile marketing platforms capable of delivering all these capabilities within the same dashboard, advertisers can buy, manage, and track the programmatic ads on multi-channel campaigns. The more powerful advantage that it brings for advertisers is that it can target the users in a more appropriate way. Depending on the user’s journey and engagement across devices and channels, they can be targeted in the same campaign. Eventually, it adds to the ad experience for the user as well.


Reducing challenges with programmatic advertising

Some of the commonly known challenges with programmatic ads are:

    • Ad fraud susceptibility
    • Learning duration
    • Brand safety and inventory
    • Data security issues

Well, it would be too early to say that the abovementioned concerns are extinct now. However, some of them are near extinction. Specifically, learning duration and data security have seen massive improvements in programmatic advertising over the last few years. While Simper ad setups have ensured that you can run ads without much technical expertise, regulation guidelines by different government agencies and ad regulatory bodies have helped data safety to a good extent.

There are various ad partners are serving advanced control and transparent reporting to enable an advertising environment that is safer for brands with minimized fraud possibilities. If you are looking for an ad partner in programmatic media, some of the questions you will like to ask are:

    • How do you address fraud possibilities?
    • Can you offer reports with transparency at the app/site level, creative level, and impression level?
    • Do you offer an account manager if we are not willing to use the self-serve model?
    • What practices do you follow while using the first-party data?
    • Do you have standard data usage policies in place?
    • Have you been recognized or accredited by any standard regulatory body?

If the ad partner is able to answer these questions satisfactorily, then you are good to start with your campaigns.


Wrapping up

The programmatic ad is already the big thing and every stat will tell you that it is going to stay. In case you are still reluctant, there is a good chance that you are missing out on the quality business opportunities. In 2019, programmatic ads accounted for 88.7% ($46.86 billion) of all US mobile display ad dollars.


Still not sure if programmatic is your cup of tea? Schedule a call with our programmatic platform consultant and discuss how it can benefit your business. Write to us at