Programmatic Ad Buying Gains Momentum

As more marketers shift their ad spending online, they’re also looking for ways to purchase media space more efficiently. datagoodReal-​time bidding (RTB), or programmatic ad buying, along with automated platforms, have been on the radar in the past couple of years. These techniques are set to account for nearly 50% of all display-​related ad buying by the end of 2013, according to MAGNA GLOBAL.

This year, marketers will spend $7.4 billion on programmatic digital media buys. About $3.9 billion will take place using RTB systems. The rest of the programmatic sales, $3.5 billion, will be achieved through automated platforms – especially on social media. By 2017, this market will be worth $17 billion and will account for 83% of display-​related ad buying.

MAGNA GLOBAL analysts say the display-​related ads include banners, social media and video on both desktop and mobile devices and they estimate automated buying by format breaks out as follows.

  • Desktop  display 72%
  • Video 9%
  • Mobile 19%

Analysts point to a couple of trends that are leading marketers into programmatic ad buying which was once used only to sell  remnants or low-​quality inventory. Major digital space owners like AOL and Microsoft are planning to promote digital inventory through programmatic platforms. Agencies, including MAGNA GLOBAL, have services that will now help marketers unify “programmatic campaigns and cross-​reference campaign tracking data between display and video.”

MAGNA GLOBAL predicts that more, but not all premium space, will be available through programmatic buying. In addition, the firm expects that while some branding campaigns will go to RTB, marketers will also buy media the old-​fashioned way, personally, to ensure that their messages are appearing in the proper space. Other initiatives like sponsorships, and native advertising, will likely not become part of the programmatic ecosystem.

Do you agree? If you're buying digital media space, how are you making the purchase?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.