Unsure about Programmatic Solutions? Here’s How It Compares to Traditional Media Buying

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The holiday season is a joyous time for many; it’s also one of the biggest sales (and highest-pressure) opportunities for retailers. In a period of ad saturation, the two bottlenecks every retailer faces are: 1) how to stand out among the crowd, and 2) how to do so in a time-crunch. Programmatic solutions gives retailers the ultimate control over the what, when and where of their ad campaigns at the granular level. In fact, programmatic is poised to make up 84% of digital ad display spending in 2019. Investing more in programmatic doesn’t just mean a higher return on investment for your holiday campaign, but also for the future of your business in the New Year and beyond.

Granular Targeting:

Let’s say you have an e-commerce website that sells handmade sweaters. Since most of your transactions come from women in the 18-25 age range, you want to request advertising space on a fashion website with a young female readership. Traditional marketing strategies might favor this method— but once your ads are served on that site, can you guarantee that those readers will then click, buy or even be interested in your product? With programmatic, you can bid on an impression basis targeting women age 18-25, who made recent retail transactions and are actively searching for sweaters.

This level of targeting precision means more bang for your buck. You could be paying $10,000 for a grand advertisement on a major fashion magazine with the assumption that women in this age range will engage— but take that traditional ad and serve it programmatically with the right targeting, and that investment can guarantee you 1,000,000 impressions from the audience most likely to actually buy.

RTB Programmatic Buying

Simply put, traditional advertising is not capable of adapting to real-time data. You run an ad for a specific time period, and revise your strategy after the campaign is ended to accommodate future campaigns. Real-time buying has changed all this. Data is available instantly, which means your campaign can be optimized, in real-time, while it is running. You can test out certain keywords and targeting categories to see which yields the best conversion rates and adjust accordingly. There is also full transparency about where your ads are going. For retailers particular about advertising with specific brand-conscious publishers, you can do real-time bidding within a private marketplace to maintain an appropriate image.

Omni-channel approach

Consumers today are transient. They exist on many different devices, which means data is scattered across different channels and operating systems. Traditional media buying is already a lengthy process; filling out RFP’s, making cold calls and negotiating pricing. Imagine having to do this across different channels, with video ads, banner ads, display ads, native ads meant to appear on any device–it would take months you don’t have to spend. Programmatic simplifies omnichannel media buying by organizing consumer data into identity profiles. These profiles use points such as intent, location, and past transactions to follow consumers throughout the web, then buy inventory and deliver personalized messages in real-time across mobile, tablet, and Smart TV.


Programmatic media buying eliminates the need for a middleman to acquire inventory. You won’t run the risk of buying ad space at higher-than-market-value because marketplaces display true online supply and demand. Because ad space isn’t bought at a fixed rate for a set period of time, programmatic is a time-saver in addition to being a cost cutter. Cutting down time needed to find publishers, secure ad space, or revise campaign strategy can now be used to create engaging ad copy and put together enticing holiday deals.

In these crucial two months, you have limited time to make an impact. This season is ripe with millions of e-commerce businesses vying for consumer attention— can you make your mark and meet Q4 goals? With granular targeting, real-time buying on omni-channels, and efficiency, programmatic solutions can reach precise target audiences and follow data trails through the web to deliver personalized advertisements. A laser-like focus on hitting performance goals and implementation of data-driven strategies is what will yield the best ROI.