What is programmatic buying?

That’s easy (insert low-pitch, fast-speaking disclaimer guy), it’s a complex system of Advertisers, Publishers, Demand Side Platforms, Sell Side Platforms, Real-time Bidding Technologies, Data Management Platforms, Data Aggregators, Trading Desks, Ad Networks, and Ad Exchanges that all work together to serve relevant, targeted display, mobile, video, and native advertising within a split-second of a user reaching an online site.

What happened? We blacked out.

A simpler explanation is that programmatic buying allows advertisers to buy audiences directly—wherever and however they consume content online. So, instead of purchasing ad impressions in bulk on sites, pages, and apps where the target audience is most likely to be, you now can reach audiences individually, based on their online and offline behaviors, their location, and their context, which greatly maximizes efficacy and relevance. Added bonus: because impressions aren’t purchased directly from sites, there is more available inventory and lower costs.

Other media such as TV and radio are more hesitant to move forward with a programmatic buying platform. The data isn’t quite as sophisticated in respect to detailed audience segmentation. And as more money is moved from broadcast to digital, offline media will need to find a way to compete. Selling offline inventory through a real-time bidding system is in its infancy, but we may begin seeing it on a more regular basis.

Reaching a highly defined audience across multiple channels through a platform-agnostic approach is becoming more feasible for media planners/buyers, and gives you greater success reaching your audience wherever they are consuming (or avoiding) media. So, it’s safe to say that these creepy media planner/buyers are following you…yes, you.