Programmatic advertising refers to the automated buying and targeted delivery of advertising content – a term that is undoubtedly familiar. Yet, this definition proves to be so broad that it leaves room for a wide variety of interpretations. Over time, this ambiguity has given rise to various myths, which should now be subjected to closer scrutiny.
Myth #1: Programmatic steals jobs
“A robot does all the work of the campaign and sales team. You don’t need humans anymore,” some would argue. However, this is not true at all. Close collaboration between humans and machines is essential in this field.
The algorithm is only as good as the information it is fed. The algorithm is only as good as the information it is fed. However, this information is useless without a strategy. Humans have years of experience, the ability to innovate and optimize, whereas the machine has no long-lasting insight, but mostly repeats the same mistakes over and over again.
Myth #2: Programmatic is not brand safe
Many are of the opinion that the algorithm procures commercial placement only according to the criterion of maximum reach, thus ignoring the environment. However, there are many specifications in which desired advertising environments can be ensured.
Today, many brand-safety measures have been implemented, as well as whitelists, which are evaluated by user experience. Also, automatic and manual scans for questionable content on websites guarantee additional security. Blocklists from the DSP, as well as from the agency are also included in the system.
Thus, it is possible to exclude or include websites as soon as campaign planning or to run your inventory only on premium websites in order to fully ensure brand safety.
Myth #3: You only buy cheap inventory
In the beginning this was true, but over time more brands started using programmatic advertising. With that came increasingly higher budgets and publishers choosing to provide the best inventory.
Today, the inventory of ad spaces is versatile and offers the possibility to be fine-tuned. You can position your ads on open RTB or even premium spaces. We also have a huge range of targeting options at our disposal, so placement can be precisely tailored to criteria like location, behavior, and interests.
Myth #4: No chance for creativity
So, the choices include small banners, medium banners, and large banners. Right?
Not at all! Programmatic includes a variety of formats, where your creativity can go wild. The highly customizable display ads also include native ads, as well as audio and videos! Display ads can be more than just a static image, HTML and GIF formats are also included.
In addition, it is possible to use a rich banner format to, for example, promote vitamin D tablets in places that experience rainfall with the help of weather targeting.
Of course, the formats can be limiting depending on the platform, but this advertising method itself offers a very broad spectrum of creativity.
Myth #5: Advertisers have no transparency
“Black box” is a name that programmatic has appropriated because of this myth. However, this myth is also not completely incorrect, but the landscape of programmatic advertising is constantly changing to finally bid adieu to this title.
Transparency is largely dependent on the programmatic partner you choose. Some only give the basics, but others also give accurate insights on the nitty gritty, like the performance of individual ads and which times of day and locations, have the most success. Meanwhile, advertisers can also track their ad placements and learn how the delivery process went.
Myth #6: Programmatic = RTB (real-time bidding)
In reality, RTB is just a part of programmatic buying. This is because programmatic only means that purchasing is automated, and rule based. RTB is also just a real-time bidding system where publishers sell their ad space through a real-time auction.
Thus, there is more to this way of marketing. It also includes building an ecosystem so that the planning and buying phase can be automated. In addition, there is also programmatic direct, which can close a direct deal between buyer and seller. This guarantees impressions and the commercial content is broadcasted on premium webpages, such as a homepage.
In short, there are a lot of myths that date back to the old days and still haven’t lost their reputation. Many people missed the fact that publishers took those criticisms to heart and continued to optimize their service. This is still the case today. Have you found yourself believing in some myths? Constantly staying up to date as an advertiser is important to use today’s tools to your advantage.