Best Programmatic Media Buying Platforms

Are you a business owner in need of more customers? Get more conversions with less effort using programmatic media buying.

Operating a business has always been a potentially tricky undertaking. There are many components involved in effectively running a business. Implementing each required process can take a lot of time or effort. However, modern technologies have made certain aspects of business operations a bit easier in recent years. One of the technological advancements you can take advantage of as a business owner is easier advertising.

There are many steps involved in the advertising process. You might think creating a great advertisement is the most important, and that is potentially true. However, even the best advertisements cannot succeed if they are not seen by audiences or are seen by the wrong audiences. That is why you need targeted ways to advertise to the potential customers you want. One of the newest ways to do so is through the use of programmatic media buying platforms. Here is how programmatic media buying can help you improve your business.

What is Programmatic Media Buying?

Programmatic media buying is also called programmatic advertisement (ad) purchasing. It refers to the use of computer programs, algorithms, and other technologies to allow the quick purchasing of advertisements. However, the process also includes other components. For example, the advertisements are often purchased using real-time automatic auction bids. The algorithms are also designed to help companies target their ads to specific viewers. For instance, algorithms can often analyze the search histories of website visitors to determine products those visitors are most likely to view or purchase.

Although it is a relatively new form of advertising, programmatic media buying has had time to evolve significantly since it was first used. Today, it includes many options and features. Among them are:

  • Search Ads

  • Video Ads

  • Standard Display Ads

  • Multiple Device Compatibility (Computers, Cellphones Etc.)

How Do Traditional Media Buying Methods Differ from Programmatic Media Buying?

Traditional media buying has existed for quite a while. However, it has always been a tedious process. Programmatic media buying was developed to make that process far easier. One of the key differences between the two processes is traditional media buying required manual trading and negotiations. That involved a lengthy manual process of bid creations, rejections, and retooling of bids. Programmatic media buying allows real-time online bidding, which is most often fully automated. Other important benefits of programmatic media buying over the traditional process include:

  • Costs are lower due to elimination of negotiations with salespersons.

  • Real-time, automatic data collection eliminates the need for time consuming manual data collection to verify the effectiveness of ad campaigns.

  • Over bidding for advertisements through traditional methods is eliminated.

  • Programmatic media buying allows real-time adjustments, as opposed to traditional display advertising campaigns, which cannot be adjusted while they are running.

The flexibility provided by programmatic advertisement purchasing was previously unheard of in the digital advertising industry. Elimination of manual processes and display of real-time data work together to make advertising much faster and simpler. However, you must still know how to fully use programmatic media buying to your advantage. That includes knowing how to select the right type of programmatic media buying for your business.

What Are Common Types of Programmatic Media Buying?

Programmatic media purchasing options are not all equal. Each category has certain benefits and drawbacks. There are three main categories to consider. The first is real-time bidding (RTB). It is also called open auction bidding. Publishers and advertisers participate in RTB auctions. RTB auctions often provided the most access to large audiences for the least amount invested.

Next are private marketplace (PMP) auctions. They are invitation-only for advertisers. However, advertisers can proactively attempt to get invited to PMPs, in some cases. Publishers sometimes allow them to do so by filling out applications. 

The final option is programmatic direct media buying. That is a process by which advertisers purchase advertisements without using auctions at all. Instead, publishers offer ad impressions based on a specific cost per mille (CPM). The CPM is the amount paid for 1,000 ad impressions displayed to consumers.

What Are Some of the Top Programmatic Media Buying Platforms?

If you wish to participate in programmatic media buying, you need to use platforms designed for the purpose. There are many such platforms available. They each have different features and reputations. Some are also designed for specific purposes. Sell-side platforms (SSPs) provide ways for publishers to easily sell ad impressions to potential buyers. Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) provide cross-platform advertisement purchasing options for advertisers. Ad exchanges are supply-side inventory feeders. They provide access to ads for sale and allow buyers and sellers to easily connect with each other. Here is a list of some of the top programmatic media buying platforms available in 2022 and their features:

  • Adobe Advertising Cloud supports one of the widest arrays of advertising campaign types. Among them are audio, connected television, search, display, and native advertisements.

  • MediaMath was one of the first programmatic media buying platforms. It offers collaboration and consultation with experts to help clients increase return on investment (ROI) potential.

  • AdRoll is a platform heavily based in analytic operations. It uses multiple data points to determine exactly when to display ads. AdRoll also provides¬† multi-device and cross-channel advertising.

  • AdColony, unlike many other DSPs, focuses solely on mobile advertising. However, it is one of the largest such companies worldwide. Over 1.5 billion users take advantage of its services, as of 2022.

  • Amazon DSP is operated by Amazon, which is one of the most well-known companies in the world for its only retail platform, as well as digital video streaming and other services. Using Amazon DSP, users can order targeted ads for display on the retail website, as well in other off-Amazon locations.

How Much Does Programmatic Media Buying Typically Cost?

The costs for programmatic media buying vary widely across platforms and services. Many platforms provide custom services or multiple service levels. For example, AdRoll has a free service, but it also offers an upgraded service at $18 per month. Custom options are also available on AdRoll. The cost also depends greatly on the size of the advertiser and the size of the platform. For instance, Amazon DSP managed services cater to larger companies with a minimum investment requirement of $50,000. However, its self-service option allows smaller users to control their investments and the sizes of their campaigns. Therefore, you must base your platform selection on your specific budget and needs.