A new study by New York-based research firm eMarketer Inc. reports that one fifth of U.S. display-advertising expenditures will be automated through programmatic buying. The bulk of this increase will be in real-time bidding (RTB), which is one form of programmatic ad buying. Real-time bidding purchases will hit $3.34 billion by the end of 2013, the research consultancy reports, which is a 73.9% increase over 2012. And the growth isn’t slowing down—the firm predicts that annual RTB spend will be $8.69 billion by 2017. This growth, according to the research, is a direct result of marketing teams becoming more familiar with complex automated-buying programs and ecosystems.
According to Sheldon Gilbert, CEO and founder of New York-based Proclivity Media, a real-time advertising firm, programmatic buying’s efficiency is in its specificity. “Advertisers can go in and specify the specific impressions that they want to buy—they can specify location, they can specify context—but more importantly, now they can specify the individuals that they want to reach.” This is a huge advantage for B-to-B marketers, Gilbert says, since marketers can reach one individual whom an advertiser knows is a buyer for an auto dealer, for example, rather than fire-hosing multiple car-review sites with generic banner ads.
While many marketing teams engage in programmatic buying through their partner ad agencies, a few large B-to-B corporations are building in-house teams charged with organizing enterprise data to inform their own automated ad-buying programs, according to Eshwar Belani, vice president of products and business development at Chicago-based programmatic media-buying firm Rocket Fuel Inc. and co-author of his firm’s whitepaper ‘10 Questions About Programmatic Buying and the Answers Marketers Need.’ “Historically, there’s been a lot of data that an enterprise has had but there’s usually been a silo between the enterprise data and how media budgets have been spent; these two haven’t been typically connected in the past. What programmatic buying enables is the activation of all of this enterprise data.”
Belani says that the way to get ahead in the RTB game is to find a balance of IT and marketing talent for your programmatic buying team. “If [B-to-B companies] can have their IT teams work closely with their marketing teams and stay on top of the needs that the marketing team has, then, at the end of the day, the organization will be able to realize a competitive advantage from their marketing programs and advertising. This is a core competency that every organization should develop for a competitive advantage in the market.”
For more on programmatic buying, check out ‘Digital Advertising’s Automated Future’ in the September 2013 issue of Marketing News.