Introduction to Programmatic Display Buying

Nourah Al Fayez / August 2016

The Next Step: What is Programmatic Display Buying? (And Why Should I Care?)

For many industry players, talking about programmatic means talking about programmatic display buying. In our last article, we explained that programmatic simply applies to any technology that automates a programme (or software). Now, let’s delve into display buying. What is it, exactly?


A demand side platform is a tool that facilitates marketing through precise audience data coupled with buying automation. It gives you control over all your display buying by using one single interface across all formats, channels and devices.

Let’s compare this with the process of buying property. What would be your first step? Would you go door-to-door and ask if someone was interested in selling their property? Well, you could, but that would be inefficient and probably ineffective. You are more likely to go through an online property listing site: an aggregator like Dubizzle or Property Finder. The aggregator allows you to input all your needs and then provides you with options to narrow down your search until you pick the right place. Even more old school, you could go directly to a real estate broker. The broker would collect your requirements and then show you properties that fit your needs.

"We are moving away from reaching consumers based on where they are on the web to reaching them based on who they are, how they behave and what their needs are."

Why is this Important?

Gone is the day when blasting a message to the masses was enough to sell your products or services. We are now living in the age of the individualists. Everyone has their own needs, unique habits and buying behavior. Mass marketing is inefficient and expensive. With programmatic buying you can ensure that only those most likely to be open to your message are the ones who see it. By doing so in an extremely automated manner you are cutting costs and deriving greater value from your investment.

Programmatic buying is often considered audience buying, not only because of your own data on your customer base and site visitors, but third party data. Third party data is audience data segments created and packaged by data providers (they could be publishers or specialised data management companies) to help marketers reach the right users for their brand and product. For example, you might want to reach luxury travelers with a business class flight offer. Or, you might want to find women with children to reach them with a message on how your detergent is tough on difficult stains, but gentle on the skin. You would then select from a multitude of 3rd party audience segments such as women aged 30-45 with children, business class travelers, GCC nationals, people within the income bracket of x to y, and then target this segment on whatever site they happen to be on.

Know the Consumer

Why is this significant? We are moving away from reaching consumers based on where they are on the web to reaching them based on who they are, what they want and what life stage they are currently going through. This is much more powerful as you’re more likely to reach new consumers who will be more open to your product or message because of their interests. Also, you’ll be able to reach your existing customer base with personalised messages because you know them and you know what they need.

Couple this with the power of automation and consolidation made possible by cross exchange buying through a demand side platform and you not only reach the right audiences, but you reduce the cost of reaching them. Instead of a buyer going directly to each individual publisher to buy ad space, connect with each network, or even to connect to each of the 55+ exchanges in the world to execute their buys, they would use a Demand Side Platform to buy across all 55+ exchanges at once. This allows the buyer to save time, save money, consolidate their reporting and data and ensure more accurate data.

Why scatter audience data and lose insights and efficiencies when I can consolidate everything in one place? And see all my consumers through one lens and make educated decisions about how to reach them and, beyond that, how to tailor my offering to their needs? It would be a waste of money if the budget for advertising wasn’t used efficiently to enrich your audience data, build consumer insights, and aid in your overall consumer analysis.

About DoubleClick Bid Manager

DoubleClick Bid Manager is a next-generation demand-side-platform (DSP) providing trading desks, agencies, and advertisers with greater transparency and performance in global display media buying across ad exchanges. Proprietary algorithms analyze every impression and optimize buying in real time to meet advertisers’ unique objectives. Powerful targeting combines audience and contextual data to reach the right audiences at the right moments. DoubleClick Bid Manager is fully integrated with DoubleClick Digital Marketing, streamlining workflows and reporting and enabling true cross-channel buying.

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