What is Programmatic Media Buying?



Programmatic media buying is a fast and efficient way to buy and sell advertisements. Programmatic is another word for automated. So, you can think of programmatic media buying as automated media buying to make it easier to understand. The process of programmatic media buying involves the use of automated technology for media buying, opposed to traditional methods of digital advertising. Advertisers browse through and buy the ads. Prices for the ads can either be negotiated or they are sold at fixed prices.

There are a lot of things that you need to know about programmatic media buying. Many advertisers are switching to digital media. Programmatic media buying is quickly growing because of how efficient it is.

Programmatic Media Buying By Steps

You can think of programmatic media buying as typical media buying. The only difference is that you are buying digital media. The steps to media buying are similar to content marketing.

The first thing to do before buying is think of your target audience. If you know your audience, you can purchase the correct ads. Not only should you know who your audience is, you need to understand and research your audience. This is the only way that you can successfully buy programmatic media.

The next step, which is just as important as the first step, is to know your objectives. This is the step that will allow you to create a full marketing plan before you buy programmatic media. Without knowing  your objectives, your media will not be successful in the end. Next, define and plan your strategy. Not only do you want goals, but you want a plan to reach those goals. Your plan should spell out where you will purchase your media and what you want to do with it.

Creating and outlining your plan is the last step before actually executing your plan. This is why it is important to make your plan thorough and easy to understand. Your plan should basically be a full outline of everything you want to do. Your objectives, how you will reach those objectives, what media you want to buy, where you will buy that media, etc.

Executing Your plan

Fully outlining your plan to buy media will now allow you to begin browsing for and buying media. When you execute your plan and you are buying media, you can then negotiate prices. Unless the prices on advertisements you are purchasing are fixed, you can choose the price through open auction.

There are three types of programmatic media buying that you can do. The following are the three types:

Real Time Bidding (RTB), or “open auction” is the first type. As the name states, RTB is when prices are decided in real-time, through an auction. This is open to anyone involved in media buying. RTB is the most cost-effective form of this process.

Next, you have Private Marketplace (PMP). PMP is very similar to open auction, though there are restrictions. The restrictions are specifically for who is able to participate in media buying. Only certain selected advertisers have access to this type of the process, done on an “invite-only” basis. Although, sometimes publishers have a selection process that allows advertisers to apply for an invitation. This is only true in certain cases.

Finally, the third type of programmatic media buying is Programmatic Direct. Programmatic Direct is when a publisher bypasses auctions. Basically, a fixed price for each sale is determined before sold to advertisers. There are no other prices offered or negotiated.


Programmatic media buying can be a difficult process to understand. There are multiple types and components that come with it. So, if you want to become a programmatic media buyer, you must understand the process thoroughly.

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