Though not entirely unheralded as an advertising medium, programmatic has become more and more important. The advent of programmatic has brought forth a number of headaches in the form of buzzwords and acronyms from dynamic CPM’s to DSP’s to Real Time Bidding. To the extent, that you’ve come to a blog such as this for answers.

Programmatic is starting to be known for two things mainly.

  1. Programatic is the future of display advertising

The first point is one which says that my glass is half full. In fact, this new form of advertising is already accounting for a large amount of ad spend. In 2014, programmatic is roughly ten billion dollars worth of the advertising industry. Mindshare expects this to increase to $20.14bn in 2016. Considering programmatic has been plugging away at a low level of annual spend since 1995, that’s some serious growth in two years!

  1. Programmatic can be problematic

This is more the glass half empty hypothesis. Yes, handing your campaigns over to automation can sound scary and yes, creatives are less than captivated by the mechanics of programmatic as it currently stands but the positives outweigh these negatives. “Problematic” is a negative buzzword, and starting a new year, it doesn’t feel right to give this any weight.

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Think of the most hyper-targeted campaign you can imagine. No longer rely on assumed data. This is data whereby if someone is on Pinterest for instance or Cosmopolitan they are assumed as female and messaged to in such a way. Think more “observed data”, taking in sources from across a targets browsing history. And then think again “re-categorised” data from multiple devices. Then you’ve got a ‘can’t miss’ methodology.

Programmatic does have a problem in creative, but with the expansion of more video ads across display (and up to 70% of inventory will be through mobile), there will be more appetite from adverting agencies to do great work using programmatic. Rather than just banner ads, one in every three video ads will be using programmatic automation in 2016 (according to Norm Johnson of Mindshare, speaking at last month’s WebSummit). Even in data, there will be spaces for new roles in which people are creative with data in the ways outlined above.

There is no end of growth in sight for this new form of advertising automation and it provides an equal level of opportunity for FMCG as well as direct-response focussed companies.