Grasping the fundamentals of programmatic remains a subject of interest for advertising executives, but many are also going deeper to understand how this technology can shape their creative output and, ultimately, shopper buying habits.

Warc compiled a ranking of its most-read articles on programmatic during the last year, with the Programmatic Primer – a guide for brands and agencies wanting to get to grips with the core tenets of this discipline – claiming top spot.

Second place went to another overview of this digitally-powered activity, entitled What is programmatic all about?, which came in just ahead of Programmatic planning, an installment from Warc's Media Planning Toolkit.

An article published in the latest edition of Market Leader magazine, however, showed that thinking in this space is moving rapidly beyond the basics.

J Walker Smith, Executive Chairman of Kantar Futures, explored how consumers are making more purchase decisions using programmatic algorithms in The know-demand economy: engagement and programmatic consumption.

"Just as marketers are making greater use of algorithms to drive targeting and media placement, so too are consumers making greater use of algorithms to evaluate, recommend and automate shopping and buying. Programmatic marketing is now being matched by programmatic consumption," he wrote.

"The shift from screens to sensors as the primary form of interaction with technologies, or the pivot to passive, is the primary enabler of programmatic consumption."

Despite only being published in September 2016, this piece still grabbed fourth place in the programmatic readership rankings, and may offer a hint about the longer-term prospects for this discipline.

Rounding out the top five pieces on programmatic was a paper from Admap magazine looking at the main stumbling blocks for utilising this technology to enhance advertising creative.

"It's not through lack of creative agencies' interest in trying to crack it; it's just that it requires yet another rethink in the way good brand advertising ideas are developed, and most can't put their finger on how," argued Ed Hornby, Director/Digital Delivery at VCCP.

Data sourced from Warc