Mobile first: Programmatic buying

Zac Pinkham
Millennial Media

Programmatic may be full of jargon, but it represents a huge opportunity for brands to just pay for the consumers they want to reach, allowing for budgets to be swiftly moved to achieve the best ad conversions.

Still a relatively new discipline in the mobile advertising world and, indeed, only accounting for a small proportion of total digital media spend, mobile programmatic is shooting up the priority list as more advertisers increasingly begin to view programmatic as the future of all digital trading.

Alongside what has been a massive buzz for programmatic in mobile over recent months, there has also been some considerable confusion for brands. So what exactly is mobile programmatic all about, why does it matter and how can brands benefit?

Programmatic advertising is the automation of buying and selling digital advertising inventory, generally using real-time bidding (RTB). It is already a multibillion-dollar discipline, and well established in fixed web advertising. What's more, it's growing. The Internet Advertising Bureau says that 'approximately 20% of all digital advertising is sold by one machine talking to another machine – and growing rapidly'.