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What Is Programmatic? Busting 5 Programmatic Myths

May 31st, 2016   ||    by Charlene Weisler

What is programmatic? It’s a world full of myths and misunderstandings. Not all the myths are necessarily misplaced, but a few are old and based on outdated technological capabilities. So, what is programmatic and how can the myths associated with it help us learn and understand it more fully?

Myth 1: There is a definition of programmatic.

There are many unique definitions of programmatic and there are several different types of programmatic. A standard definition offered by GABBCON, “TV inventory planned, bought, and sold on impressions using system automation with the use of advanced audience data, facilitating value, and operational efficiency for both the buy and sell side,” is not complete.

Programmatic TV also involves audience targeting, segmentation, and is not always automated or time-saving. Christine De Martini, Global Media and Marketing Director, Electronic Arts, spoke in Digiday of the trade-off between faster campaign execution and time spent on data analysis. “We don’t save time because it has unlocked so much more from the real-time metrics standpoint,” she said.

Myth 2: Programmatic is remnant inventory.

This doesn’t fit in today’s TV programmatic, which is based on data targeting. USIM’s programmatic initiative overseen by Mitch Oscar, Director of Advanced Television, has been testing TV programmatic. Mitch believes, “With data, the information we get on consumers is supposed to be more valuable. If true, we are not buying ‘remnant’ inventory.”

Data also allows advertisers to better valuate outlier dayparts, like Overnight, that may have more target viewers than highly valued dayparts like prime. If an outlier daypart fulfills a target consumer buy better than prime time, it might be better priced, but certainly not considered leftover.

Myth 3: Programmatic TV is local inventory only.

The expansion of TV programmatic, once relegated to specific local markets or regional footprints, is now expanding with partnerships between station groups. A recent example is the partnership of Sinclair with Tribune stations for a programmatic buy with USIM, which made use of two station groups, each covering 40 percent of the country, in one buy. Russell Zingale, President, Eastern Region, USIM, outlined the approach, “We were able to put two stations groups together with Sinclair’s help and take national money and move it more efficiently into local impact.”

Expect more partnerships that expand the national footprint of programmatic TV buys in the future.

Myth 4: Programmatic will decimate sales forces, replacing sales and media buying teams.

While programmatic capabilities may streamline certain processes, it will still demand talent at each end as well as through the sales funnel to manage the inventory and sales value for buyer and seller. If anything, there will be a greater need for data savvy sales and buying teams that can take better advantage of programmatic’s hyper-targeting capabilities. However, job requirements may change and some traditional positions may not transfer to the new business realities.

Myth 5: Programmatic is hard to implement and requires considerable re-training.

Some companies are concentrating on making the transition to programmatic as seamless as possible. Brett Adamczyk, VP, Business Development and Strategy, Videa, explains his approach by stating, “User experience has been a top priority. We’ve strategically partnered with industry leading traffic systems and demand-side platforms in order to ensure our user’s experience is seamless. Our integrations with Mediaocean, STRATA, and Videology, to name a few, eliminates the need for buyers to learn new technologies. Our intent is to minimally disrupt buyers’ current workflows and allow them to work the way they do today. “STRATA, and Videology, to name a few, eliminates the need for buyers to learn new technologies.

Advancements in programmatic continue to help overcome challenges and debunk outdated myths in this every changing world.

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