There is a prevailing, limited focus on the automation of inventory sales, and whatever basic information is available to enhance the value exchange between buyers and sellers.
Any given programmatic opportunity is predicated only on information provided by the publisher, and thus tends toward mere demographic attributes, often presumed by these publishers rather than identified or measured. Ironically, in our growing world of audience-based buying, custom, targeted audience models are lacking. Static segments and demographic data remain the norm.
What a different proposition it is when the data used to execute the programmatic ad buy isn’t that provided by the publisher, at all, but richer data available on the individual. We should not care theoretically where the ad is, but rather exactly to whom the ad is targeted, personalized, delivered and then optimized. This is a radical rethinking of media, even the programmatic definition reflected in the recent IAB report.
Further, I don’t doubt that the big growth area for programmatic is outside the Open Auction, an emerging opportunity pinpointed in this report. It’s becoming clear that we’ll see more movement toward Private Auction, Unreserved Fixed Rate or Automated Guaranteed environments. Direct sales will continue to deteriorate and be replaced by programmatic buying. At least for now, those buyers who still think in “direct-buy” terms will be more comfortable with these other types of programmatic buying, which are fundamentally attempts to keep it similar to direct sales. Those matter for buyers who remain concerned with where the ad is shown more than to whom.