Ad Budgets Are Headed In-House Because of Programmatic Buying
It seems that ad buying is headed back home. The current programmatic model that is so popular nowadays is an extension of SEO or search engine applications that were (and are) still useful for in-house marketing operations. Companies were quite content with these, until their campaigns hit maximum operability, which needed the expertise of large agencies that could focus all their resources on advertising.
Audience buying came to be the norm for ads, when large pools of data on audience behavior became available for real-time bidding on specific audience segments by advertisers. It became the key driver for ad campaigns, based on analytics for audience responses, wants or preferences for video ads, and the spectrum of ad buys in the market.
On a separate node, GoogleAdWords and Bing Ads had introduced the programmatic model, which slowly but surely turned ad buys towards keyword bidding. It became known as auction-based systems, making campaigns compete better in search rankings. Most of these were, like much that is current in the Internet, were like DIY programs run by company marketing departments – with still unresolved leeway for in-depth keyword programming. (This issue was resolved by the newer model Google Ads, which gave more depth to keyword buying, focusing on the many possible variations for one common word to give more differentiation for advertisers.)
The latest trend for ad budgets are to use them in in-house programmatic buying, taking such factors as click measurement, web impression measurement, rich media, digital video commercials and mobile advertising into company-run campaigns. These supplanted buying from traditional ad agencies and turned the money flow towards demand-side media platforms – Facebook’s acquisition of LiveRail certified the trend as the way to go for companies with large advertising needs, except that Facebook took the trend one step further by making LiveRail its new in-house marketer. This, in no way, restricts the field for smaller companies, as these self-serve outfits could adjust and tailor ad demands per company. In fact, SMEs are better positioned to use their services, in comparison to buying from traditional agencies whose focus have always been on acquiring custom from larger houses or more-recognized brands.
This trend has put creativity back where it should belong. For most companies, putting their product image or branding campaigns in the hands of other people is a bit gut-wrenching, making traditional ad processing that much more of a gamble. With programmatic buying, they can pick and choose and create for their brands as they please, plus, they have the added advantage of owning company-specific keywords that no one else can access. It’s like a non-compete clause that assures companies that their ads will rank in searches.
Big brands like Geico, Netflix, Gap, AT&T have converted totally to in-house ad and marketing campaigns with the help of self-serve platforms like Progressive Turn, Mediamath, and engage:BDR. Many others have set up hybrid systems that still use the audience buying model and traditional ad buys. Creative ad space is now expanding exponentially – ad buys are not exclusive to programmatic buying. It just gave the field a more extensive and in-depth reach.