All Things Digital

Tuesday 23, June 2015



If you’re in the marketing world chances are you’ve heard about Programmatic Trading. This week OnQue gives you a lowdown on what exactly it’s all about…


To begin with lets talk about advertising.


Advertising has always been about getting the right message to the right people at the right time, however, in the digital space it can be difficult to determine just how this is going to happen and how exactly to measure ROI.   

Unlike traditional modes of advertising that are usually malleable to a specific target market your digital ad will appear when it is served and loaded onto your audiences tablet, desktop or mobile. A consumer may look at the same webpage 5 times with your ad only appearing once, so instead of these people coming to you, as marketers you have to find a way to reach them.

This shouldn’t be too difficult considering the billions of webpages that are downloaded every minute of everyday: there is infinite opportunities for exposure because of this already existent and available inventory. The process of accessing this inventory and completing media transactions in real time via algorithmic strategy is called programmatic buying. Designed to get your ad to the right audience at the right time in the digital space.


Gaining access to Inventory & Demand-Side Platforms


Site owners or publishers sell through either one or a number of ad exchanges to manage and access transactions across multiple ad exchanges they’ve developed. A Demand-Side Platform is software used to purchase advertising in an automated fashion to facilitate these transactions within milliseconds. Accesses to these DSP’s are provided to agencies, media buyers or to the client through a trading desk so the DSP is really just a way to access the inventory through a trading desk from the ad exchange.


Real Time Bidding


The transaction happens within the ad exchange in real time giving rise to Real Time Bidding. 

Because the bid for the opportunities becomes available when they appear in real time the transaction occurs in milliseconds, literally the time it takes for your webpage to load. Due to the short duration of bidding time involved in the process there is no way the transaction can be a manual process, which is why it is dubbed Programmatic Buying. The platforms and systems used in the process use data on the online audience to optimise delivery thereby getting the best deal on a trade-by-trade basis to deliver to the target audience.      


Programmatic Trading and Commonwealth Bank


Commbank, Australia’s largest bank is keeping up with global trends and is currently establishing an in-house programmatic trading desk. 

Stuart Tucker, brand, sponsorship and marketing operations general manager at Commbank recently stated, “This is an exciting next step for us in developing innovative and best practice media buying capabilities”.

“Having considered all operating models, we believe the decision to bring the trading desk in-house will allow more scale and agility to leverage our first party data. For us it’s about delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right customer”.            


Unhappy advertisers?


Because the ideas happen in a real time trading environment it’s difficult to benchmark. Dispute over pricing and data ownership makes advertisers suspicious to what else could be happening. There’s also a concern that in all of this automation ads could end up being served to inappropriate websites such as pornography or gambling – when the content or association could be damaging to the brand. On top of this one of the biggest points of controversy is that computers are taking jobs originally fulfilled by humans. As DigiDay puts its, “Programmatic advertising technology promises to make the ad buying system more efficient, and therefore cheaper, by removing humans from the process wherever possible. Humans get sick, need to sleep and come to work hungover. Machines do not”.


What are your views on Programmatic Trading?

Let us know in the comment section below!





If you’re in the marketing world chances are you’ve heard about Programmatic Trading. This week OnQue gives you a lowdown on what exactly it’s all about…