As the digital world becomes more significant and people spend more time browsing the web, brand communication strategies need to change and new factors should to be considered during decision-making processes.
Using different capabilities, the choice between direct and programmatic selling depends on the strategies defined by the brands in their campaigns. It is paramount to count with an in- depth knowledge of each option.
The definition of direct selling has not changed significantly and it has been practically the same since 1994, when the first banner appeared on the web. In fact, if we looked into the old marketing manuals, we would find that “it is about the process of finding the right publisher, negotiating the price, buying inventory and finally placing the ad on the chosen site.” This process comprises a sequence of tasks which depend almost entirely on human capital, negotiation and implementation, tending towards a “one-to-one” relationship, where much of the work is done manually and requiring a significant flow of communication between the parties.
On the other hand, programmatic advertising – whose origin goes back to 2009 – enjoys a constant growth and evolution, glimpsing the permanent need to innovate, bring technological solutions and adapt to new platforms. However, some of the features defining this type of advertising have remained the same: the purchase of ads is made through a real-time bid auction, an automated process which occurs with a minimal intervention from a media buyer.
Differences between direct and programmatic selling
|Human capital. Both the negotiation and the purchase depend on the interaction between the teams.||Demand and supply. The purchase is made based on platform demand, allowing it to be automatic.|
|Time for negotiation. Just as spaces are acquired on radio or television, negotiations take place per space, and reservations are made individually.|
Real time. Through the process known as “real time bidding”, the purchase of programmatic advertising is made in real time and at dynamic prices according to the metrics.
|Manual optimization. Any change or improvement in the campaign is implemented through the media team, which should review the order and execute it.||Automatic optimization. Thanks to real-time information, any change can be made quickly and safely.|
|More processes. Due to the manual process, direct purchasing requires more meetings, documentation, and more back and forth.||Greater efficiency. While having human capital working in the background, automated processes andworkflows tend to be more efficient, practical and faster.|
What is the best solution for your business?
Nowadays, the market metrics show that direct media buying is not extinct, but its presence is beginning to fade. At this point, the reasons for this are obvious: in addition to having a much easier implementation and greater dynamism in its creative components, the technological structure behind the operation of programmatic advertising ensures better performance for brands, and it builds an audience for your content. The data it provides is vital to detect areas where improvements can be applied, and offers opportunities for new and more effective ways of speaking to your target audiences.
In conclusion, it is clear that both formats are still in force today and most experts still advise that the best strategy is to combine the formats to your advantage. However, they also agree that this scenario will soon change and the future of digital advertising is programmatic.