A panel discussed the rise of programmatic buying at the 2014 INMA World Congress in San Francisco, saying RTB allows for direct selling techniques.

“It does not matter if you want the world to be programmatic,” said panel member Jeff Green, chief executive officer of The Trade Desk. “It will be whether you want it or not.”

Programmatic buying is the system where digital ad impressions are bought or sold and “optimised in an automated environment,” said Kirk MacDonald, executive vice president/sales for Digital First Media and panel moderator.

A concept that is connected to the media industry, media executives will see an increase in RTB and programmatic buying.

“The future of journalism largely depends on the people in this room understanding these concepts,” Green said. 

Premium content — focused on producing quality journalism and a scaled audience — is on the forefront of programmatic buying, according to Christian Hendricks, vice president/interactive media for The McClatchy Company.

“There is an infinite amount of money you can make,” Hendrick said, referring to proper management of premium content.

Making programmatics more premium-worthy is key, according to Jason Washing, director of publishing and networks for Google, stating that it “is a win concept” for both buyers and sellers. 

“Programmatic isn’t just growing, it’s growing up,” Washing said. 

To effectively use programmatic buying systems, advertisers must fully understand their target market and what their transactions entail, according to Washing.

“It is up to us to brand ourselves,” Hendrick said.

Rather than focusing on broad markets, advertisers can narrow their viewing audience to provide premium, quality advertisements.

“Instead of buying ads, our clients have to discriminate and go after people who meet their target market,” Green said.

Advertising used to be a game, according to Green. Only big companies could participate in massive advertising strategies, but now small businesses can.

“What is more important than anything else in this room is to focus on your users,” Washing said. “Users have more choice than they ever have before. You have a very unique opportunity to innovate what you are doing for them, how you are doing that for them.”

The first step to utilising programmatic systems is to analyse your advertising market, according to MacDonald. Determine the investment, determine the audience, instigate bidding solutions, and deliver advertising impressions to publishers.  

“You need to make sure you have the right assets, the right tools, and the right people in place.” Washing said.

Projections for programmatic buying systems show that RTB will spearhead the advertisement evolution in the media industry.

“Unified auction will eventually power 95% of all advertisements and transactions,” Green said. “Our future depends on it.”