Programmatic buying knocks market research doors

“Programmatic buying is the gluten of advertising. Like gluten, ‘programmatic’ has become a buzzword that many people use but few really understand. They just know it’s important.”

Jimmy Kimmel

At the time, online advertising hardly represented a radical change in the traditional practices, those drawn up some years before on Madison Avenue (NYC). After all, the change from paper to electronic methods already had its roots, with advertising extending from newpapers and magazines to radio and television.

The early trade of online ads was not so different to what had been seen before. The same classic methods were used to negotiate agreements and the orders of resulting entries were still sent via fax. Yes, the pioneers of the industry like DoubleClick were creating technological systems to manage the publication of online adverts, but the change was a question of scale, not substance.


programmatic buying


Programmatic buying

It's been during the last few years that the real revolution in advertising and methods has become evident. Driven by the increase of ad-tech, or advertising technology, the trade of digital advertising is evolving at an incredible rate.

And it's here that, what we call, programmatic media (also known as “programmatic marketing” or “programmatic advertising”) comes in. This is about the alignment of marketing and technology, the automation of the trading process and optimization of online advertisement based on interactions. For this, you use software that monitor the behavior of the sites' visitors which generates a large amount of all kinds of information (consumed content, comments, shared content, most-searched words, etc.).

Therefore, the move to the automation of advertising is a fast growing phenomenon in the global sense and in the advertising industry that has already become absolutely essential. If in 1977 advertisers fought for the space (or time) of only a few hundred publishers, by 2012 that number, thanks to online communication methods, had shot to millions.

Advertisers and publishers

For advertisers, publishers proliferation was good and bad news at the same time. On the positive side, brands now had a great variety of options to aim at specific groups of consumers, which improved the precision of advertisement. However, having millions of publishers around made things very complicated and you needed to make a herculean administrative effort which, in the absence of modern methods, seriously threatened the efficiency of advertisement.

The result? Programmatic buying is the inevitable solution to an otherwise unsolvable problem. As every medium becomes addressable thanks to programmatic buying systems, this kind of advertisement automation can only become more mainstream. Programmatic buying of advertisement has already extended its precision and is now aimed at mobile devices, out of home digital banners and even the impact of adverts.

The sector's implication


All of this is of vital importance to the marketing research companies, whose online presence has to make said changes and do everything to be more meticulous. It's fundamental, for example, to take into account factors like:

  • What are the online consumers' points of view and attitudes and how can they be used taking into account that the socio-demographic indicators may not be precise enough as divisive criteria.
  • How to develop and measure the brands' messages through an integrated indicator between different channels.

To resolve these issues it's necessary to go further than the traditional methodology and integrate the different impacts of multi-screen communication. From the business point of view, the reasoning is simple: while investment into investigation is becoming more and more restricted, media companies and advertisers have to keep investing in the alignment of marketing and technology.


Communication methods are constantly transforming and market research's innovation has to emerge from these changes and not limit itself to just sophisticating the current methods. It's all about do or die, adapt or collapse, embrace the future or, if you don't, start saying your swift goodbyes.

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