Contributed by Amanda Benoist, Marketing Content Strategist at Goodway Group It used to be easy to follow a consumer’s buying process. They saw an advertisement. They went to a store and talked to a human being about the product. They decided to buy the product or not. The fact that the digital landscape has changed everything in the way that we buy isn’t debatable. The Internet has made the process much more complicated with a million micro-moments that can be the difference between a new customer and a missed opportunity. The question is, has your media strategy kept up to date? In this “Back to the Basics” blog series, I’ll help you understand the basics of programmatic advertising and share several reasons why you should redefine your media strategy with programmatic. Today’s topic? Why programmatic buying is more efficient than traditional ad buys. Simply put, programmatic lowers the time investment for your media buyer. Traditional ad buying requires calling a lot of different publishers manually, negotiating a rate and signing an IO, running separate formats to see what works best for your audience, and trafficking multiple tags. Programmatic allows you to streamline all of that into a single platform, increasing the speed and efficiency of finding and optimizing toward your audience. You simply can’t do all this with one media buyer anymore, and if you try, you are going to get left behind. You might be thinking, It’s only more efficient because it’s all remnant inventory that no one else wants. The reality is the origins of programmatic advertising were based in real-time bidding, which often allowed publishers the opportunity to sell ad space that was left over after selling directly, but this is no longer the case. All types of inventory are available programmatically, including premium sites. Today’s programmatic is much more than just banner ads and basic real-time bidding. There’s the foundation of programmatic services–like display, mobile, and video–and then there’s media that goes well beyond and strengthens your agency. It’s no longer unheard of to buy a site like the New Yorker or the Wall Street Journal programmatically, as well as pre-roll on Twitter and hyperlocal mobile inventory. When you aren’t dealing with each publisher individually or even each network, you can focus on audience strategy and optimization. With programmatic, you can reach inventory on millions of quality sites with millions of high-impact users, expanding your audience diversity beyond what can be achieved by manually going to a limited number of publishers. It’s a one-stop shop to access global inventories across display, mobile, and TV, but more to come on the benefits of cross-device advertising in our next “Back to the Basics” blog post. For more “back to basics” training, see these posts about how programmatic takes advantage of big data more effectively, why programmatic enables more sophisticated targeting, and why the future of programmatic looks promising. A seasoned marketing pro with years of experience on both agency and client teams, Amanda brings valuable insight and solutions to today’s challenges in strategic communications, digital branding, and social media management. As marketing content strategist for Goodway Group, Amanda transforms complex digital media topics into easy-to-understand resources to keep all advertisers and marketers at the forefront of understanding the evolving programmatic landscape. Her favorite part of the job? She gets to share our compelling story with new audiences each and every day.