Direct aka Programmatic Media Buying – Let us correct the definition

Direct aka Programmatic Media Buying – Let us correct the definition

While most of us are busy understanding the Web 3.0 world, trading those AI-generated jpegs in a bear market, ragging. Only a few are taking advantage of building and learning. Now, we all understand it is very simple to trade NFTs same as buying/selling traffic. Just a few years back It was hard to explain certain things, now it has become a very one-sentence explanation.

Let me tell you, I have been very surprised to read many articles about direct media buying, some say it’s like stitching clothes with a needle, we live in the 21st century, its manual optimisation, hectic paperwork, discrepancy issues, time-consuming, human error are all but far from reality.

What is direct Media buying?

It is bridging the gap between direct Advertisers and Publishers. Negotiating price, placement, time duration, signing a contract, and most importantly maintaining a strong bond with direct inventory holders. Bring them under the Ad: tech roof at once.

Is it like stitching clothes with a needle?

No, it is like buying clothes from Gucci or H&M. None stitches a cloth with a needle but one is mass-producing its design with low quality and another is high quality 1:1. Which one gives you more satisfaction in the short and long term? Who says direct media buy doesn’t involve business intelligence and tailor-made solutions?

Expensive and Time-consuming?

It depends on how we see it, my personal preference is I take time while going shopping. I also don’t shop often or wear H&M clothes. I don’t believe in sales or discounts but from time to time negotiate a better price. As a media buyer if you are buying inventory you must know the placement or how your ads are being displayed to the user, it will take time and could be costly but results will be even sweeter.

Is it Manual optimisation? Hectic paperwork? Discrepancy issue? Human error?

These are all but an illusion, for example, CNN quotes:

“Using business intelligence, we deliver tailor-made solutions for brands and publishers around the world”

Some direct Publishers outsource it, some use WordPress, and others don’t know, if they don’t know as a Media buyer you must know there are plenty of white-label services out there. With just a few clicks you can make anything and everything programmatic.

Few questions arise, how do you manage direct media buying if you have single vs multiple brands to promote?

Promoting a Single brand for any media buyer is a very challenging part unless you have strong connections and know-how Advertising Networks on-board their publishers/Inventory. For example, I strongly recommend working with only Networks in direct relationships with their Publishers. Do not spend your time and budget chasing a single Publisher yourself, find an Advertising network with direct relationships, it’s a no-brainer to say that Advertising Network already has plenty more direct inventory to offer and they sell you programmatic too.

Multiple brand promotion is a building block. Here I would prefer to create a network pool of direct Publishers, onboard AdNetwork with a direct connection with Publishers, and hunt Publishers yourself and bring them on board. It is like creating an entire ecosystem from the ground up, you may want to have extra helping hands. Use universal white-label tech, i.e. Adkernel or create in-house and let the bidding war begin. Now you just ended up creating your own Ad Network, name it Programmatic or Media buying agency.

Wait a minute, what just happened?

Suddenly, there is no difference between direct media buying and programmatic. But why do we have thousands of articles written differentiating it? Indeed back in 2015, all this programmatic hype came, I was confused as well. Since they don’t want you to know! But if Media buyers did proper research, we could have saved billions of dollars. We still have an unstoppable increase in “Ad Fraud” every year. Direct media is converted into the creation of any programmatic network in terms of easy trade, in short, they rely on each other. Any use of Ad: tech without the purpose of owning/buying direct inventory is nothing but purposefully creating a scam.

Back to my love for Web 3.0

I already see it’s happening all over again. It’s like living in simultaneous universes, lacking professionalism all over the space. Everyone is trying to sell you a difference that doesn’t exist. Same as “Metaverse”, differentiating Direct and Programmatic is nothing but an illusion. Metaverse will be a simple direct collaboration with brands, integrated into blockchain helps you buy/sell, track and earn, you will be able to wear your cool headset and walk around with your cool avatar as you do in the real world and well there is so much to it. Same as integrating direct publishers into Adtech and naming it programmatic. Trending Millions of dollars monkey jpeg is nothing but naive writing about the difference between Direct and Programmatic. And I also understand where it’s coming from, maybe someday we speak about “Ad Fraud” and how it correlates. The beautiful thing about Web 3.0 is we are early, don’t miss your chance to learn from the present Web 2.0 world or you may end up creating slow rug NFTs or hosting space with your beloved clients in whatever universe.

What a journey! If you have any questions, please feel free to engage. I also like being questioned, so do not hesitate to write. And my offer for sharing columns with bright minds like you are always open.

Advait Shah
Sr. Digital Media Buyer

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