Direct Advertising vs Programmatic Media Buying Ads

programmatic advertising and direct ads has drastically changed the way advertisers and business owners now run adverts for their businesses. In this guide, we will be looking at the two major leading types of digital advertising.   Direct Advertising Direct Media Advertising refers to a process whereby advertisers work directly with a publisher to purchase...

programmatic advertising and direct ads has drastically changed the way advertisers and business owners now run adverts for their businesses. In this guide, we will be looking at the two major leading types of digital advertising.


Direct Advertising

Direct Media Advertising refers to a process whereby advertisers work directly with a publisher to purchase advertising space on their website, blog, or in a traditional publication such as a newspaper. In this method, the business owner or advertiser negotiates the price, depending on the placing and they also choose the date the ad will run, and for how long the ad will be shown to the publisher’s readers. This process usually involves people talking with people and ad copies are usually sent back and forth for approval thereby making the process consume a lot of time. Also, in most cases, results are calculated manually and data provided to the buyer when they become available. The ads are then optimized manually based on the data received.


Programmatic Advertising

On the other hand, programmatic media buying ads take place automatically through an ad-buying platform for example Munchads. The media ad buying platforms are bought and sold through an automated process using a dashboard provided to the advertiser or business owner. In programmatic advertising, real-time optimization occurs and KPI data are available as it comes in. plus, you don’t need to interact with any salespeople at the publisher’s end.


Although direct ads have been the oldest and leading method of advertising for years, the programmatic ad is really starting to change the game on how advertisers and publishers buy digital ad space. More advertisers and publishers are beginning to move toward programmatic ads because it provides more potential and power to both advertisers and publishers. Also, it is a more efficient and faster way of purchasing digital ad space, as well as precisely displaying effective ads to their intended target audiences.


Now that we understand the difference between Direct ads and Programmatic Ads, we will now look at the major components between Direct Advertising vs Programmatic Media Buying Ads


  1. Ads Method


Direct Advertising is Manual

Direct advertising involves manual processes in all levels, ranging from price negotiation to ads placements, from the start date to the end date. In other words, all the processes in direct ads depend and run on human effort including satisfying the client’s needs, negotiations, and back-and-forth communication. This in the end consumes lots of significant time and money and also there is the inevitability of human error within the process.


Programmatic Advertising is Automated

While the direct ad is manual, programmatic ads sales use automated algorithms to purchase and display ads. Because the programmatic ad is technology base, communication between involved parties is near zero. Although there are some manual processes involved, it is nothing compared to the number of manual processes involved in direct ads sales. With programmatic ads, you save more time, money, and also reduce the tendency for human error, plus, it is less stressful. Another huge plus is that most of its components of the campaign process, like ads reporting and optimization, statistical data can be viewed almost as soon as your ads start running.


Read Also: A Review of The Pricing and Conversions of Social Media Ads: Facebook Vs Instagram Vs Twitter

  1. Audience Exposure


Direct advertising uses ad inventory

This is one of the major differences between direct ads vs programmatic ads media sales. With direct ads, publishers sell impressions to clients who are willing to have their ads seen in a specific context such as on blogs, websites,s and other platforms like Facebook. Because of this, advertisers who care about ads placement on such platforms in order to get more will be willing to pay higher prices in order to guarantee better inventory.


Programmatic advertising bids for the targeted audience

What makes programmatic different is that each impression is taken, profiled, and evaluated almost immediately.  Here, there is a simultaneous occurrence of ads space, and the highest bidder is chosen to place his or her advertisement in the space. So, in summary here, advertisers pay only for where their ads appear in direct sales, while advertisers bid for their targeted audience in programmatic ads media sales.


  1. Predictability of the Number of Sales


Direct advertising is pre-sold (guaranteed)

With direct ads, a pack of ad inventory is sold to business owners and advertisers at a predetermined and fixed CPM rate. And this ad inventory is delivered to the advertisers at an agreed time in the near future which may either be the day the advertiser pays for the ad or a date he has chosen for his ad to be displayed. This makes direct ads guarantee and also very predictable because the advertiser knows he is paying basically for the certainty that the ads will be delivered to his specific audience.


Read Also: The Differences Between Search Ads, Display Ads, and Social Media Advertising

Programmatic advertising is real-time bidding (RTB) (varies)

With programmatic ads, you get real-time bidding (RTB) via the ad platform. This means all advertisers get to bid for every individual impression, the higher your bidding price, the better your chances and advertisers never stop bidding as long as the ad space is still available. This makes programmatic ads dynamic and unlike direct ad sales unpredictable. Also, you may not have the guarantee of showing your business to your targeted audience unless the platform provides you with a means of seeing who the publisher is as you bid for ad space.


  1. Differences in Pricing


Direct ads make use of fixed prices in Cost per Thousand Impression (CPM)

Because direct ads are sold by a publisher who intends to showcase the ad on their platform, the price is always fixed across the platform depending on the space you want to buy. Advertisers price the space almost the same regardless of the space or the exposure they will get and also, publishers usually have a fixed price for every space available on their platform. However, these fixed prices can still be negotiated upon.

Read Also: Top 5 reasons why your online advertising strategy is failing and how to fix it

Programmatic advertising price is dynamic (eCPM)

Programmatic ads on the other hand present individual auctions for every impression, meaning that prices for each impression can significantly vary. For example, an advertiser may be willing to pay a higher price if he or she is really looking to meet a specific impression. This is what is meant by Effective Cost Per Thousand impressions (eCPM) in programmatic ads.


Final Word

Recently, publishers have been concerned with the belief that programmatic ads may overpower, or eliminate their existing sales personnel, or even lessen the value of their inventory. However, these may not but entirely true.

The major issue behind the misinterpretation is usually due to a lack of understanding behind the different processes involved in direct ad sales and programmatic ad sales.  As a publisher if you can fully understand the difference between the two, then you may be able to learn how you can incorporate both strategically to better meet your clients’ needs and produce the best results and revenue.

Read Also: Display Advertising | Top 5 best practices

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