Myth: All Programmatic is Real-Time Bidding (RTB).

Fact:  Programmatic includes all methods for reaching HCPs and consumers via buying platforms and automation.  This includes both real-time bidded media (open exchange, private/preferred auction)—as well as programmatic guaranteed deals, which are transacted at a fixed price over programmatic pipes.  In other words, guaranteed deals are done programmatically, but not in an auction, and so they give more control around price, impression volume, and context while retaining the benefits of automated buying, controls, and frequency capping that programmatic offers. Programmatic guaranteed deals are effectively reserve buys, purchased via programmatic buying platforms but without real-time bidding dynamics.  Therefore, all RTB is programmatic--but not all programmatic is RTB. This is important to know for those who want the benefits of programmatic but may not feel an auction is right for their brand’s goals.

Bonus Fact:  It is commonly believed that RTB buys are more economical than reserve buys. This isn’t always the case, as auction dynamics can introduce active competition for the same inventory, and cause for CPMs to increase. Programmatic guaranteed deals are often more cost effective than the same exact buys made via auction—and should be a core component of a programmatic media buying strategy. 

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