No one will argue the benefits of programmatic ad buying for both advertisers and publishers, but could it be weakening relationships between them? Programmatic has pushed much of the ad buying away from direct relationships and to auto buying via computers.
Many new publishers who begin using programmatic can become dissatisfied that it is not extremely successful right away. It can take some time before it ramps up and starts to generate good revenue. The length of the ramp up period can depend on the relationships between the publishers and the programmatic buyers. Good relationships can speed up the process, while poor ones can lengthen it or keep it from ever being successful.
Successful non-programmatic ad buying typically involves a relationship between a publisher and buyer and the stronger their relationship the better quality and higher revenue campaigns they send to the publisher. If they do not have a good relationship then they typically receive fewer and lower paying or remnant campaigns.
Private Marketplace deals do help to maintain a semblance of a relationship, but the normal day to day conversations and check ins between publisher and advertiser do not typically take place once the deal is in place. Once it is set up and running, programmatic ad buying takes over and does not require the normal day to day supervision and campaign tweaking.
When a publisher engages their programmatic buyers and begins to build a relationship with them the ramp up period can go much quicker. Once the advertiser gets to know the publisher and learns more about their inventory and audience they begin to understand their supply better and which campaigns are best geared to them. Once they feel more comfortable with the publisher and their inventory they may begin to market and push them more to their media buyers and thus attempt to open more campaigns to them via programmatic buying.
Programmatic has automated much of the ad buying process and decreased the amount of people required to setup and execute the process, but the relationship piece should not be ignored. Publishers should make the effort to build strong relationships with all of their programmatic buyers, which can be a major factor in how successful the publisher’s programmatic ad buying program is.