Buzzwords. The advertising industry is full of them.

Responsive Web Design.

Native advertising.

Interactive rich media.

Well here is one that the ad industry can’t get enough of lately: Programmatic Buying.

We’ve probably all heard about programmatic ad buying by now, and if you haven’t, Adweek does a pretty darn good job explaining just what it is. In a nutshell, it’s real-time bidding based on specific consumer targeting.

So, how does programmatic buying fit into your next media plan? The goal of ad buying is to deliver the right message to the right person at a time when they are most attentive. Programmatic campaigns help marketers do just that, targeting more precisely than a traditional digital display buying strategy could ever do.

And, no, I’m not just talking about standard targeting for a campaign, such as “males aged 25-34 living in New Hampshire.” This is more specific. A programmatic ad campaign allows you to buy based on the personas you build, targeting who you want, when you want and where you want.

Take, for example, an online shoe store distributor who notices an increase in beach-style footwear sales for New Hampshire in January. Who is buying beach shoes in New Hampshire in January? People looking to go on vacation and get away from New Hampshire in January! The shoe store’s own data reveals that a market audience of women ages 18-34 who follow the latest trends and collect shoes is visiting the site in January looking to purchase fashionable beach-style footwear. Using this information, the owner can use programmatic buying to target those women during times when they are most likely to be browsing content about tropical paradise vacations. Pretty cool, huh?

A programmatic campaign allows marketers to purchase inventory on 98% of the sites on the internet and not be locked into one site. It allows parameters to be set about target audience, making sure the ad is placed where it needs to be and when it needs to be there.

So, when one of the women in your target audience starts researching destinations for her beach vacation on her tablet during her lunch break, she can also be served ads about the beach shoes she needs for that vacation. And when she starts looking around for flights for the sunny getaway on her home computer, the shoe ad can be served to her once again. And, after she picks her spot, books her flight, she’ll remember the ads that had been served to her throughout her vacation planning experience. That’s the programmatic buying strategy.

We ad-nerds here at EVR are particularly excited about the analytics provided from a programmatic campaign. By reviewing data from these campaigns on a regular basis, we can optimize specific goals of the campaign such as conversions, clicks or video views. This creates more opportunity to make the consumer a customer. The ROI can be impressive.

Digiday tells us that programmatic buying is growing fast and advertisers will increasingly spend more money on programmatic campaigns. Are you going to be one of them? It is something you need to consider in your marketing mix.

It’s all about the strategy. You don’t always have to chase after what is hot, but you do have to take advantage of any new technology that connects you with consumers fast and effectively. Programmatic ad buying does that.