As talk around programmatic becomes less ‘buzz’ and more ‘mainstream’, there’s still a job to be done to ensure we cut through the jargon and help marketers understand the conversation. Having grasped terms that include ‘geotargeting’ and ‘click bait’ – not to mention countless acronyms – the industry is continuously inundated with new and complex terminology. As a 2014 IAB study reinforces, perceived barriers to utilising programmatic advertising vary from lack of transparency to fear of the unknown.

With an average annual growth rate of 27%, programmatic is predicted to be worth $53 billion by 2018 as even more brands adopt the technology. But how can marketers embrace the full potential of programmatic if they cannot understand the terminology?

With this in mind, here are some key programmatic terms to consider in the year ahead:

Trading platform: Why limit your brand to a pool of potential advertisers when there is an ocean of opportunities? A trading desk is a third-party company that licenses and supports DSP technology, managing programmatic, bid-based media and audience buying on behalf of advertisers and agencies. Modelled on financial trading platforms, they offer access to multiple integrated DSPs and have the ability to evaluate billions of audience interactions daily.

First-party data: Information collected and stored directly by retailers, website publishers, and other types of companies about their site visitors or customers. First-party data indicates a physical relationship between the customer and the data owner – either through previous transactions or loyalty programmes – and that the owner is able to communicate directly with them.

TV syncing: This initiative is set to be a key trend in 2015. By using geolocation, behavioural data and device signals, TV syncing triggers the serving of online ads in real-time on second screens to coincide with brand adverts being shown on TV, allowing advertisers to regain the attention of a distracted audience. TV syncing will smooth the transition from linear television operating as a traditional media channel to utilising programmatic and the second screen, offering great opportunities for both direct response and brand campaigns.

Behavioural targeting: A technique used by online advertisers to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Behavioural targeting uses information collected on an individual‘s web browsing behaviour – such as the pages they have visited or the searches they have made – to select which ads are shown to which individual. Marketers can also utilise behavioural targeting to retarget consumers, based on previous interactions with a website, acting as a ‘reminder’ for consumers who did not complete their purchase.

Weather targeting: Location-based data automatically serves
a targeted ad to a user; based on the real-time weather conditions, current temperature, wind speeds, and humidity. By utilising weather conditions to target consumers, relevant messages can be served, for example, a sun protection ad can be delivered if the temperature reaches 30ºC.

DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimisation): Marketers who use behavioural and geotargeting technology, should also consider using DCO. A dynamic creative ad is a personalised or unique ad built in real-time when an ad request is delivered to an ad server. The dynamic ad is created instantly by using a unique ad template and different elements pulled from a merchant product feed.

OPA (Online Privacy Alliance): Transparency is key to consumer trust. Media providers know more about users than ever before, as they leave data trails wherever they go. But when this powerful information is used carelessly, it creates distrust in brands. The OPA is a group of corporations and associations that have come together to introduce and promote business-wide actions that create an environment of trust and foster the protection of consumers’ privacy online.

Programmatic is technology-driven and works best when combined with human analysis, providing a media buying process that enables advertisers to target specific users. More so than ever before, programmatic media allows brand advertisers to access the right customer, at the right place, at the right time, across devices. For an industry as interconnected as advertising, it is important that all parties come to the table as equals.