Data-Driven Programmatic vs. Direct-Buy Website Advertising

by | Aug 7, 2020

(Precision Reach is Farm Market iD’s exclusive data-driven digital marketing partner. For more information about the services we offer jointly, click here.)

Most agribusinesses prioritize direct-buy as their primary method of website advertising. However, with increasingly advanced AdTech available in the market, relying on one channel can limit your potential for advertising and marketing success.

One of the advertising channels that has grown in popularity over the past few years has been data-targeted programmatic advertising.

Programmatic has quickly become the dominant form of digital display advertising in the U.S.

Digital ad spend is quickly displacing traditional media ad spend.

Simply put, programmatic advertising is the process of automating the buying and selling of ad inventory in real time through an automated bidding system. It enables brands or agencies to purchase ad impressions on publisher sites or apps within milliseconds through a sophisticated ecosystem.

Instead of focusing on the placement of the ad, your advertising is demographically delivered to the target audience. This opens up a world of possibilities for agri-marketers:

  • Visibility. Distribute your ads across hundreds of sites.
  • True audience. Target ads to your specific farmers through demographic targeting.
  • Segmentation. Serve different ads to different audience segments, based on crop type, age, gender, acreage, geographic location and more.
  • Competition. Go where your competitors are less likely to advertise, but farmers are certainly going to visit.

When you know your ad is landing on the eyes of corn growers versus cattle ranchers, you can target your messaging to directly speak to the audience whom you want to reach — giving you a greater chance of conversion.

Here’s a brief overview of how programmatic advertising works, and how you can integrate it into your current agri-marketing strategy.

How does this data-driven ad delivery work?

Precision Reach matches over five million records in the Farm Market iD database to farmers’ and ranchers’ desktop, tablet and mobile devices. In 2020, we have matched over 15 million devices with desktop cookies, iOS and Android smart phones.

For each ad campaign, a custom data segment is set up and distributed for targeting your best prospects.

Most programmatic advertisers allow you to target by consumer demographics like age, race, gender, hobbies, lifestyle interests, auto ownership, etc. Where our programmatic approach takes the next step is the introduction of agriculture demographics like crop, acreage, Gross Farm Income, irrigation acres, grain storage, and much more. You can also target CCAs, PCAs, ag retailers/dealers and, very soon, owners and lessees of farm equipment brands.

This level of granularity simply isn’t possible with direct-buy.

Where will farmers see your ads?

Farmers trust ag media sites, certainly. But it’s a FACT: “farmers are consumers too.”

They check their sports stats on ESPN, catch up on the news on CNN and Bloomberg, and even shop for utility vehicles on

Programmatic advertising lets you deliver your ads to your true audience on these sites, as well as hundreds more. This includes display banners, pre-roll video spots, native content ads and the growing popularity of Connected TV (think Hulu, Amazon, AppleTV) and Digital Audio (like Spotify and Pandora).

Don’t ditch your ag publishers for new media.

The relationship between ag media outlets and farmers has been alive and well for years. Farmers trust the media and the media works to continue being the main source of helpful and relevant content to them.

As long as this relationship remains strong, farmers will continue to trust media to deliver content that is relevant to them and their businesses.

You should maintain your existing relationships with ag media outlets to take advantage of this level of authority and trust. But be aware: there are some limitations to direct-buy ads on these sites.

Although you should leverage the authority and trust that ag publishers have, you shouldn’t limit yourself either. It’s not an either-or decision.

Rather, you should invest in all the tactics that are going to give you the best visibility among your target farmers. Test and see which one works best, and double down on the channel that delivers the best results.

For more information about the specific products and services Precision Reach & Farm Market iD offer, click here.