Programmatic Advertising Can Be Confusing

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Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising.

This automation makes transactions efficient and more effective, streamlining the process and consolidating your digital advertising efforts in one technology platform.

Programmatic platforms have been growing their inventory and database such that any format and any channel can be accessed programmatically today, including mobile, desktop, tablet, audio, digital outdoor and connected TV.

Targeting tactics are used to segment audiences using data so that advertisers only pay for ads delivered to the right people at the right time, and depend less on the “spray and pray” method of digital advertising. Computers and algorithms make the ad buying, placement and optimization process more efficient, remove mundane activities and cut down on time to market.

An Example of How Programmatic Advertising Works 

Advertiser Island Surfers wants to sell more surfboards 

It hires a programmatic advertising platform that is able to identify online consumers by things like: 

  • demographics (male / female / 18 – 45),
  • geography (3 min from a beach),
  • interests (surfing, saltwater, California),
  • behaviors (consume surfing content on their lunch break),
  • time of day (7-10PM)
  • weather (sunny)
  • device (smartphones) 

The platform then uses real-time data to identify the best online audience(s) for the campaign and buys digital ad inventory through an auction based on everything available across multiple devices, in places the audience cares about. 

Advertisements are personalized based on each consumers unique interests and behaviors. 

Intelligent connections are made, insights are generated, and performance is optimized.

Should I care?

Programmatic advertising contributed US$25.48 billion to the digital advertising market in 2016, up from $17.5 billion in 2015, according to eMarketer. By 2019, it is projected to reach US$45.72 billion, meaning the industry will have grown more than two and a half times over just four years. More recent reports validate this 2019 projection. In fact, it continues to exceed all expectations.

Programmatic Advertising Growth

Is programmatic advertising effective?

For starters, programmatic advertising is effective. … They’re always “on,” which means you can enjoy the benefits of real-time ad bidding, no matter when the optimal time occurs. Programmatic advertising enables you to answer your customers’ questions before they even ask them.

Is programmatic advertising expensive?

Second, it’s more costly. Programmatic direct deals aren’t available through all publishers. Mostly, it’s premium publishers who sell their ad inventory this way, which means you’ll pay premium prices for placements.

How much do programmatic ads cost?

On average, programmatic CPMs range around $0.50 to $2 CPM. This is a huge cost benefit compared to human-driven trading, which normally sees prices around $10+. That’s x5 the price! So, programmatic can help you stretch your limited ad budgets 10 to 20 times further.

Is Google ads programmatic?

Google AdWords are limited to Google. Programmatic Ads provide advertisers access into the vendor-neutral RTB (Real Time Bidding) ecosystem. Programmatic Ads can reach 98% of the internet, including the Google platform allowing for 15 billion impressions and counting.

Is programmatic advertising for everyone?

Simply put, no. Unless you have a significant ad spend and need to reach customers beyond the normal platforms such as Google and Bing, it will not be cost effective, regardless of the improved performance.

What’s the secret to success for programmatic platforms? 

At the heart of every programmatic advertising platform is a proprietary machine learning algorithm that analyzes campaign inputs and user behavior so real-time campaign optimizations can be made and audiences that are most likely to convert are identified and targeted. A number of different types of data come into play to enhance the probability of a campaign’s success.

So, What Are The Benefits?

There are multiple benefits to using a programmatic advertising platform for all your digital advertising efforts. First and foremost, programmatic advertising helps buyers and sellers make data-driven decisions and removes the guesswork from the ad buying process.

Here are a few additional benefits of programmatic advertising:

It’s good for your budget. Programmatic technology creates efficiencies by using machine learning to optimize campaign success, avoiding ineffective inventory.

Better targeting. You will be hard put to find a technology platform that allows you to target across as many different tactics, across devices, in real-time.
Streamlined campaign management. Consolidating campaigns in one system across devices and formats allows you to visualize success in one place.
Easy access to ad inventories. Advertisers are able to access the optimal inventory across a variety of exchanges at once, and allow the algorithm to do the heavy lifting in bidding.

Is Programmatic the Future of Advertising?

Programmatic advertising enables marketers to more effectively funnel messaging across desired channels and optimize the share of attention, to reach the most desirable markets and demographics, and use data to pinpoint new opportunities.

Through automation and machine learning, programmatic creates an environment that enables marketers to reach their most meaningful audiences more efficiently than ever before using digital media to deliver the best results.

However, programmatic is not the future of advertising, it’s already here. If you are not taking advantage of its potential in some capacity already you are missing out on the potential to save money and see better performance in your online advertising campaigns.


Full Stack Marketing partners with many of the major programmatic advertising publishers. If you are an enterprise business and need to expand your reach beyond Google AdWords, we have a solution for you.

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