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Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of digital ads in real time. It can be used to access virtually any channel, such as desktop platforms, mobile platforms, connected TVs and more. The goal of programmatic advertising is to increase efficiency and transparency both to the advertiser and the ad publisher through real-time auctions in which ads are bought at the same time as a user visits a website.
When you run a programmatic ad campaign, you typically buy an ad space via an ad exchange and enter your bid against competitors. If you’re the highest bidder, your ad will be served.
Who uses programmatic advertising?
In years past, programmatic ads were exclusive to businesses and media agencies with larger budgets. However, thanks to the rapid rise of self-service tools, smaller brands can now access the technology, giving them the opportunity to compete with bigger brands without doling out the required spending for expensive middlemen.
Programmatic digital display ad spending grew more than 10% in 2020 — exceeding the 6.2% growth projected in the middle of 2020 — and will rebound to 24.1% growth in 2021, according to eMarketer.
Today, the major players in programmatic advertising include:
- Media agencies
- Ad exchanges
- Demand-side platforms (DSPs)
- Supply-side platforms (SSPs)
Types of programmatic advertising
There are many sub-categories under programmatic advertising, but the most popular ones include:
- Real-time bidding (RTB)
- Private marketplace (PMP)
- Preferred deals
- Programmatic guaranteed
- Automatic guaranteed
- Automated performance
Here are five ways your brand can benefit from programmatic advertising:
Since programmatic advertising uses artificial intelligence (AI), it learns and improves with time as to where and when to run your ads for maximum conversion and ROI.
Programmatic ads are measured in real time, allowing advertisers to track their campaigns while making any necessary adjustments and optimizations. The use of artificial intelligence and algorithms makes the process of placing ads simpler and more efficient for entrepreneurs who are new to programmatic ads.
Greater targeting capabilities
Programmatic advertising offers increased flexibility, meaning advertisers can directly reach a target audience for any given goal. This allows entrepreneurs to target specific audiences based on a number of different factors, including audience geolocation, age, behavior, search terms, categories and site visits or even IP address.
Since programmatic ads provide advertisers with data as soon as a campaign is launched, advertisers no longer have to wait until the end of a campaign to make changes.
Entrepreneurs have the ability to see where their ads are displayed, the engagement of a campaign and other significant insights right off the bat. Measuring and optimizing campaigns in real time allows for improved ad performance at any time throughout the life of a campaign.
Wider audience reach
Unlike traditional forms of display marketing, programmatic marketing allows marketers and advertisers to reach a wider target audience across multiple platforms and multiple publisher websites at a lower cost.
Programmatic advertising also makes it easier to track a campaign’s reach. As soon as a display ad is viewed, advertisers not only know how many impressions an ad served but who viewed it, where they were and more.
It also makes it easier for them to track their campaign’s reach. As soon as a display ad is seen, advertisers will know how many impressions it served, who looked at it and where they were online.
Key takeaways on programmatic advertising
Programmatic advertising is here to stay. More and more advertisers and marketers are realizing the incredible benefits and are rapidly adopting the technology to improve the efficiency of their ad campaigns.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking for more efficiency, better targeting capabilities and a wider reach for your marketing campaign as soon as it launches, programmatic advertising is the solution for you.
Originally published Aug. 3, 2021.