ArticlesAnalyticsWhat is Programmatic Advertising? Everything You Need to Know

What is Programmatic Advertising? Everything You Need to Know


If you run a business and use online advertising (which you definitely should be using), you have probably heard of programmatic advertising, and you’re wondering what the fuss is all about.

Programmatic Advertising Explained

So, what is programmatic advertising? Programmatic advertising is the process of buying and optimizing digital campaigns without the publisher’s interference.

Programmatic media buying is more or less a more intuitive, smart means of advertising; rather than the traditional method where there was a need for negotiations, AI is optimized to serve ads to the right people to convert better sales for the marketers. With programmatic advertising, marketers spend less time preparing and inserting ad tags and spend more time optimizing the ads to increase the chances of ad success.

Programmatic Advertising

Is Programmatic Advertising Important

The traditional method of media buying requires more effort than programmatic advertising; that is hours spent on negotiations, manual insertions of the orders, and requests for proposals. Simply put, programmatic advertising is important because of the huge success it has garnered over the years, it is efficient, and it is scalable. In 2020 alone, global programmatic ad spending recorded an estimated $129 billion, and that figure set the foundations for the years to come.

The growth and estimated growth of programmatic advertising are in part due to the shift in the economy and market during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, but we can also thank the evolution of AI, and the groundbreaking marketing discoveries made every day.

John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility, is of the firm opinion that programmatic advertising is bringing the good change we need to the digital market:

“Programmatic advertising is designed to do away with old-fashioned, hit-or-miss campaign designs. That system was notorious for costing marketers too much money. Now, with programmatic advertising, you can rely on an algorithm that will determine where your ad money is best spent. All you have to do is feed your programmatic solution information about your campaign, audience, and key performance indicators, and the algorithm will do the hard work!”

How to Integrate Programmatic Advertising

Now that we understand how important programmatic advertising is, you’re probably itching to know how your business can succeed with programmatic advertising.

How to Integrate Programmatic Advertising

Know the Market

Of course, the first thing you must do is perform adequate research on all that is involved. If programmatic advertising is a new addition to your marketing strategy, you might be unfamiliar with the terms and ideas you encounter along the way. For the best chances of success, you must take the time to understand the entire concept better.

Set your Goals

Just like you would set goals with regular advertising, you must have set goals from the beginning of your programmatic advertising venture. Your research will come into play here to help you use existing data to refine an effective strategy and draw up comprehensive plans for both long-term and short-term goals.

Don’t Forget the Human Touch

Programmatic advertising relies heavily on artificial intelligence and algorithms, but don’t forget that different platforms offer different services. For example, War Room offers users half or fully-managed services, but other platforms such as Digilant provide users with the opportunity to run their programmatic buying activities.

In this case, skilled marketers must come in and do their magic, providing a sustainable plan to control and optimize buying. The key to a successful programmatic advertising run is in finding the perfect balance between human intervention and artificial intelligence.

Beware of Frauds

An eMarketer estimate shows that fraud will be on the rise each year, and cost marketers anywhere between $6.5 billion to $19 billion.

The first thing your business can do to protect itself against fraud is by setting realistic standards. Of course your goal is reach, but when the deal looks too good for your budget, it might be time to back out. Your main concern should be your consumer privacy, especially on Connected TV and mobile devices, and the quality of traffic your ads provide.

What is Programmatic Targeting?

With programmatic advertising, there are several ways you can choose to target your ads for the best results.

Programmatic Targeting

  • Contextual Targeting

This marketing strategy shows users ads based on the content on a website. For example, food ads would show up on food websites, while financial ads would show up on sites such as Forbes. This advertising targets people that visit specific sites and shows them more of what they are already looking at.

  • Keyword Targeting

This is similar to contextual targeting in the sense that ads are provided based on specific keywords. For example, fashion brands who wish to advertise their products would supply keywords relating to fashion, and their ads would be served in articles with keywords style, trendy, clothes, accessories, and others.

  • Audience Targeting

Ads can be shown to the target audience based on their cookies from websites they have previously visited. Users who often visit fashion websites would be shown a fashion ad even when they visit a financial site since the system has already logged a previous interest in fashion sites.

  • Geo-targeting

Brands can use location-based ads to reach customers in locations that are relevant to them. If you run physical stores and your location is London, it would be irrelevant to show your ads to people in New York. Online services can use geo-targeted ads for a language-specific audience.

Programmatic ads are not very expensive, and brands can stretch their ad budgets by as much as 10 times with the advertising method. The future seems very bright for programmatic advertising, and now is the time to get into the trend.

While some marketers find programmatic advertising complicated and confusing, it is a simple process once you try to understand the basics of it.

Root Nation
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