Programmatic Advertising 101

Programmatic advertising is a new approach to media buying. It uses data software to automate the auction process and purchase ad space on multiple exchanges.

As you start implementing your programmatic strategy, be sure to keep fraud in mind. Juniper Research estimates $23 billion will be lost to fraudulent traffic this year.

Real-time bidding (RTB)

Real-time bidding is an essential component of programmatic advertising. It helps marketers optimize their ad campaigns by providing valuable ROI insights in real time. These insights allow marketers to make informed decisions about their marketing strategies.

In RTB, advertisers compete in an auction with other bidders to display an ad on publisher websites. This process takes place in a split second and is facilitated by sell-side platforms (SSPs) or ad exchanges.

This system provides a way for publishers to maximize their revenue by opening up their ad space to a larger audience. It also allows advertisers to track their campaign performance in real-time and adjust their bids accordingly. This leads to a more effective advertising experience for both buyers and sellers.

Supply-side platforms (SSPs)

An SSP is a platform that lets publishers make their ad inventory available to buyers through a real-time auction. This process makes it easier for publishers to sell their ad space, and it also allows them to manage their ad campaigns and data. SSPs can offer a variety of features, including yield optimization, forecasting, and other analytics tools. These tools are especially useful for publishers who are new to programmatic advertising.

Unlike DSPs (demand-side platforms), which are made for marketers and work from the other end of the transaction, SSPs are designed by publishers to maximize the prices their impressions sell at. They do this by integrating with ad exchanges, ad networks, and DSPs. They also provide other important services, such as fill rate optimization and brand safety.

Audience-based targeting

Programmatic targeting can help marketers target specific audiences. It can be used to target users based on their age, gender, location, interests, and more. This allows advertisers to get a better return on their investment and avoid wasting money on ads that aren’t relevant to their audience.

Audience-based targeting also enables brands to target multiple devices simultaneously. This type of targeting is particularly useful for reaching mobile users. This type of targeting can be accomplished by using first-party data sets from the brand’s CRM or POS system, second-party data, or third-party data.

Another way to target a specific audience is through header bidding. This process involves the website media owner or publisher including a line of code in their webpage’s header that sends a request to supported ad exchanges and SSPs for bids on available impressions.


Programmatic advertising is a powerful way to reach your audience and nurture them into potential customers. It uses a sophisticated software system to automate marketing efforts and analyze performance data. It also helps businesses save time and resources by allowing them to focus on their business goals.

This technology is especially valuable for targeting mobile audiences, as it allows marketers to optimize ads for a range of devices. Its advanced algorithms can track users in real-time and target them with relevant content. This type of targeted marketing can increase brand visibility and boost ROI.

Programmatic automation also gives brands greater control over their ad campaigns and data. As regulations like GDPR and CCPA become increasingly stringent, it is important to focus on data transparency and user consent.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

When it comes to programmatic advertising, AI has a crucial role to play. The technology allows marketers to reach targeted audiences with personalized content based on their individual needs. For example, an automobile dealer might display a customized ad for a potential customer if the person searches for “cars for sale near me” on Google or other search engines.

This is made possible by machine learning, which helps AI to learn and adapt over time. It can also analyze large amounts of data that would overwhelm humans and detect trends and patterns that humans can’t.

This allows marketers to focus on the big picture and create campaigns that will produce results. The result is more relevant ads that lead to higher conversions. It is also more efficient to use this method than to manually place ads on websites.

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