The Short Guide to Programmatic Media Buying

Programmatic media buying is now considered to be the future of digital advertising.

And if you’ve ever wondered what it actually is and why it is so popular, then this short guide is just for you.

The definition: Programmatic means “automated”. So programmatic media buying simply means buying ads online in an automated way.

The difference it brings: You know already the traditional way of buying ad spaces on the Internet - purchase bulk of impressions on various website, assuming (and hoping) that some portion of your target audience will see your ads. Programmatic media buying improves this significantly. By using programmatic buying you can buy only the ad spaces that will lead you to your desired audiences.

This is possible thanks to the advanced targeting options that the programmatic buying allows.

You can select what kind of people you want to engage with based on their interests, buying behaviour, past interactions with your brand, demographics, location, etc. and show them the most relevant ad of your offer that matches their profile. So if you’re a travel agency you can select to show your exclusive offer to Bora Bora to senior position bankers living in Manhattan, instead of showing them an offer for a family trip to New Jersey for the weekend.

If you’d like to learn more about the targeting capabilities of programmatic buying, you might check “3 Super Tips to Optimize Your Programmatic Advertising Campaign”.

The types:

Real-Time Bidding - an auction based type of automated buying where advertisers bid for an available ad space on a webpage in real time. The auction process takes occurs during the time needed for the webpage to load. The winner ad gets published.

Programmatic Direct - also known as Programmatic Guaranteed, or Programmatic Premium, is a type of programmatic buying where the advertiser buys a guaranteed spot and doesn’t have to bid for the ad space.

Some of the main players:

Demand-Side Platforms (DSP) - the platforms that connects the advertiser with the programmatic buying ecosystem. The advertiser creates his campaigns on the DSP and the DSP facilitates the buying process (bidding or buying directly).

Ad Exchanges - the marketplace. This is where the transaction between advertisers and publishers is done. For example in the Real-Time Bidding when there is an available ad space on a webpage, a signal from the webpage will be sent to the Ad Exchange which will indicate to the DSP that there is an opportunity ready for purchase and the DSP will bid for it.

Supply-Side Platforms (SSP) - think of them as the equivalent of DSPs but for publishers. They connect the publisher’s inventory to the Ad Exchanges and help them monetize their ad spaces.