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What “programmatic advertising” means, and how it can benefit your brand

Heard the term “programmatic advertising” lately?

That’s because it’s becoming more and more of a thing… even on “traditional” online advertising platforms like Google or Meta.

So it’s worth understanding this kind of advertising and how it can help your brand.

Let’s get into it…

What is programmatic advertising? Brooke Osmundson defines it as a media buying method that uses automated technology and algorithmic tools to buy ads.

In other words, it analyzes all possible signals before optimizing ads and making sure it serves the best possible person at any given time.

The difference between programmatic and traditional advertising: Programmatic refers to how ads are bought, while display refers to the format of the ads.

Also, display ads usually refer to the ads you buy on one specific network.

What kinds of programmatic advertising platforms are out there? Brooke lists three:

  • Sell-side platforms (SSP), or “supply-side” platforms, allow publishers to sell ads in real time. They include both demand-side platforms (DSP) and ad exchanges: Google Ad Manager, Yahoo Ad Tech, Verizon Media, etc.
  • Demand-side platforms allow you to purchase ad inventory across multiple platforms at once. Think Amazon DSP, Google Display & Video 360, AdRoll, and so on.
  • Ad exchangers are SSPs that flow their inventory to DSPs. DSPs connect to ad exchangers where prices vary depending on the competitiveness of that inventory. Think Xandr, Google Ad Exchange, Magnite, and more.

What are the benefits of programmatic advertising? There are several, but here are some of the more important ones:

  • Reaching a large-scale audience. Programmatic advertising can grow and scale on its own.
  • Raising awareness at a low cost. It can make the most out of a small budget.
  • Collecting real time data and analysis. It can help you make decisions and pivot faster.
  • Combining first and third-party data. It can find new high intent buyers effectively.

That’s the quick and dirty summary. There’s more to programmatic advertising, of course, but hopefully this gives you what you need to start looking into it more seriously!