Programmatic advertising is the automation of display advertising inventory. The ‘programmatic’ in programmatic advertising refers to how the display advertising campaigns are booked, run, analysed and optimised, all in real-time. This takes place using a demand-side platform (DSP). In short, programmatic advertising takes your creatives, goals and data and makes the decisions as to which inventory should be bought in a more effective way than humans can do. As Digiday writes, it’s using machines to buy ads, basically.
Is Programmatic Advertising the Same as RTB?
Yes, and no. Real-time bidding (RTB) is generally considered a type of programmatic advertising, but not the only one. There are other types of programmatic advertising terms such as ‘programmatic direct’, which allows advertisers to buy guaranteed inventory rather than bidding on it, and it is likely that or and more different types will appear as the area develops.
As the area is fairly new, there is debate on which terms means what and this can vary depending on who you speak to. There are also a lot of advertisers completely confused by the area, and some who have never even heard of it. However, as with anything, the more than an area develops, the more clarity we can expect.
How does Programmatic Advertising Work?
This video from MediaCrossing describes how RTB programmatic advertising works and how numerous decisions are made on 200 milliseconds:
What are the Benefits of Using Programmatic Advertising?
Programmatic advertising aims to take away the human responsibility of purchasing and running campaigns and putting it into the hands of robots. Whilst there are many programmatic advertising benefits, one benefit of this is that such software is more efficient than humans, so you can expect to run display advertising campaigns that have wider reach, better optimised and more relevant, as the software used is able to process your data and goals more effectively. Thus, you can expect to see a higher ROI on your display advertising campaigns. Today, programmatic advertising largely refers to the buying of online ad inventory, however, this area is developing into programmatic creatives too.
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