What is Programmatic Display Advertising?

What is Programmatic Display Advertising?

Have you ever been shopping for a specific item online only to have that item and similar products you’re so interested in follow you across the internet on various websites and social media platforms? Well, that’s Programmatic advertising and it works!

Programmatic display advertising is an automated process of buying and selling of a digital ad inventory across a wide range of websites. Being exclusive only to display and search ads in the beginning, programmatic now includes many more mediums such as video, mobile, in-app and social, across different platforms and channels.

Programmatic always implies the use of multi-sourced data involving real-time systems, formulas, and algorithms to automate the delivery of data-driven, personally-tailored and relevant experiences to consumers as they interact with the brand across multiple touch points. Such experiences include targeted offerings, messages and content across paid, owned and earned channels.

How Programmatic Advertising Works:

Programmatic advertising is all about targeting. It uses metrics to show ads to specific demographics based on certain behaviours.

Programmatic companies have the ability to gather audience data to target ads more precisely, whether it’s from 1st-party (their own) or from a 3rd-party data provider. Artificial intelligence technologies use complex algorithms to analyze web visitors’ behaviours – clicks, scrolls and customer journeys. This allows for real-time campaign optimization; whereby certain ads are shown to an audience that’s much more likely to convert. They show us what we want, and we do what they want – click.

Programmatic media buying includes the use of DSPs, DMPs and SSPs.

DSPs, or demand-side platforms, facilitate the process of buying ad inventory (empty space) on the open market. This is where marketers enter bids for the ads, and the DSP provides the ability to reach the appropriate target audience.

DMPs, or data-management platforms, are responsible for collecting and analyzing a substantial amount of in-depth cookie data. This then allows the marketers to make more informed decisions about who they might be targeting.

SSP is a ‘supply-side platform’ that allows websites to manage their unsold ad inventory. An SSP reports attention data, such as how long a visitor was on a specific site or how many pages were viewed per visit. SSPs are ultimately in charge of picking the winning bid and will serve the winning banner ad on the publisher’s site.

Programmatic Advertising vs. Real Time Bidding (RTB):

Programmatic Advertising uses technology to automate media buying and ad placement in digital space. It’s a much cheaper and more efficient way of media buying as it eliminates the need for salespeople, while reducing human error and inconsistency. Before you go worrying that machines are taking over, programmatic doesn’t make people obsolete, it just takes care of boring tasks like insertion orders and ad tagging, so people can be more effective.

Programmatic still relies heavily on people to customize and optimize campaigns to get the best performance and engagement. Getting the mundane stuff out of the way empowers ad buyers to build more sophisticated strategies, get better analysis on campaigns and keep up with industry shifts.

RTB is the buying or selling of ad space via an auction that occurs in the time it takes for a webpage to load – just milliseconds. Advertisers compete for an impression, or ad space on a webpage, with automated bids. The highest paying bidder wins the auction and gets the placement on the webpage, which is then loaded immediately.

RTB enables more specific targeting, since information about the user’s browsing habits are communicated in real-time from their browser to an ad exchange and are important for the outcome of the auction.


Reaching more relevant users cuts down on advertising waste – something the industry is infamous for. Using ad tech opens up a huge range of inventory across a wide-range of sites, meaning advertisers can be selective in choosing impressions that are most valuable to them.

What are the benefits of Programmatic Advertising?

Technology has opened limitless choices of advertising, and it has made unequivocal amounts of data accessible to help advertisers make smarter decisions with their dollars through programmatic buying.

Programmatic advertising gives marketers the ability to maintain a consistent view of how consumers interact with their messages across multiple devices and platforms. The brilliant technology behind programmatic media buying brings several other benefits that are not available through the traditional form of buying online display ads including targeted advertising, increased ROI, automation, and deep data and insights as outlined below.

Targeted advertising

Programmatic advertising automatically identifies the needs, wants, demographics and buying behaviour advertisers need to optimize efficiency, save money and get a return on their investment.

With this information, the programmatic advertising would now know who to advertise to, in what geographical area, what time of day to increase the viewability of this kind of advert, perhaps on a lunch break and on the margin or banner of surf magazine online.

Increased ROI and maximum capacity to save money

Instead of wasting time and money purchasing ad space on sites with the hope that your target audience will be reached, programmatic advertising will optimize the best way to promote your product or service, therefore maximizing your sales.


Programmatic advertising buys across thousands of sites at a time faster than the blink of an eye, increasing optimum viewability for new or existing customers. Programmatic advertising automatically bids on ad space, connects to multiple online publishers, enabling advertisers to streamline the process of buying online ads without having to liaise with every publisher individually for the advert.

Data & Insights

Programmatic advertising uses browser algorithms that track consumer influences, making it simple to reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place.  This nimble advertising strategy allows markers and sellers to see how their consumers interact with their advert messages across multiple devices and platforms, thus allowing marketers and sellers more time to spend planning sophisticated, customized campaigns as opposed to picking and choosing with publishers individually.

Why your Brand Needs Programmatic Advertising:

Programmatic advertising is a very effective and is becoming a crucial addition to nearly every marketing campaign. Programmatic will drive top-notch top-of-funnel traffic to your site and has huge potential to improve your digital ROI.

Programmatic Advertising is a great solution for online retailers and ecommerce sites and is used across a variety of industries from retail, manufacturing, hotels and travel, and even education!

Since targeting is the most important and strongest aspect of any paid advertising effort, programmatic allows comprehensive reach to your audience across multiple locations in a single purchase. Every user has a unique profile and is targeted according to the characteristics relevant to their needs.

Don’t Wait, Start Your Path to Digital Marketing Success Today !