[Series] Getting Started with Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising may seem like a loaded term used in digital marketing, whether you’re handling your programmatic advertising in-house or with an agency it’s good to be familiar with all of your options that you have to expand your brand awareness and conversion channels with this type of advertising. We’re here to make it a little more digestible in our new blog series. 

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising uses automated technology, either on a demand side platform (DSP) or supply side platform (SSP), a data management platform (DMP), and an ad exchange – (we can get into more detail about what each of those means later in our series, but for now we will just cover a holistic view of programmatic advertising). Each one of these programmatic platform types allows for data insights and algorithms to help spread your advertising budget to the right prospect at the right time, at the right place, at the right price. When you think of programmatic advertising, think of it as automated or “program assisted”- pretty neat, huh?

How does Programmatic Advertising Differ from other Digital Marketing Platforms?

The main thing to keep in mind with programmatic advertising is if it’s served to a user only using programmatic processes and had used platforms about when and where the ad deployed then the advertisement is considered programmatic. 

In contrast, when an advertiser deploys ads manually and schedules where and when a display or social ad is shown to a certain audience, that advertisement is not programmatic. A common example of manual ad deployment would be using Meta’s Ads Manager platform to set up and manually deploy who, what, and at what price your ad is distributed. 

Behind the scenes algorithmic techniques that programmatic advertising uses helps deploy programmatic ads using bidding strategies, frequency capping, day-parting, placement targeting, reach, and of course budget. 


When to Pitch Programmatic Advertising

So you may be thinking- well my agency or in-house marketing team is already utilizing PPC and social media platforms for brand awareness and top of funnel marketing… Does it make sense to add programmatic into the mix? 

Some things to take into consideration is the flexibility and scale that programmatic has above social and PPC. If your main focus is to scale a new brand to a net-new audience – think of the millions of websites and ad space that are available for your programmatic ads to be placed on. If you’re only utilizing social and PPC platforms your ads are virtually limited to those platforms and where the user is spending their time vs. being proactively disruptive and being slightly more “in their face” where they spend their time on the web. 

Also, regardless if it makes more sense to utilize an in-house platform or an agency to handle your programmatic advertising, the ability to easily determine success and the visibility you have on programmatic ads in-terms of KPI’s, who has seen your ad, and where it was placed all in real-time allows for more targeted reach and data insights to use moving forward and with other digital marketing efforts. 


If you found this article informative, check out the rest of our programmatic series:

 Part 2: Types of Programmatic Platforms

Part 3: Creative Types of Programmatic Advertising 

Part 4: What’s right for your team? A Guide to Programmatic Platforms