Programmatic Advertising: A Complete Beginner’s Guide


It’s essential to know all the advertising options available when developing cutting-edge and competitive marketing campaigns for clients. Technological advancements have dramatically changed the way advertisers and publishers distribute advertisements. It can be hard to keep up, but a continuous education program is critical to developing your digital marketing strategy.

Programmatic advertising encapsulates the intersection between software technology and marketing, so it can seem complicated. If you are unfamiliar with programmatic advertising, now is the time to learn. Fortunately, we’ve made it simple with this beginner’s guide to programmatic advertising.

What is programmatic advertising?

Put, programmatic marketing uses software algorithms to purchase digital advertising space. Programmatic advertising offers a more efficient way to buy advertising space than traditional methods. Marketers had to do more manual work with traditional ad purchasing methods. They needed to contact individual platforms, negotiate contracts, monitor payment methods, and create ad tags. Programmatic advertising eliminates the majority of manual steps by using software to buy advertising space. Programmatic advertising allows marketers to buy ad space efficiently and uses individual data points to ensure ads are shown to targeted audiences.

The short answer to the question “What is programmatic marketing?” is that this is an automated, efficient purchasing process that uses consumer behavior information to maximize advertising impact. This allows for advertisements to be found quickly in any format, including audio, video, and display.

Why is programmatic advertising essential?

US advertisers will spend 41.2% on programmatic display advertising in 2021. In 2022, US advertisers will spend an estimated $62,96 billion on programmatic digital video.

It streamlines digital advertising and allows marketers to spend their time developing new ideas and improving their marketing strategies. The content is also delivered to a highly targeted audience.

Programmatic Advertising Examples

You can learn more about programmatic advertising by looking at examples. Here are some examples of how programmatic advertising works in practice.

Display Ads

Native Ads

Video Ads

Social Advertising

Audio Ads

Ads for CTV/OTT

How does programmatic advertising work?

What is programmatic advertising, and how does it function? To understand the process, it is essential to know the terms used.

Publishers: They own advertising spaces on websites or apps and sell space to advertisers/marketers.

Advertisers/Marketers: This is likely the group that you fall into. This group has a budget for digital advertising campaigns that promote products and brands. They are looking to maximize the reach of their digital ads and purchase them efficiently.

Demand Side Platform (DSP): This is a technological advertising tool advertisers use to find ad space across multiple publishing sites. Advertisers use DSPs to buy online ad spaces.

Supply Side Platform (SSP): This is a technological advertising tool publishers use to sell their inventory or ad space. The platform organizes demand for ad space and connects its inventory to multiple DSPs.

Data Management Platform (DMP): This platform stores and analyzes audience data. It connects with either SSPs or DSPs. DMPs store and analyze audience data. DMPs often use data from third parties, such as cookies, browsing histories, and purchases. These data allow advertisers and publishers to target specific audiences for their advertising campaigns.

Ad agency: The group advertisers/marketers work to execute their campaign with. The group uses the DSP to represent the marketer in online advertising.

Ad Exchange: An automated platform where advertisers and publishers can buy and sell inventory.

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