How we work

Main steps on how we work with programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is essentially the buying of ad space in an automated way. It uses audience data and insights from a variety of sources, to allow advertisers to show highly relevant ads for the audience, at the right time and in the right place.

There are two main types of programmatic advertising; Programmatic Direct, and Real Time Bidding (RTB).

RTB programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying display ad space in real time, by bidding based on the target audience you wish to reach.

There are a few components used in RTB:

Ad exchange:
This is where the publisher’s inventory is sold via an auction, and bid on and bought by advertisers.

SSP (Supply side platform)
A supply side platform (often called SSP), is a system which allows publishers to access the ad exchange and list their inventory to be sold in auction.

DSP (Supply side platform)
A DSP is a demand side platform. This is system which allows advertisers (and agencies) to access the ad exchange auction and bid for ad space.

There are essentially these main steps to how RTB works:

  1. Publishers make their ad space available to the ad exchanges beforehand, via the SSP (supply side platform)
  2. Advertisers decide roughly which audiences they want to target with their ads (this could be based on their existing audience data such as existing website visitors, act-alike audiences of existing customers / site visitors, or new prospecting audiences based on interest / demographics etc)
  3. When a website user visits a web page and it loads, information about the visitor of the page (gathered via cookies) and the content of the page is gathered and reported back to the ad exchange
  4. If the website user on the site matches the targeting defined by the advertiser, the advertiser will be entered into the auction, to bid against all the other advertisers who are also bidding for this audience
  5. Whichever advertiser has the highest bid will win the ad space and their ad shows to that user on that site during that particular visit
  6. Publishers get paid for the ads they show on their sites

All of the steps above (apart from step one, two and six) are carried out in less than a second as the page loads.

Programmatic Direct

Programmatic Direct (sometimes called Programmatic Guaranteed) on the other hand, is where ad space is still purchased programmatically but is purchased in advance, based on a specific number of required impressions and audiences required.

What are the benefits of programmatic display ad buying?

The biggest benefit of programmatic advertising is that advertisers can be incredibly specific with their ads relevance to the audience, because of the amount of data available on audiences. The data and targeting is very powerful and because the process takes place in real time and is assisted by automated bidding decisions based on data, it reaches the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. This simply isn’t possible with traditional display advertising which is negotiated with publishers and bought upfront.

  • Reduced human error in the process of media buying because machines target the right consumer, at the right time, in the right place
  • There’s less hands-on work required from things like creating insertion orders etc, which means that you can focus more on strategy!
  • The reduced need for sales people also makes the entire process cheaper in most instances
  • You can target specific ad messaging to specific audiences, resulting in precise matching of ad relevant to the audience
  • The programmatic buying process does not slow down the page load time for the user, which keeps publishers happy and users happy too