Not so long ago, marketers had to contact each publisher separately in order to advertise on their sites. Today it is not necessary.  All thanks to Programmatic Buying technology which automized this process. Read this article to learn how exactly it works and why is worth using it.

What is Programmatic Buying?

Programmatic Buying is a technology that allows buying digital ad space from publishers that decide to join Programmatic ecosystem. Programmatic formerly concerned mostly display ads, but today it can be also used to buy video or even audio campaigns through Spotify, SoundCloud etc.

Digital ads bought through Programmatic are always matched to users, not pages, when they are published. It means that our ads adjust to internet users’ preferences in real-time. Thanks to that, the advertisers don’t have to contact and negotiate with hundreds of publishers, while users get personalized ads based on their search history.

How Programmatic Buying works? What do I have to do to start advertising with it?

Programmatic Buying is based on advanced data analytics systems. Information about users comes from cookies collected by browsers, which Programmatic then uses to decide what ad to display. Much depends on how the advertiser defined their target group – for example by age, gender, and interest categories.

Before an ad is shown to the user, the publisher has to agreed to it and the advertiser has to pay for displaying it. They can do that using two platforms:

  • SSP (Suply Side Platform), i.e. services like DoubleClick Ad Exchange, Smart Ad Server or Adform. Through them, the publishers can sell their advertising space.
  • DSP (Demand Side Platform), i.e. services like DoubleClick Bid Manager, Adform or AppNexus. Through them, the advertisers can buy ads

If you are an advertiser, you can choose between few types of programmatic media buying:


Real Time Bidding (RTB)


Auctions based od RTB are very popular among advertisers – in effect, many buyers and sellers still use terms Programmatic and RTB interchangeably. RTB, however, is only one of the types of programmatic media buying.

If you choose RTB, you won’t know where your ads will be shown.

You have to specify only:

  • your target group,
  • campaign duration,
  • maximum amount you’re willing to pay for showing your ad.

Your ad will be involved in a real-time online auction which happens every single time when a user opens a page. The system will select a bidder whose ad fits the user’s profile best and offers the highest price for displaying it. It all takes place in a fraction of a second.


Private Marketplace


Private Marketplace is a solution chosen primarily by premium publishers, who are not indifferent to what kinds of ads are displayed on their pages. If you want to advertise on premium sites, your ads must be first accepted by the publisher.

Thanks to that, the advertiser knows where the ads will be shown, and the publisher is sure that they do not lend their advertising space to companies that don’t represent their site’s values. The ads are bought at an auction like in RTB, however not all advertisers can participate in it.


Programmatic Direct


When choosing this option, you buy ads directly from chosen publisher. Prices and conditions are negotiated with each publisher individually.


Preferred Deals


Preferred Deals are in many ways similar to Programmatic Direct. The only difference is absence of exclusivity. As a buyer you only have priority to show ads to your target group. At the same time the advertising space can be put up for sale on an RTB or Private Marketplace auction.

The main benefits of Programmatic Buying

Programmatic Buying technology gives marketers the power to eliminate many time consuming, repeatable tasks like individual negotiations over terms and conditions of advertising. Instead, they can concentrate on creation, optimization and effective planning of advertising campaigns.

But the biggest advantage of Programmatic Buying is the possibility of targeting and personalization. Our ads may address not only users’ interest but also current weather conditions. Thanks  to that, programmatic campaigns are more effective than traditional marketing based on declarative data.

Additionally, Programmatic Buying technology still is evolving and improving. In these circumstances, record-breaking Programmatic ad spending should not be surprising.

Other marketing campaign optimization practices

Programmatic Buying is only one of the marketing automation technologies.

We can also:

  • segment our contact database into groups and send personalized messages,
  • identify people visiting our website and customize content to their preferences,
  • install a chatbot on the website to help our clients find the answer to most common questions through natural conversation.

There are also product feed automation tools – one of them is Feedink. It creates product files adjusted to technical specifications of hundreds of integrated publishing partners with one click. It can also automatically optimize your feeds based on data from Google Analytics and your online store, saving you time.