If you are like most people, when you hear the word “programmatic” you may think it is some new setting on an expensive dishwasher or multi-zone thermostat.

But what does it really mean?

When it comes to digital advertising, the phrase ‘programmatic advertising’ refers to a process by which publishers and advertisers negotiate pricing without continuous human interaction. Programmatic advertising uses machine learning to purchase advertising space and negotiate the price. Just think about what the Stock Exchange would look like if you replaced the people with AI, and you have what is now called an Ad Exchange — publishers and advertisers “meeting” and negotiating in the time it takes to load a webpage.

So why do we need programmatic advertising?

The internet is a very big space, and although many publishers sell advertising inventory directly on their websites, it is not enough to fill all of their availability. The evolution of Ad Networks has created the ability for publishers to maximize their digital ad revenue, while real-time bidding has opened opportunities for smaller advertisers to gain access to premium inventory at a much lower cost than direct buys. Larger players in the digital ad space used to be able to purchase large quantities of ad inventory at a very low cost, while small businesses were left with only direct buy options. There are still times when a direct buy of a publisher’s inventory has advantages, but when reaching out to a wider digital footprint the benefit of a highly targeted, affordable digital campaign is the direct result of programmatic advertising.

How do you take advantage of programmatic advertising?

Set your campaign goals. That will help identify what type of campaign will be best for your business.
Take a minute to consider these questions:

  • What is most important to you?
    • Is it reaching highly targeted audiences of people in your market?
    • Tracking conversions for specific behavior on your website?
    • Getting your message out to the people who are within your immediate service area?
    • Or, maybe it’s a blend of these various tactics and media.
  • What is most important to you?
  • Do you feel confident about what is right for you?

When you have those answers, it is time to work with a marketing specialist who can tailor a campaign that will meet your goals in the programmatic ad space.