Marketers, Are You Ready to Take on Programmatic Advertising?

Anyone on the internet knows exactly where to scroll to find out how to “get rid of belly fat today” or get “one weird trick” to solve an inane problem — the bottom of their browser on almost any popular website. Far away from where the readers’ eyes and cursor typically spend any time, this is where programmatic advertising got its start. But for companies that think this digital ad buying method still is a bottom-of-the-barrel approach to get clicks, it’s time to think again.

Big data and automation have been fueling a revolution in programmatic advertising. These technologies are creating a landscape that allows businesses to hyper-target potential customers through what is quickly becoming one of the most sophisticated methods to ever arise in the digital ad world.

As ever, this process is enabled by a few types of practitioners. Supply-side platforms enable publishers to bring their ad inventory to the market. Then, on the tactical side, there are data management platforms (DMPs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs).

DMPs allow companies to access granular information on an audience to help optimize an ad strategy. Are they in the market for new clothes? Are they going to start needing diapers in the next few months? DMPs deliver this information through big data analysis and segmentation.

DMP-based audiences are then pushed to DSPs to place bids on that audience in real-time through a given ad environment. DSPs can even get specific information, like if that potential customer is on a mobile device or is watching a streaming video, and hit them with the right creative in the right format at the right time.

As programmatic advertising evolves, that inventory is also expanding away from offbeat URLs to high-end media companies seeking more ad revenue — publishers are shifting valuable inventory from direct sales to DSPs.

“We are seeing really premium publishers offer higher and higher quality inventory,” says Leland Morris, director of sales for data science and managed programmatic service provider YouConnex. “Not just in placement but in the inventory type and creative. That’s expanding and evolving every day.”