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Programmatic Advertising Explained With Examples For 2022

robot humanoid looking at tech items

DigiDay, a major media outlet for advertisers says…

“Programmatic ad buying has changed the face of online advertising, but there’s still confusion around what it actually is.”

Programmatic advertising’s definition is cleverly hidden in plain site right within the name. It is advertising with a program, a software program to be specific. Instead of the old days where you used to have to call a company, speak to a rep, negotiate rates, sign an insertion order, email your files, and wait for the report - you simply do it all through software at the speed of electricity now.

Done.

End of the article.

Just kidding let’s break this down so it’s crystal clear for you.

What Is An Example of Programmatic Advertising?

Every time you’ve placed an ad online through an ad manager, that’s programmatic advertising. Though, it is likely an elementary form of it. For example, when you login to your FB ads manager, and you choose your audience, your campaign objective, your bid, your date range, and upload your files - that’s programmatic advertising.

You’ve just chosen your audience, defined your prices, and deployed your creative all through a software program. Which is the very definition of programmatic advertising.

Is Google Ads Programmatic Advertising?

Yes, because most of the Google ads you will ever do happens through a software interface so it is programmatic advertising. 

To be more exact, Google Display Network is a more accurate definition of what programmatic advertising really is. That’s because it uses software, your own audiences can be uploaded, display ads are uploaded, and then based on your bidding strategy impressions are delivered to your audience via online media publication pages.

Most people actually mean something else when they say or think “programmatic advertising.” They are thinking of specific platforms that call themselves programmatic advertising platforms.

What Is a Programmatic Advertising Platform?

We have no affiliation with them, but Simpli.Fi is one of the top rated programmatic advertising platforms. 

In one platform they give you access TV, mobile, social, direct mail, display, & video channels. It’s true omnichannel advertising, in one platform, with a workflow completely inside of a software interface. That’s what most people today are meaning when they say programmatic advertising.

However, don’t let the fancy terminology throw you off. 

It’s simply any advertising that takes place through software.

Is Facebook Ads Programmatic?

Yes, because Facebook Ads are bought online through their software called Facebook Ads Manager it would be considered programmatic advertising. Even further evidence of this is that you can define your bidding, objectives, audience, timeline, and even automate deployment by hour within their Ad Manager software.

However, if you were talking with industry insiders they wouldn’t likely consider FB ads programmatic as it’s just one advertising channel. Usually the true programmatic advertising platforms let you deploy to multiple, even hundreds of different ad exchanges from one interface. Whereas FB Ads Manager only lets you deploy to one.

Is Youtube Ads Programmatic?

Yes, for the same reason that Facebook and Google ads are programmatic. You’re able to deploy all of your video ad creative through a software interface as well as define all your objectives. You can literally “program” your creatives to go to x audience at y time for z price per impression. That is what programmatic means.

Same as Facebook though, most insiders would not consider YT as tru programmatic since you’re only deploying to YT, and not multiple video advertising outlets like a programmatic advertising platform would allow.

What Are DMP’s, DSP’s, & SSP’s?

A true programmatic advertising platform, like Simple.Fi would be all of these combined. However, a DMP stands for Data Management Platform. Which is a software that manages your data, think ActiveCampaign or any CRM for that matter.

Google Tag Manager combined with Google Analytics could be considered your DMP. They allow you to store your own data, the cookied visitors of your website, in various named segments. Then you can connect the Google Ads platform to these tools, to deploy ad creative to those named audience segments.

The problem is they don’t really make your data very portable. You can’t easily export and take those audiences with you to another platform, meaning you don’t really own that data, Google does. That’s why they make billions and we don’t. A true DMP will allow you to have “data portability” and that means what you think it means, being able to take your data with you when little Billy pisses you off and you’re ready to take your ball and go home.

In this case little Billy isn’t a snot-nosed kid, he’s whatever ad platform has rubbed you the wrong way.

Now a DSP and SSP, are completely different from a DMP, but a DSP and SSP are similar to themselves. DSP stands for demand side platform and SSP stands for supply side platform. 

The demand side is us, the advertisers. We want to buy. We have the demand side of the deal. 

Then there is our arch-nemesis, the supply side, which are the greedy publishers who always want more CPM’s. 

MORE CPM.

MOAR!!!

Woah, ok, back on earth. 

Yes, the supply side are all the online media outlets that we so “demand” to have our ads displayed on so we can get our coveted clicky-clicks.

This means that a demand side platform (DSP) is a platform that we advertisers use to access and deploy our ads through. Then the supply side platforms are what those other guys use to automate their rules of what ads can show where, how often, and for how much. 

Here is an infographic to help you visualize all of this…

What Is The Role of Programmatic Advertising?

In a perfect world we would all have our DMP, where we are creating segments of all the visitor data on our pages. Then we would connect that data to the DSP where we pay to deliver our ads to the SSP’s owned by the media companies who have our target eyeballs. 

All of this is happening electronically, no phone calls or emails, it’s all through automations with machine learning, algorithms, and live auctions happening behind the scenes. Underneath our browser interfaces run by code that connects to databases and ruled by complex “if/then” logic.

Where does this all fit in? When should you use programmatic?

I would argue that most of you have only ever done programmatic advertising. That your career has never known anything different and may never know anything different. I do not see programmatic advertising going away in the next 10 - 25 years. I only see it increasing. 

Our founder, Justin Brooke, remembers when he used to have his own ad server. He would give a piece of code, like a pixel tag, to his ad rep via email after he’d gotten off the phone with them. On that phone call he’d have discussed his objectives verbally, then negotiated rates, audiences, and placements. Finally, they would agree on terms and the rep would send over an insertion order, which is a contract with all the negotiated terms in writing.

He would sign this and fax it back to his ad rep. Who would then deploy the campaign all on their side until it was completed and finally Justin would get a report back of how things went. However, by using his own ad server software he was able to verify that x clicks and y impressions were actually received to keep everyone honest.

Be glad programmatic is here.

Be diligent in studying it, because those who aren’t are dying on the vine.

Here’s two articles we recommend you read
 - https://digiday.com/media/what-is-programmatic-advertising/

 - https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-programmatic-advertising

If you need a video tutorial to help you setup your ads, we’ve got you covered. Unlock over 30 classes for just $20 bucks today, that’s less than $1 per class. Go to https://AdSkills.com now and use code SAVE20 to take 20% off.

See you next week.

Justin Brooke,
Founder of AdSkills.com

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