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Programmatic Media 101
From:
Ad Council Ad Council
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York , NY
Monday, May 20, 2019

 
To the right, a cartoon person stares at a busy computer screen. To the left, a large convey belt machine appears to be computing and moving with data.

To the right, a cartoon person stares at a busy computer screen. To the left, a large convey belt machine appears to be computing and moving with data.

Image Courtesy of Bonadza Blog

In a supersaturated ad marketplace, it is now more important than ever for advertisers to make sure that they’re reaching the correct people. This is where Programmatic Media Buying comes into play. Formerly an obscure buzz word used by large digital agencies, Programmatic is less a matter of tech and more a matter of accuracy.
Programmatic buying is the process of purchasing media in an automated fashion through digital platforms. This automated, real-time bidding (RTB) process streamlines the media buying process, eliminating the need for request for proposals (RFPs), negotiations and insertion orders.
A programmatic transaction takes place in the time it takes a webpage to load. As an ad impression loads in a user’s Web browser, information about the page and the user is passed to an ad exchange, which auctions it off to the advertiser willing to pay the highest price. The winning bidder’s ad is then loaded into the webpage nearly instantly; the whole process takes just milliseconds to complete.
An infographic shows working machines to illustrate the step-by-step process of buying programmatic media.
As detailed in the above Programmatic Buying Ecosystem infographic, a single Ad Exchange provides advertisers with access to multiple publishers and networks. Advertisers and brands invest their programmatic marketing dollars by going through media agencies that have access to Ad Exchanges. These media agencies have an internal trading desk that allows them to handle programmatic buys as a managed service for brands. Trading desks act as demand-side platforms (DSPs). DSPs allow buyers to view all the available ad space that Publishers have uploaded to supply-side platforms (SSPs).
Advertisers rely on DSPs like The Trade Desk to help them decide which ad impressions to purchase and how much to bid on them based on a variety of factors, such as the sites they appear on and the previous behavior of the users loading the page. Brands are also able to layer 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data on top of ad space inventory in order to target audiences on an even more granular basis. This can take the form of data segments provided by Data Exchanges like OwnerIQ, or companies like Fluent. This is where the real programmatic magic happens.
By using these additional layers and partnering with data management platforms, advertisers are able to more accurately reach audiences and focus their ad budget towards those most likely to convert, ultimately improving ROI and leading to a better, more relevant ad experience for consumers. In the case of the our End Family Fire campaign, Ad Council and Xandr were able to leverage data across DirecTV’s subscriber network to target hunting enthusiasts with children in the home, making sure the safe firearm storage message was seen where it was most relevant.
Now isn’t that better for everyone?   
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