What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is the purchasing of multi-format, cross-device advertising inventory impression by impression, by virtue of but not limited to the user, publisher and device data that is available at the moment that the ad space is up for auction.


What happens is when an ad space is up for auction?


Within milliseconds, all advertisers willing to buy that ad spot enter a real-time auction and the winner has had their ad served to the user.


This means that, compared to legacy media buying where impressions were bought and sold in bulk against mixed, pre-assumed audiences, programmatic advertising allows the triangulation of user, publisher, and device data to target accurate user profiles with the ability to move budget based on real-time conversion data such as applications or sales, with precision, at scale.  

Real time bidding hierarchy  

real time bidding ecosystem

How to get the best out of Programmatic ads


Use internal intelligence tools to look at the historical activity of competitors and/or advertisers targeting similar audiences and use this to build launch publisher lists.


Along with harbored best practices which help to build your line items, small targeting combinations that exist within campaigns with unique targeting tasks.


Having a discovery line items target millions of publishers with huge reach at low cost to spot areas of engagement which then you drill down into to enrich your site lists.


You also have line items that bid directly on publishers where we know there is track performance. 


Within days your campaigns leave a data trail that you should reinvest back into the campaign’s activity which creates a perpetual optimisation trend allowing you to buy increasingly more efficiently as you progress.


Eventually, campaigns build up an audience pool of cookies, or people, who have interacted some way with our advertising that we can re-target instantly, or in the future, for spot hire requirements or longer hiring demands – this is your data, we do not share this with any other advertiser.


Getting down and dirty with the data, combined with creative banners makes for advertising that is laser targeted using high-impact visuals served to the right user, in the right place on the right device at the right time, responsive and flexible for any type of KPI.

The 4 kinds of Programmatic styles {explained}



Contextual Content / Keyword
Prospecting Select Sites
Prospecting PMP

0-3 Days Recently


Contextual keyword targeting – Reach

Targeting based on Page-Level keywords, Google’s definition is Contextual targeting is used to match keyword-targeted ads (which are also referred to as automatic placements) to sites within the Google Display Network.”


Similar to how Gmail ads work, your ads are showing up based on the exact match of on page keywords that you previously set your display ad to show up.

FYI exact match is a setting that allows your ad to show only when someone searches for the exact phrase of your keyword or close variations of the exact phrase of your keyword.


Hopefully, an image can make more sense

Keyword Retargeting

On the left is a blog post with different keywords and you’re trying to target people reading keywords like “car, automotive, dealers” etc

Your ad is displayed on the right of the blog post as seen in the middle image since you’re using “Keywords targeting”.

Since your targeting is spot on, plus a great creative people click on the banner ad and that would take them to your site “AutoDealer.com”



Selected sites – Prospecting

Programmatic Direct

Setting up campaigns after looking at performance, picking the faster horses based on data insights.

What this means is simple ladies and gents. You analyze your campaign performance, based on the best-performing sites, you speak with the publisher and structure Ideal of a fixed CPM, which is great as you know you’ll get a great ROI using them as you have the historical data to back that up.

And the execution of the campaign is carried out programmatically.


Private marketplace (PMP) – Prospecting

Private deals that you have with a publisher, just between yourself and the publisher no one else has access to the inventory.

I understand when it comes to programmatic ads there tends to have many abbreviations I wrote a blog post called Programmatic ads & Marketing abbreviation” check it out if you want to know more about definitions and other marketing abbreviations

The Image below shows you the hierarchy & benefits of using PMP.


Retargeting in programmatic follows the same principle like Google remarketing pixel or Facebook pixel.

By installing a pixel on your site, when someone visits your site a cookie is dropped in the visitor’s browsers and then that visitor is retargeted later as they search other sites (Daily Mail, CNN, Inc) etc these are just example of domains that offer your banner ads to run on retargeting people.


That’s programmatic explained to the best of my understanding around the topic utilizing different blog posts & my experience working in a programmatic team for 3 months.

Please comment in the section below if I missed out on anything you deem important and I’ll sure add it to the blog.

Till next time!


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