So what does programmatic mean?

A marketing buzz word?

A passing phase?

Whatever programmatic advertising Dubai is; it can be extremely confusing.

There’s no need to be scared of the idea of programmatic advertising. In this article I will attempt to explain it in as simple as possible language.

First up programmatic’s best friend, RTB (real-time bidding) is also not evil and I am going to tell you why.

RTB is a type of programmatic advertising, but it is not programmatic advertising.

Just like email is a type of communication but it is not communication.

The programmatic part simply means controlled by a computer.

Hmmm, but what does that mean?

Advertisers have long been able to market to specific demographics, locations etc. So how could programmatic do this better?

In a very simplistic way, programmatic advertising allows an advertiser to leverage real time consumer data to super target their advertising campaigns.

Oops, that wasn’t so simple.

An example is probably best. If Sarah just purchased a flight to Sri Lanka online, this can be tracked via cookies which can also be called pixels. These cookies can be leveraged to target her for things she may need while on holidays such as travel insurance or accommodation.

A second example would be using software and big data to extrapolate consumer data to create bigger target sets. i.e. Finding consumers who match a certain set of characteristics and grouping them. Eep.

Now for RTB.

One of the most exciting aspects of programmatic is real-time bidding. The main reason this is so confusing is that the name is misleading.

Humans basically have nothing to do with the actual auction and the bidding. This is all done by 3 players. A DSP, an ad exchange and an SSP. We do set the bids and prices but there’s no human sellers, buyers or auctioneers present at the actual auction.

1) DSP (demand side platform) is the software that powers programmatic advertising from the advertisers side.
2) An ad exchange, this is where the buy and selling goes on
3) SSP (supply side platform) is the software that powers programmatic from the publishers side

Think adwords and you are basically there. Adwords is a DSP and Adsense is an SSP.
The DSP and SSP take ads and ad spots to the ad exchange and buy and sell them. The DSP has been given a buy order from the advertiser and the SSP has been given a sell order by the publisher.

An advertiser has programmed the DSP with loads of information. The DSP has a set of certain criteria or user information and is searching for ads that match this criteria. The SSP has ads which are tagged with similar information.

An advertiser defines a target demographic, decides what information they can use from a cookie and then sets parameters within the DSP to look for ad spaces with that type of cookie. It’s a cookie matching fest!

A DSP goes to the ad exchange with ads that will be served because of the following information:

  • Dimension of ad
  • Type of ad
  • Demographic information
  • Consumer behaviour information
  • Device type

An SSP goes to the ad exchange with ads spaces that will be filled because of the following information:

  • Dimension of ad
  • Type of ad
  • Demographic information
  • Consumer behaviour information
  • Device type

When a DSP finds an ad spot at the ad exchange that is matched with its own set of data, it bids versus other DSP’s for the right to serve its own ad.

In a nutshell:
1) A websurfer visits a web page that has available ad space (inventory)
2) The browser sends ad and consumer information to the SSP
3) The SSP takes this information and ad size / type to the ad exchange
4) Waiting at the ad exchange are DSP’s looking for ads with a particular set of information
5) Once there is a match between an ad and an ad space an auction ensues
6) The winning bidder (DSP) then serves an ad on the websurfer’s browser

The most amazing thing is this all happens in about 100ms, before you can even blink.

But why does this all matter?

1) Better reporting
As DSP’s become more advanced, their ability to automate reporting becomes a valuable asset for any advertiser. The customer benefits as well as they can see exactly where the budget was spent.

2) Better control over ROI
Programmatic allows you to optimise in real time. If the data suggests something is amiss you can test a change and then implement to be forever driving higher ROI.

3) Deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time, and in the right context
The ability of a DSP to find your customer exactly where you want them to be is truly remarkable. Do you want a 35-year-old western male, on a mobile who is interested in bicycles, sunbaking on Kite Beach? Programmatic can probably deliver.

4) Buy an audience not a placement
With programmatic you are not just buying a spot on a website, you define an audience and chase them around the internet.

5) Optimise around websites that are generating the highest CTR
You can find detailed analysis of the websites and types of websites that you are seeing the best results on. You can then change your strategy as you go to focus in on those high CTR websites to drive better ROI.

And why do people fear programmatic?

1) It’s confusing
Let’s face it. The first time you hear about programmatic you will be insanely confused. When you try to understand it, you will get more confused… Maybe even a little angry.

2) You are only buying unwanted inventory
Simply not the case. Simple supply and demand. If a publisher has premium inventory and puts this to an open RTB market they can effectively gain higher CPMs because there is more demand. It also allows publishers to do away with expensive negotiations between humans.

3) You are buying an audience of robots
Google’s Doubleclick has a team of over 100 humans fighting the battle against ad fraud and robot views and clicks. They, with appnexus have started selling fraud free ads, at a premium of course.

So there you have it. A comprehensive guide to programmatic advertising by acumen advertising. It’s a difficult concept to get your head around but the more articles you read and the more often you surf the web, the more it starts to make sense. If you have any queries or just want to know more; don’t hesitate to contact acumen advertising, Dubai’s leading programmatic agency.