Programmatic Advertising: Improving Outcomes across the Marketing Funnel

10-Jun-2024
Programmatic Advertising: Improving Outcomes across the Marketing Funnel

The Power of Programmatic Advertising in a Nutshell:

Have you ever encountered a situation where an online advertisement perfectly matches your interests? Can your real-time behavior and trends be analyzed to generate conversions? Can you create, run, and manage your campaigns with minimal human intervention? Do you have a question on how to earn through affiliate marketing without relying on influencer status? Now, this is all possible with Programmatic Advertising.


Programmatic Advertising For Audiences:

Programmatic Advertising uses the power of algorithms, AI, and automation to serve relevant ad impressions to the audiences based on their behavior, demographic data, cookie data, and other criteria. By leveraging data, technology, and analytics, the ads are well-positioned to target the right audience on the right occasions. Moreover, the ads are optimized to maximize the effectiveness and ROI of campaigns.


Programmatic Advertising For Marketers:

With a perfect blend of data-driven technology and real-time bidding (RTB), marketers can analyze and gain valuable insights into their campaigns. It enables them to fine-tune their campaigns, make informed decisions, and optimize campaigns to derive the maximum value from their available budget.


Statistics Surrounding Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic Advertising came into existence almost 30 years ago, and as per the statistics, the Programmatic Ad Market was worth $136 billion in 2021, making up about 90% of all digital display marketing. As of the start of 2024, the total worldwide expenditures on programmatic advertising have surpassed $594 billion.


What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic Advertising automates the purchase and sale of digital advertising campaigns. An automated real-time bidding system allows advertisers to purchase digital ad inventory or ad space from publishers via ad exchanges across the web, mobile, apps, video, and social media platforms. The power of automation significantly allows advertisers to target a particular audience segment, determine the optimal ad placement, and perform bidding/run auctions on ad impressions across various digital platforms.


Components Involved in Programmatic Advertising:

The underlying components of Programmatic Advertising are as follows:





  1. Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs):Advertisers use this software to buy different types of inventory/ ad space/ impressions from publishers through exchanges/ SSPs/ ad networks at a predetermined bid price. The DSP has advertisers buying programmatic ad space as cheaply as possible from publishers, and with this, they ensure to show the best ad to the correct audience.

  2. Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs):Publishers use this SSP software to sell display, mobile, and video ad impressions via ad exchanges/ad networks/DSPs to the highest bidder, buyers, or advertisers. In short, this process auctions off the inventory to the highest bidder. At any time, publishers also ensure to sell display, video, and native ads to bidders at the highest possible price.

  3. Ad Exchange: The ad exchange provides a nexus between SSPs and DSPs and enables them to transact through auctions. In short, Ad exchanges allow publishers to list their ad space and advertisers to buy that inventory.

  4. Data Management Platforms (DMPs): A DMP is an independent platform that collects, stores, analyses, manages, and activates data from sources, including websites, mobile apps, and advertising campaigns. With DMPs, the data is made available to DSPs and ad exchanges through which they improve their ad targeting and create advanced analytics reports. Publishers use DMPs specifically to view detailed reports about their audience and inventory.

  5. Ad Networks: Ad networks link online advertisers with publishers. Besides, ad networks aggregate unsold ad inventory from multiple publishers and offer it to advertisers at a discount.

  6. Ad Servers: An ad server is a piece of advertising technology (AdTech) used by advertisers, publishers, ad networks, and ad agencies to create, manage, and run digital advertising campaigns. Furthermore, Ad servers decide the type of ads to be displayed on a website, accordingly display them, and generate reports about metrics (e.g., impressions, clicks, and conversions) for advertisers and publishers.


How Does Programmatic Advertising Function?

  1. Firstly, an advertiser sets up a campaign outlining the target audience and budget.
  2. Secondly, when a user visits a website or app with an ad space, details about the webpage and user (demographic, contextual, behavioral) are sent to an ad exchange.
  3. Thirdly, Advertisers’ algorithms analyze this information to decide if the user matches their target audience.
  4. Fourthly, if there is a match, the marketplace for programmatic advertising puts up an auction for interested advertisers to bid for the ad space. It is also known as an ad impression auction.
  5. Fifth, Advertisers on the DSP side offer bids for the impression.
  6. Sixth, the highest bidder or the advertiser that bids the most money wins the ad impression, and its ad will appear on the website or app.
  7. Finally, the user clicks on the ad and converts.

The whole process is fully automated and takes just milliseconds to complete. You may, however, determine the auction winner before the page loads up for the user.


TYPES OF AUCTIONS IN PROGRAMMATIC ADVERTISING

The types of auctions available in Programmatic Advertising are as follows:




In a real-time scenario, bidding is subdivided into Real-time bidding and Programmatic Direct. Let us have a quick look at what each of these components signifies.

  1. Real-Time Bidding: RTB is a type of programmatic advertising where ad impressions are bought and sold between buyers and sellers as connected on an exchange. A process known as ad auctions occurs where advertisers bid to obtain ad space and impressions from publishers. In a real-time scenario, publishers may allocate an ad inventory to the highest bidder or the advertiser willing to pay the highest price. In other words, the winning bidder displays its ad on the publisher’s website. Not to mention, Advertisers display the ads to those visitors who match their target audience list. Real-time Bidding broken down into two auction types:

    1. Open Auction: Any advertiser can participate and bid on the available ad impression. Open Auction is the most common and accessible way to buy and sell ad inventory, where the focus is on the highest bid and offers a large pool of potential buyers for publishers. Open Auction segmented into three types:

      • Header Bidding: Enables publishers to simultaneously collect bids from various demand sources or DSPs through multiple ad exchanges.

      • Exchange Bidding:The Exchange Networks and SSPs compete here to win ad inventory.

      • First Price Auction: The highest bidder winning the Auction is responsible for paying the publisher and determining the impression price.

      • Second Price Auction: The highest bidder wins the Auction such that the runner-up determines the impression price in a second-price auction.

    2. Private Marketplace (PMP): In a Private Marketplace or PMP, publishers select and limit the number of advertisers that can place ads on their websites. To rephrase it, Advertisers will bid in a small auction at the publisher's discretion. Advertisers will buy an inventory from the publisher if they receive an invitation to participate in the Auction.

  2. Programmatic Direct: An umbrella term comprising various programmatic deals, including programmatic guaranteed and preferred deals. It does not necessarily guarantee impressions or price. The programmatic direct ensures that advertisers secure access to high-value inventory while offering flexibility to them in buying or not buying the inventory. We can break down Programmatic Direct Deals into two subsections:

    1. Preferred Deals: It is also known as “Spot Buying” or “Non-Guaranteed Premium,” where advertisers have the discretion to choose whether to buy an inventory/ purchase an ad impression or not. In contrast, if they decide not to buy the inventory, the same gets offered in PMP or RTB.

    2. Programmatic Guaranteed: This is also known as programmatic reserved, where, unlike the usage of any auction, programmatic guarantees a direct agreement between the publisher and advertiser, enabling them to set a fixed price for ad inventory. Advertisers and Publishers negotiate inventory, prices, audience, and frequency capping in a mutual agreement and ensure that advertisers buy a guaranteed number of impressions on specific websites or mobile apps. Hence, to point out, it is a win-win situation for both the advertiser and publisher as advertisers expect to buy inventory, and the publisher earns revenue by selling that inventory out of this one-on-one arrangement. That is to say, this buying and selling of inventory occurs between advertisers and publishers with the help of ad servers and ad networks.


Benefits of Programmatic Advertising:

There are numerous benefits of incorporating Programmatic Advertising into your marketing paradigm, and they are as follows:

  1. Widening Of the Reach: Programmatic Advertising allows advertisers to reach audiences across geographies, multiple channels, and devices. It is made possible by purchasing ad space from any available ad inventory. Notably, with 72% of all digital ad displays powered programmatically, advertisers can target a massive audience outreach almost instantly and with absolute accuracy.

  2. Efficient and Cost-Effective Programmatic Advertising: A fully automated ad-buying process allows advertisers to reach their target audience more efficiently and increase their return on investment. By monitoring real-time campaign performance, advertisers can invest their budget in avenues that will fetch them the best results. It will enable publishers to maximize their revenue cost-effectively by earning from their ad space. The fully automated process is markedly a time-saver while managing campaigns.

  3. Targeted Advertising: Advanced tools and technologies deployed for targeted advertising ensure that advertisements reach the appropriate users based on age, location, gender, and purchase history. As a result, this precise targeting translates into more ad click-through rates, conversions, and ROAS. At any instant, this targeting can be contextual, behavioral, location, and geo-based.

  4. Real-Time Data Analysis: Programmatic Advertising can fetch real-time information about the campaign and target audience. Marketers adjust their advertisements based on their impressions, bids, and other key metrics and ensure that users see their ads at the most effective times. That is to say, marketers optimize these data-driven insights to generate measurable results for the campaigns. In particular, Programmatic Advertising transforms raw data such as clicks, impressions, and conversions and reports related information to meaningful information that can resonate with audiences and lead to maximizing the impact and success of campaigns.

  5. Transparency:Programmatic Advertising, by all means, enables marketers to have visibility over their campaigns as mentioned below:

    • a) Marketers can monitor the websites where their ads are getting displayed.
    • b) Marketers can evaluate the utilization of their budgets.
    • c) Marketers can deep dive into the demographics of those audiences who are interacting with the ads.
    • d) Programmatic Advertising provides fool-proof fraud detection and prevention mechanisms and checks if the ads are served to genuine users, thus preventing ad fraud and, again, wasting budgets.
    • e) As a marketer, you can analyze the performance metrics like conversion rates, click-through rates, or return on investment of the campaign to determine how they impact the bottom line of campaigns.
    • f) They can gauge if their campaigns communicate the right message to the intended audience, and marketers can optimize their campaigns in real time to get the desired results.
    • g) Advertisers can evaluate each publisher based on the performance of their ads and choose those who deliver justifiable results.
    • h) Marketers prevent fraud by blocking fake bot traffic.
    • i) The lack of human dependence reduces the risk of manual errors.
    • j) Programmatic Advertising lets advertisers see immediate, measurable results and enables smarter audience targeting.
    • k) Programmatic Advertising offers total transparency in the ROAS of campaigns and facilitates wider reach for publishers.
    • l) The security feature of Programmatic Advertising eliminates risks and gives publishers peace of mind when collaborating with advertisers.
    • m) Marketers can gain insight into the environments where their brand messages are best displayed.
    • n) Setting goals for programmatic advertising helps marketers earn a healthier ROI in the right direction.

Conclusion

Programmatic Advertising is a boon for marketers while they deliver, measure, optimize, report, or engage in real-time data analysis of their marketing campaigns. With programmatic advertising, advertisers can reach their targeted audience with absolute ease, and publishers can hands-down monetize out of the whole process. It is made possible due to the automation of the buying and selling process from start to end. Hence, it is imperative that as a marketer, one must embrace the programmatic advertising techniques in their marketing strategy to see an unprecedented rise in their sales figures.



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