What is Programmatic Display Advertising?

picture of website on tablet

60% of Google’s advertising budget focuses on automated advertising. Most experts believe that this is what the future of advertising online is going to. There are some that say it will take over the majority of advertising online within just the next couple of years. Here we’ll take a look at exactly what it is and how it can help your business achieve tremendous growth and ROI for your advertising dollars.

How Programmatic Advertising Is Taking Over Traditional Forms Of Advertising

Over the last several years print advertising has significantly declined while advertising online has seen exponential growth and by all accounts is poised to continue this growth well into the future. According to GroupM, online advertising will soon represent up to 95% of all advertising being done globally. It is likely to reach 99% fairly quickly. Other sources suggest that more than 80% of the ads purchased are through automated channels. This could mean that as much as 65 billion dollars will be spent on this type of advertising as soon as 2020 and is set to increase over the foreseeable future.

Far too many businesses miss out on the value this type of campaign could bring them because of the perception that it is too complicated for them to use. Even so, once a marketer wraps their head around it, the results are tremendous and they find it is not as complicated as it first appeared. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you take a deeper look at how programmatic display advertising can benefit your business.

What Does It Mean When Someone Says Programmatic Display Advertising?

Because there are so many different websites and digital properties that individuals look at everyday and these are all on different channels, this automated advertising allows a business owner to take advantage of all the different channels through this form of advertising rather than trying to create ads one by one for each individual channel. Because it’s an automated process it makes the whole campaign considerably more effective. It consolidates the overall effort by condensing it to one platform.

RELATED  How Display Advertising Boosts Your Marketing Campaigns

Using this type of advertising a company is able to optimize their display ads. They are better able to target customers on the right platforms and at the right time. This type of advertising also allows for ads to use real-time bidding along with AI for campaigns that go across video, mobile, and social media. It’s even possible to make use of automation for TV and other traditional ad marketplaces.

How Are Programmatic Ads Different?

Almost any type of ad that is put on a platform that is part of a programmatic advertising channel is considered part of this automated advertising. They offer such features as various dynamic elements, short video clips, animations, and real-time movement. These ads can use HTML5 inside of text editors and the end result is almost like a tiny website in an ad. That fact allows any advertiser to put more information into the ad which makes it more engaging and promotes the brand more strongly.

How To Run a Programmatic Display Campaign

A website or business owner will need specialized software that allows them to access the advertisement inventory and make bids on their placement. They’ll also be able to target specific demographics. The software is called DSP which stands for demand-side software. This software is considered by most to be fairly complicated and somewhat costly. This means that most businesses will have to scale up their advertising before it makes sense to get the software.

The other option would be to go with an agency that uses a DSP. It will depend on their cost but they often know how to target the different audiences and they are very familiar with the inventory available and what they have access to. That makes using an agency a good choice under the right circumstances.

Why Should A Business Or Website Owner Try Programmatic Advertising?

The different advancements that have been made in this type of advertising now touch pretty much every channel available that someone would want to advertise on and as far as anyone can tell, it’s not going to slow down for many years. Just as an example, some statistics suggest display ads are at 80%, video ads are 58%, search ads represent 26% of this type of advertising, tv ads are at 8%, and mobile ads use this form of advertising 60% of the time. These numbers clearly demonstrate that this form of advertising is extremely popular and yet still has room for growth.

RELATED  Four B2B Display Advertising Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Achieve A High ROI

This form of advertising has the name programmatic because of the fact that it uses AI. The artificial intelligence allows it to get better so that your ads show up at just the right time and allows them to convert better. CarTrade has had a great deal of success using this form of advertising. They improved conversion rates by more than 30%. Their click-through-rate improved by 120%.

Better Targeting

In some ways, this advertising is like PPC only it gets better results. This is because targeting is more focused. The Economist was able to successfully demonstrate this by using 60 different creatives with 650,000 prospects. They all read the same article and the article was on their site and yet they were able to improve the results. One example of how the targeting was done was by providing an ad that talked about the Mediterranean turning into the Dead Sea while the reader was looking at an article on Mediterranean migrants. Because the ad and the article were related, it got much better click-through rates.

Creatives can be made in real-time using dynamic advertising. This allows for a reader on one platform to be targeted and directed to another. Because the ad and reading material are related it gets better results.

More Transparency

This type of display advertising gives advertisers and marketers more transparency. That’s something they typically can’t get from other forms of advertising. Companies are able to easily see where their ads are appearing and the kind of customer that is looking at them. They can also examine the overall cost of those ads. All of this can be seen in real-time by simply clicking the mouse. For this reason, there’s no need to wait for the end of a campaign to determine its viability.

RELATED  How to Use LinkedIn for B2B Marketing

Get Improved Reporting

Because of artificial intelligence, there is a great deal more information provided on this type of advertising. You’re able to highly target specific audiences and you’re able to watch different patterns emerge. These factors can significantly improve your marketing efforts and make it more efficient and more effective.

Use Multiple Channels

Google AdWords is still a reasonable platform for certain ads. If it has a downside it’s the fact that the ads can only be shown on websites that are partnered with Google. They are not shown on other platforms that are not partnered with that search engine.

Measure In Real-Time

One of the best qualities that this type of advertising provides is its ability to measure data. That along with the fact that it does it in real-time makes it very powerful. Once a campaign is launched, the advertiser can see exactly how it is performing. With most other types of advertising, it’s necessary to wait until the campaign is finished to see how it did.

It’s really hard to go wrong using programmatic advertising. You’re able to target your audience and to examine data in real-time. You can achieve a high return on investment and examine reports with insights unavailable with other forms of advertising. You’re able to put the ads on many different channels. Essentially this type of advertising is considered 100% fail-proof.


Austin Cline is the founder and CEO of ASUN Digital. He frequently writes about brand strategy and digital marketing with expertise in B2B marketing. He has served as a senior director of marketing and director of digital and web for previous marketing agencies and has over 10 years of marketing experience.You can follow him on Twitter at @itsaustincline or connect with him on LinkedIn by visiting his profile.