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What Is Programmatic Advertising and How They Work

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising represents a significant shift from traditional, manual digital advertising methods to an automated, data-driven approach to advertising.

This technology-driven strategy allows for the efficient buying and selling of media space, ensuring that ads reach the right audience at the optimum time. 

For advertisers, this means delivering targeted ads more effectively, while publishers can sell ad slots more efficiently, optimizing their revenue potential.

Types of Programmatic Advertising and How They Work

While Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is often synonymous with programmatic advertising, it’s crucial to recognize that RTB is just one facet of a broader spectrum. RTB operates as an open auction, allowing multiple advertisers to bid for ad slots on publishers’ websites in real-time, with the highest bid securing the placement.

Beyond RTB, the programmatic ecosystem comprises:

  • Private Marketplace (PMP): Similar to RTB, PMPs operate on an auction basis but are exclusive and require an invitation from publishers. This exclusivity offers advertisers premium ad slots and publishers a more controlled selling environment.
  • Programmatic Guaranteed: This method involves direct agreements between advertisers and publishers, where a fixed number of impressions and price are agreed upon, reserving inventory specifically for the buyer.
  • Preferred Deals: Operating on a fixed-price basis, Preferred Deals give advertisers priority to bid on available placements without the obligation to buy, offering flexibility and a potential pathway to PMPs or open auctions if deals are not finalized.

Sounds too complicated to understand?  This YouTube video explains Programmatic Advertising in under 4 minutes.

Advantages for Advertisers

Programmatic advertising’s automated nature streamlines the ad buying process, enhancing efficiency and allowing marketers to focus more on campaign optimization. Key benefits include:

  • Precision Targeting: Utilizing diverse data, advertisers can target their ideal customers with unparalleled accuracy.
  • Extensive Reach: Advertisers can engage their target audience across various websites and apps, expanding their reach.
  • Real-Time Insights: Performance metrics such as impressions, clicks, and ad placements are available instantly, enabling timely campaign adjustments.
  • Transparency and Insights: Complete visibility into campaign details allows for informed planning and improvements.
  • Budget Control: Advertisers can manage their spending effectively, minimizing the risk of exceeding budgets.
  • Creative Flexibility: Programmatic advertising supports a wide array of engaging ad formats, enhancing campaign impact.
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Inspiring Programmatic Campaigns

Several e-commerce brands have harnessed programmatic advertising to achieve remarkable results, demonstrating the approach’s versatility and effectiveness:

  • Hot Wheels embraced in-game programmatic ads, integrating seamlessly into gaming environments and achieving significantly higher view rates than industry standards.
  • The Amanda Foundation used programmatic advertising for precise targeting in its pet adoption campaigns, effectively matching animals with suitable owners based on user data and preferences.
  • Yettel ventured into Connected TV (CTV) through programmatic advertising, reaching niche audiences with high engagement rates.
  • IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) capitalized on programmatic ads to highlight the cost benefits of direct bookings, enhancing transparency and customer trust.
  • Haleon leveraged VAST video format in programmatic campaigns to deliver compelling narratives, surpassing expected views and impressions by a significant margin.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite its advantages, programmatic advertising faces challenges such as data privacy concerns, the risk of ad fraud, and the need for transparency and viewability. This part of the blog will address these issues, offering insights into how advertisers can navigate the complexities of programmatic advertising while maintaining ethical standards and maximizing ROI.

The Future of Programmatic Advertising

Looking ahead, programmatic advertising is set to evolve with advancements in AI, machine learning, and other emerging technologies. This forward-looking segment will explore potential trends, such as the integration of voice search and programmatic TV, and consider how these developments might shape the future of digital advertising.


In conclusion, programmatic advertising stands as a pivotal component of modern digital marketing strategies, offering unprecedented opportunities for targeting, efficiency, and scalability. 

As the industry continues to evolve, staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies will be crucial for marketers looking to harness the full potential of programmatic advertising.


Soodo is an eCommerce Venture Builder for Purpose-driven Brands | We build & scale profitable DTC businesses.

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