In the third and final episode of my three-part blog series I will be explaining the trend that is changing online ad buying which is ‘Programmatic’.

In the first episode of my blog series I discussed how Programmatic Advertising is one of the fastest growing digital marketing trends in 2018. I can hear a lot of readers say WTF is Programmatic Advertising, so the aim of this blog is to explain it.

Programmatic Advertising: Explained

Programmatic Advertising is simply an automated Ad buying process using software, algorithms and machines to buy online display space for your online campaigns. So why are we adopting this method of ad buying over the traditional method you ask? One-word efficiency. 

This type of advertising is much more efficient as it removes the human interaction and manual orders creating a real time bidding (RTB) process. Along with this, programmatic is a whole lot more sophisticated giving marketers the ability to create highly targeted campaigns down to a very granular level with the ability to display data-driven ad creative. As a result creates higher conversion rates and lower customer acquisition costs which when implemented correctly will increase Return On Investment. 

Below is an animation of how the Programmatic Advertising architecture works to help you understand it a little better: 

Programmatic Advertising Architecture

  • Trading Desk = Central management system used by agencies to buy programmatic ad space and audiences. 
  • DSP = Demand Side Platform (A software used by brands/agencies to purchase online advertising space programmatically) 
  • SSP = Supply Side Platform (A software used by publishers/websites to sell online advertising space programmatically) 
  • Ad Exchange = An online marketplace for publishers and ad networks to sell their ad space and impressions programmatically through RTB and auctions. 
  • Ad Network = An company that sells ad inventory (non programmatically) from a range of publisher sites to advertisers at a set prices. 

If you are looking to explore the world of Programmatic more, the guys over at Smart Insight have written a great article which I recommend ‘The marketers’ guide to programmatic marketing media buying’.

Is Programmatic the Future of Ad Buying?

We are currently living in a fast pace and changing world, forever looking at ways to automate processes, marketing being one of them. Efficiency however is not the only benefit why marketers are adopting Programmatic, it allows them to clearly identify their customer segments, personalise the ad message and learn what works and what doesn’t in the moment. Programmatic Ads are changing the PPC landscape rapidly with a huge shift towards it, it is estimated by 2020 $65 million will be spent on programmatic according to a study carried out by eMarketer. 

Maybe this is a digital trend you might be interested in adopting in your future marketing budget? 

Unfortunately that is all from me in my three-part blog series, thanks for everyone who tuned in or engaged I hope you enjoyed the series! If you missed any of the episode you can find them here. Its been great being able to write this blog series on something I have a huge interest in, sharing this interest with you the reader. 

If you are interested in reaching out with me to talk digital or just a general chat please do I would be more than happy to via email at

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Thanks for Reading
– Colin Carrigan

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