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Two weeks ago, I wrote an article explaining “What is Programmatic Advertising” and since then, I’ve received a number of questions from some of our clients intrigued and wanting to learn more about this option.

To get started, let’s remember that programmatic buying is the process of bidding, purchasing, displaying, and optimizing online ads in real-time, using data and artificial intelligence based technology to execute campaigns.

In other words, the two main factors for the growth and popularity of programmatic in the past two years are:

  1. Ad Buying Real-Time Speed: Programmatic uses software and technology to automate the ad buying and selling process with the speed and scale that humans can’t achieve manually.
  2. Ad Targeting Relevancy: Programmatic offers advertisers the ability to incorporate large amounts of data, sometimes from multiple sources, to serve users with ads that are more likely to be relevant based on psychographic, demographic, behavioral and intent signals.

For example, with the introduction of programmatic buying, travel marketing companies like Sojern, Adara, and many others, are able to use their unique data set and audience profiles to bid on inventory in real time. This results in being able to more accurately serve specific ads for travelers that are more relevant to their interests and preferences. It’s the advertising equivalent of being in the right place, at the right time in front of the right person, thus increasing your conversion rates over any other type of ‘blind’ campaign.

However, to clarify some of the confusion defining programmatic buying, let’s go over a few dos and don’ts first.

Do not confuse programmatic buying with a channel or a display ad platform.  Programmatic buying is just a form of media buying that ALSO includes banners or display ads. In fact, it may also include video ads, text ads, native ads, and even out of home (OOH) billboard ads depending on your target audience and technology of choice.

You do not need to be an expert to use programmatic advertising.  The technology is and the actions that take place behind the scenes are quite intricate but from the marketing standpoint, it’s not much different than any other marketing discipline.  Think of it as a great new tool at your disposal to reach your intended audience.

Do partner with companies that provide the most relevant data.  As described at the beginning of this article, the key to Programmatic buying is data. And not just any data, but the right type and amount of data.  The more you know about your potential customers (likes and dislikes) the better you will be able to target them with the right ads.  You’ve probably read advertisers discussing 1st, 2nd or 3rd party data.  Each of them is great but different in how they will serve you.

1st Party Data: Data collected directly from a company’s customers.  For example, Adara plays up their use of “first-party data” (from specific hotels and airlines and other travel companies).

2nd Party Data: Data shared between two partners, e.g. publisher data shared with an advertiser. This is the case of Sojern that says they use a mix of data from Online Travel Agencies and first-party partners.

3rd Party Data: Data provided by an external data provider not directly involved in the transaction.

Do not think of a Demand Side Platform (DSP) as a trading desk.  A DSP is a buying platform from vendors like Adform, AppNexus, Delta Projects, DoubleClick, MediaMath, The TradeDesk, etc. They are technology providers. Think of a trading desk as a media buyer that uses DSPs to buy media. Basically, a DSP enables advertisers to purchase display ad inventory via Real Time Bidding (RTB) exchanges.

Do use the power of Native Ads with Programmatic Advertising.  Native advertising isn’t a new thing — advertisers have long known that beautiful, relevant ad creative that fits the form and function of the surrounding page is more engaging and less disruptive for consumers. But as consumers have shifted to mobile devices, it’s become increasingly complex for advertisers to adapt their messages to mirror content experiences across all screens. For example, in the case of DoubleClick, to create a native campaign, an advertiser simply submits their creative elements, such as headlines, images and call-to-action messages. DoubleClick then assembles these components in real-time into multiple formats and styles to fit each publisher’s unique content. This ensures your native campaign will work with any publisher’s inventory while minimizing the need for expensive and time-consuming custom assets.

If you’re interested in adding a programmatic advertising campaign for your business, simple contact our team at MGR Consulting Group and we will recommend the best option for your particular situation as well as manage it for you once you get started.  Thank you for reading.  Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)