A Detailed Guide to Programmatic Advertising

February 3, 2020 | Admin

A Detailed Guide to Programmatic Advertising

These days, a lot of marketers are turning towards programmatic advertising for their display campaigns. Programmatic buying is the use of software to buy and optimize digital campaigns. Unlike traditional ways that comprise requirements for proposals, quotes, tenders, and human negotiation, programmatic buying uses machines and algorithms to acquire display space.

In the year 2018, about 80% of digital display marketing in the US was performed via programmatic advertising. It is designed to replace human negotiations with machine learning and AI optimization. The key aim behind designing programmatic advertising is to enhance efficiency and transparency to both the advertiser and the publisher. This is done through real-time auctions where ads are bought at the same time as a visitor loads a website.

Programmatic Targeting

There are numerous ways that advertisers can choose to target their ads with programmatic advertising to attain better accuracy and results. Some of the key ways that advertisers utilize to target their ads include:

  • Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting is the practice of presenting ads based on a website’s content. It is the process that matched ads to relevant sites in the display network using the keywords or topics, among various other factors. It’s like placing a digital version of a print ad in a niche magazine.

Some of the key examples of contextual targeting ads are: placing an ad for running shoes on a running forum, placing an ad for a hotel room on a traveling site, or placing medical care products ad on a health related website. The advertisers need to understand that the better their system is at understanding the true context of a page, the better their ad matching will be.

A Detailed Guide to Programmatic Advertising - Context Targeting
The better the system is at understanding the true context of a page, the better the ad matching will be.
  • Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting is a kind of contextual targeting that focuses on serving ads based on specific keywords. Businesses can bid to place your ads in the search results for relevant keywords by determining the keyword searches that are most relevant to their offerings.

For instance, if you are selling footwear, you can make sure people searching for keywords like ‘sports shoes’, women’s shoes’, ‘boots’ etc. can see your advertisements.

Keyword Targeting Contextual Targeting Programmic Advertising
  • Data Targeting (Audience Targeting)

Data targeting or audience targeting is the practice of using data to segment consumers by demographics or interests to find the right person on the right device at the right time. With audience targeting, advertisers are more likely to reach consumers interested in their products or services with relevant messaging.

  • Geo-Targeting (Location-Based Targeting or Geo-Fencing)

Many brands use geo-targeting or location-based targeting to reach customers that are relevant to their locality. For international brands or online services, geo-targeting can be helpful to serve language-specific ads customized to audiences in a particular country.

Geo-Targeting (Location-Based Targeting or Geo-Fencing) Programmic Adverstising
  • Retargeting

Retargeting in programmatic advertising is a highly efficient way to re-engage customers with a brand since they already have a relationship with that particular brand. On average, 2% of visitors convert when they visit a particular website.

Retargeting is aimed at bringing back the other 98% of customers. Whenever a potential customer visits a site, a cookie is placed on their computer. This information can later be used by the businesses to target ads to that particular customer. This increases the chances of the customers returning to buy from that brand.

Kevy's Winback Template - Retargeting
Winback emails are also examples of retargeting as a way of re-engaging customers.

Benefits of Programmatic Advertising

Several companies these days are switching to programmatic advertising due to its numerous benefits, such as:

  • Increased targeted reach: Programmatic advertising provides the ability to reach more targeted customers. By utilizing AI components, it processes huge amounts of valuable data-points to be delivered to the right audience in the right location and at the right time with the relevant messages.

According to Statista, Around 3.9 billion people throughout the world surf the internet daily. Through programmatic advertising, advertisers can have complete access to ad inventory, which ultimately helps them to reach an increased number of customers around the world. Moreover, advertisers can track any potential to reach instantly to get a real picture of how effective their ads are.

  • Real-time data and insights: Every marketer and advertiser understands the need for real-time reporting and data measurement. Programmatic advertising is an automated platform that provides the ability to evaluate exactly how a creative, campaign, or overall targeting is performing as soon as a campaign is launched. 
Real-time data and insights Benefits of Programmatic Advertising

Unlike traditional advertising, advertisers need not wait until the end of the campaign to get results. They can instantly draw insights and adjust ads accordingly at the same time when a campaign is running to improve their effectiveness. This further helps advertisers to get a deeper and direct understanding of their target customers.

  • Transparency: Unlike traditional advertising, programmatic advertising platform offers a greater level of transparency to marketers and advertisers. It covers all the important factors such as what sites their advertisements are reaching, who are looking at the ad, buying patterns, browsing habits, brand loyalty and even the customer’s choice of device, all in real-time.
  • Efficiency: Another key benefit of programmatic advertising is its ability to improve marketing efficiency. Being an automated platform, programmatic advertising has an extremely efficient way of analyzing data in real-time. Through programmatic advertising, advertisers and marketers need not wait until a campaign is completed to determine the results.

Programmatic advertising has the intelligence to assist advertisers to constantly monitor and display the measure of performance, developing a faster and more effective campaign. Moreover, it helps to save the marketer’s time, energy and money, all while growing the chances of success.

measure performance Benefits of Programmatic Advertising
  • Instant optimization: Programmatic advertising offers an efficient solution to optimize ad campaigns. Unlike traditional ways of advertising, programmatic advertising provides real-time data and insights regarding the whole process and performance of an ad campaign. This helps advertisers to use the data and implement necessary changes in real-time to augment their performance and increase the chances of success.
  • Greater returns: Highly efficient, targeted and optimized ads not only help to get high-quality leads but can also lower the cost-per-click, thereby deliver a higher Return on Investment (ROI).


In recent years, programmatic advertising has emerged as the most effective way to unlock great potential for both the present and future of advertising. It offers several advantages over traditional advertising methods and is comparatively more transparent than other forms of media buying solutions.

Being cost-effective for advertisers, it helps to save money as well as time while improving their advertising setup and helping them to reach their target audience in no time at all. It would be correct to say that programmatic media buying is the future of all online advertising.

Guest Blog Author Bio: David Milsont is a digital marketeer. His focuses are digital marketing, loyalty programs, social media, eCommerce and latest trends. Check out his previous guest blog post on Kevy about Enhancing The Customer Experience Via Loyalty Programs.

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