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A Guide To Programmatic Advertising

Let’s hear from Madhur Seth, Assistant Manager at Interactive Avenues about one of digital marketing’s most prominent advertising techniques.

For all the freshers out there, tell us what is Programmatic Advertising exactly?

Programmatic advertising: two words that may sound daunting to potential digital marketers but I’m here to share with you what makes this form of digital advertising one of the most successful ways for marketers to reach their audiences, and why every company out there needs to get started with it.

Let’s keep it simple: programmatic advertising is an automated process of buying and selling advertisements online.

Those highly targeted wide banner ads you see on top of the website you’re browsing, the small hotel ads of the particular hotel you’re thinking of staying at when you’re booking your next holiday via MakeMyTrip, or even those tiny little product ad popups when you’re playing a game on your phone. Yup – all of these are possible thanks to programmatic advertising.

Compared to the traditional (and often time-consuming) ad buying process that involves requests for proposals and quotes along with human negotiations, programmatic buying relies on algorithms and machines to purchase digital ad space via online bidding. The most popular examples of programmatic advertising include Facebook and Google ads.

I must say that this process isn’t 100% automated as human effort is still required to plan, optimize and improve the ad content. However, because programmatic advertising is designed to take the guesswork out of marketing and allow marketers faster implementation, it ultimately serves as the prime digital marketing solution for modern brands in today’s digital age.


How would you say programmatic helps businesses succeed with their marketing goals?

Other than better ROI for advertisers and publishers, I’d say the top 5 benefits of programmatic advertising include:

  1. Improved targeting: audiences can be segmented using behavioral data to ensure that advertisers only pay for the ads that are shown to the right group of people at the right time and the right place.
  2. Streamlined process: ad buying, placement, and optimization processes are much more efficient thanks to computers and algorithms – transactions can be made in seconds and advertisements can be displayed just as fast.
  3. Multi-platform access: programmatic platforms allow advertisers to serve impressions on various channels and devices in multiple formats – for example, desktop, tablet, mobile, digital outdoor, audio and more. In fact, advertisers can access ad space on thousands of websites and channels at the same time without any extra work and at affordable costs.
  4. Intelligent data collection: programmatic advertising platforms use machine learning algorithms that can analyze campaigns and user behaviours, provide advanced reporting about ad performance, and immediate access to the real time bidding (RTB) ecosystem.
  5. Data-driven decision making: brands can make fast advertising decisions and timely optimization based on real-time data instead of spending excessively on guesswork for their marketing efforts.

All in all – programmatic advertising allows marketers to use intelligent platforms to identify their best and most likely to convert demographics, buy digital ad inventory in the right channels for those warm audiences, and show the advertisements in real-time with personalised elements.

Even better, data is collected throughout this entire process to make ad optimization more effective and allow marketers to reach newer and more profitable opportunities. In fact, programmatic advertising allows companies to enjoy, on average, conversion rates of up to four times higher than the traditional ad buying processes!


What do you envision the future of programmatic to be in 2021?

With the rapid evolution of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, we can expect programmatic to keep growing exponentially. As a testament to that, forecasts by eMarketer show that in the US, almost 88% of display ads in 2021 are predicted to be purchased programmatically! I’m excited to see how this plays out in India, a nation where digital marketing is currently very much on the rise.

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