B2B Programmatic Advertising, Demystified!

11 May, 2023

If you’d asked us 15 years ago, we would have agreed that programmatic advertising would help businesses stand out in the online space. Even then we knew, it could help you get smarter with your targeting and reduce admin spend during the selling process. But it was hard to measure exactly how much of an impact this would have for digital B2B businesses setting ambitious advertising goals.

Today we’d like to explore what exactly programmatic advertising is and how it can help you level up your digital advertising with advanced targeting, improved traffic quality and a data-driven approach to the entire process.

Defining programmatic advertising in the B2B arena

Before we get into the details, let’s look at the bigger picture. most successful B2B businesses and advertising companies run omni-channel campaigns, which enables advertisers to create seamless customer experiences across platforms and channels.

Today, programmatic advertising takes on a core role in omni-channel marketing as it allows you to hyper-segment your audiences with machine learning and traffic data.

These programmatic technologies make it possible for you to market to your target audiences based on how they behave online. You can also opt to sell ad inventory on publisher sites as part of your own business model to sell digital advertising where advertisers bid.

How does this ad tech work? Programmatic advertising explained

In the past, businesses would buy advertising space with little say over how much their posts, pieces and ads would cost to publish to desktop and mobile devices. Aside from lacking control, advertisers are disempowered and often don’t get the kind of bang for their buck, they’d like from publisher websites.

Programmatic advertising campaigns, on the other hand, work with ad exchanges. This is a centralized exchange where advertisers and ad tech companies can sell and buy ad impressions on an automated system.

How is this calculated? With an algorithm that determines where your ad spend is put to the best use. You just keep feeding it campaign, audience and KPI (Key Performance Indicators) data and programmatic advertising makes easy work of doing the ad placement for you. You can also monitor an ad impression from supply side platforms.

What fits into the programmatic ad space?

However, not all exchanges or technical platforms (programmatic advertising platforms) are created equal and multiple ad exchanges with real time bidding (RTB) make up the programmatic landscape.

Sell-Side Platform (SSP)

Sometimes known as supply-side platform as well, SSPs help businesses create digital display advertising, video ads and mobile ads that can be viewed on multiple devices and generate advertising awareness with their target audience.

This includes exchanges, networks and more and helps businesses stay in control of their spend.

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

A DSP is a software platform used in programmatic advertising to automate the process of purchasing digital ad inventory in real-time. This can be used for everything from banner ads, to native ads and more.

DSPs provide a range of features, including bidding algorithms, real-time reporting, audience segmentation, and optimization tools.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

To make programmatic advertising work, we need to match the right ads with the right ad spaces. That’s where data management platforms (DMPs) come in handy. Think of DMPs as a kind of brain that collects, analyzes, and organizes data from various sources to find the best ad placements.

With a DMP, advertisers can target their ads more precisely, make better reports, and even create lookalike audiences. All this is possible because DMPs build comprehensive user profiles that programmatic algorithms can use to work their magic.

Ad Exchange

Ad exchanges are where the supply side brings all its inventory together. It’s like a big marketplace for ads!

Then comes the demand-side platform (DSP), which is like the middleman between advertisers, agencies, networks, and publishers. DSPs kick off a bidding war where everyone can agree on prices for the ad inventory.

In short, ad exchanges bring all the ads together, and DSPs help advertisers and publishers agree on how much to pay for them.

How does a programmatic ad campaign differ from Google Display?

Let’s start with the similarities between Google Display Network (GDN) and programmatic advertising. They both let you target specific audiences based on keywords, topics, interests, and demographics.

The main difference is how they use data for targeting. GDN relies on Google Adwords search data, while programmatic ads use data from third-party sources to get more detailed information. So, programmatic ads are a bit more advanced.

Programmatic advertising continues to benefit savvy RevOps teams

people, group, friends

Buying programmatic ads – your cheat sheet:

Real-time bidding (RTB). Sometimes known as open bidding, advertising and publishing pros can join an auction with prices based on real time data. This makes it a cost effective method for getting ad space.

Private Marketplace (PMP). Similar to RTB, however, publishers make these auctions available to a select group of advertisers in an invitation-only environment.

Programmatic Direct. This non-auction category sees publishers sell media inventory at a fixed cost per mille (CPM) to one or more advertisers. This is often a one-on-one arrangement, where the publisher provides an agreed number of impressions at a fixed price.

What if it uses inappropriate sites?

You want the digital advertising space your brand appears in to reflect your values and some sites might not align but don’t worry. You can use black and whitelists and brand safety tools to stop the wrong sites from displaying your ads. This way, you’ll reach the right audience (your target users) in the right places.

Need a hand with your programmatic advertising?

Ad buying in the digital advertising industry, and navigating ad networks, can be complex if you’re just starting out. But programmatic buying can be your greatest weapon in maximizing performance in the digital space with existing data. As online media continues to grow in complexity, you might need a hand with the optimization process or getting around ad blocking and fake traffic. Especially if you plan on buying and selling in the near future.

This is where YDA can help. Don’t wait to target users where they are with engaging ads when the future of online advertising is already here. Discover how to navigate it with support from Your Digital Assembly and our team of skilled marketers. Contact us to find out how programmatic advertising works and where we can support you in programmatic ad buying and harnessing data insights.

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