All about Programmatic Advertising or Buying Explained!!!

programmatic advertising buying

by Shaleen - VP of Product Strategy, Marketing and Sales

Posted on July 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Programmatic Advertising or Buying is a method of making media or ad inventory with publishers available to advertisers via automatic bidding process.

This article will clarify all about Programmatic Advertising or Buying. Let’s jump right in!

The Storyline..

Every publisher who wished to serve ads on his property signs up with an Ad Network for serving ads on his property. Ad Networks have ad servers to serve ads. The publisher can include all these sources:

When a consumer visits a website, the header on his webpage communicates with the ad server requesting an ad to be displayed. The Ad server sends a message to the ad exchange requesting bidders to bid for ads to be served. Bidders have selection criteria which they enforce on the ad exchange and bid. Ad exchange have a data repository of the person visiting the website like Location and Geography, Devices, Browsers, Operating System, Number of views, number of clicks, which advertiser’s ad is being viewed and if any actions are taken on the advertisers’ website (like filling of a form or download of article or making a purchase), so that the ads can be targeted correctly for the best ROI to the advertiser as well as the publisher. Ad exchange get user data from 1st party, 2nd party and 3rd party sources as well.

The highest bidder to that ad slot wins the bid and the ad is served by the ad server... All this in less than 100 milli seconds.

Why Programmatic Buying?

Elements of Programmatic


Publisher are all those entities which have properties like website, OTT broadcasting, CTV channels and TV Channels where ads can be served.


All those entities who wish to advertise their ads.

Header Bidding

Header Bidding gets its name from the "ad space is available" request sent from the header of a publishers webpage just as the page starts loading. This request is received by all ad networks and ad exchanges who serve this ad space with ad from the highest bidder. There by maximizing ad revenue to the publisher.

Ad Network

An ad network is a company that aggregates ad supply from publisher's to match it with advertiser's demand.

Ad Server

Ad server describes the technology and service that places advertisements on Web sites. Ad serving technology companies provide software to Web sites and advertisers to serve ads, count them, choose the ads that will make the Web site or advertiser the most money, and monitor the progress of different advertising campaigns.

Ad exchange

An ad exchange is a technology platform that facilitates the buying and selling of media advertising inventory from multiple ad networks though real time bidding (RTB) or programmatic buying. Popular ad exchanges are:

Demand-side Platform

A “demand-side platform” (DSP) gives buyers access to multiple ad exchanges where they can bid for ad inventories for maximum ROI.

Supply-side platform

Sellers of advertising space often go through technology firms: a “supply-side platform” (SSP) which integrate multiple ad networks on their platform. This helps them manage their ad inventory more efficiently for maximum returns.

Real-Time bidding

Real-time bidding is facilitated by ad exchanges or supply-side platforms and refers to the buying and selling of ad impressions through real-time auctions that occur in the time of webpage loading. It is a type of programmatic advertising.

Programmatic advertising

It has been already explained above. Programmatic advertising can be of these types:

Interactive Advertising Bureau

Interactive Advertising Bureau are organizations that develops industry standards, conducts research and provided legal support to online advertising industry. They are usually in US and Europe whose members are leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns.

Data-Management Platform (DMP)

A data management platform (DMP) collects, organize and activate consumers data from any source. It allows businesses to gain insights into their customers.

Advertisers choose DMP to store and buy information about users. Some popular DMP's are:

Dynamic Creative Optimization

If you have visited a website for pair of Joggers and have not made a purchase, imagine yourself being served ads showcasing best selling joggers or joggers similar to ones you have searched. It is more likely that you will make a purchase as you are interested in the product. This type of ad serving which involves personalized creative which is more relevant, tested and optimized perform better than static ads. This is called Dynamic creative optimization (DCO). It is a display ad technology.

Dynamic creative ads are used for retargeting, prospecting and other similar campaign goals. These ads often use the common dynamic creative targeting variables of location, device, demographics, behaviour and context.


This is a comprehensive article on Programmatic Advertising. Please leave your feed back on Twitter or Linkedin.


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