Programmatic Ads

Programmatic Ads are in the news…

Of late, programmatic ads have been a lot in the news. Unfortunately, not for the good reasons. After Google’s YouTube fiasco in the automated ad placement of programmatic ads, major advertisers have pulled off their ads from Google and YouTube.

While programmatic technology enables advertisers to specifically target their users based on their interests and demographics, it can’t pinpoint towards the exact site or content that’s being viewed by those users. The current noise is an outcome of such loopholes in the programmatic model.

Obviously, no brand advertiser would like to be associated with objectionable or inappropriate content and burn their ad spends.

But does it mean that programmatic advertising is a sham?

Absolutely not.

Programmatic advertising is merely a data-driven system that automates the media buying process of ad inventory by connecting the DSPs (demand side platforms) and SSPs (supply side platforms) with an aim to enhance relevant audience targeting. Just like any other system, programmatic advertising also has its own set of challenges that need to be fixed.


Magna Global predicts that programmatic will make up 50% of all global ad spend by 2019.

That said, let’s look at 4 ways to make the best use of Programmatic ads.

1)Do more with Programmatic

Today, programmatic is not just an industry term about media buying. It’s gone way beyond the process of automated buying and selling of digital media through RTB (real-time bidding). The wide spectrum of programmatic includes any technology that leverages real-time data and streaming techniques aimed at enhancing the digital advertising experience. In fact, marketers are realizing the true potential of programmatic and the powerful impact it can create across all stages of the user journey; starting from a user clicking on a Facebook ad to landing on an in-app shopping page, using data streaming technologies can help advertisers reap most out of programmatic. So using programmatic data for the subsequent stages of the user journey like ‘clicking on the ad’, ‘adding to wishlist’, ‘cases of cart abandonment’, or , ‘payment completed’ can help marketers achieve better results in their ad campaigns.

So, don’t just end your dependence on programmatic data after you optimize your impressions. Instead, utilize  programmatic data for all the subsequent stages of your marketing campaign to create a personalized marketing experience for your users.

2) Age of the Programmatic Creative

Another interesting trend in the digital marketing world is the the use of ‘programmatic creatives’. Like we said, why should you limit your programmatic data intelligence to purchasing media inventory?

By utilizing the real-time data acquired through programmatic sources, marketers can cut through the line to make creatives that are tuned to the interests of their target audience.

Programmatic Creatives refer to data driven adtech that adds speed, scale, and automation to the creative process. This covers both ad production and creative optimisation.

Depending on the nature of advertising campaigns, advertisers can choose from two methods to build manage Programmatic Creatives-

    1. Dynamic Content Optimisation (DCO) deals with dynamic content and dynamic content-driven platforms that can generate personalized ad creatives for different types of users in bulk. In this methodology, content distribution happens through data-driven algorithms and pre-structured user personas to effectively engage the users.
    2. Creative Management Platform (CMP) is essentially different from its Robot twin, DCO in the sense that it is captained by humans. Unlike DCO, CMP comes in the form of a design tool that complements the creative abilities of the human mind and helps advertisers create highly engaging ads when run in compliance with the intuitive data acquired from programmatic ad platforms. read more…

So, rather than going through the guesswork of ‘maybe this will work’ & ‘that won’t work’, marketers can use the insights from real-time data to guide them in making their ad creatives. Smart marketers are already using this strategy to optimize their creatives and achieving their KPIs.

3) Header Bidding is here to stay

In the last few years, ‘header bidding’ has really been on the spotlight for marketers. This practice has been embraced by many publishers as it has reduced their dependence on Google’s ADx aka DoubleClick Ad Exchange. With header bidding, publishers have the power to list and sell their inventory on multiple ad exchanges simultaneously. This also makes the advertisers happy as they get complete access to all available inventories with the publishers and thereby, better their chances of picking those slots that ensure a greater marketing ROI. Recently, Facebook has also opened up its Audience Network to mobile web publishers, who want to practise header bidding.

But the only problem here is that the greater transparency and access to media inventory tends to increase the CPMs for marketers as everyone’s running after quality impressions. So, before reaping in the benefits of header bidding, brand marketers and agencies should collaborate to develop the best strategy to get a grip on the rising CPMs.

4) Lessons & Learnings  

Utilizing programmatic just for your retargeting or lower-funnel marketing initiatives means failing to get the best out of this marketing approach. Marketers can gain a lot by applying the insights from programmatic marketing to reach out to prospective users all throughout the user journey.

Programmatic Ads - No Silos

The Pros of using such a data-driven approach is that marketers can improve the user targeting capabilities of their brand ad campaigns and form highly effective strategies in the future. For that, marketers need to work closely with DSPs that rely on intuitive data and constantly draw insights by evaluating the performance metrics of their on-going marketing campaigns.

A comprehensive approach of applying programmatic to both upper-funnel and lower-funnel marketing will go a long way in realizing better conversions.

It’s also important that you don’t run your promotional campaigns and remarketing campaigns in silos so that you don’t end up targeting the same user segments again and again.


When you run your upper funnel and lower funnel marketing campaigns independently, you limit the value that can be derived from a programmatic setup.

Say, Amazon is running a huge promotion campaign for electronics and it wants to target 3 user segments-

User Segment A: Users between 18-35 years of age

User Segment B: Users who are interested in browsing gadget and game sites

User Segment C: Users who frequently browse the electronics section on Amazon

Now, if the user response from the promotional campaign targeting User Segment C is found to be exemplary, Amazon can use the same data while running its future remarketing campaigns to achieve better results.

In short, insights from upper-funnel marketing initiatives can completely refine the lower-funnel marketing approach for marketers.

So, there’s a lot of scope for advertisers to think of innovative ways for exploring all doors offered by programmatic technology if they want to get ahead in the user-engagement game.

Want to optimise your Programmatic Ads Campaign?

Connect with the relevant audience & optimise your business prospects. Drop me a line at neelanjana@affle.com to explore strategic marketing solutions for your brand using Affle’s MAAS platform

1 Comment

  1. Automation is the next big thing in the digital & IT industry and things are moving towards Artificial Intelligence, Programmatic ads for your business is a must but as suggested by Rob Norman in the message , it should me made with the right data to avoid confusion and to make better results.

    Thanks Neelanjana for sharing a blog on a unique topic such as this one, This help me increase my knowledge in programmatic ads.

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