But what is programmatic marketing, and what does it look like today?
With the evolution of technology, marketers have an abundance of opportunities to seek and engage their target audience with programmatic.
What's programmatic advertising?
Historically, advertising has always been bought through ad networks which means advertisers have little say over the cost of ads.
This is pretty hit and miss, and often costs the B2B advertiser more than they are worth.
The difference with programmatic buying is that it takes place via ad exchanges. For those in the know, ad exchanges are a central place where publishers, advertisers, agencies, and networks can sell and buy ad impressions on a fully automated system.
Ad exchanges also use algorithms to calculate where your advertising budget is best spent.
How it works
There are always two parties in any business transaction: the buyers and sellers.
When it comes to programmatic advertising the buyers are advertisers and sellers are publishers.
· Real-time digital advertising spaces are purchased by advertisers using a programmatic DSP.
· Programmatic SSPs are used by publishers to manage, sell, and collect revenue from ad inventory. This is so they can automate the placement and sale of advertising spaces in real-time.
· SSPs then communicate with an ad exchange, which then communicates with a DSP.
Here's how all of these pieces work in harmony.
- First, the publisher lists all of its available ad spaces on an ad exchange by means of an SSP.
- Publishers use pixels to send information (website, user, and ad space characteristics) to a DMP.
- On the meantime, a B2B marketer makes use of a DSP to set the ads' parameters to establish targeting and budget.
- The demand-side platform DSP then engages with the DMP to find the best inventory on the ad exchange that is in alignment with the advertiser's needs and then issues a request.
- The ad exchange makes use of algorithmic software to determine which ad matches impression opportunities best.
- The DSP then sends the ad to the SSP so that it is shown to the publisher's website visitors.
How programmatic advertising benefits B2B marketing
Often heralded for its B2C benefits, programmatic advertising also helps B2B marketers save time and resources.
This is because it automates media buy, personalises ad delivery to key target audiences, and often makes budgets last longer than traditional advertising options.
This is why more B2B marketers use programmatic. Some of the benefits include:
- Only pay for relevant impressions. Programmatic ads allow advertisers to forego price pre-negotiation when they buy digital media. This means you only buy relevant impressions.
- Flexible digital advertising. B2B advertisers can agree to a minimum impression count, or a minimum ad spend, making advertising that much more flexible.
- Reduced admin costs. You only purchase digital media from certain publishers, lowering administration expenses.
- Smarter targeting. Using data and technology that identifies what will resonate with each individual through interest targeting and lookalike modeling. Programmatic bids are arranged for each unique website visitor, making targeting that much greater and more effective.
- Only one platform. Historically you would have to go to each platform - be it Google ads, Facebook, or LinkedIn - to manage each campaign. Programmatic advertising means B2B marketers can manage and monitor all of their ads through one platform.
- Multi-channel. Programmatic makes it possible for advertisers to manage multiple ad exchanges and networks, as well as multiple channels and ad formats. For example, display, video, mobile, voice, native and social, and even TV.
- Real-time measurements. Programmatic advertising allows marketers to gain data insights of each ad in real-time. This makes adjustments and optimizations easier to do and more effective.
- Contextual ads. A key benefit of programmatic ads for B2B marketers is the contextual advertisement functionality. This is where ads are placed on a website based on what the website is about. For example, a blog about hairstyles will have an ad about hair care products.