The Basics of Programmatic Advertising

2020-10-05 by Ronn Torossian

Being able to buy and sell digital ad space in real-time by using automated bidding and placement platforms is called programmatic advertising. Most digital marketers already understand how important programmatic advertising is for a business. Not all understand how to use it correctly.

This type of advertising allows businesses to create very targeted ad campaigns and make great use of their marketing budgets to reach as many people as possible that are going to be interested in that product or service. While the specifics of the platforms can vary, the fundamentals of programmatic advertising are always the same.

First, the advertiser will create a campaign with a set budget coding specific goals and targets and then use KPIs to measure how well the campaign is meeting all those goals and targets. The platform uses an algorithm that automates the entire process of selecting the right ads for the right platforms when they become available, and create an auction to determine which advertising company is going to get which ad placement.

This process takes place in the time from when a user tries to open a web page to the time when the website opens on their screen.

This type of advertising allows businesses to target very specific groups over the Internet in the same campaign. It means that the right ad is going to reach the right people no matter where or when they are online. For example, if the algorithm determines that the most effective way to reach a particular customer is on Facebook, then they are going to run the ad on that platform.

This is not the type of algorithm or automation tactic that businesses can set up and then forget about. It has to be constantly monitored and tweaked, so that businesses can get the best performance for their campaigns. This is precisely what most companies are doing wrong with programmatic advertising right now, and why these campaigns aren’t as successful as they can be.

To achieve that success, businesses should choose their programmatic advertising platform carefully, and ask a lot of questions before they make a decision, so they understand the platform’s reach and features.

When starting a campaign, it’s best to target it as generally as possible and then tweak it when the performance data becomes available. This is a process that should be repeated often while companies try to gradually narrow down the target audience for that campaign. After a while, companies will have gathered a lot of information to be able to target their campaigns to the right audiences.

After choosing all the appropriate channels as carefully and as detailed as possible, businesses should try to experiment whenever they get the chance with programmatic advertising. For example, there can always be a limited run for the campaign on a certain channel that doesn’t seem like a good fit for the campaign. This decision should be made with a good amount of analytics and data obtained beforehand.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5wpr, a leading adtech PR agency.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities