Demystifying Programmatic

Programmatic is a word that immediately gets many marketeers backing away slowly, as they envisage overly technical conversations and the requirement for big budgets. However, programmatic is just a fancy word for display or anything that sits outside of search.

The definition of programmatic marketing is automated bidding on advertising inventory in real time, for the opportunity to show an ad to a specific customer, in a specific context. This technically encompasses Google ads, Facebook and most digital media platforms.  Which means that all brands are already buying media programmatically – even if they don’t realise it.

However, the less literal definition of programmatic is buying media, traditionally display, across web using a buying platform known as a demand side platform or DSP.

The question is – do you need to buy your display and remarketing via a DSP, or is Google’s Display Network (GDN) just fine.

Here are some considerations for whether you should invest in programmatic via a DSP or stick with the Google Ads built in platform:

Buying your ‘beyond search’ media with a DSP comes with many bells and whistles that will advance your campaign; however, in many cases Google’s GDN provides the perfect entry platform to deliver proof of concept.

Don’t take a blanket approach. Plan each campaign against its own objectives to configure the perfect blend of sites, audiences, formats and buying models.

The key thing is to get your data house in order first, to ensure that any activity drives incrementality to your bottom line, and that you ask the right questions of your agency to make the right decision.


Claire Stanley-Manock