A Look at Programmatic Advertising


These days, each of us is exposed to hundreds of digital ads on a daily basis. You know, the ads you see before your video on YouTube, the ads in your feed on Facebook, the ads at the top of that new site you love, or those small ads that appear when you’re playing Words With Friends on your phone—just to name a few.

But how do they get there? How do advertisers know where our eyes will be and actually get their ads to appear in these placements?

Programmatic can sound daunting or confusing, but it’s actually pretty simple. It’s the automated process of placing dynamic digital ads across the internet on different websites and apps, based on your target buyer personas. Here’s an example: Have you ever used tools like Kayak or Expedia when booking your travel plans? Okay, great. Kayak and Expedia essentially buy up inventory on airlines and hotels and sell it to the end user—you. Just like this, tools call ad exchanges buy up advertising inventory across the web on hundreds of thousands of sites and apps, and make it available to purchase through what are called, demand side platforms (DSP).

Some Demand Side Platforms:


In the past, marketers and advertisers were limited to targeting consumer groups with target demographics (statistical data like age, income, gender, education). Although the media outlets had some information about who their viewers and listeners were, there was still guesswork for marketers. Additionally, placing media this way is a lot like casting a wide net, reaching many, but not necessarily reaching many of the right consumers—those who are actually interested and/or likely to buy what we are marketing. Demand side platforms effectively remove the guesswork from placing digital ads. When you use a DSP, you’ll place ads based on customer profiles we call buyer personas—read about why they’re important. Buyer personas are enhanced versions of target demographics that include information about your audiences like their goals, motivators, aspirations, and interests. You don’t have to research websites, talk to reps, and review a site’s user data to make sure the audience is relevant to your brand—the DSP does that for you—ensuring that your ads are in the places most likely to be seen by your persona. Targeting audiences at this level helps to get your message in front of the right eyeballs and get a better conversion rate. Note: make sure that the ads you place are relevant to the buyer persona you are targeting—this will increase your success rate.

You can pick between a variety of ad types and sizes to place. Here are a few:

  • display

  • mobile

  • IP targeting

  • website retargeting

  • video

  • social media ads

  • over the top television (OTT)


The ultimate goal of programmatic is to serve ad creative that appeals to each of your buyer personas, when and where they are across the web and mobile apps. This is a much more targeted and trackable way for marketers to get their message in front of consumers across the internet in an automated and data-driven way. The tracking and reporting capabilities afforded by programmatic are far greater than traditional media and provide metrics for better measurement of attribution and return on ad spend (ROAS).

If you’re interested in learning more about programmatic advertising and the platforms ARM Creative uses, please email us at team@arm-creative.com.

Zachary AregoodComment