home Articles The 1, 2, 3’s of Programmatic Buying

The 1, 2, 3’s of Programmatic Buying

In recent years there has been a need to understand more effectively the digital media buying process and how to reach our targets in a more efficient way. Digital advertising is here to stay and is growing substantially. Every brand is trying to move towards Programmatic buying because that is the new trend, but many don’t understand the concept. Right now, all who are using Facebook and Google in their media buying, are using a simplified programmatic system, they just don’t know it.

If you ask people in the industry, what is Programmatic buying you will get many answers. Some of which are:

  • All the inventory that is not included in Google
  • A media buy that gives you much more impressions than a normal buy
  • A way to reach a specific target in a more cost-effective way

The definition of Programmatic advertising is that it helps automate the decision-making process of media buying, but…

What does that really mean??

In simple terms, it’s the process of using a machine instead of humans to buy your digital plans, which in turn make your buying more efficient. This type of buying includes ad networks, ad exchanges, trading desks, demand side platforms (DSPs), supply side platforms (SSPs), real time biding (RTB), among others.

Programmatic buying is a world in itself, and here you will learn the terms and process of how to understand it from the agency side.

  • Ad Server
    • Tool that allows the management, tracking and reporting for our campaigns. It integrates with all the major DSPs
  • Trading Desks (ATDs)
    • Help execute programmatic media buys, rather that have many of individual campaigns to execute, the ad buying is done through a single trading system.
  • Real Time Bidding (RTB)
    • Most confuse it, as programmatic advertising but it is a type of programmatic advertising that allows the buying and selling of ad impressions through auctions being conducted in real time. These auctions are facilitated by ad exchanges or SSPs.
  • Demand Side Platform (DSP)
    • Allows advertisers to buy impressions across different sites, but targeted to specific users. Through the ad exchange, where publishers make their impressions available, the DSP automatically decides which impressions the advertiser should buy.
  • Data Management Platform (DMP)
    • Platform that collects and analyzes data from different cookies implemented that will provide a better decision of who our target audience is.
      (Even though while explaining DMP it sounds like it functions as a DSP, they are different things. DMP stores and analyzes the data while the DSP is used to do the digital buy were that information is stored.)
  • Ad Exchange
    • The digital marketplace that allows advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space in real time. It allows advertisers to buy ads in different sites at once. Agencies use DSPs to buy from an ad exchange.
  • Supply-Side Platform (SSP)
    • This is a tool that helps publishers sell their inventory in the ad exchanges. (Agencies use DSPs to buy, and publishers use this to sell)
Source: iab

This process can help be more cost effective, improve one’s media targeting, manage campaigns more efficiently, have a quick access to inventories, it is time saving and have a greater reach.

At the moment, it’s mainly online ads that are used programmatically, but media companies and agencies are exploring ways for “traditional” media to be used this way.

As you can see it takes a lot of steps but I hope with this article you will understand it better, do more research and ask questions.

For more information contact LIH Media, a full-service agency with the only media and digital department in PR that is 100% certified in Google.







Emma Álvarez
Integrated Media Planner
Lopito, Ileana & Howie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *