Programmatic Buying (© peshkova /
Programmatic Buying (© peshkova /

Programmatic buying is a phrase that is being thrown around more and more in marketing circles. This technique of buying and selling advertising has huge growth potential, and has already grown a great deal just in the past few years. Already, advertising experts estimate that 75% of the ad revenue in the UK is from programmatic marketing. Let’s explore the term and process in detail.


What is Programmatic Buying?

Programmatic buying is the process of buying advertising automatically using software programs. This is become one of the most effective methods of getting the ads that you want because of the way that matches buyers and sellers. Programmatic buying is obviously the advertiser side of the process. There is another side of the process involving the person selling the ad space, or in some cases, the company representing the person selling the ad space.

Programmatic advertising is done through software programs called platforms. These platforms allow you to specify a number of options that allow you to get the advertising space that you need, often at the price that you want. This is all done automatically with options that you can change at any time. In this way, you can concentrate on other aspects of your business while still being able to market and advertise as much as you want.

Why You Should Use Programmatic Buying

So, why should use programmatic buying? Who would need to be able to buy and sell advertising automatically? From a buyer’s perspective, this is a great solution because it saves you tons of time. If you are a seller, you also spend less time managing your business. But programmatic buying is what we are focusing on here. The buyer also has the advantage of saving money, due to the fact that they cannot only bid for advertising, and possibly get an amazing deal on premium ad space, but they can also set up the options to spend exactly what is in their budget and have a likelihood of matching up with the seller that will accept that price.

All kinds of people use programmatic buying. Many people think that is just the largest companies that are using this particular technique, but the truth is that even individual marketers can benefit from using programmatic buying. Although the learning curve is a little steep the first time that you start using these platforms, most people are able to figure it out fairly quickly and automate their entire process of buying ads. This is especially useful for people that do a great deal of buying. Many marketers rely on advertising for their revenue, and automating the process allows them to focus on improving things on their end like optimizing sales pages and using analytics to get higher conversions.

How PA Works

Understanding how programmatic advertising works is the first step in being able to use it successfully. The best way to start is with the other side of the coin – the person selling the advertising. People with ad space to sell use what is called a supply-side platform, abbreviated SSP, in order to list their advertising spaces and connect with buyers. This is the corollary to what you will be using in order to buy your advertising. The supply-side platform allows sellers to list what they have and their specifications so that they can find buyers.

Buyers on the other hand use what is called a demand-side platform. This is a software program that allows you to enter all of the details of your advertising campaign, including what sort of budget you are working with, what kind of ads that you want, where you want them replaced, specific times that you want them to be displayed as well as some targeting information. The demand-side platform is where you will be setting up your campaign every time. However, there isn’t just one demand-side platform. There are many ad networks out there and lots of different platforms to use. Most people figure out where they are most comfortable and then stick with that platform and the advertisers that work with it. Many advertisers are on multiple platforms are networks.

Another type of platform that you should be familiar with is the data management platform. The DSP may be combined with the DMP, but the data management platform allows you to set up your targeting – and you have a great number of options that will allow you to target your ads specifically to the audience that you want. These are just the basics of how the buying and selling works, and in order to understand the specifics of programmatic buying, you will have to find a platform and spend some time using it so you have a greater grasp on programmatic buying.


The bottom line is that programmatic buying is fast becoming the way that people buy and sell ads online. Although the term applies mostly to digital advertising, such as buying and selling ad space on the web, this may change in the future and offer more conventional advertising avenues. But what you should know is the programmatic advertising is the automation of buying and selling ads, and programmatic buying is the buying side of that equation.

There are several reasons that you should be using programmatic buying in order to do your marketing. If you are like most people, you could use some extra time in your day. Using programmatic buying allows you to automate a lot of the process of buying ads as long as you have set up the options correctly. In addition, using programmatic buying may be able to save you money and get you ad space that you would not of found on your own.

The way the process works is by having sellers list their products on what is called a supply-side platform, or SSP. Buyers on the other hand use what is called a demand-side platform, or DSP. These two platforms work together to connect buyers and sellers and automate the process of buying and selling ads.


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