What is Programmatic?

Programmatic is a methodology, rather than any specific technology:


Programmatic is a rapid decision-making methodology to efficiently manage digital advertising through the utilization of increasingly integrated data & technology.

1. Technology enabled advertising

There are many technologies that enable a programmatic methodology and that collectively are called the “programmatic full stack.” Each advertiser’s technology stack will vary due to their unique needs. Furthermore, the platform or solution an advertiser needs today may not be needed tomorrow. The experimental offering tested today may be the prime driver of your advertising tomorrow. This flexibility and efficient allocation of resources & budget are fundamental to the programmatic methodology.



2. Data-driven Targeting & Attribution

There are many types of data available to advertisers, yet advertisers tend to underutilize the full complement of offerings available to them. Whether 1st, 2nd, or 3rd party; online or offline; behavioral or contextual; display, search, or video derived; predictive or attributional; data can inform everything from media-buying to creative design to sales tracking. Programmatic methods use the full breadth of data capabilities.

3. Integrated Solutions

Audiences now expect a single unified experience of media across screens, whether written, video, or social, utilizing single log-ins to enjoy all of their favorite media, receive recommendations, and provide feedback. Marketers now have to meet that expectation in their advertising, providing seamless experiences across screens and interactions. Only through deeply integrated platforms can advertisers unlock the potential of the data found throughout the stack and within their internal systems to create solutions that will help them meet users’ expectations.



4. Real-Time Decision-Making

Right message, right audience, right time has long been the grandest goal of advertising. Programmatic holds the promise of its actualization. Thanks to technology that makes buying decisions in milliseconds, integrates data from wide-ranging sources, and analyzes impact as it happens, programmatic can help your organization make advertising decisions in real time.

5. Operational Efficiency

Operational efficiency is a cornerstone of programmatic. Gone are the days of teams of media buyers, data analysts, traffickers, creative designers, optimizers, publisher development, et al. Technological advertising platforms can manage large complex advertising executions in a fraction of the time with a much smaller team of programmatic experts. But operating the platforms on an ad hoc basis or in silos only slows the process. Deep integrations between best-in-class platforms, enabling the transfer of data, pixels, creatives, costs, and sales, can dramatically improve time-to-market and reduce operational drag.



6. Continual Testing

Testing is a cornerstone of programmatic. Digital advertising now operates in “real time,” making decisions on what, where, when & why to buy it as fast as bits can move across the internet. Advertisers can no longer “set it & forget it” — buying large upfront deals whose performance is only discovered after the campaign ends. Tracking, reporting, and attribution now happen in “real time” as well. With instantaneous feedback and sophisticated algorithms, advertisers must adopt an experimental mindset and constantly “test” to find their greatest performance and grow their business.