Thu 10 Sep, 2015

The Four Key Principles Of Programmatic Marketing

In part one  —  Get With the Programmatic  —  we spoke about Programmatic in more general terms. Today we’re going to narrow the focus and dig deeper into four key programmatic principles.


RTB is used for direct response advertising, where an online auction enables impression-by-impression bidding. This system places a focus on the true value of impressions, which are bought across multiple exchanges and Supply-Side Platforms (SSP).


You only bid on an impression that fits specific criteria. This could be an impression for dog owners, new parents or people who are interested in cars. To refine your targeting of one of these audiences, you overlay your own data from surveys, customer web visits and your CRM database, among others. Suddenly you are unlocking the true value of Programmatic through incredibly tight targeting.

For example, an ecommerce shop offers a carousel ad of products to a consumer based on their previous purchases on your site or in-store. Or imagine a user visits your homepage – they have interacted with your brand and now you want to re-engage that user with a tempting offer as they browse other websites.

With RTB you can automatically (programmatically) bid up when you see that same user. This distinct benefit of Programmatic takes targeting to a new level of efficiency.


Publishers create much smaller auctions with select advertisers/brands and a pre-agreed floor price (minimum CPM). The inventory is more premium and overlaying publisher data allows even further refinement of targeting. Since the network is smaller, there is now less competition to win the auction.


Imagine you are MoneySupermarket, running a campaign for car insurance. With RTB you could find that Exchanger Markt is a top-performing site. It would make sense to work with them to gain access to more premium inventory. Then, overlay your own data to refine targeting and the results will be greatly improved.

Or maybe you’d prefer to do the same invitation-only network on a platform like eBay. You know what demographic works for you, so why not overlay eBay’s user data and bid up to nail that perfect demographic.

Either way, you are now able to more accurately target your audience on premium sites.


This variation is essentially a Private Marketplace (PMP) with pre-agreed terms that benefit a particular advertiser. The most common examples are ‘first look’ and ‘preferred’, where an advertiser is able to connect with their highly prized target audience through the ‘first look’ at an impression or ‘preferred’ access over and above the other advertisers.


Private marketplaces enable brands and publishers to set up direct relationships as has always been historically done. However, Programmatic brings the ad technology that buys the ads for specific users in real-time.

In this scenario, preferred advertisers are given more information about the impression than other advertisers – for example, the ad placement on the page – allowing them to pick or pass on a given impression.

In this way, an auto brand that knows a specific ad unit on a site is much more likely to convert for them gets preferential access to serve their ad. The user they’re targeting is a highly prized prospect, who’s already been to their site, and they want to nudge them back to request a brochure.


This commercial model is the same as buying your media directly from a publisher  —  in short it is a fixed CPM with a guaranteed number of impressions. The difference? Buying is handled programmatically, which means no more negotiating directly with publishers.

Less manual interaction with publishers isn’t just limited to ad buying. It also translates into reporting. Programmatic enables unified reporting across all media-buying components, which allows for a streamlined view that can be used to track users working their way through the marketing funnel.


If all your programmatic media buying for a campaign occurs in one place and from one platform, the reporting will also come from a single unified source  —  from brand activity all the way down to DR at the bottom of the funnel.

If you are familiar with ad buying, you’ll know just how much time this will save. The days of receiving 10 reports from 10 different publisher, and then trying to manually stitch together the overall picture, would be over.

Consequently, it also enables you to observe how your target audience is moving down the marketing funnel. Once you have this overview, creating specific messaging at key points of the funnel becomes a whole lot easier.

Unified reporting,  a key benefit of Programmatic, makes it easier to quickly compare how your campaign is performing across publishers. Less leg-work, more time for strategy.


There you have it. A small window into what Programmatic is and why it is spreading through the advertising industry, not just in display but also mobile, video and TV advertising. The growth is already there for all to see and the potential for further growth and innovation is truly exciting.

We’ve barely scratched the surface but stay tuned for more key programmatic trends and further insight into how the industry works. But if it’s in-depth & advanced knowledge you’re after, then join our Hatch:Programmatic course.