Programmatic Ads: What Can They Do For Your Business?

Understanding programmatic advertisingIf you’re ready to take your marketing campaign to the next level it’s time to take a look at programmatic advertising. Programmatic ads work because they place your ad creative in front of the person most likely to make a purchase. Working with a programmatic advertising consultant can help stretch your marketing budget and maximize your ROI.

So what are programmatic ads?

Programmatic advertising, often just called programmatic, is a system of buying ads using software-driven technology that uses large sets of data. As a recent Marketing Land article explained, programmatic ads allow businesses to “figure out how to deliver the right ad to the right person at the right moment.”  It’s no wonder they’re so popular with marketers. In fact, eMarketer estimates that programmatic will account for 67 percent of all display buys in 2016!

And how do programmatic ads work?

The software behind programmatic ads gathers thousands of pieces of data about each user online. This information includes demographics, interests, online behaviours, past purchase history and much, much more – up to 70 million data points in some cases. Programmatic advertising allows businesses to access all of this information and use it to send very targeted ads.  In most cases you’ll need to work with a programmatic advertising consultant to have access to this ad buy.

For example, if your business books hiking tours in and around Whistler, BC you could choose to have your ads show up on a major outdoor gear brand’s site when a person starts searching for hiking boots. Instead of showing your Whistler hiking tours ad to to anyone who does a search for Whistler, you’d only pay to show it to the people who are most likely to book a hiking tour during their stay.  You could also place your ad on an article about hiking gear, so you could reach a potential customer before they’ve even begun searching for boots.

How are programmatic ads different from Google Display Ads?

Programmatic ads use many more data points to deliver a more relevant customer for your ad. In Google display ads you’re bidding on a specific set words and demographic parameters. For example, you might be trying to reach mothers with preschool-aged children. With programmatic ads you bid on a set of demographics and keywords and customer behaviour and interests and past purchases all rolled into one. So now you could target mothers with preschool aged children who live within a 20-minute drive from your store, like to buy local products and have been on your website in the last two weeks.

How can programmatic ads help your business?

Programmatic has two main advantages over other forms of ad buying: relevance and efficiency. Traditionally the main focus in purchasing display ads was on where the ad would be seen. With programmatic the focus shifts to who will see the ad.


In traditional online ad buying businesses buy a certain number of ad impressions in a given space and every visitor to that page sees the same ad. With programmatic ads businesses can show different ads to different visitors on the same site.This works particularly well for companies with a large product offering.

Imagine you were a kitchen supply company who wanted to advertise on a food magazine’s website. Instead of displaying one ad to everyone you could tailor your programmatic campaign so each visitor saw an ad for the product they were most likely to buy.


The second advantage of programmatic advertising is its efficiency. Instead of placing an order for ads manually, programmatic ads are bought automatically at speeds much faster than humans could achieve.  This way they’re able to input and react to the large amount of data that is constantly being collected, often from multiple sources at the same time, in real time.

Furthermore, as the campaign runs it gains more and more data about the type of customer, location and time of day that works the best.  This information is then fed back into the software making adjustments in real time that makes the campaign more efficient and even more accurate over time.

Ad Creative

It’s important to remember that no matter how good the ad buying technology becomes there’s no replacement for great ad creative. Programmatic, like other ad buying strategies, has the option to upload multiple versions of an ad and use real time tracking to discover which ads are the most effective. Take the time to develop excellent creative and review it regularly. No ad campaign is “set it and forget it”, even one as sophisticated as programmatic.

How much do programmatic ads cost?

Programmatic advertising can be more expensive than other forms of online advertising but it offers results that no other form of online marketing can match.  Actual costs depend on the campaign, the agency you choose to manage your ads, whether or not you use a data aggregator and other factors, but it’s not out of reach, even if you’re just getting started. With the kind of efficiency and relevance that this type of ad buying offers, it’s money well spent.

Ready to get started with programmatic?

If you’re new to programmatic advertising the easiest way to integrate this type of campaign in your marketing plan is to hire a programmatic advertising consultant to take care of it for you.

Click here to contact Brent now for a free estimate or to schedule a free initial consultation to find out more about using programmatic ads to grow your business.