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A Crash Course in Programmatic Advertising


It’s a buzzword that’s been tossed around the mobile industry for years now, but many advertisers still don’t know what programmatic is and how it can drastically transform their businesses. As the digital advertising space evolves faster thanks to mobile-dominated media consumption and automated media buying, traditional advertisers struggle more and more to reach their ideal audiences. Harnessing the power of programmatic is the only way to thrive in the new digital landscape, and Chartboost wants to show you how.

In a nutshell

Programmatic advertising uses software and real-time “smart” data to automate the buying and selling of ad inventory. Before programmatic, a typical digital advertising process involved drafting several request for proposals (RFPs), setting up one-on-one negotiations, and manually managing insertions of orders (IOs) — a tedious and drawn-out process that wasted time and UA resources. Now, mass ad buys can occur at light-speed, guided by objective data, and continuously optimized to give advertisers the best-possible ROIs.

Why you need it

Digital media usage is overwhelmingly driven by mobile apps, with smartphone apps accounting for 69% of all time spent (compared to 34% on desktop and 7% on smartphone mobile web). To keep up with mobile’s pace and successfully woo new audiences, brands need to constantly deploy, test, and optimize engaging campaigns without breaking the bank.

With mobile programmatic, sophisticated machine-driven targeting merges with rich mobile media to hit the right users at the right time with the right creatives — and all at the right price. The result is a streamlined, automated workflow that significantly boosts conversion and reduces UA costs.

Programmatic automation lets advertisers:

  • completely control their bid prices
  • make instantaneous campaign adjustments based on hard data collected in real-time
  • reach customers faster and with better creatives because of those adjustments
  • gain smarter customer insights to drive more engagement across all channels

Ultimately, programmatic advertising is more than just an exercise in algorithms. It is the way to achieve a more holistic state of marketing.

Who’s who in programmatic

Here’s a list of key players within the programmatic ecosystem:

  • Agency Trading Desk (ATD): A massive media buyer and reseller, functioning as an independent working unit within a large media buying concern. This technology helps manage programmatic media acquired through a bidding system, which seeks a certain audience. Marketing specialists make use of programmatic advertising obtained through ATDs, and they optimize results using DSPs, especially when there is a need for retargeting during an underperforming ad campaign.
  • Demand-Side Platform (DSP): A platform that allows buyers to purchase ad inventory from a single source across multiple ad exchanges. Advertisers leverage the DSP’s interface to manage bids, set targeting & retargeting criteria, aggregate disparate data, and optimize campaigns in real-time auctions.
  • Ad Exchange: A digital marketplace that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions. Ad exchanges are most often used to sell display, video, and mobile ad inventory. Advertisers and agencies typically use DSPs to pick which impressions they wish to purchase. Those decisions are often made in real-time based on information such as the user’s historical behavior, the time of day, the user’s device type, ad position, and more.
  • Supply-Side Platform (SSP): Lets publishers “sell” their digital (app or website) inventory to advertisers who place bids through multiple ad exchanges, ad networks, and DSPs simultaneously. Through the SSP interface, publishers can manage impression inventory and choose to exclude or include advertisers based on ad quality, experience, and revenue generated.
  • Data Management Platform (DMP): Collects and aggregates first-party data (data from your own digital properties) plus third-party demographic and behavioral data to give you a 360° view of your users. By bringing disparate user data into a single view, the DMP provides key insights into online and offline activity, helping you define your key audience, formalize segments, and send highly targeted messages that resonate with your users and inspire them to take action.

Get with the program

Chartboost wants YOU to join the programmatic revolution! Download our free guide to help you leverage the power of programmatic.

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