Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of digital display ads on behalf of advertisers. It’s used to reach specific audiences with the most relevant content, increasing engagement rates and sales and creating long-term customer relationships.

In a programmatic advertising campaign, marketers can leverage data to optimize their ads for every device and channel. By connecting to an ad exchange, an advertiser can access all available ad inventory across the network and bid in real time to get the best price for each impression. This is why the ROI of programmatic advertising is so high.

The evolution of programmatic advertising began in 1998 when the internet became more mainstream, allowing people to connect to each other and find information. With this increase in popularity, new websites were created and the need for ads grew. The first ad server was created, DoubleClick (later acquired by Google). DoubleClick enabled marketers to track and measure their ad campaigns in real time.

When someone visits a website that is connected to an ad exchange, the visitor’s browser sends a request to the ad server. The ad server then looks at its database to see if the visitor meets certain criteria, such as age or location. If the criteria is met, the ad server then makes a bid to purchase the ad space. This happens within one-tenth of a second. The highest bidder wins the ad space and serves the ad to the user.

By leveraging the power of machine learning, programmatic advertising can optimize and automate many aspects of digital marketing. This allows marketers to save time and money while still delivering personalized ads. It also increases the accuracy and quality of data and allows for a more efficient use of advertising budgets.

Programmatic advertising also offers more granular control for both advertisers and publishers. With ad fraud continuing to rise, it’s important for advertisers to be sure they’re only spending on valid ads. They can do this by ensuring they’re using only legitimate data sources and monitoring performance.

While there are advantages to a programmatic advertising campaign, it’s crucial for marketers to understand the process before implementing it. A common mistake is confusing demand-side platforms (DSP) with supply-side platforms (SSP). Both are necessary components for a successful programmatic campaign, but they’re different.

By taking the time to research, marketers can avoid some common mistakes and ensure they’re getting the most out of their campaign. By educating themselves on the process, marketers can make better decisions and be confident that their ads are being seen by a real audience. This will also protect them against ad fraud, which is projected to lose $23 billion this year. To avoid fraud, marketers should ensure their DSP has safety features and is able to monitor performance in real-time. If you’re ready to start exploring your options for ad automation, we recommend you check out our comprehensive guide on how to get started with programmatic advertising.

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