Econsultancy and Marketing Week have launched a conference all about programmatic advertising.

NB: The next installment of ‘Get with the programmatic’ will take place on 29 September in London.

Let’s set the tone by discussing why brands must understand this technology (obvious spoiler alert: to be successful when purchasing ad inventory).

But let’s also have a look at some of the terminology and the dynamics between publishers, advertisers, ad networks, tech platforms and agencies.

The terminology

Here’s a glossary to help you if you’re a beginner.

The scale

Programmatic advertising generated $2.1bn in Europe alone in 2013.

programmatic revenue

What it means for all parties

Buying ad impressions in real time, often when using first- and third party data to target audiences, is obviously way more complex than signing an order form and running an ad unit until the budget runs out.

This programmatic technology creates efficiency and accountability for advertisers with each ad impression bid upon.

However, this data is also helping publishers to optimise yields, ensuring inventory is matched with audiences. Ad space previously thought of as low value can be shown to be viewed by members of a desired audience and given a price that represents value.

Essentially, advertisers and publishers both want better deals and the transparency that comes with it.

Some have expressed concerns about agencies running their own trading desks that charge for the package of ad space, the technology that buys it and man power. This is seen by some as lacking transparency and allows agencies to make money in the middle. However, agencies rightly argue that they’re still providing a good deal and like other agency activity, the goal is often a strategic one of increasing engagement for a brand.

Clients need to understand programmatic in order to make the right decisions when spending on media. This might mean communicating with an agency from a knowledgeable position, or knowing how to properly use a demand side platform to buy advertising.


What’s next?

With mobile programmatic buying having taken off in the last year or so, there’s suddenly lots more ad space that can be bought more effiiciently. Tablets are particularly valuable bearing in mind online shopping increased by 42% on the device from 2013 to 2014.

With many publishers increasing the amount of native ad units they sell, particularly to capitalise on mobile, it seems there will only be a further increase in the use of programmatic.

What will the conference cover?

  • Understand how you can develop and drive your programmatic strategy. 
  • See how you can optimise targeting.
  • Delve into risk management and ROI tactics.
  • Demystify programmatic jargon so you can build your strategy with confidence.
Ben Davis

Published 3 October, 2014 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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