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Programmatic Technology

By: MarketingJul 18, 2017

Everything you need to know about programmatic series featuring extracts from our co-authored guide with ISBA - This extract is taken from Vol Three ... Download the full guides here


Advertisers need an appreciation of how different pieces of technology can work together to realise their objectives. However, the complexity of some of these and their implementation can make this a challenging process. Below is a brief description of the most relevant advertiser focused technology


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Ad server

Advertisers use centralised ad servers to store their adverts and rich media, allowing ads to be trafficked and targeted to specific users. Centralised ad servers can also be used to monitor campaigns and provide feedback on performance. Many forward thinking advertisers insist on holding the contract with their ad server, as this ensures independent measurement of their campaign performance.


Data Management Platform (DMP)

A DMP stores advertiser data and organises it into segments to make it actionable for advertising. DMPs can combine an advertiser’s first party customer data with online behavioural and socio-demographic data to generate a more informed view of users. Advertisers who use these rich segments to control advanced programmatic advertising can gain an advantage in their campaign performance. Although onboarding a DMP can be time consuming, advertisers who manage their own DMP relationship can maintain maximum control whilst still taking advantage of their data.


Ad Verification

Ad Verification software aims to give advertisers assurances that they are running safe and effective campaigns. Checks are run pre and post-bid to make sure adverts are only appearing on brand safe domains and web pages, and to verify that the user is a person and not a bot. Checks can also give estimates on viewability, allowing advertisers to bid on inventory that is typically more viewable.


Demand-side platform (DSP)

A DSP automates the buying of online media. A DSP will be built with various algorithms to understand the value of the individual bidding opportunities available. As the algorithms learn what strategies are working, they can apply these insights at scale.

Some DSPs are generalist and can be used to bid on a wide array of inventory (including display, video, native, social and mobile). Others specialise in buying one of these types of inventory. Advertisers working with specialised DSPs may need to partner with a number of them to provide the breadth of advertising space required.

To access key data sources like Facebook and Amazon, advertisers will need to use that company’s own DSP within their walled-off platform. On multi-channel campaigns, this constraint establishes barriers to the continuous targeting of customers across the digital landscape.



Advertisers need an analytics platform to fully understand how a campaign is performing. The platform must unify the data from all DSPs and inventory sources in the campaign to allow like-for-like decisions to determine what is working. The more granular the data that can be accessed by the analytics, the more insights generated to improve performance of the campaign. It should go without saying that advertisers need full transparency into what media has been bought and the cost of each impression, if any meaningful analysis is to be achieved.



Download the ISBA & Infectious Media Guide to Programmatic.


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