February 19, 2021

Understanding Programmatic Display Advertising: The Ultimate Beginners Guide

PPC & Digital Advertising


Dot The i Creative
Understanding Programmatic Display Advertising: The Ultimate Beginners Guide

Approximately 80-85% of websites and apps make their money the same way. They allow ads on their platform. There are now plenty of different advertising methods for them to choose from.

Programmatic display ads are a growing trend, accounting for 82.5% of digital ad spending. They increase efficiency, allowing businesses to purchase valuable ad space within seconds. 

Programmatic advertising platforms are full of data. They analyze where customers are clicking, scanning sites from various platforms. It can produce advertisements that hide in plain sight among the content already present on a website.

Read our handy guide to discover how programmatic advertising works, what it can do for your business, and how to use it.

How Programmatic Display Advertising Works

Programmatic advertising maintains the positive elements of traditional digital advertising. It has the same visual appeal and an equally wide reach. It also adds sophisticated technology to improve the process.

Programmatic advertising platforms are also known as Demand Side Platforms — or DSPs. They allow companies to quickly bid on ad space at low prices.

RTB or real-time bidding is only one method of purchasing programmatic display ads. Another option is programmatic direct. This allows advertisers to purchase from specific sites in advance.

Programmatic advertising platforms are not connected to only one network, meaning they have access to a larger range of sites. They are also capable of analyzing hordes of data at once. They use this information to provide analytics that help determine where to place the ad to attract the most customers. 

Programmatic display ads are growing in popularity. The process is more efficient but as effective as more traditional methods.

Computers handle various steps, such as finding the best sites to launch on. This gives advertisers more time to craft the best possible campaigns.

How Programmatic Advertising Is Different

Programmatic advertising resembles its traditional predecessors but is different in various ways. Knowing where it came from and how it has improved upon previous processes is an important part of understanding how it works.

Display marketing or display advertising has been around on the internet since the mid-'90s. There are various available platforms including the Google Display Network, Yahoo, and Bing. These ads come in the form of banners of various sizes placed on websites customers visit.

Programmatic advertising platforms produce ads in a different way. They use automated ad exchanges to speed up the process. Advertisers can send campaigns out quickly to sites they know their customers will visit. 

Display and programmatic advertising differ in the type of content they create. Banner ads are the realm of display ads, while native ads are more common in programmatic systems.

Programmatic banner ads are still used and look like their traditional counterparts. The issue is that they make it obvious that the site is trying to sell something.

Native ads resemble the content already present on the website. They are growing in popularity due to their increased click rate.

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Pros and Cons of Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic display advertising is growing in popularity. It hasn't overtaken the more traditional digital methods. Despite its significant advantages, there are some downsides.


Programmatic advertising platforms allow for increased reach. They can scan and place ads on websites from various networks.

Native programmatic display ads blend into content and don't seem like a sales tactic. This prevents customers from ignoring them, a phenomenon known as banner blindness.

Programmatic advertising allows for more effective targeting. The programs gather data from a large range of websites to determine where potential customers browse.

Bids on programmatic advertising space can take mere seconds, increasing efficiency.


Brand awareness tends to be lower. Most programmatic ads are native, which makes including a logo or other brand identifier more difficult.

Programmatic advertising requires more advanced technology and takes longer to learn. It is a new method that not all systems or users are prepared for.

Programmatic ads make it easier to reach customers interested in your company's products and/or services. Read our post on the benefits of automating every part of the marketing process.

How to Make a Great Programmatic Display Ad

Programmatic display advertising is faster and more efficient than traditional methods. It still requires careful planning to achieve the best result. There are ways to craft the ad to ensure it reaches the most potential customers.

The first and most important choice to make is which programmatic advertising platform to use. There are many options, but they are not all created equal.

Every DSP should have basic features like an internally build bidder and GEO fencing. These allow for cheaper prices and greater protection. 

The best programmatic advertising programs offer more than the basic requirements. Some of the most crucial are brand safety tools and multiple targeting options. These allow for more effective, secure ad placement.

Features are not the only thing that speak well for a DSP. Look for characteristics like willingness to share information, positive reputation, and full transparency.

Using effective technology is not the only way to create a great programmatic digital ad. The advertiser themselves can also improve the power of their own digital marketing. No machine can replace the human element provided by a skilled marketer.

Programmatic banner ads are visual elements that must be pleasant to the eye and display their message well. Native ads must match the colors and content of the website they appear on. Incorporating rich media creates an even more effective campaign.

Check out our guide to branding and marketing for more tips on how to create ads that get results.

How to Get Started with Programmatic Digital Advertising

Programmatic display advertising is sometimes referred to as the future of marketing. It has managed to surpass its predecessors through increased efficiency and native ads. There is still a place for more traditional methods, but they require more time and money.

We provide help with all phases of the marketing process. Together, we can create programmatic display ads that will wow your customers. Check out our advertising services and contact us today for more information.

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