Browse Definitions :
Definition

programmatic advertising

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Programmatic advertising is a system that automates the processes and transactions involved with purchasing and dynamically placing ads on websites or apps. Programmatic advertising makes it possible to purchase and place ads, including targeted advertising content, in less than a second.

Ads are placed through an auction system known as real-time bidding (RTB) that manages transactions between the site or app publisher (the supply side) and the advertiser (the demand side). The advertiser sets criteria for buying ads through a software interface, such as a demand-side platform (DSP). When a publisher's software notifies the system that they have ad inventory (spaces for ads) available, those spaces are offered for real-time bidding.

Through automated processes, advertisers bid for the impression (a single view of an ad by a single individual) based on its perceived value, according to established criteria. All these processes and the placement of the ad occur within the time it takes for the requested web page to load. The entire process takes place between the time that a user requests a web page and the time it takes for that page to load in the browser. (For a more in-depth explanation, see our definition of real-time bidding.)

Programmatic advertising has been promoted as a way of optimizing the advertiser's investment and the publisher's profit, while also automating tasks and making it possible to serve consumers with the most relevant purchase opportunities, which are more likely to result in sales. However, there are significant downsides to all this automation. Low bids on impressions can lead to ineffective ad purchases or placement on inappropriate websites, for example, and even ad fraud. Similarly, the publisher can end up with inappropriate ads appearing on their sites. From the customer's perspective, there are concerns about data privacy, as well as the annoyance of being targeted with ads that follow you from one site to another, possibly for something that you've already purchased elsewhere or decided not to buy.

This was last updated in February 2017

Continue Reading About programmatic advertising

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

How important is it for advertisers to be aware of where their ads appear?
Cancel

A lot of benefits for the advertisers

  • no necessity to negotiate on the prices
  • the payments are made only for the relevant impressions
  • the possibility to sign up for a minimum number of impressions/minimum budget
  • possibility to purchase adverts from the publishers with the minimum administration costs
  • minimization of the wasted media
Cancel

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

  • tokenization

    Tokenization is the process of replacing sensitive data with unique identification symbols that retain all the essential ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)

    The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is United States legislation that defines a framework of guidelines and ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

Close