Programmatic Advertising, Is It Like Skynet In Terminator?

Programmatic Advertising, Is It Like Skynet In Terminator?

To start with, let me make it clear that programmatic advertising isn’t a highly advanced AI (artificial intelligence) hell bent on destroying humanity. It does involve AI though, and it is highly advanced, but it’s here to help (not destroy).

Programmatic Advertising In a Nutshell

Programmatic media buying, marketing and advertising is the algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time. During this process, software is used to automate the buying, placement, and optimisation of media inventory via a bidding system. (Thanks State of Digital for the concise definition)

In other words, programmatic advertising allows marketers to automate the decision making process of where to place ads using artificial intelligence (AI) across online channels such as display, mobile, and video campaigns.

Wait.. What?

Some savvy marketers will be saying “whatever, this stuff’s been around for ages”. If you’re one of those, probably stop reading. A lot of marketers though are still fairly oblivious to programmatic advertising and it’s capabilities. So why should you be interested? Here’s why:

With all the different channels available with online marketing, it’s easy for your marketing strategy to become highly fragmented. This fragmentation makes it tough just to manage all your campaigns, let alone focus on driving ROI.

Programmatic advertising offers an opportunity to de-fragment your online marketing and maximise the ROI (return on investment) of your ad budgets.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t just pump money into some software and expect it to spit out amazing results. However, with a combination of human marketing smarts and machine learning you can expect to hit the audience you want and drive better quality leads.

How Can We Use It?

Let’s say you want to target single men in their 40’s who live in Victoria or New South Wales, or maybe you want to focus on women aged 25-35 who live in a capital city and have recently gotten engaged. There are literally billions of different targeting options available to online marketers, which means that you can niche down a lot more than you were previously able to, even with display campaigns. The issue with so many different combinations is that it’s beyond the scope of most mere mortals to perform the testing across enough of these to figure out the right combo to deliver the most leads. The system most ad managers use for manual optimisation is to cast a wide net, and then work backward to figure out what works. This is precisely why manual optimisation often leads to large chunks of wasted ad spend, as we clumsily feel our way through campaigns trying to figure out what’s going to work, often times wasting a lot of money before giving up on the whole project due to not finding the right ROI with our efforts.

In contrast, programmatic campaigns get the heavy lifting done without blowing a lot of cash. Once you’ve inputted your goals and set KPIs, the campaign will get to work. It’ll start small with predictive analysis, and then expand based on what’s working. This process not only helps save ad dollars, but helps advertisers reach KPIs faster.

Hmm.. Is It Just a Gimmick?

No!! Remember, programmatic advertising isn’t new, it’s actually been around for a number of years. According to IAB, programmatic advertising will go from its 28% of marketing spend in 2013, to 80% of spend in 2018. If that trend doesn’t compel you to look further into this then nothing will!


If this article has piqued your interest in programmatic ads and you’re wondering how they could benefit your brand or business, feel free to give us a call on 03 9111 2657, or drop me a line at – I’d be happy to have a chat about how you could apply it to your specific requirements.