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In the digital advertising world, programmatic advertising is more than just a trend: it’s a powerful digital advertising approach that’s here to stay. What does this mean for media companies aiming to stay competitive? A programmatic ad management platform, such as Lineup Systems’ Adpoint media sales solution, is a top priority.

Many people in the media industry see programmatic as a complicated concept. In this article, we explore what programmatic means in plain language terms. We also look at why a more in-depth understanding of the technical aspects of the concept is unnecessary, if you’re working with a media sales solution like Adpoint.

Understanding programmatic advertising

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding programmatic advertising right now, and for good reason. In 2020, programmatic media purchases made up 85% of all digital ad spending in the United States, and over 80% of the total digital ad spend in Europe, according to Amazon Ads

But what exactly is programmatic advertising? It’s not as technical as it sounds. Basically, programmatic advertising means the automated process of buying and selling ads digitally.  “Programmatic boils down to the use of data and technology enabling marketers to make decisions in real time about the advert they want to deliver to the consumer,” explains Harry Harcus, managing director of Xaxis, in this MarketingWeek article.

Most people in the media sales industry are probably familiar with the concept of real-time bidding (RTB). RTB refers to bidding on ad impressions in real time through an online ad exchange or media marketplace. But it’s just one component of programmatic advertising.

Another aspect of programmatic, for example, is the Programmatic Guaranteed (PG), also known as the Automated Guaranteed. PG refers to the price and terms negotiated between the seller and the buyer for inventory that’s reserved, or guaranteed, for that specific buyer.

Programmatic also includes the Preferred Deal (PD), which refers to the negotiation of price and terms for non-guaranteed inventory. In a PD, the buyer has the option to obtain the inventory at the negotiated price. If the buyer chooses not to secure this non-guaranteed inventory, the inventory then becomes available for open auction bidding.

You’ll often see these and other acronyms-”such as DSP (demand-side platform, commonly used by buyers) and SSP (supply-side platform, commonly used by publishers)-”crop up in discussions about programmatic advertising. These acronyms are one of the reasons why programmatic advertising can appear more complicated than it actually is. 

It can be helpful to know what these common programmatic terms mean. Our 2022 programmatic glossary provides a handy guide to clarify the terminology.

What Adpoint programmatic can do for your media company

When you use a media sales solution like Adpoint for programmatic ad management, you only need to know one thing about programmatic advertising: it’s the use of technology to automate the process of buying and selling digital ads. And if all those acronyms still have your head spinning, it’s good to know there’s no need to understand more-”unless, of course, you have a strong desire to dive deeper into the concept. 

This is because Adpoint offers customers a number of programmatic functionalities right out of the box, such as the ability to:

  • Initiate buyer and seller negotiation

  • Book Preferred Deals and Programmatic Guaranteed (or Automated Guaranteed)

  • Push programmatic ads to an ad server, such as Google Ad Manager

  • Reserve and release inventory based on negotiations

  • Implement bi-directional integration that pushes ads, and receives delivery and performance data (for example, impressions and clicks)

  • Facilitate billing and reconciliation

These are all standard functionalities in Adpoint, accessible to every Adpoint customer. This means you can rely on Adpoint to integrate seamlessly with your SSP to offer programmatic advertising to your buyers, without the need for you or your team to understand the technology underlying the concept. 

“Most people don’t know how a car’s engine works,” Neil Rigby, Lineup Systems’ Digital and OMS Product Manager, points out. “You just know that it ticks over, and that it’ll get you from point A to point B. Programmatic is the same: you don’t have to know how the tech works to make it effective for your business.”

Programmatic ad management is something every media company needs to stay ahead of the game. To find out more about what Adpoint programmatic can do for your business, talk to your Customer Success Manager, or book a call with our experts now.

Neil Rigby

Neil has been with Lineup since 2011, where he worked in the deployment team and as digital SME, before becoming the OMS & Digital Product Manager, bringing his considerable experience to the role.