Getting Started with Programmatic Advertising

By Michael Knight | @michaelaknight | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing |

Programmatic has continued to be a big display advertising buzz word across the paid media space for almost a decade, but it still isn’t widely adopted by managers or businesses because there seems to be a disconnect between what it is, how to get started, and what happens after deciding to dive into programmatic advertising.

Today, I want to help you jump start your programmatic journey. There are a lot of resources out there to help, but I’ve narrowed it down to make it easy for you. So, there are 3 key tools and resources you need to get started:

  • A Programmatic Definition
  • 4 questions to ask before getting started with programmatic
  • 3 resources that will guide your next programmatic steps

Programmatic Defined

To get a baseline, we need to have a rough outline of what we are defining as programmatic advertising:

Programmatic is typically a display ad buy that uses a proprietary tool or platform by a vendor or solution. That platform then uses persona and behavioral insights, along with real-time data and machine learning to produce the intended result.

Definitions are great, but only to get the ball rolling. The next step is to start asking questions to figure out if programmatic is the right next step for you.

Top 4 Questions to Ask

There are a few questions that you can ask yourself or the brand(s) you work with to give you a roadmap to getting started. These same questions can also be turned to ask a potential vendor if they might fit your needs, but we will discuss that in the resources section.

Here are what I consider to be the top questions to ask:

  • What is my budget?
    • Make sure you have enough budget or can get extra budget to start a new platform like programmatic. Some vendors require spend minimums or contract lengths. Also, budget can determine data significance; so, can you get enough data out of your budget to make the campaign worthwhile.
  • Do I value attribution?
    • If you are not currently looking at any sort of attribution and only looking at last touch or some sort of direct correlation, you may need to reconsider how you look at indirect value, as programmatic is usually a higher-funnel option that can help produce more results down the funnel, but does not always create instant value.
  • Do I have outside data that I can use to inform my targeting?
    • Having CRM data, persona insights, and other helpful data can help inform the system to build up better results.
  • Have a large product offering?
    • If you have a lot of products that target different personas, programmatic can be used to drill down to micro-personas and target the exact customer type that matches with that product. Then, show hyper relevant ads based on the product and persona.

If you are able to answer yes to one, some, or all of these questions, then naturally, Programmatic might be a great next step to test out. But, before you do, there are still some questions to be answered and guides to explore, that will help you navigate the world of programmatic.

Programmatic Resources

Hanapin’s resident programmatic expert, Bryan Gaynor has written several great guides and posts that will help you determine exactly how to use programmatic.

Choosing a Vendor

Now that we’ve answered our own checklist of questions to determine if Programmatic is the right strategy, we then need to choose a programmatic vendor.

This guide delivers a checklist to help evaluate partners and find the right solution for your needs.

How to Choose a Programmatic Vendor

Taking Programmatic to the next level

So, now you’ve found a vendor, started a campaign and want more. Don’t fear,

Here are 5 tips that will help increase the quality of your overall strategy and improve efficiency.

5 Tips to take Programmatic Advertising to the Next Level

The Full Guide

There’s always more to learn and having a comprehensive guide can make it even better. Here’s the definitive programmatic guide for PPC Managers. This guide will walk you through 6 areas to give you the knowledge to get started with Programmatic.

  • A full programmatic definition
  • Why Programmatic is different than typical display
  • Tips for Testing
  • Issues in Programmatic
  • What’s next in Programmatic

Get The Definitive Programmatic Guide for PPC Managers

Final thoughts

Programmatic is really part of the next wave in the industry that will continue to grow and adapt. Not only in display, but other areas as well. We are already seeing expansion into audio, video and tv, and even billboards. Also, now with the continued expansion of attribution modeling, the touchpoints are becoming easier to understand and optimize for results.

I highly encourage you to read the above resources and start your programmatic journey.