Top 5 Most Often Asked Programmatic Questions, Answered

Top 5 Most Often Asked Programmatic Questions, Answered 

Written by: Stefanie Beach, Founder & CEO, SMB Media Consulting


Being a consultancy we speak with all types of publishers and brands on a daily basis. Most of our prospects are medium size businesses and start-ups looking to drive revenue while maximizing their (often times small) marketing/media budget.


Here are some of the most often asked questions to help better understand programmatic and if it is right for you:

  1. What is programmatic advertising?
    • Programmatic is the buying and selling of digital media through automation and technology. This includes display, video, mobile, outdoor, wearables, TV and more.
  2. Where will my ads be shown or what types of ads will be displayed on my site?
    • The best part about programmatic is the flexibility of targeting and tools that allow you to be very specific on who/what is being shown where. There are levers that allow for contextual, audience, keyword and device targeting (among others). As well as different measures that can be put in place to block undesired brands, content, or categories.
  3. What are the benefits of programmatic?
    • With programmatic being automated and having extensive targeting capabilities, it allows for efficiency and scale and can also be:
      • Quick to launch - with brands we can launch within a day. For publishers if we have programmatic infrastructure in place it is also fairly quick and simple, however if we are moving to header bidding or setting up an adserver that will add to the timeline. However, with a good programmatic ops team this can take about a week.
      • Easy to scale - Programmatic plugs into several exchanges at once allowing access to hundreds of thousands of sites and brands.
      • Targeted & Personable - Programmatic advertising allows advertisers to target individuals as they travel across the internet. Often programmatic campaigns are based on detailed audience profiles. Programmatic marketing even allows advertisers to target lookalike audiences, or people who “look like” their current customers. Programmatic can be utilized to update advertising messages and make them relevant for the audience and the location within the purchase funnel.
      • Real time results - Because it’s automated, programmatic offers real-time tracking, including impressions, clicks, conversion rates, total bids and more.
      • Transparency - Depending on what platforms you work with reporting and analytics allows you to take a deeper dive into who is bidding, what audience is driving conversions, what ads/placements are working, media cost and overall performance.
  4. What is Real time bidding (RTB) and how is it different from programmatic?
    • RTB is real time bidding, which is a sub-set of programmatic advertising. RTB is an auction based technology that allows brands/buyers to quickly purchase media space from publishers/websites/media sellers. When the highest bid wins the auction that ads is immediately shown on the website it was purchased from.
  5. What results could I expect?
    • Results vary depending on goals and needs. We work with each of our clients to put together an intelligent comprehensive go-to-market strategy that is customized to onboard the right partners to ensure they have the tools you need to be successful and achieve your goals. We would also look to use historical data and history to better understand current performance and future projections.


While programmatic may not be the best fit for everyone it is continuously growing and more and more marketing budget is moving to programmatic. eMarketer expects US advertisers will spend nearly $60 billion on programmatic display this year, with estimates of $81 billion in spend by 2021. That's huge! So ask yourself, what portion of those dollars are you getting and are you spending your marketing budget smartly?


Stefanie is the founder and CEO of SMB Media Consulting. Being in digital advertising since 2006 and working on the buy and sell side of the business has given her a unique approach to clients business. She lives in the Bronx with her wonderful husband Nick and 6 year old daughter Audrey.