Skip to content

Programmatic Buying (Part 2)

In Part 2, we’ll be going over the Common Terms, Concepts, and the future of Digital Advertising as it pertains to Programmatic Buying

Lets review: Programmatic typically refers to an automated process of buying and selling digital ads and ad space through a dedicated platform.

The Basics

SSPs: Supply Side Platforms. Allows the publishers to optimize inventory in real-time

DSPs: Demand Side Platforms. Allows advertisers to acquire inventory by providing access to inventory in a biding environment.

Real Time Bidding – A long time ago (like 6 months to 2 years ago), publishers had made their ad inventory available through ad exchanges and Real Time Bidding. As the software and technology evolved, programmatic grew as well. Through programmatic, buyers and sellers were able to communicate ad inventory and establish highly customizable targeting effort through consumer data.

As publishers collected consumer data and traffic patterns, RTB introduced one-on-one addressability for serving ads. Through big data, publishers gained the ability to make demographic, browsing, buying, and behavior data available for advertisers to better target with. This is called ‘Audience Buying’ and is the most beneficial and effective way of reaching an advertisers target market.

So where do we get all this ‘data’ and how do we use it?

Data is information about a user or visitor on the web that is collected through a cookie. A cookie is a simple file that is picked up by a variety of actions, whether its clicking on an ad, visiting a page, or making a conversion online, this cookie is placed on your browser and informs advertisers how users interact with ads and how campaigns are running with audiences.

All of this anonymous data that the cookie collects is sent to a data management platform (DMP) which compiles and organizes audience data into a centralized location and helps optimize ad serving and media buying decisions. Why is this important to the advertisers? Well, the data used can help accurately show and display ads to users that are more likely to be interested in the end product or to convert.

You still with us?

To better understand these tech terms, you can visit our Glossary and catch up on them, or continue reading for the most used terms in the programmatic world:


Ad exchanges: A technology platform that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell media inventory, such as display, video and mobile.

Ad network: Brings together inventory and audiences to enable advertisers to buy online ad impressions.

Ad server: Servers dedicated to storing digital advertisements that are displayed on websites. Ad servers can be operated by publishers, or by a neutral third party to track impressions, clicks, conversions, and more.

Ad tracking: A method used to check the number of hits or clicks an ad receives. A useful tool for understanding and tracking where the most revenue comes from, and how to better personalize ads to reach more customers.

Attribution: A method in which credit is assigned for conversion activities driven by media.

Audience buying: The use of data and technology to reach target consumers regardless of context.


Behavioral targeting: The use of data and analytics to tailor digital ads based on a consumer’s online behavior.


Contextual targeting: The use of data and technology to target a specific individual based on the context of the site.

Cookie: A browser-specific anonymous persistent identifier used online to track certain information about a user’s web behavior and attributes.


DMP (data management platform): A data warehouse that collects, organizes and houses data pertaining to campaign performance, client data, and audience attributes.

DSP (demand-side platform): The technology used by advertisers and agencies to buy digital ads in real-time through programmatic buying.


First-party data: Data that is collected directly from a consumer.

Frequency cap: The maximum number of times your creative ad is willing to serve to an individual user to ensure optimal exposure to messaging.


Impression: Any time a ad is delivered on a page to a user, regardless of whether it is clicked or not.


Look-alike modeling: A technique in which high-value audiences are used as a seed within an algorithm to create prospective audiences most likely to behave in the same manner based on similar attribute patterns.


Open exchange: An open market system in which any seller can make digital inventory available for purchase by any buyer.


Private ad exchange/Marketplace: A biddable environment in which a publisher can limit access to inventory to certain advertisers and set pricing.

Programmatic: The technology used to implement an automated set of ad rules to efficiently target the most valuable customers and prospects with personalized ads using data.

Programmatic buying: An automated method of buying digital advertising in which supply and demand partners make decisions on a CPM basis.


Retargeting: A programmatic marketing technique in which users who have visited a website are delivered messages based on that user’s previous site interactions.

RTB (real-time bidding): A method used within an ad exchange by which individual impressions are bought at the time a user visits a site.


Second-party data: Data that comes from a direct agreement with a publisher.

Site buys: Media acquisition by agencies and advertisers through a direct relationship with a single publisher, which typically include the best inventory as well as customizable offerings.

SSP (supply-side platform): An automation technology that is used to optimize publisher yield and deliver advertising inventory directly to a publisher as well as to automated ad exchanges.


Third-party data: Data that is collected from a source that doesn’t have a direct relationship with the consumer.


Viewability: A measure of whether or not an ad that has been served can be seen by a user.

As programmatic is ever evolving in the digital world, advertisers are seeking the most advantageous way to attract and gain an audience. And highly targeted ads towards consumers will continue to grow in the process. Attracting and gaining a consumer will be increasingly more difficult with unique, relevant, and targeted ads for SMBs.

The good news: RLC Media has the knowledge and experience to aggressively compete in this digital realm. Through a combination of right timing, relevant ads, and a targeted audience, your ads can be shown to the right consumer, at the right time, and at the right price. RLC Media is your new best friend in the digital arena.


Thank you for reading our blog post!

We are passionate about helping businesses grow through effective digital marketing strategies. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of experts is always happy to help. And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and insights in the world of digital marketing.

Share This Post