How Brands can Boost Conversions from Programmatic

Estimated Reading Time 6 minutes

Programmatic advertising can be a complex science of mixing the right audience, the best placement and optimised bid. This method of advertising can be daunting to start with but when you get going, you’ll question why you never started earlier.
The current state of programmatic advertising is that in 2016 it is predicted to spend $21b in ad spend alone, double of what 2014 spent. (Source:

Programmatic Spend

What is Programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising most assume is a fancy way of saying display, although they really are worlds apart. The main difference is display runs from chosen categories or network types, whereas Programmatic uses multiple data points. These multiple data points allow deeper targeting, mixing a users offline and online buying habits and behaviour. From this data, people have gone to create algorithms which have created extremely targeted advertising inventories that’s then used by programmatic ad networks. This way of niche targeting means you can leverage information on users from data providers that really understand buying behaviours. This further allows you to create targeted campaigns with the confidence that you are engaging with the people most likely to convert.

The Operations of Programmatic:

Now we know Programmatic is great for targeting specific audiences, but how does it all work? The way in which programmatic advertising has been engineered over the years has now been made into a fairly streamlined method to get your advert out there online. This new process of placing adverts is so fast that if you blink you’ll miss it, literally, it takes less than a 100th millisecond, which is faster than blinking your eyes. Below we have outlined the process Programmatic takes, showing the journey from Advertiser to Publisher (including glossary).



Advertiser: The product or brand being advertised.

Agency: The representative of the advertiser managing the process for strategic value.

Ad Server: This is a server that stores advertisements for online marketing and delivers them to website visitors.

DSP: Demand-side Platform, this allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple data exchange accounts. The key function is the ability to purchase display advertising using data to determine the value of individual ad impressions in real-time.

Ad Exchange: Digital marketplace for advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space.

SSP: Supply Side Platform, the platform that enables online publishers to manage their advertising impression inventory and maximise revenue from digital media.

Publisher: The website where the advert appears.

Top tip before investing in Programmatic:

This operation is starting to look less complex with the speed in which it takes from the help of algorithms built. With the Programmatic process being so streamlined there can be quite high costs associated with this, whether from the media buyers, audience creators or the agency optimising.

As you will be accessing data which is highly relevant and targeted, our top tip would be to spend some quality time working on your website’s conversion rate. You want to be able to maximise the traffic which is driven to your website and if your conversion rate isn’t up to scratch, you could end up spending a lot of money with little return on investment. Working on your conversion rate, particularly on the pages that you’re directing your ads to, can be the difference from a highly successful campaign to a flop.

This has only been a quick overview of different elements of Programmatic advertising and there is a wide spectrum of information we could go into, but for now this is a start to people on the fence of utilising this advertising method. If, however, you are ready and want to discuss a programmatic advertising campaign give us a shout on the contact page.


Jenny Farnfield
Jenny Farnfield graduated from Southampton Solent University with a 2:1 Degree in Advertising, and brings extensive commercial, digital and marketing acumen to the team at Digital Clarity. Jenny has been recognised by both UK Search Awards and the Ecommerce Awards. Jenny is also IDM certified, and utilises a rigorous, granular approach to digital marketing. With over 6 years’ experience, Jenny digs deep to find solutions and uses an immersive approach in her accounts, turning numbers and data into actionable solutions for her clients.