How Does Programmatic Ad buying Work?

Programmatic Ad buying is a lot like buying stocks from the Toronto Stock Exchange – at warp speed!!!

When a person wishes to buy stocks, they can’t just wander onto the trading floor at the TSE, put their hand up and have someone bring them a bunch of shares.

Conversely, a company owner can’t amble out into the “bullpen” and wave around stocks in their own company for sale.

The same holds true for programmatic ad buying.  There are access points to the Ad Exchanges known as SSPs and DSPs (more on those in a later blog). 


So using the stock market example, here’s how the process works:

  1. A company decides it wants to offer available advertising space on its website to the highest bidders.  This company would then either invest in an SSP or better yet, partner with an agency with an SSP (Supply Side Platform), who acts much like a broker, to ensure that their available advertising space is listed on the internet’s available Ad Exchanges.
  2. An advertiser who wishes to purchase space on the best available websites would then use a DSP (Demand Side Platform) to bid on this available space.  The bid amounts are preprogrammed based on the audience the advertisers wish to reach so the auctions themselves are actually completed in microseconds!


Another very interesting point to note in the programmatic bidding process is that competing bids are calculated by algorithms and machine learning to automatically determine the most effective bids for the ideal audience.

 Meaning, if the user who clicks on a website is a strong potential customer for a certain advertiser, based on the customer’s historical internet usage, behaviour and online profile, the bid put forth on behalf of that advertiser will be higher in order to win that customer’s eyeballs!



Most importantly – very few people, unless they have a ton of experience, expertise, and time on their hands, manage their own stock portfolios themselves.  They have financial planners and advisors who keep track of the latest trends, market intel and all of the elements that go into being successful in the market.  

The same holds true with programmatic ad buying/selling.  There are constantly changing algorithms, optimizations, rules of engagement and so on, all of which take enormous amounts of focus and expertise to keep on top of. 

This is where we can help you in the same way the financial advisor would help with your investments.  We put your messages in front of the right audience at the right times and constantly monitor and optimize to get you the maximum levels of success!