Data management programs enabled with technology has completely changed the way marketers buy media today. More and more companies are embracing technologies that facilitate media transactions in real-time and at a granular level. Programmatic buying ecosystem is at the core of this revolution and has triggered a paradigm shift from a conventional non-personalized mass media buying to targeted ad placements based on user behavior.
Programmatic buying means sale and purchase of media in real time in an automated manner through software and algorithms. Automation is real time and accurate to such extent that it not only saves time but also improves efficiencies in terms of ROIs and reaching a target audience with laser-guided precision.
While Programmatic buying has not yet taken the healthcare domain by storm, a buzz around the topic has started getting louder in recent times.
Media buying in healthcare quintessentially has been done in a traditional manner through sales teams approaching publishers either offline or online and then go through a long process RFQs, negotiations, preparing artworks and specs modifications, purchase indenting, vendor onboarding and eventually releasing payment. And all this convoluted process has to go through before the ad is even published. Hence there is a lag between purchase intent and actual media release. And that is what Programmatic is good at solving.
So how does Programmatic buying works and why hasn’t it caught the imaginations of healthcare marketer yet? Let us dig into details.
How does Programmatic Buying Works? The Programmatic Ecosystem
First, let us understand some commonly used terms used in the Programmatic Buying world and also how the Programmatic ecosystem actually works.
When a user clicks on a web page that has an advertising space on it, the publisher of the web page sends a cookie to user’s web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Bing… whichever).
What is Cookie: Cookie, in simple terms, is a small data file that is sent from publisher’s web server to user’s web browser which serves to establish user’s identity
In case an inventory (advertising space on a web page) is available for sale, it triggers a request from publisher’s Ad Server to their Supply Side Platform (SSP) to fill the Ad slot
Definition of SSP: You may think of Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) like a library or storehouse of Ad Inventories available for placing your advertisement. It is a platform that connects sellers (web sites, blogs, directories etc.) with buyers or advertisers who compete against each other for available Ad space.
Some of the well-known supply side platforms are AppNexus, PubMatic, AOL or Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
SSP then issues a bid request to Demand Side Platform (DSP). This bid request contains information about the user who is about to see the Ad like her demographic profile, browsing history, etc. This information helps DSPs to make an informed decision about a user before making a bid.
What is a DSP? : Demand Side Platform or DSP, as they are referred in programmatic world, is a doorway to purchase advertising space in an automated fashion. Think of DSPs as advertiser’s gatekeepers who matches inventories with buyer’s marketing objectives. DSPs make bidding decision on behalf of a buyer after evaluating parameters like publisher’s profile, ad placement, the floor price of available impression, etc.).
Some of better-known DSPs include DoubleClick Bid Manager by Google, AdMission, MediaMath etc.
Based on the algorithm, DSPs assesses inventories to determine how valuable the impression is and whether to participate in the auction on behalf of an advertiser. If DSP decides to participate in bid auction, it sends a bid response back to SSP
SSP gathers all bid responses and picks a winner based on the second-price auction, that means, the one who bids slightly above the second highest bidder.
SSP notifies winning DSP and the DSP, in turn, sends Ad serving code to SSP. Finally, SSP passes on Ad serving code to user’s browser and renders the Ad. The Ad is then served along with other content on a web page.