Programmatic advertising for Small to Medium Enterprises

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Programmatic advertising for SME’s

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, a reliable and consistent method of supply of new customers is truly the golden egg. If you are a small or medium enterprise it is on you to ensure that you are acquiring customers in the most efficient manner both from a time and cost perspective.   Programmatic advertising not only meets both of these standards but also provides greater control over the potential customers viewing your ads online. This last point is crucial. Ultimately the precision of the method used for determining who your ads are shown to correlates directly to the likelihood of that person converting to an actual customer.

What is Programmatic?

Programmatic advertising is ineptly named and is likely to cause confusion for the majority of business owners, and will probably cause a sense of impending doom for those who are less tech savvy. Alas, do not be deterred. Programmatic simply refers to the automated purchase of ad impressions, nothing more nothing less. So for example, if you hire an advertising agent to purchase ad impressions on behalf of your company, based on your requirements the ads will be purchased via automated technology from a website with available space to place your ad. There are two principal forms of programmatic advertising, real-time bidding (RTB) and programmatic direct.

Real Time Bidding (RTB)

Real time bidding essentially involves the automated purchase of ad impressions across numerousplatforms via an open bidding auction. Imagine a person is visiting a website which attracts 30 year old females, with an interest in trainers, who live in Germany, who are single, who work in finance… you get the idea. If the owner of that website is using programmatic software then available ad impressions can be added to an open advertising marketplace in real time. A buying agent also using the appropriate software, will through automated processes have the ability to purchase that ad impression by bidding along side other agents on your behalf. If you are successful in the bidding auction then the relevant real time visitor will be shown your ad. This all occurs in thousandths of a second and allows ads to be purchased in real time across many platforms. It is essentially a type of automated matchmaking between those seeking to buy ad space and those seeking to sell, with the benefit of the immediacy which programmatic delivers. It is also possible to gain access to private marketplaces. This is when high level advertising publishers sell ad impressions within an auction environment on an invitation only basis. This allows publishers to have tight control over the ads placed on its platform, and gives a stronger assurance to the buyer in relation to the environment in which its ads will be displayed.

Programmatic Direct

‘Programmatic Direct’ involves an automatic process which allows the party seeking to place an ad to purchase the impression directly from the seller of the available ad space. There is no auction and is akin to a typical purchasing transaction, in this case the product is the ad impression. An advantage of this method is that it provides a guarantee for those looking to advertise, in terms of both whether and where the ad will be displayed. Typically the cost of impression (CPM) is agreed between both parties and the ongoing tracking of the particular ad campaign is automated. The level of automation can depend on what the publisher chooses.


Now you understand what programmatic is all about, you might find yourself asking what does this mean for me?

Simply put it means that you can target your potential customers with increased accuracy. This is due to ever improving algorithms designed to deliver your ads to the person not only most likely to have an interest in what ever it is you are selling, but also to actually convert that person into a customer. The technology also delivers increased transparency which provides for a better understanding of the ad buying process. This gives you greater control in terms of deciding the context or platform on which you want your ad displayed, ensuring your brand identity remains intact. Perhaps the highest value dimension to programmatic is the sheer speed at which the entire process takes place. The miracle of the software allows you to insert your product directly in front of the right person and connect with your potential customer at a crucial moment in time, ensuring your impressions result in the highest possible conversion rate. This point should be carefully considered by all SME’s when engaging in an advertising campaign, as ultimately wasted ad impressions are just that, and not only impact your bottom line but can also effect the pace of growth of your business.

contact us to see how we can generate new revenue streams for your business.

Why are the top advertisers in Ireland shifting their budgets to mobile?

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‘Mobile adspend in Ireland grows from €9.9m in 2012 to €231m in 2016’ & ‘total digital adspend grows from €148.2m to €445m in the same four year period’.

The development of technology has provided consumers with a device that only Mork and Mindy could only have dreamt of, the mobile phone, aka – the new best friend. This tech change in society has a major influence on how all advertisers are targeting their customers, annual adspend figures showing the shift of marketing budget from traditional media to digital, with focus on mobile. This is where customers can be found and communicated to in an engaging and relevant manner with little or no wastage.

The IAB Ireland, the trade association for digital advertising in conjunction with PwC, conducted the latest research to provide us with the most accurate information when measuring digital ad-spend in Ireland. The produced report includes spend from media agency buyers, brands direct, digital sales houses, and various publishers – local and international in Ireland for the entire year of 2016.

The findings may surprise some, the exponential growth of mobile consumption, with social media and video on demand evident drivers, and advertising spend following digital consumption with significant year on year growth figures.

The IAB Ireland PwC Online Adspend Study for 2016 (Jan to Dec) reports ad revenues of €445m compared to €340m in 2015, a significant growth of 31%.

Core Media estimates that in 2016 Google, across all its platforms, will generate around €175m on the island of Ireland alone. “Some 16pc of all advertising money spent on media in Ireland is spent on Google,” notes Alan Cox, CEO of Core Media.


Key findings:

  • Mobile Adspend in Ireland is up 63% from 2015, representing €231m, 52% of total digital adspend – the breakdown is 55% across search and 44% on display
  • Display advertising holds a 44% share with a spend of €197m – an increase of 44% on 2015
  • Paid for Search Advertising has grown 25% YOY with a 49% share of total online adspend at €219m in 2016
  • Social Media across Desktop & Mobile is up 133% on 2015, a total spend of €114m, 25% of total digital adspend
  • Video on Demand (VOD) saw an increase of 91% on year, a total of €47m
  • Native advertising total spend in 2016 was €82m – representing a growth of 82% on 2015
  • Classified Advertising represents 6% of spend at €29m in 2016.


Advertisers follow consumption, so what is driving digital growth in 2016?

  • 80% Irish adults use smartphones, an increase of 75% on 2015
  • Irish marketers planned to spend 21 – 50% of total marketing budget on digital in 2016
  • VOD: 61% of Irish adults spend over four hours per week watching video streaming content
  • 59% of 15 – 24 year olds watch more VOD than TV
  • 24% of adults visit a brands site after watching a video compared to 20% who search online for the brand.


Top 5 spenders on desktop & mobile devices by advertising category & contribution to total digital spend:

  1. Finance = 18%
  2. Retail = 14%
  3. FMCG = 12%
  4. Telecomms + Utilities = 11%
  5. Auto = 10%




Source: IAB Ireland,