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How to Start Buying Ads Programmatically In-House

Jun 14, 20193 min read
Lina Lugova
Lina Lugova, Marketing expert at Epom
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If someone would have suddenly decided to choose the most frequently used word in online advertising, that would probably be programmatic. At one time a game-changing technology, programmatic has transformed into an essential part of the digital advertising ecosystem.

According to the latest data, the programmatic advertising market in Europe has more than doubled in value since 2017. It is expected to reach the $100 billion mark by 2024. In 2021, programmatically sold advertising was worth around $418 billion. Statista predicts that this number will grow to about $725 billion by 2026.

Experts agree that the programmatic shares in the video, mobile, and in-app advertising will continue to grow in 2023. This tendency towards growth is expected. What was actually new to the industry is that the expansion of programmatic had led to massive in-house adoption of the technology among ad agencies and brands.

The part of the companies started handling media buying internally by acquiring traffic from a variety of demand-side platforms (DSPs). The minority of these companies ended up building their own DSPs.

In this article, we'll focus on the main advantages of programmatic advertising, how to start advertising programmatically and share a small checklist on how to choose the programmatic advertising solution that works best for your revenue goals.

Advantages of Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is beneficial for all parts of the online advertising ecosystem. Programmatic allows to run and manage multiple performance ad campaigns simultaneously, without human-factor aspect. Programmatic media buying in-house is lightspeed, more efficient, and cheaper. Let's take a closer look at the advantages of implementing programmatic media buying.

1. Real-time analytics and insights

As a fully automatic technology, programmatic advertising allows you to purchase a very targeted audience in real-time. In the programmatic ecosystem, all the data and ad campaign results can be seen with a zero delay, and it helps to adapt to constant changes faster.

When you see which audience you attract, the traffic source and the price, you can change the whole advertising strategy immediately, without waiting for the weekly or monthly report.

2. Smart targeting

One of the primary benefits of programmatic technology is its flexibility, which helps advertisers to laser-target their desired audience at a lower price. Extensive targeting options include the age, interests, and other details about users, including:

  • Browser
  • OS
  • OS version
  • Device
  • Language
  • Time of the day
  • Carrier code
  • Geolocation
  • Frequency depth
  • Domain URL
  • App name
  • IP
  • Retargeting

And much more

3. Advanced cross-channel advertising

Programmatic stack enables you to run ads on desktop, mobile, tablets, apps, etc. from one account. Remember that 3.5 billion people across the globe are using the internet daily and through programmatic advertising, you can reach only those you value the most, without wasting money on irrelevant and even bot traffic.

With the high-performing ad formats available, you can run truly personalized ads, including rich media and native ads.

4. Track and measure

Programmatic technology helps you foresee the trends and changes in your advertising strategy and keep the hand on the latest industry shifts. If you control your ad activity, you don't have to wait until the end of the campaign to see the results or make any changes. You can analyze data in real-time and make data-driven decisions for your growth strategy. Programmatic technology helps you to constantly monitor the performance and gain total transparency in media buying.

All in all, programmatic is all about transparency and “buying audience” instead of buying traffic. You can leverage data to make timely decisions and reach the target audience at the right time with highly relevant ads.

Start buying ads programmatically: DSP overview

The programmatic advertising ecosystem consists of multiple elements. Buying traffic programmatically requires the adoption of a platform for media buyind — demand-side platform (DSP).

It is a software to automate ad buying, placements, and do ad optimization in real-time. Media buying through a DSP ensures total control over your ad performance and near-100% transparency. We'd love to tell you a bit more about types of DSPs for media buying: third-party DSP and White Label DSP. What is the difference between them and which of them is more beneficial for your company?

Using the Third-Party Demand-Side Platform

The DSP is an automatic platform that allows you to buy ad impressions in real time. Along with other marketing channels (like social media), DSP is an option to enlarge your presence on the Internet.

In your everyday workflow, the DSP will look like a private account where you set up, start and manage your ad campaigns, connect to traffic sources and receive starts on your performance in real time.

The foundation of every DSP is real-time bidding or RTB technology. RTB auction works as easy as this: the media buyer sets up a unique bid for every ad impression and competes for this impression in a real-time. For media buyers and advertisers, a DSP is a source of online traffic and the technology that keeps all ad activities under control. Advertisers can connect to multiple traffic sources, SSPs and ad exchanges, and expand their reach to the new and relevant audience worldwide.

White Labeling Demand Side Platform

Advertising with your own DSP suits for running, managing and optimizing branded and performance ad campaigns if you buy huge traffic volumes.

Among the biggest advantages of buying traffic with your own DSP is the absence of middlemen and 100% transparency. You own DSP also guarantees that you avoid bidding to the same traffic (what happens when you buy impressions across various DSPs)and don't compete with yourself. The six major reasons why companies decide on White label DSP instead of buying from a bunch of others are:

  • Unite all online media buying activities in one account.
  • Get ready-to-use technology with no investments into development.
  • Avoid paying fees to middlemen (you'll be surprised, but the monthly fees can reach up to $15 000)
  • Buy cross-device traffic from one platform instead of a crowd.
  • Get performance, analytics, and data displayed on one dashboard.
  • Target a very precise audience with bidstream data.
  • Eliminate the risk of competing with yourself through other DSPs.
  • Live and detailed analytics delivered to your dashboard.

White labeling the DSP could be of great value for advertisers/ app developers who want to promote their product/service, drive more app installs and automate the KPIs.

Advertising agencies can unite all their media buying in one place. There is no need to use multiple self-serve DSP accounts, analyze performance from different places and try to aggregate it and optimize. They do not share the data with any third party. They are the owners of technology and can white label DSP and give self-serve accounts to advertisers. Besides, there is no need to pay to the middlemen (as in the case with ad networks).

white-label & self-serve DSP white-label & self-serve DSP

Ad networks who want to shift to programmatic and drive external traffic. Moreover, Demand Side Platform provides more optimization (bidding rules or bid multipliers that help to win the impressions).

How to evaluate DSP for programmatic media buying

First on, invest some time in summarizing your company needs. “I want to buy traffic programmatically” is a rather bad goal. How many traffic do you buy? Which traffic is a high priority for you?

When you ask yourself this and many other questions, the requirements for your future DSP will be more precise and you can spend some time on basic technology research. Here are the top evaluation points for any DSP that may influence your decision-making process.

Platform Fee

Many DSPs offer a big bunch of available features and proclaim themselves as the top solution in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. But the only thing that matters is the correlation between the price and the necessary features.

If you see that a DSP offers pretty same features as its competitors, but costs twice their price, maybe you don't need this #1 in the market? Every DSPs is unique, and prior to choosing one, make sure you understand its structure and aware of hidden DSP costs.

DSP Focus

Today marketers use 2-3 DSP for their media buying activities. It might be frustrationg, but they use different DSPs for different types of traffic. Many DSPs have strict limits of bids on certain traffic type: many of them focus solely on mobile traffic or video. Epom white Label DSP offers multi-screen programmatic advertising without the need to choose between display, mobile and video.


Programmatic media buying in-house requires lots of optimization and it should not be done manually. Machine learning and custom features make this process automated and keep an eye on all ad campaigns 24/7. Pay more attention to the custom-developed features, eg bidding rules in Epom White Label DSP, to do everyday optimization for you. They also keep your budget away from underperforming traffic sources.

Bidding rules in Epom White Label DSP

Read more tips on DSP evaluation here: How to Choose DSP for Programmatic Media Buying

If you're ready to proceed with programmatic media buying, request a demo on our White Label DSP and discover how to start advertising programmatically with no middleman involved.

Request a demo

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