Skip to Content Skip to Navigation Skip to Enquiry Skip to Sitemap

The Rise of Programmatic Advertising

Article by
18th April 2024 in

The rise of programmatic in modern advertising marks a significant shift in how brands engage with their audience. In conversation with Bonfire’s Performance Media Lead, Sherridan Porter, we explore why programmatic advertising is currently in vogue and how it resonates with modern consumer behaviour.

The Origins and Surge of Programmatic

Though a relatively recent phenomenon, programmatic has roots that go back to the early days of digital marketing. Advertising platform providers like Google have long utilised programmatic techniques to optimise ad placements. They primarily operated behind the scenes, placing ads based on algorithms to maximise visibility and engagement. At the start of 2020, however, programmatic really began to capture the public imagination.

In 2020, COVID-19 was dominating headlines. People worldwide were confined to their homes, and traditional outdoor advertising placements suddenly lost their audiences. As brands scrambled to alter their advertising strategies, the agility and precision of programmatic started to stand out.

Sherridan Porter, Bonfire’s Performance Media Lead, recalls, “2020 was when we really started to notice the key differences between traditional advertising like TV and radio and programmatic. When advertisers needed to pivot their strategies, when they were pausing campaigns and pulling budgets, they wanted immediate updates to their campaigns. With programmatic, that was so easy. We could do it within minutes or seconds. Whereas changing traditional was a nightmare; there were multiple phone calls and additional fees to deal with.”

A Quick Definition of Programmatic Advertising

What exactly is programmatic advertising? Programmatic is a method for buying and displaying ad inventory in real-time, typically from an online marketplace. It leverages large swaths of data to target specific audiences with tailored messages.

A diagram showing the five steps involved in showing an ad programmatically.

The five stages of programmatic ad fulfilment.

One example of a programmatic marketplace is Google’s Display Network (GDN). It enables advertisers to serve their ads on various websites and mobile apps across the internet. Through GDN, advertisers can utilise data-driven targeting options to display their ads to specific users based on factors such as their interests, demographics and past online behaviour. This ensures their message reaches the most relevant users at the right time, maximising engagement and efficiency.

Why is Programmatic So Popular?

Programmatic isn’t just popular with advertisers; it’s also popular with consumers, seamlessly integrating into their everyday digital experiences. “It’s very different these days, how people interact with advertising and want to receive it,” Sherridan says, “A lot of consumers, they need to be almost ‘wined and dined’ by companies. They want to think of it as their own idea when they make a decision. They do much more research. Programmatic follows the consumer’s journey across different platforms, at different parts of the day on their different devices. And with each impression, you can alter the messaging. It’s a non-aggressive way of advertising.”

“It’s very different these days, how people interact with advertising and want to receive it,”

This consumer-first approach is supported by the inherent accuracy and efficiency of programmatic. Through real-time bidding, ads are both sold and displayed at the exact moment a potential customer visits a webpage or even enters a specific location. Ad space is allocated to the most relevant ad depending on real-time data. Additionally, programmatic campaigns allow for swift adaptations based on data insights. Brands can quickly pivot their strategies to optimise their advertising spend. Programmatic reflects the evolving relationship between brands and consumers, combining the need for personal relevance with the efficiency of real-time decision-making.

Maximising the Potential of Programmatic

Programmatic can complement and enhance any marketing strategy. Sherridan says it’s ideal for those looking to advance their marketing. She reaffirms, “No matter what part of the funnel you want to push users into, whether it’s top, middle or bottom, there is a way to do it with programmatic.” For those considering programmatic, Bonfire can help you leverage this dynamic advertising strategy. Get in touch with us to explore the opportunities programmatic holds for your brand.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the brightest minds.


Enter your email below for all the latest news and resources.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Close enquiry the form