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Over the last decades, advertising technology or "AdTech" has transformed digital advertising and become a crucial part of the ecosystem. AdTech refers to the software, platforms, and tools that help deliver targeted ads to consumers across devices and channels. This includes supply-side platforms (SSPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), data management platforms (DMPs), ad verification solutions, tracking tools and analytics platforms, and so on. 

How AdTech enables programmatic advertising 

In the early days of digital advertising, brands would have to directly negotiate and purchase ad inventory from individual publishers. This manual process was inefficient and limited the ability to target specific audiences and optimize campaigns.  

The emergence of real-time bidding (RTB) and AdTech platforms empowering programmatic ad buying has revolutionized things. Instead of dealing directly with publishers, advertisers can now use AdTech platforms to instantly buy ad impressions and target users based on their browsing data and demographics.  For this reason, understanding the AdTech ecosystem is crucial to run effective programmatic campaigns. 


How to run programmatic campaigns 

Buying advertising programmatically involves several steps, and while the process may differ depending on the platform and tools, there are some key steps to be aware of: 

  • Strategy and planning: the campaign budget and goals are agreed and the planning team develops a comprehensive plan highlighting advertising channels, messaging and creative approach.  
  • Creative development: the creative teams work closely with the planning team to produce the creative elements. 
  • Media planning and buying: the media buying team analyses the target audience and identifies the most suitable channels and platforms to reach this audience.  
  • Campaign execution: this includes launching the ads across the different media channels and implementing the campaign tracking. 
  • Performance tracking, reporting and optimization: the analytics team reports on the performance of the campaign to the campaign management and planning teams who are in charge of assessing the campaign's success, and identifying future opportunities. 


How AdTech empowers better and more effective ad formats 

AdTech provides the backend infrastructure to support more interactive ad experiences.  Adtech platforms have played a key role in the evolution of ad formats. These have changed dramatically over the past century, evolving from basic print and broadcast to a plethora of interactive formats such as: 

  • Display ads like banners, billboards, interstitials 
  • Native advertising that matches the look and feel of content 
  • Video ads before, during, or within video content 
  • Social media ads within platforms like Facebook and Instagram 
  • Search ads on Google and other search engines 
  • Connected TV and digital out-of-home ads 

Advancements in ad formats together with the rise of capabilities like creative automation, cross-device features, audience targeting, flexible placements, etc. have enabled brands to communicate with audiences in richer and more relevant ways across platforms and devices.  


How key trends are shaping the future of AdTech 

AdTech platforms are continuously evolving, shaped by changes in consumer behavior, new data privacy laws requiring the development of anonymous identifiers for tracking and targeting users such as the Universal ID 2.0 (UID2 ), technological advances in things like artificial intelligence (AI) which brings automation and optimization to the next level and new ad formats introduced with the rise of smart TVs and speakers .  

In this fast-changing advertising landscape, it's crucial for advertisers to stay on top of the latest shifts and developments.  

The world of AdTech may seem highly technical but the goal of this course is to break it down in simple terms, so you come away with a solid understanding of how AdTech can be leveraged to run programmatic campaigns.  

So get ready for a deep dive into the fast-paced, always evolving industry behind digital advertising. Let's get started! 

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