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Chapter 3: What Should I Know?

Everything you need to know about programmatic advertising, but were afraid to ask.


A big part of understanding programmatic is understanding the underlying players. Below you will find a collection of definitions and explanations for some heavily used words/phrases in the programmatic industry. These key phrases will help you be a natural when discussing programmatic at your next meeting.


Impressions/CPM: We sell campaigns on a CPM basis, which means Cost Per Mille, or cost per thousand impressions. An impression means an ad has been delivered on someone's device.


Impression delivery: Our default daily impression delivery per unique user per 24 hours is four impressions. We are able to change this to less or more impressions per person per day, but we do not encourage this. Too few impressions and it is unlikely that the user will notice them, too many and the user will be annoyed and likely take action to opt-out.


Pixels and Cookies: A tracking pixel is a 1×1 invisible pixel that provides information about an ad’s placement on a website. In many cases, a tracking pixel is used to notify an ad tracking system that either an ad has been served, which ad size it was, which website it was served on and of course if someone clicked on it.


A pixel is not a cookie. Most people and companies know that their online behaviour can be tracked by cookies. A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user’s computer for record-keeping purposes. The majority of websites use cookies to assist us with the collection and use of anonymous browsing data. A persistent cookie can remain on a person's hard drive for an extended period of time, but can be removed fairly easily. Programmatic suppliers are very careful not to link the information they store in cookies to any personally identifiable information submitted by users while on a site.


Conversions: In the world of online marketing, a “conversion” occurs when a user takes a desired action. This is thought to be more valuable than simply clicking an ad that leads to the advertiser's site, but there are a variety of conversions.

Sales Funnel

• A Sale:

This is considered the ultimate action someone can take on a website, although this measurable is far more common measurable for B2C advertisers. The ability to measure when a sale has taken place is ideal for e-commerce sites in that advertisers can put code on the checkout page or success page of their online shopping carts. When they see a lead that has come from a particular ad campaign, like programmatic, they can tie that sale back to the advertising campaign and calculate ROI.


Because the sales cycle for B2B is much different, running a programmatic campaign to encourage a sale would be ignoring all of the work that comes before the sale, like trust-building and brand awareness.


• A Form Fill or Email Newsletter Sign-up:


For those advertisers who don't sell their products online, a form completion or e-mail newsletter sign-up can show serious intent from a prospect. It can even be used to measure ROI.


The issue with using online forms to measure campaign success is that people are becoming more unlikely to fill them out, even if they have a high intent to purchase. Many prospects would rather call or walk in instead. And like the form-fill, some are becoming are fed up with unnecessary emails.


• The View-Through:


This is not a traditional conversion in the sense that the prospect took action when they arrived at the advertiser's website. But it can be a great metric for showing that there is other worthwhile data that helps take the weight off the CTR metric. Using the view-through metric, we can measure how many prospects saw the ad, didn’t click on it, but then later made their way to the site a different way - it may have been through a Google search or perhaps they typed in the advertiser’s website directly into the URL, or another method. Again, this conversion doesn't indicate additional action beyond the visit, but it is a valuable way of showing how users who saw the ad showed interest by visiting the advertiser's site.


Ad sizes: We encourage all clients to use the most popular eight ad sizes most often bid on for their campaigns. This ensures that their ads have a high chance of showing up on as many placements as possible. There are dozens of sizes available but we like to focus our efforts on the main eight that have given us the best results.


In this day and age because users are more likely to be consuming content on their mobile/smart devices 70% - 90% of impressions delivered will happen as mobile ads. (See customizable aspects: a client can choose for their campaign to deliver only across desktops or mobile devices, but we recommend not limiting this).

Programmatic Tactics


In our programmatic campaigns, we use a variety of blended tactics to help us find your correct audience online. Below you will see how each one works and why we recommend to run them together.

Site Retargeting


Using the pixel technology described earlier, site retargeting serves ads to users who have already visited your site, while they are visiting other sites across the web. It is a form of targeted online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of website traffic, after they leave your site. The majority of users won't convert when visiting your site for the first time so keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds (or screens) is the best way to encourage them to come back when they are ready.

Search & Keyword Retargeting

Search and Keyword Retargeting

With Search & Keyword Retargeting we are able to target prospects with ads based on the searches they perform across the web and the content they consume. It is a form of targeted advertising based on previous keyword searches conducted on websites and keywords read online in articles and publications. These words are submitted by the client, but at MediaEdge we do own research to supplement this as well as looking at which keywords are performing best for the advertiser’s top competitors.

Category & Contextual Retargeting

 Category & Contextual Retargeting

Category & Contextual Retargeting targets prospects by showing them ads that resonate with the content they are already consuming. This tactic aims to show ads to users as they surf sites that are categorically relevant to their business or product. This is probably the most old fashioned “behavioural” targeting, as it aims to shows ads based on the topic of the content you’re consuming. A common example would be a travel blog showing an ad for a flight deal, or a beauty online store showing a dermatologist ad.

Geo-Fencing & Event Targeting

Geo-Fencing & Event Targeting

These tactics enable us to build digital boundaries around areas of interest and target the individuals that enter that boundary. It may be for a conference, a tradeshow, a short luncheon or even for a block of addresses that you know houses your ideal prospect. We are able to use IP address and other factors, so geo-targeting can reach users on their desktop, laptop computers and mobile decides by taking advantage of location data from your devices through your social media, the weather you look at, your browser setting and apps like Maps, Weather, Yelp, and Camera.



You can use an email list to create retargeting tactics, then reach those segments with web display ads. If an advertiser is using an email service or a CRM platform or just even storing customer purchase history in an excel spreadsheet, CRM data onboarding allows you to upload your email lists and serve those customers ads on the web with the rest of your programmatic campaign. As most promotional emails never get opened, this is an advertiser’s chance to continue their email targeting on the rest of the world wide web.

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