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What is Programmatic Advertising Anyway?

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At Molto, we place a strong emphasis on using Programmatic Display, Video, Audio, Native, and OOH (Out of Home) advertising as part of an overall campaign.

Ever wonder how a display ad on some random website you visit has a display ad that seems too relevant to you and your tastes, desires, or needs to be random? You're right, not random at all. It's because Programmatic platforms are enable advertisers to compete for your eyeballs through a process call Real Time Bidding (RTB). The site screams out to internet: "Bob just clicked through! Who wants to show him an ad? By the time the site loads, an ad from the highest bidders populates that sites ad slot. 

Programmatic Advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising space, utilizing artificial intelligence and real-time bidding (RTB) on ad exchanges to efficiently target specific audiences. We like to  leverage algorithms to analyze a user's behavior, allowing us to place ads in the most optimal locations online. We constantly optimize to make sure you're getting the most value for your ad spend. 

Beware, there are many DIY platforms out there for running your programmatic ads, but they won't let you "see behind the curtain". Therefore you're going get frustrated at the lack of transparency, and your inability to assess the value of your ad buy. 

Programmatic is not necessarily a new technology, but it has really progressed in recent years to allow for more faith in ad placement. When you choose a Programmatic provider, you'll want to know they are diligent in minimizing fraudulent impressions and clicks.

By the way, we're happy to  have been selected as a Top 10 Programmatic Advertising Provider by MarTech Outlook Magazine. 

Programmatic advertising offers several advantages for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of their advertising campaigns:

Access to Premium Inventory:  This access allows SMEs to place their ads on top-tier publications within their industry, which can enhance brand visibility and credibility.

Efficient Targeting: Uses algorithms to optimize ad spending based on the business's goals.

Brand-Building: The visual nature of programmatic display ad formats supports brand-building activities. These formats include native advertising, display ads (both static and interactive), video ads, and audio ads. 

Reach and Scale: Programmatic platforms enable SMEs to shift from one-to-one ad buying to a one-to-many model, significantly increasing the scale and reach of their campaigns. 

Cost-Effectiveness: The benefits of targeted, efficient ad placement can outweigh the costs in the long run, by maximizing the return on investment (ROI) through precise targeting and premium placements.

Measurable ROI: Allows for the measurement of ROI in granular terms, which can include breakdowns by media type, device, ad type, campaign, and demographic or geographic data. 

Flexibility in Uncertain Times: Allows advertisers to quickly adjust budgets and optimize spend towards channels, platforms, or formats that are delivering high returns.

Potential for Higher ROI: Higher compared to larger advertisers, making it a valuable tool for scaling up both locally and globally.

There a some important considerations when selecting your Programmatic Provider. Surprisingly, many large agencies still don't handle campaign execution in-house. 

When evaluating a programmatic ads service provider, the best qualities to look for include:

Expertise and Experience: The provider should have a strong track record and expertise in programmatic advertising, with a deep understanding of various platforms and the ability to navigate the complexities of real-time bidding and ad exchanges.

Data-Driven Approach: A top provider will have a robust data-driven approach, utilizing both first-party and third-party data to inform targeting strategies and campaign optimizations.


Advanced Targeting Capabilities: The ability to effectively segment and target audiences based on detailed criteria such as demographics, interests, behavior, and more, ensuring that ads are served to the most relevant users.

Transparency and Reporting: Clear and comprehensive reporting is essential for monitoring campaign performance. The provider should offer transparency in costs, performance metrics, and analytics.

Brand Safety Measures: Ensuring brand safety is paramount. The provider should have measures in place to protect your brand from appearing alongside inappropriate content and to comply with privacy regulations.


Creative Optimization: The service provider should offer creative optimization services, including A/B testing and the ability to adapt creatives in real-time to improve engagement and performance.

Integration Capabilities: The ability to integrate with various data sources, analytics platforms, and other marketing technologies to ensure a seamless flow of information and unified campaign management.

Flexibility and Agility: The provider should offer flexibility in campaign management, allowing for quick adjustments to changing market conditions and consumer trends.

Customer Support: Excellent customer support and all-encompassing care are crucial for navigating programmatic advertising and achieving campaign outcomes.

Cross-Channel Media Planning: The ability to plan and execute campaigns across multiple channels, including Connected TV (CTV), streaming audio, digital out-of-home (DOOH), display, native, and video, to ensure a cohesive and comprehensive advertising strategy[8].

Cost-Effectiveness: The provider should offer competitive pricing and help you maximize your return on investment (ROI) by efficiently allocating your advertising budget.

Innovative Technology: Utilization of the latest technology and programmatic innovations to stay ahead of the curve and offer cutting-edge solutions for your advertising needs.

Compliance and Regulation Knowledge: The provider must have an expert-level understanding of advertising regulations and compliance issues, such as COPPA and GDPR, to ensure that your campaigns are legally sound.


Selecting a programmatic ads service provider with the these qualities will help ensure that your campaigns are successful, efficient, and aligned with your business objectives.


The latest programmatic advertising trends for 2024 highlight the industry's dynamic evolution, focusing on technological advancements, privacy concerns, and changing consumer behaviors. Here's a summary of the key trends:

Increased Programmatic Spending: Programmatic digital display ad spending is forecasted to grow by 15.9% year-over-year in 2024, with programmatic digital video ad spending expected to increase by 20.9%, outpacing the overall digital ad spending growth.

Deprecation of Third-Party Cookies: The industry is adapting to the loss of third-party cookies, with browsers like Google Chrome phasing them out. This shift necessitates new strategies for cross-domain tracking, targeting, and attribution, emphasizing the importance of first-party data and contextual advertising.

AI and Machine Learning Enhancements: AI technology continues to refine programmatic advertising, improving targeting precision, ad delivery timing, and campaign analytics. AI-driven personalization and optimization are set to redefine engagement strategies, making generic ads obsolete.

Cookieless Identity Solutions: As the industry moves away from third-party cookies, there's a pivot towards privacy-first, cookieless identity solutions. This trend underscores the need for balance between user privacy and targeted advertising efficiency.

Expansion of Programmatic Channels: Programmatic advertising is expanding beyond traditional digital platforms to include Connected TV (CTV), digital out-of-home (pDOOH), and even linear television. This expansion offers advertisers new avenues for targeted, measurable campaigns across a broader media landscape.

Social Media Shifts: The social media advertising landscape is experiencing changes, with platforms like X facing brand safety challenges, while others like Reddit and TikTok continue to attract advertiser interest. Advertisers need to be adaptable and responsive to these shifts, leveraging platforms where their audiences are most engaged.

Economic and Political Influences: The economic environment and the 2024 US presidential election are expected to impact programmatic inventory and advertiser strategies. Advertisers must remain agile and creative to navigate these external factors.

Sustainability Concerns: Programmatic advertising's environmental impact is gaining attention, with efforts to minimize low-quality impressions that contribute to carbon emissions. This trend reflects a growing awareness of the need for sustainable advertising practices.

Technological Innovations: The ad tech industry is poised for further technological innovations, with white-label software solutions offering enhanced operational efficiency and control. These innovations facilitate in-house management of programmatic campaigns, providing businesses with greater autonomy.

Addressability Amid Cookieless Alternatives: The impending demise of third-party cookies is driving a surge in alternative identity solutions and contextual advertising strategies. Advertisers are exploring new ways to maintain addressability and relevance in a cookieless world.

These trends underscore the programmatic advertising industry's ongoing adaptation to technological advancements, regulatory changes, and shifting consumer preferences. Advertisers and agencies must stay informed and flexible to leverage these trends effectively in their programmatic strategies.

Most Common Programmatic Ad Formats

Display Ads Are The Most Common

These are the ads you see everywhere on the web. They seem like they follow you around, don’t they? That’s because experts like us know how to utilize a robust blend of 1st party & 3rd party data to target the most precise audiences. 

Display Ad Formats Image
RimTyme Display Ad Image

Native Ads Spark A HIGH Level Of Engagement!

Native Ads take a softer approach to selling than Display. They’re more relevant and are integrated into what you’re already interested in. Users are much more likely to click on Native than Display ads because they’re given the choice to read, watch, or listen to the content. 

Native Ads Example From Time Mag Site
Native Ads Blend In With Their Adjacent Content, But Clicks Lead To Your Landing Page Of Choice.

Audio Ads Are Great! People Listen All The Way Through.

Audio Streaming Ads are very effective for upper funnel awareness. One key advantage is they are place essentially anywhere on the web allowing for audio. Games, Websites, Podcasts, Streaming Audio Players, Radio Streams, YouTube, etc. 

CTV Is One Of The Hottest New Outlets For Programmatic

Put your video ads directly on the TV sets of persons based on zip-code, income, viewing habits, and dozens of other demographic profiles. We can even use your 1st party customer lists and create look-a-like viewer lists. CTV is a perfect complement to you campaigns. This platform also works extremely well for political advertising. Even a repurposed social post can be shown along with a QR code for easy navigation to your site. 

CTV Ad Format Example With QR Code
CTV Ad Format Example With QR Code

DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) Inventory Now Via Programmatic!

Advertisement On A Display At Train Station
We Can Place Your Ads Programmatically On Displays of Any Size Located In Public Areas. Even Large Format Billboards.

Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) is a great way to build awareness where your target audience travels. Let’s say you want to target the C-Suite. You know they travel incessantly, so why not serve them your brand messages in airport terminal digital signage. We can even place billboard advertising for you on large format signs via Programmatic placement. This method really extends reach while not tying your brand into a long term deal to lease billboard space. Programmatic also helps us execute swiftly and allows for flexible ad creative rotation.

Seems Like It's ALWAYS Political Season!

US Flag And Microphone

When political seasons heat up, ad inventory becomes scarce. While programmatic has been a great source for political ads, the landscape has broadened dramatically with the recent availability of much more audio and video streaming inventory. We have the data to leverage, allowing you to to target voter rolls, party affiliation, congressional districts and more. 

Our Programmatic Strategies Use Direct Automation

Premium Ad Inventory Available At Molto - Image

We leverage thousands of direct media outlets and sellers—from Hulu and Spotify to IHeart,  even NPR. We have access to EVERY major outlet and we regularly negotiate the best deals with them.

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