How to Run a Successful Programmatic Advertising Campaign

Learn our tricks of the trade for planning, creating, and running a successful programmatic advertising campaign. Start setting up a programmatic ad campaign today.

Programmatic advertising is the future! In fact, programmatic advertising has become the dominant method of buying digital advertising, exceeding 90% of digital ad spend in the US in 2020. Today, the popularity continues to grow.

Programmatic advertising is massively beneficial to advertisers as it gives media buyers access to millions of ad opportunities per second across all devices and channels including Desktop, Mobile, Convergent TV, and more. Among other advantages, programmatic buyers benefit from transparency, flexibility, and control.

If you’re looking to place digital ads, you’re probably wondering … what is the best way to run a programmatic display campaign? This article will help you get started to set up a successful programmatic campaign.

What is a Programmatic Campaign?

Simply put, a programmatic campaign is the act of leveraging automated bidding on display advertising inventory and programmatic buying platforms to buy and sell ad spaces. The ads can target specific consumer segments, depending on the goals of the campaign.

Now that you understand programmatic campaigns, let’s look more deeply in what it takes to set one up right.

Programmatic Buyer Goals for a Successful Programmatic Ad Campaign

What are the top 3 attributes of a successful programmatic ad campaign? To ensure performance, make sure campaigns:

  • Are turnkey: easy to use, easy to set up
  • Drive Scale and innovation
  • Are Effective

While programmatic is extremely powerful, buyers experience challenges driving campaign performance, most often defined as ad engagement, website conversion, or a visit to a physical store location.

Programmatic buyers select from dozens of audience data partners in order to target their campaign appropriately. Yet, online audience data is often inaccurate if it only has insight into a person’s website browsing behavior. This can be illustrated with luxury goods. For example, a person may visit websites of luxury auto manufacturers before actually visiting the dealership of a mid-range manufacturer and purchasing a vehicle. In this example, a person’s online behavior was aspirational in nature–while their physical visit better reflected the consumer persona. Because online audience data is inaccurate, it contributes to poor campaign performance.

Steps to Run a Programmatic Ad Campaign


Know your audience and marketplace – use audience data

Programmatic buyers must utilize audience data solutions that are more precise, and more accurately reflect buyer behavior and intent. Location audience data is a powerful predictor of intent, given that what people do in the real world says a lot more about them than their online behavior. In our automotive example, a consumer’s visit to a mid-range auto manufacturer paints a much clearer picture of their shopping intent, as compared to online behavior alone.


Partner with the right DSP

Online advertising campaigns are created using demand side platforms (DSP’s). A DSP automates media buying through real-time bidding technology. The highest bids earn impressions over the lowest bids. The right DSP allows you to drive business results and increase Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) over time.


Make realistic goals

Identify your goals with your campaign: who are you trying to reach? How? What are your short and long-term goals? Create an effective strategy to make sure you are successful.

Programmatic Advertising: The GroundTruth Differentiation

Now that you’ve learned how to set up a programmatic ad campaign, learn more about how GroundTruth’s platform will help your campaign succeed.


Accurate Targeting: GroundTruth features the industry’s most accurate location-derived visitation data, which translates to better targeting in programmatic campaigns. GroundTruth’s proprietary Blueprints technology goes beyond radial fences around a point of interest, allowing buyers to target custom polygons including in-store, on lot, and in retail areas.


Most Robust, Accredited Database: GroundTruth features the industry’s largest point of interest database, with over 5 million places blueprinted. GroundTruth is also the first and only ad tech provider to receive 3 MRC accreditations across location, place, and visitation data. We vet and discard invalid location data, including outliers and centroids; verify (both with technology and via a dedicated team) that blueprinted places correspond to real world locations; and validate that visits reflect actual foot traffic from customers to points of interest.


Precise Results: Unlike other audience providers who have outdated and inaccurate data, use only radial fences, and add a heavy amount of modeling, GroundTruth audiences are accurate and precise. GroundTruth’s precise location audience targeting results in targeted advertising that is less wasteful, and drives high ad engagement, website conversions, and store visits.

How to Run a Programmatic Ad Campaign: Use Audience Data

In closing, it is extremely important for programmatic buyers to use audience data that is accurate and precise. Online audience data may paint an inaccurate picture of customer intent; location audience data paints a clearer picture of a customer’s interests and purchase behavior. Within the location audience ecosystem, programmatic buyers benefit from working with providers like GroundTruth who feature the industry’s most trusted and precise audience data. Precision translates to better performance and less waste in programmatic campaigns. Learn more here.