How Programmatic Advertising Works and Why It’s Essential for Ag Marketing

Today, programmatic advertising powers a significant and ever-growing share of U.S. digital ads. For the agriculture industry and agribusiness marketers, programmatic offers critical benefits that help cut through the clutter in a highly competitive marketplace to reach a precise audience and maximize return on investment (ROI).



How programmatic advertising works

The programmatic marketplace offers a great degree of integration among its various platforms and participants, ensuring complete automation of buying and selling targeted online banner advertising. It also supports continuous adjustment of targets and messages, making it ideal for ag marketers promoting services and solutions around rapidly changing conditions. This creates a very efficient marketplace where publishers can execute digital advertising in a highly targeted manner. With the right customer data, programmatic allows advertisers to deliver their messages to relevant targets only. No more “spray and pray.”

A few key marketplace elements are illustrated below.



Programmatic powers more than 90% of U.S. digital advertising.

The brand — represented by agribusiness marketing organizations or an ad agency — is on one end and the publisher on the other. Sometimes, publishers sell a portion of their available ad space directly to the brand, which is more common in cases of large or highly targeted sites. The remaining available ad inventory is then designated to advertising networks through a supply-side platform (SSP), such as Xandr or Google Ad Manager, allowing publishers to manage, optimize, and sell it. Likewise, brands and agencies use demand-side platforms (DSPs), like StackAdapt or The Trade Desk, to buy, manage, and optimize advertising promoting the organization or its offerings.

SSPs and DSPs connect to various ad networks and data management platforms, including Google AdSense and AdKnowledge, which enable real-time bidding (RTB) to automate buying and selling processes. These transactions are made based on instructions entered by or on behalf of the brands and publishers. Essentially, it’s an auction process where buyers and sellers of the ad inventory are determined in near real time.

Programmatic advertising then uses an onboarding process, which matches offline data from the advertiser or a third party to established online profiles based on tangible data collected via internet cookies, mobile device IDs, social media profiles, etc. Once paired, the offline data is tagged to an anonymous online profile. To execute their campaigns, advertisers push their chosen segments to the DSP of their choice.


Sharpen your ad targeting

Unlike traditional print or broadcast media, programmatic can get to the audience faster, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively. It also provides better quality measurement data for analysis, showing which programs are performing and which are not. This allows you to adapt your approach quickly and strategically across multiple platforms.

Not only does programmatic advertising improve targeting through digital technology, but it is also continually enhanced with both first and third-party data. First-party data includes information from the advertiser’s own customer or subscriber database. Third-party data, like the FarmMarket data, available exclusively through AgTarget, allows advertisers to reach producers by persona, crop or livestock type, income, acres, crop rotation, grain bins, irrigation, and more.

Ag producers are unique — embodying attributes of both consumer and business audiences.

Depending on the season, product, or service, weather data can be a valuable layer, allowing agribusiness marketers to target producers based on timely environmental triggers, like droughts, heatwaves, or cold snaps. When combined with “farmographics” and farmer demographics, such as age or education level, targeting becomes even more precise.


The bottom-line boosting benefits of programmatic

Sharpening your targeting through a more sophisticated combination of first and third-party data-enabled programmatic advertising provides many benefits. By matching your messaging to and reaching your exact audience, you can get the most from your ad spend.

Programmatic efforts also fold in nicely with other integrated marketing campaigns. Since first and third-party data typically include essential details, marketers can use that information to execute broader campaigns that deliver a one-two punch. A producer receiving a direct mail offer will more likely read and consider it if they also saw it in an email, digital ad, online video, or their social media feed. Likewise, producers are more likely to notice and click on an online ad related to a direct mail piece they’ve received.

This practice allows you to optimize your marketing budget and get the maximum ROI from your promotions by doubling down on a highly targeted audience rather than thinly spreading ad dollars across a broader group and range of mediums.


Reach your ag audience with programmatic precision

Drive ultra-targeted producer campaigns with our exclusive FarmMarket programmatic data and unmatched deployment and reporting. Learn more about AgTarget today!