An ad impression is a measure of the frequency with which an ad is seen. It is sometimes referred to as an "ad view." Every time an ad is displayed on a webpage, it counts as one impression. The number of impressions an ad receives depends on the number of times a page is located and loaded.
200 milliseconds is the life span of a programmatic ad impression.
Here is how it works:
- Kathy Consumer clicks on a URL, and the content of the publisher begins to load in the browser.
- The publisher may find information about Kathy Consumer stored in its data management platform (DMP).
- The publisher sends available information to its ad server, asking if an ad campaign is available that would target Kathy Consumer.
- If there is a campaign that matches Kathy Consumer's profile, an ad is served.
- If there is not a campaign that targets Kathy Consumer, the server seeks to match the impression, programmatically requesting a response from selected traders, ad networks and supply side platforms (SSPs).
- If the impression is not cleared, the server may seek to clear the impression in a direct, programmatic way, via private exchanges.
- If the impression is again not cleared, the request is sent to an open ad exchange, in hopes of achieving liquidity.
- Open ad exchange sends a bid request containing information on Kathy Consumer's browser, website URL and ad type to multiple bidders, including traders, ad networks and demand side platforms.
- Each bidder processes the bid request, overlays it with additional user data and marketer's targeting and budget rules.
- Each bidder's algorithm evaluates the request, selects the creative, and sends it, along with the optimal bid price to the ad exchange.
- Ad exchange selects winning bid from bidders' responses through second price auction. Ad exchange also sends winning ad URL and price from winning bid to publisher's ad server.
- Publisher's ad server tells Kathy Consumer's browser which ad to display.
- Kathy Consumer's browser pulls the ad from the winning bidder's ad server and sends matching ad to browser.
- The browser displays the webpage, including the matching ad.
- Winning bidder's ad server receives ad tag data on Kathy Consumer's initial interaction experience.
And that is 200 milliseconds, the life of a programmatic impression. It doesn't take long, but there is so much accomplished, both for the consumer as well as the marketer.
In order to market what it is that your business has to offer, it's not only helpful, but imperative, to identify your target market. If you have a small business, and want to stay competitive with the bigger guys, you must zero in on those who will most benefit from what you are providing.
There are those who say that they are targeting whoever has an interest in their products. There are those who narrow it down slightly and say that they want to reach out to fathers, or college students, or homeowners. These are good first steps, but they are too ambiguous. In programmatic marketing, specificity is a must. This doesn't mean that you need to leave out those that don't fit within your realm, but the whole purpose for going after your specific demographics is to focus your branding and marketing budget on the crowd that is most likely to buy your services or products. You must play the odds in a wise fashion to achieve the most effective bang for your buck.