NIX Solutions: Real-Time Bidding Vs Programmatic Direct

Digital marketing professionals know how time-consuming it is to manually publish advertising. Advertisers have to negotiate on their own with advertising platforms that offer different terms and conditions. The advent of programmatic advertising has changed the situation for the better. NIX Solutions experts believe that automation of the process of buying and selling advertising space on the Internet brings online advertising to a whole new level. Technologies such as real-time bidding and programmatic direct make it easier to buy, place and optimize ads. It’s an optimal targeting strategy based on technical advances and human expertise. Let’s take a closer look at these methods of programmatic advertising, which have some differences.

Real-Time Bidding

This method of programmatic advertising involves the sale of advertising through an auction. Real-Time Bidding (RTB) offers a display of ads for a specific visitor. Buying and selling take place in a split second, from the time the bid is submitted to the auction until the ad is published. The battle for website visitors involves publishers selling their ad space and advertisers interested in buying. To optimize the process, bidders use specialized DSP and SSP platforms.

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Platforms for Advertisers

RTB is like trading on a stock exchange. Ad spaces are sold automatically through centralized ad exchanges that you cannot access directly. You need an intermediary. Only instead of a broker, here, Demand Side Platforms (DSP) are used. This software-based SaaS solution allows advertisers to access multiple online resources where they can manage advertising on different platforms through a single interface. With the DSP, buyers participate in an auction using special data processing tools to optimize bids and targeting.

The DSP is essential for high-quality advertising of products and services. The platform allows advertisers to monitor their client base and divide clients into groups based on various parameters. The DSP analyzes all current advertiser campaigns and finds the most appropriate one for the user. On behalf of bidders, the DSP bids against other bidders, and the highest bidder receives the right to place an ad on the page of the online resource. The advertising is shown only to the right target audience, using available socio-demographic data, location data, and requests for online activity.

Platforms for Publishers

Supply-Side Platforms (SSP) represent the interests of site owners. They hook up with publishers, collect offers, and arrange an auction with DSP. Publishers work with SSP, relying only on the high bid that wins the bidding. But sometimes, a publisher can set a minimum value for the show. For example, when private marketplaces are involved in the process, where publishers invite specific advertisers to bid for their ad space. Thus, advertisers bypass ad exchanges and connect their DSP directly to the publisher’s inventory. In this case, the terms of the deal are negotiated in advance. This format gives publishers more control over the advertising content that is placed on the site.

SSP filters advertising content and sets different rates for ad spots. The Sell Side Platform sends requests to the DSP, which transmits audience requirements and bids. In response, the SSP announces the winner of the auction by sending a message. The advertiser with the best bid submits their material to users. It is possible to give the bid along with the advertising material during the bidding. Each SSP has its interface for publishers to manage advertising spots and study statistics.

Programmatic Direct

In Programmatic Direct, the advertiser deals with the publisher outside the auction. There are two types of direct purchases. You can use Programmatic Guarantee with a fixed price and impression volume, or you can choose a Preferred Deal with a set price per thousand impressions. In the second case, there is no fixed volume of impressions, and each advertiser is free to choose the best option for themselves. This is ideal for publishers with a certain amount of premium traffic. For information about such traffic, publishers send only to specific advertisers. Thus, advertising inventory is not auctioned off and is sold through direct sales, which helps eliminate fraudulent advertising spots from the deal.

Transactions in Programmatic Direct also go through the SSP and DSP systems. In contrast to real-time bidding, here, premium traffic is sold before the auction by prior arrangement. Only residual traffic that has not been sold using the Programmatic Direct model is offered in the general auction. Direct transactions are favored by famous campaigns. They receive guarantees from publishers on the volume of impressions and cost of advertising, which allows them to plan their advertising budgets more accurately. Brands pay a good price and buy out the best advertising spots on large platforms.


Previously, the cost of advertising was dictated by system and platform owners. Advertisers bought advertising space and could not purchase display advertising for the target audience. It was difficult to determine which advertising platforms and when the right audience was present. A simpler way of advertising with one entry point on different exchanges and platforms was required. This task perfectly copes – programmatic advertising. It includes bidding for each user based on detailed targeting. The advertiser can search for audiences based on exact parameters using Data Management Platforms (DMP). All relevant information, including socio-demographic data obtained and preferences based on user requests, is stored in cookies. It makes the segmentation more accurate.

Digital advertising experts at NIX Solutions highlight the fast buying process in programmatic marketing due to its robotic approach. There is no need for unnecessary coordination with managers. As long as the page loads, the algorithm will do everything after a special setup. The advertiser can always see the statistics, make corrections or trust the automatic adjustments to the parameters. In any case, through which model of programmed purchases to purchase advertising, you choose only. The main thing is to set up the programmatic system correctly. This depends on effective interaction between Demand Side Platforms (DSP) and Sell Side Platforms (SSP), which are connected to Data Management Platforms (DMP) to collect, process, and store data about site visitors.