Introduction to Programmatic Advertising: Digital Marketing

Learn the inner workings of a massive digital industry - How advertisers use programmatic to execute their digital buys

Last updated 5/2023 English

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Have you heard the term Programmatic Advertising before? What about RTB? Maybe you've heard of an SSP or a DSP or an exchange. But do you really know what these terms mean and what these companies do?

In 2020 programmatic advertising was a $65B a year industry, or about 20% of all digital ad dollars. This is up nearly 2,000% from just 2011. And industry of this size, with such explosive growth requires a lot work by many different companies. It also requires a complex system that results in benefits for all parties.

In Introduction to Programmatic Advertising I'll walk you through the process of a programmatic ad buy, the ad-tech companies involved, and the benefits for both advertisers and publishers. I'll breakdown the ecosystem piece by piece in order to clearly explain what "programmatic" actually means.

By taking this course you'll be joining over 50,000 students that I've taught to date in over 130 countries. My classes on digital advertising have received hundreds of 5 star reviews from seasoned media professionals, to recent college grads. I know you'll not only learn something from this course, but you'll enjoy the experience.

Overview: Get immersed into the world of programmatic advertising. In this introductory level course, designed for those with an intermediate understanding of the digital marketing space, I'll explain exactly what programmatic advertising actually is, and how it's executed. I use simple visuals to illustrate complex systems, and provide clear definitions for industry terms and short-hand. It is perfect for anyone who is interested in advertising their business online, looking for a job in digital media planning, wondering how major brands decide to place an ad online, a student focusing on marketing and advertising, or those who are generally interested in how the ads you see online are created and served to you.

Course Subjects:

  1. Define Digital Advertising - What is considered digital advertising
  2. Ad Sizes & Standards - Which ad sizes and units are actually covered in a programmatic buy
  3. Common Pricing Models - What are the common pricing models and the formulas to calculate
  4. Ad-Tech Companies - There are lots of different companies that handle programmatic, but they all have different traits that make them unique and valuable
  5. Publisher Integrations - How does a publisher like a website or mobile app, actually go about working with a programmatic tool
  6. Programmatic Process - We'll visualize the actual process of executing a buy
  7. Using Data to Inform Buys - Data is the new oil and that's no different in programmatic. We'll discuss how companies can use data to enhance their buys
  8. Programmatic vs. RTB - These two terms are used together a lot, but they are not the same thing
  9. Pricing The Bid - How do both publishers and advertisers decide how much to price their bids
  10. Auction Types - To execute a bid there must be an auction, but there are multiple kinds to review
  11. Reporting - What information is reported with a programmatic buy and why is it important


  1. ★★★★★ “I'm in advertising sales and have been looking for a clean easy way to explain and also test my root knowledge of the programmatic ad space. It was very helpful and simple to understand which is hard to do with this topic.” ~ Raul Bonilla
  2. ★★★★★ "Being an advertising agency media planner and buyer, having this hands on information helps when we face a decision to go into the digital advertising space. Your 101 and 201 was extremely informative and truly like your overviews in a very simplistic explanation. Thank you and look forward to your future courses." ~ Diane Tody

What you'll learn

  1. Learn what programmatic advertising is from a 10,000 foot view
  2. Get introduced to all the players in the programmatic advertising space
  3. Understand advertising strategy and how programmatic fits in
  4. Digital marketing processes and how programmatic changed that
  5. What is Header Bidding vs. Waterfalls and why is it important?
  6. Learn from an industry expert
  7. What is Programmatic Advertising & RTB (Real Time Bidding)?
  8. Make smarter decisions about your digital advertising efforts
  9. Advance your career with a deeper understanding of the digital advertising industry
  10. An understanding of the complex way digital advertising companies work together
  11. Join over 7,000 students in 130 countries who have taken these courses
  12. Be able to clearly and confidently present ideas to clients and co-workers


  1. Baseline knowledge of the digital marketing space
  2. Understanding that programmatic advertising is a way to buy and sell digital ads
  3. Come to the course ready to learn

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