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In the interest of time, let’s jump forward to the contact data part of this technology as it is what is most relevant to today’s burgeoning B2B (and educational) Programmatic Digital Advertising Market. Advertising Exchanges can now place ads into thousands of content sites and thousands of digital publications using dynamic real-time targeting that allows for marketers to target specific content consuming individuals to receive their advertisements. Meaning only the people an advertiser wants to view their banner advertisement will actually see it.


So how is this accomplished? Content publishers or social media sites know the IP addresses of devices accessing their site, or in some cases they actually know the logged in users/readers of their content. In turn, advertisers know the types of individuals they specifically want to reach with their advertisements. The technological challenge was, how can you connect these two worlds? How do you create a one-to-one relationship millions of times a minute that ensures advertisements being displayed to each person are only going to the people advertisers want to target? In other words, how do you give a thousand different readers of the digital New York Times a thousand different ad experiences with each reader receiving targeted advertisements only meant for them? The ability to do this level of targeting millions of times a minute for thousands of different content sites and social media platforms is what makes this technology so powerful.

The internet is filled with articles, Wikipedia writeups and YouTube videos that explain the history of Programmatic Digital Advertising and how it all works. Here are a few quick ones that are worth watching:


We recommend that the readers take some time in understanding how all this came about and take a deep dive into this material. For our purposes here, our goal is to make sure there is a baseline understanding of where the technology is now for educational B2B marketers and how it got here. Recent Programmatic Digital Advertising advances (particularly in the B2B channels) are not widely known and so it is important that we make sure educational marketers fully understand the potential of this new channel and where it is most useful and where it is not.


When various print forms of media (newspapers and magazines) first started to offer digital versions of their publications the question of how best to put advertising into these publications was central to creating a viable business model for digital content creators. The creation of a digital version of a print publication's “space advertisement” was the first iteration in this new world. These new advertisements were quickly called “banner advertisements” because of their shape and simplistic banner type messaging limitations. Advertisers were typically offered both advertising channels (Print Space Ads and Digital Banner Ads) in evolving print + digital publications. The process for how these banner ads were sold and got into digital publications or content sites were fairly similar to how it worked for print publication advertising. Sales teams quoted advertising rates based on subscriber volume and sometimes impressions or clicks. Digital Ads were sent to the publishers to be included in their digital publications. Publishers quickly recognized that digital publications were going to be the clear winner over time and that their print versions were going to become an ever-shrinking market, so the search began for a better advertising solution for digital advertising opportunities.


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The most common misconception of Programmatic Digital Advertising we hear is the belief that it is simply Facebook banner advertising. While Facebook (and other social media platforms) can be part of a Programmatic Digital campaign that is missing 90% of the potential that Programmatic Digital Advertising represents.  So, we have decided to invest a little time here to try and educate everyone a bit on this new marketing channel. If you are a seasoned Programmatic Digital Marketing professional this may be a bit basic, but we felt the need to start from the very beginning and make sure everyone had the correct basics down right first. 

What is Programmatic Digital Advertising?

A Basic Definition

The modern version of B2B Programmatic Digital Marketing provides marketers the ability to deliver a targeted banner advertisement to a specifically selected group of individuals and reach those individuals through tens of thousands of digital content publishers and social media platforms on a range of devices that they use (phone, tablet, computer, etc.). This includes reaching people on devices whether they're at home, at work, or on the go.

Programmatic Digital Advertising History

The first big innovation in this new digital channel was Real-Time Bidding (RTB) advertising platforms. These platforms allowed advertisers to put their banner advertisements on to an advertising exchange and offer publishers a bid price to display their ads. Advertisers could target particular reader audiences and their advertising spending could be controlled at a far more micro level than print advertising. Digital advertisement spending can be controlled on many distinct levels. For example, the types of content / publications that could display an ad, the number of impressions served per person, how much each impression of an ad would pay a publisher, how much could be spent in total on a campaign, and so on. This basic technology has been evolving ever since.

Obviously, incredible computing power and the software powering the advertising exchanges makes the delivery of all these ads possible. But the hidden backbone to all of it is the data that connects the advertisers to the proper placement of the targeted advertisements. This is accomplished with an incredibly powerful and robust contact crosswalk. It's a directory of sorts that stores all the ways to reach a particular individual: phone numbers, home email addresses, work email addresses, tablet device IP addresses, computer IP addresses, etc.


In the case of MCH’s educator contact database we are able to reach over 5,000,000 educators on over 25,000,000 different devices.

This is an average of five different devices for each contact record. Obviously, some contact records might only have two ways to contact them whereas others might have 10 ways to contact them. If a person is using a known device, that IP address will be used to connect the digital dots and serve them ads at that point in time. So, if they are scrolling through content posts on their cell phone, they can still get an appropriately targeted digital banner advertisement served to them. The most amazing part of it all? All of this is completed in microseconds, and in a privacy compliant way.

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

Ready to target your ideal K12 customer?

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