Here is a simple breakdown of how the programmatic flow, I have stripped off all the nuts and bolts and provided the bare bones for a simple understanding.
The Consumer Opens their Web Browser.
The consumer then visits a Publisher Site or search engine that sells Ad space to Advertisers. Upon Visiting the Publishers Webpage a connection is opened with the Publishers Servers.
The Website then assembles content that will be shown through the consumers web browser.
Then the Website Returns the requested content to the browser and renders the content.
(Usually their is one line of code this code is to consult an Ad Server for an Ad).
The Publishers Ad Server has built in logic that ask questions.
* Any premium buyers ?
* What do I know about the consumer ?
* What Advertiser is the best fit ?
The Ad goes to an open market if no pre cached bid is reserved which is the (SSP) Supply Side Platform, The Publisher uses an SSP to monetize it’s Ad Inventory.
SSP then applies additional logic asking questions
* Have I seen this consumer before?
* What does my data provider have to say about this consumer – (Geo Demo, granular details)
Then sends the Ad to an Ad Exchange.
The Ad exchange connects to:
DSP (Demand Side Platforms)
The DSP offers pre cached bids, if fulfilled with remnant inventory for the agreed upon $ value for #CPM’s it will fulfill that Ad.
Then the Ad goes to all connected DSP’s and offers Real time bids (RTB) to users.
(Tell me how much you are willing to pay for this placement and do it in under 10 milliseconds, 300 milliseconds is how long it takes to blink an eye!)
The DSP then sends the Ad info to the Agency, that sends it to the Brand.
The winning DSP bid passes the instructions to the exchange to obtain the Ad creative which then passes to the SSP, the SSP sends the request to the pubs Ad Server. The Pub Ad Server responds to the still open connection browser
that goes direct to the Agency Ad Server for the Ad.
The Agency Ad Server tracks Ad Performance for the Advertiser.
Upon receiving the Ad request from the DSP with the winning bid, the Agency Ad Server records the Ad request as an Impression then deliver it to the consumer.