Programmatic Guaranteed: Things Publishers Must Know

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Programmatic guaranteed is growing more rapidly than any other programmatic or non-programmatic method. As deduced by Google, programmatic ad spending will rise from $25 Billion (2017) to $43 Billion by 2020.

Now that we have your attention, let’s learn more about programmatic guaranteed.

What Is Programmatic Guaranteed?

Programmatic Guaranteed is a process where buyers and sellers deal directly. While making a deal, the seller (publisher) offers a fixed number of impressions for a guaranteed price.

Along with the direct deal, programmatic guaranteed provides an automated buying solution with tagless trafficking, advanced targeting, and effective reporting.

In order to carry out programmatic guaranteed, an agency has to sync its data management platform to the publisher’s DMP. Information is exchanged to identify the publisher’s audience. After knowing the audience type and number of impressions, the agency can plan out a campaign for the available inventory. Afterwards, the publisher is offered a fixed deal by the buyer.

Programmatic guaranteed is a type of programmatic direct. Both terms often used interchangeably.

How Programmatic Guaranteed Evolved In Programmatic Ad Industry?

Programmatic guaranteed came into the ad industry in 2015 making it a fairly new programmatic method.

During the initial days of programmatic deal, RTB (Real-time bidding) was a revolutionary method to sell and purchase the digital inventory. And it is still being practiced. However, it never guaranteed impressions or a fixed price.

This leading to a situation where publishers were selling their high impression inventory at the same price as any other inventory. On the other hand, advertisers had little or no idea about the inventory before placing bids.

RTB also involved mediator parties viz. demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms making the process hectic and lengthy.

Then we got private auctions as the next step. In this method, only the invited advertisers or agencies were able to bid on the publisher’s inventory. This process included bidding and was fairly secure. However, publishers were still unable to monetize their premium inventory at the desired price.

Next came programmatic direct. Here, publishers and advertisers could communicate directly and negotiate a deal based on fixed impressions and price.

You may have heard programmatic premium, premium direct, automated guaranteed, programmatic guaranteed, and programmatic reserved. They all come under the programmatic direct umbrella with a slight difference in their execution.

What Are The Benefits Of Programmatic Guaranteed?

The three major benefits of implementing programmatic guaranteed are:

Efficiency and security: As programmatic guaranteed involves a fixed price and number of impressions, both buyers and sellers experience an efficient deal. Also, removing unnecessary mediators guarantee the security from major ad frauds.

Transparency and trust: Since seller and buyer both are dealing one-on-one, transparent policies can be established by putting all fair demands on the table. Also, publishers can approve/disapprove the advertisers before selling their inventory which brings out the trust factor from the publisher’s side.

Effective use of premium inventory: Publishers are able to sell their premium inventories at a fair price without risking security. Additionally, advertisers get a fixed number of impressions by accessing the premium inventories.

Consequently, programmatic guaranteed also eliminated the manual processes such as exchanging tags, troubleshooting discrepancies, and handling multiple invoices. This means the process involved the least human interaction, hence reducing the chances of human error.

How Are Programmatic Guaranteed And Automated Guaranteed Different?

People often get confused and think programmatic guaranteed and automated guaranteed are the same thing. Well, they’re not.

They both are automatic guaranteed methods of inventory deals. But yet they’re different. Here’s how:

  • Programmatic guaranteed uses a Deal ID to sell the inventory and then displays ads on the website. Whereas, automated guaranteed uses an ad server API to display ads.
  • In programmatic guaranteed, buyers have the complete view of the publisher’s inventories and choose the one(s) they wish to purchase. While in automated guaranteed, sellers present their inventories and then both parties negotiate on price.
  • Programmatic guaranteed is automated while automated guaranteed requires human involvement.

In short, the major difference between both processes is the execution. The word “guaranteed’ is important here. Both the buyer and seller are guaranteed to get something out of the deal.


Programmatic guaranteed can be a bit tricky to implement. Aligning publisher’s DMP and agency DMP can be troublesome, and execution requires technical knowledge as well. However, if implemented correctly, the method can be fruitful and provide a better deal than other programmatic dealings.

We can’t ignore the fact that publishers are choosing programmatic direct over private marketplace and real-time bidding. And adding to the fact that Google is pushing programmatic guaranteed to its users, one can say, demand for guaranteed deals is going sky high.

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