Money goes in and all of a sudden you've got impressions and clicks coming out and a whole host of other metrics. You scratch your head and think "that's nice but what does that all mean?". 

It's a fimilar story throughout digital marketing. It's hard not to feel someone's hiding the bigger picture from you. 

Programmatic, at it's simplest, is bidding on online banner inventory in real time. 

Let's break that down a step - someone visits a website and that site serves advertisements. In a split second that ad space is available to buy and across the globe through ad exchanges and DSP platforms people are bidding on that space. If they have the highest bid they win. 

So how is your money being spent in a DSP. Well you don't want to bid on all the ad space in the world. Much like you wouldn't buy print in Germany if you are a UK business the same applies for online space. 

In a DSP you start setting your target criteria such as location. Alongside that you may select a list of sites you want to specifically run on - back to the print example you aren't going to buy space in a homeowners digest if you are marketing endpoint security. You can also layer in third party data which typically adds more information around the individual you are target, such as age, job title, the industry they work in. 

Programmatic is tweaking these filters to try and maximise campaign performance to match the KPI's set. 

Programmatic won't benefit from bean counting but a more open dialogue around how money is being spent online and repercussions of those decisions, good or bad is a step in the right direction.