Aug 3 2022
Hope Lowdermilk

Programmatic Advertising 101: What is Advertising Automation?


Each month, Basis Technologies’ Programmatic 101 series tackles a different facet of programmatic advertising—from best practices for buyers, to competitors in the space, to trends you should know.

Isn’t it strange that, in the age of Alexa and robot waiters, the majority of advertisers have to wrangle nine separate platforms to manage a typical ad campaign?

It’s true that our industry has seen great advancement in the realm of automated media buying, namely via the adoption of programmatic advertising. But along with programmatic’s many benefits has come the need for more talent, platforms, and integrations. The marketing landscape is fragmented and complex, yet few brands and agencies have adopted technology designed to manage that complexity.

Enter the missing link: Advertising automation. What is it, what benefits does it offer, and what does it look like in practice? Read on to find out.

What is Advertising Automation?

The phrase “advertising automation” describes a variety of technologies and methodologies designed to streamline the entire lifecycle of a campaign. That’s right—the entire lifecycle! These tools encompass everything from planning and buying, to optimization and analytics, and even reporting and financial reconciliation.

What does advertising automation look like in action? Here are a few examples:

  • Budget management tools like bid shading, bid multiplying, and group budget optimization automatically ensure that each campaign dollar is spent effectively and efficiently.
  • Machine learning and algorithmic optimizations analyze various data points in real time to inform which tactics marketers should turn on or off.  
  • Automated reporting consolidates data across channels and automatically generates holistic performance reports—or even live, customizable analytics dashboards.

The cumulative effect of these automated solutions creates organizational agility, cost-efficiency, and time savings for brands and agencies. It also makes marketers’ jobs more enjoyable by eliminating frustrating manual tasks.

Benefits of Advertising Automation

Now that we know what advertising automation is and what it looks like, let’s dig a little deeper into the benefits it offers. The combined impact of tools like bid shading, machine learning, and automated reporting produce two main benefits: Time savings and cost-efficiency.

Time Savings

Advertising automation technologies save time by eliminating the need for humans to perform tedious and error-prone tasks, handing those tasks off to technologies that can execute them quickly and without error. Marketing teams that invest in advertising automation platforms are more efficient: Case in point, Forrester Research found that agencies who implement Basis see, on average, a 35% increase in digital team efficiencies.

Take, for example, the consumer expectation for personalized media. According to Salesforce, 70% of consumers report that a company understanding how they use products and services is very important to winning their business. Yet delivering personalized customer experiences in the age of ever-increasing media fragmentation and complexity is a tall order. Marketers must build creative variations, target audiences precisely, and deeply understand cross-channel campaign performance. Here are a few examples of how the process of personalization is streamlined in an advertising automation platform:

First, marketers can use dynamic creative optimization (DCO), combined with customer data, to automatically generate thousands of ad variations. Once the campaign is live, they can leverage automated reporting to quickly communicate performance to stakeholders. Best of all, workflow automation unites the entire campaign process—planning, negotiating, buying, reporting, analytics, optimizations, and billing—into one platform, removing the need for marketers to waste time switching between systems as they balance the nuances of a personalized approach.


Beyond freeing up time for marketers to tackle more high-level, strategic tasks, advertising automation increases cost-efficiency for brands and agencies in a variety of ways.

Consider the impact of the following automated solutions across a campaign’s lifecycle: First, automated bidding solutions assess the optimal dollar amount to spend on each impression. While the campaign is running, AI-powered budget pacing monitors budget spend and alerts advertisers of significant over- or underspend. Simultaneously, built-in protections automatically safeguard against ad fraud. Together, these and many other aspects of holistic advertising automation ensure precision in campaign bidding, performance, and optimization.

The cost-efficiency offered by advertising automation extends to reducing the high costs of employee turnover as well. Organizations that implement advertising automation reduce the number of hours marketers must spend each week on tedious, manual tasks, and provide the opportunity for strategic, fulfilling work. In turn, organizations retain their best marketers for longer periods of time.

How to Automate Your Advertising       

For over twenty years, Basis Technologies has been on a mission to create a better industry for advertising professionals via advertising automation. Our team is constantly working on new platform tools and features that eliminate manual tasks and boost efficiency for our partners.

Want to learn more about how automation will shape the future of digital advertising? Check out our guide, Meeting the Moment with Advertising Automation.

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