How to Laser Target Your Best Prospects with Programatic Advertising Technologies

programmatic advertising

If you are looking for a way to laser target your absolute best prospective customers, listen to this interview to learn about programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising is impressive stuff! It is a fairly new vehicle that will allow you to target your customers more cost effectively than ever before.

In this interview Trent interviews Trip Foster, CMO for Brandscreen and Zenovia Exchange. These companies are really focused on programmatic digital media. They offer a demand side platform and exchange for buying and selling of digital display ads.

Are you ready to dive into the details of what programmatic advertising is, why it is important, how you can get started, what it costs, and how your company can benefit?

Listen now and you’ll hear Trip and I talk about:

  • (02:45)  Introductions
  • (03:30)  What is programmatic advertising?
  • (05:00)  What is RTB?
  • (08:30)  Why is this type of advertising so important?
  • (09:40)  What is retargeting?
  • (13:00)  Who is doing this now?
  • (16:00)  How much does it cost to get started?
  • (19:30)  What are the different types of Ads that you can run?
  • (22:00)  How can people learn more?

Resources Mentioned

More About This EpisodeGroove Digital Marketing Podcast

The Groove Digital Marketing podcast is the podcast for entrepreneurs  who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business. It’s designed to help entrepreneurs discover which proven tactics and strategies  are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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Welcome to episode number twenty of the Groove Digital Marketing Podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid. And this is the podcast where we help marketing executives to discover ways to use digital marketing and marketing automation to dramatically increase revenue. If you are a marketing executive and you are looking for proven ideas and proven tactics that will help you to increase your results this is the podcast that you want to listen to.

And the way that I make good on that promise is I bring proven experts on to the show and get them to share with me exactly what it is that they are doing to achieve the extraordinary results that they’re achieving. And this episode is no different. On the show with me today is a fellow by the name of Trip Foster. Trip is the CMO of Zenovia Digital Exchange.

And in this episode we are going to talk at the high level to get you introduced to something called programmatic advertising. I have to confess, this was a topic I new absolutely nothing about before bringing Trip on the show, which is why I brought him on the show. And now having completed the episode and recording this intro for you; it was impressive stuff.

If you’re looking for a way to laser target your absolute best prospective customers; programmatic advertising is fairly new; the industry itself is only about three years old; fairly new vehicle that is going to allow you to do this more cost effectively than you have ever been able to do it before. And in this episode we’re going to dive into the details, we are going to talk about what is programmatic advertising, why is it important, who should use it, how do you get started, what does it cost, what are the benefits.

So I really encourage you, grab a pen and paper. You’re going to get some really great ideas from this and we are going to welcome Trip here in just a second. But before we do that, if you are looking for additional education in the areas of online marketing we have an entire library of e-books that are available to you all for free. And you can get to those at

So with that said please join me in welcoming Trip to the show.

Hey Trip, welcome to the show.

Thanks glad to be here.

Yeah, I’m very happy to have you here. This is a topic that I have not talked to anyone about before on either of my shows so I’m very happy to dive into it, before we get into talking about programmatic advertising or marketing; I want the audience to know a little bit about who you are. So perhaps you could start us off with just answering who you are and what do you do?

Sure, I’m Trip Foster I’m the Chief Marketing Officer for Brand Screen and Zenovia Exchange. Those businesses play in what is known as the display advertising eco system; basically really focused on digital media and even more specifically programmatic digital media. We offer a demand side platform in an exchange for buying and selling of digital display ads.

For those of us who don’t know and I am going to a lot myself in this category, what is programmatic advertising?

The definition changes with who you speak to so I’m going to try and be as generic as possible but basically it is the ability to buy ad impressions via the exchange of computer. So rather than two individuals signing an insertion order going back and forth creating basically a buy from a publisher from an advertiser that way; what we’re doing is the handshakes, the planning transaction via the internet.

An example could be what is called programmatic direct, let’s just say ESPN says to one of their buyers in this case we use Nike, they will go to Nike and say, “Hey we’d like to sell you the following inventory on our website” and Nike effectively says, “Let’s do that but we want to buy this programmatically; we want to buy this computer to computer. That saves the fifteen to forty thousand dollars it takes to build a really complicated insertion order.

It just makes the transaction cleaner; there’s also a component to programmatic marketing called RTB. RTB has gotten a lot of buzz lately. RTB means Real Time Bidding. And what is really interesting about Real Time Bidding or RTB is that you can now buy individuals as they pop up on the internet.

What is really interesting about that is as an advertiser or marketer you are no longer confined to saying, “Oh, I am going to buy the full colour spread on the Wall Street Journal.” the Wall Street Journal being a proxy for audience that reads the Wall Street Journal. Now what you can do is say I want males and females that make a $150 000 or more, live in the following regions, maybe even drive this type of car. You can get very specific about the type of audience that you want to buy.

Then as they pop up on the internet you bid on them in real time using RTB. So you can get very rifle shot focused on individuals as they show up on the internet, to make sure that your message is being viewed and consumed by the right audience.

That is pretty spectacular so when you say “when pop up on the internet; so we’ll use an example, Dave, his our target audience guy, he shows up at and that is what you mean by pop up on the internet, correct?

Yeah, so rather than ESPN just saying you can buy all of the above fold which is the sort of the stuff above the bottom of the screen and you can buy up until the right time of day or whatever; the very unsophisticated way that was the old way of selling this type of media. What is happening now is ESPN will pass a request. Let’s not use ESPN because they have a different set of systems. Let’s just use okay?


Trip: has a user come to this site., they know a little bit about that user by either cookieing their browser or maybe they’re logged in to the website. And then what does is they provide an ad exchange like ours, Zenovia Exchange. They’ll provide us with what is called a request and in the request they’ll say “this is a user,” it is totally anonymous so there is no personal information that is transcribed from operator to operator.

This is a user who is around making $150 000 we think who is likely male and who is likely interested in football or whatever it is and that request is then bid upon in real time and that is why we call it Real Time Bidding. Effectively what happens is anybody who has decided that they are after those eyeballs, those specific type of eyeballs will bid on this user.

And what the exchange does is execute an auction for the ad space as the browser is loading. This happens in a 150 milliseconds. Thousands of bidders is going burr like that and finally there is a winner, the ad is served, this person sees the ad for Rollings Football or whatever it is.

That is a whole lot of stuff happening in a very short amount of time.

It sure is. It is incredibly complex and it really is a marvel of technology.

So why is this stuff so important? And I have some ideas why it is so important but in case there is things that is not obvious to the lay person, why is it so important to use this type of programmatic advertising?

Great question because typically what happens in any technology is everyone says, “Oh technology technology,” why do we need it, why does it benefit me? The first is what I reference earlier which is audience; the ability to buy very specific audiences, you have B2B marketers spending a lot of money buying a specific audience of let’s say they are trying to attract CMOs. They can actually identify through various third party data sets and visitors to their site which is called first party data.

They can identify these individuals as they show up on LinkedIn or or Wall Street Journal or whatever and they can bid on them and they can pay a lot for them because they know that they’re getting a CMO who has decision making abilities. The ability to target a very specific audience would be considered the number one benefit.

There’s also a new technology that’s known as retargeting and retargeting is something all of us are familiar with. If you’ve ever been to Amazon and not bought something and then gone to other websites you’ve seen that annoying add for that pair of hunting boots or whatever and it keeps showing up even after you bought the boots.

What retargeting does is basically allow a retailer, an online retailer or somebody selling goods online to basically cookie your browser and then continue to retarget you as you travel around the web so that they can remind you that you didn’t buy these boots, you didn’t buy these boots, you didn’t buy these boots.

You can either say mercy or you can go back and buy the boots. The technology is very very effective. Most of what I’ve said on this interview has been very high level and abstract.
There’s subtlety and nuance to all these things but effectively retargeting is if you look at there is a company called Criteo, they went public, they are a retargeting solution.
There are several great providers in the Itec eco system that provide the service and deliver very well.

There’s a variety of vendors that are; there is a public offering for a company called Rocket Fuel. They’re what is called data driven network and what they do is they use an immense amount of data to identify the right prospect for their clients and then they go out and bid on them in the market place and they try and buy it for as little as they can.
They sell it to their client for a higher price.

All of these technologies; number one the ability to buy audiences with the very very refined targeting spectrum; number two would be this notion of retargeting users that has been to your site. Number three, just using a lot of data to inform a buy at scale. Those are tools that really allow marketers to hone in on what they are buying and make much better investment in digital display media.

Just so we’re clear when I say digital display media I include the banner ads that you see on your desktop, I include mobile and mobile is segmented into mobile which is called mobile web which is when you are accessing the web on a mobile browser. The other one is called in app which are the ads that show up inside of application on a smart phone or tablet.

Then video advertising is also included in that display bucket.


Actually we are doing something really innovative with Brand Screen. We’ve launched digital out of home which is things like digital signage that occurs inside of say a mall or bus plaque or anything that is digital and is out of the home is considered digital out of home or actually trading that programmatically as well.

Very very interesting, so what type of companies are using this stuff? Obviously the big ones are using it but is this available to companies of much smaller size. Let’s say companies that are only doing a couple of million dollars a year in sales. Is this stuff so expensive that there is no way that they can afford it or is this tailored to fit for almost anybody?

Great question, the short is answer is everyone can do it. You have companies like Procter and Gamble; they are actually going all in. They have their own programmatic trading desk in tunnel to Procter and Gamble, they are a very innovative company as far as the way that they market and they have that sort of technologies in house that they run their entire trade desk on against all their brands.

There are some other vendors involved and I am trying to subtract things but that would be the beacon of where I think things are going but there are small brands (twenty person shops) doing their own RTB buying up audiences. There are a lot of small agencies that seek to define their competitive mote a little bit better by becoming very good at programmatic marketing. Traditionally the agency valued proposition has been around creative and strategy and media activation.

As we move into a world where most media will be traded programmatically, smaller shops are realising that they need to have this in house and they are using tools like Brand Screen or other buying platforms to start trading programmatically for their clients.

And the ROI is really the amazing thing so rather than going out and using a blunt instrument saying, “We’re going to buy the New York Times because the New York Times readers will probably want to buy your widget.” Now we are saying, “We are buying folks who we know buy your widgets across the internet no matter where they show up,” and that is a really powerful tool and helps you maximise the investment in display media.

Yeah no kidding, so for someone who wants to get started buying stuff Brand Screen is one place that they can go to do it is that correct?

Yeah, Brand Screen would be a great place to start. We have Brand Screen, we have IPG and Havast Zockses and all these other large global buyers using the system but we also have a host of small agencies and direct small brands. The way you get set up is we walk you through a demo, make sure everybody understood what services we are going to be providing and what the software could do for you.

Typically what we do with a client who doesn’t have a lot of experience is we offer what we call managed services so if you come to us and you say, “I want to buy digital display programmatically because I’ve heard a lot of great things about the efficacy of it,” you could come to us and we could sell you just a license to the trading platform, the Brand
Screen Trading platform but we can also then provide all the services; the agency like services we call managed services to get your campaign up and running.

We just report in to you basically as you do it and the knowledge to you over the course of months and if you decide you want to bring it all in house you use the Brand Screen tool yourself you can do that or we can help you. The model that we have and most of the other DSPs or trading desks have a very similar model where you can do self service or you could have us help you do it all until you are ready to do it yourself.

In terms of someone who would want to go with managed services route going to have lots of people listen to the show and to some of them this is completely new so they’re thinking what I’m thinking, “Well how much do I need per month to get going on this?” Can you give us a rough ball park?

I can speak to Brand Screen and what we do is if somebody wants to get involved and they want to dip their toe in we can do a pre pay and the way that that works is that we set you up, you got to sign a master services agreement and you basically wire in a minimum ten thousand dollars to begin trading.

And over time as you trade against that if you dip below a certain level we ask you to top it up and you can just keep topping it up. Generally what we see happen with a lot of these smaller customers is they see the efficacy of buying this way and very quickly we move them over to what we call credit terms. So they’ll apply for credit and we’ll extend a certain amount of credit per month. So then they’ll buy up to that amount and they’ll pay us in that thirty.

Okay and that is if they want to be in the managed service program, what if they just want access to the platform?

Your managed services could come out of that $10 000 prepay as well. All it is, it is a very simple pricing model so it is what we call cost plus pricing which means that if you buy a dollar’s worth of media you’ll pay a commission on top of that to us for the use of the software. We look at the software as a service model where you are paying for the software based on a commission on the media spent through the system.

So if you spend a buck you might pay us say fifteen cents for that dollar that you spent and if you spend more, if you spend a million dollars a month your percentage will be lower etc.

Of course, okay. So what are the different types of programmatic ads that you can run?

That’s a great question. Today, most of the programmatic inventory is really centred on the IAB standards and the IAB is the Interactive Advertising Bureau, our industry standards body. And there are several units which are effectively the commoditisation; they are a certain size and those are traded all day, every day in massive quantities.

Recently because brands have requested it there are some new units that are traded programmatically. They are called the Rising Stars. What they are is effectively a more immersive brand experience. It could be a site takeover, it could be some really interesting creative that slides out or slides down or takes over the right rail of a site.

And that gives the brand the ability to build a much more immersive experience and really tell a deeper story on a site. And typically obviously because of the engagement they tend to be more expensive. But again you can target them in the same way.

You can say I’d like to get males and females that make a $150 000 in the following six cities, they may be what is called an auto intender, someone that is shopping for a car and BMW might want to say, “We’re going to target those individuals and we want to serve these rich immersive experiences as they show up on the web.”

The short answer to that is, there is a very well established group of standard formats, the typical skyscraper banner ad, box ad, etc. And then you got some new up and coming formats that allow brands to really get excited about getting involved in programmatic deeply.

This is some very cool stuff and I want to thank you very much for making some time to give myself and the listeners a very brief, high level introduction to programmatic advertising. Obviously now that we are a little bit more aware of it there is all sorts of Googling we can do to get more info. Are there places Trip that you would suggest for someone that wants more education? Where would be a good place to go to get that?

Another great question Trent, the IAB, so it is; I think you can get there by as well. That gives you the industry standards body but if you do a cursory search for RTB or programmatic advertising you’ll probably find pretty good overviews in Wikipedia and a lot of sites are using glossaries of terms as a nice SEO link bait. And so you’ll find a lot of these terms well defined on sites of vendors.

Generally they are all effectively saying the same thing. I’m obviously open to taking any calls or emails about the subject and if I can’t answer your question I can certainly put you in touch with somebody who can.

Alright well the easiest way to get a hold of you then, because I want to include this in my show notes, would be what?

You can get me at

Okay, alright Trip thank you very much for making some time as I mentioned to come and I didn’t even know this stuff existed but I’m not an advertising guy so that is not a huge surprise.

I am glad I could have been of help and I hope I clarified and not confused.

Absolutely you did, take care and have yourself a wonderful day.

Likewise, thanks so much.

Alright to get to the show notes for this episode just go to and if you enjoyed this episode please take a moment and zip on over to the iTunes store and leave me some feedback as it really does make a huge difference in how many other people who come to the iTunes store will find the episode in their searches.

So thank you very much for tuning in, I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid; it’s been a pleasure to have you as a listener and I look forward to having you back for another episode very soon. So until then take care, bye-bye.

About Trip Foster


Mr. Foster’s experience encompasses 20 years of technology and media entrepreneurship. He has participated in and managed teams responsible for building, launching, and marketing several web-based or “dominantly web” businesses. Prior to his role at Brandscreen/Zenovia Exchange, Mr. Foster was CMO of MediaTrust, an online performance marketing technology platform specializing in pay-for-results customer acquisition solutions for advertisers and agencies.

Before MediaTrust, Mr. Foster served as Acting CMO at TrustCash (TCHH:OB), a web-based anonymous payments provider. Mr Foster also held the title of VP Marketing & Client Services at Intellibank, an online customer relationship management software provider used by Pershing and The Bank of Montreal, and VP Marketing at Net Exchange, a pioneer of marketplace optimization software used by Schneider Logistics, Sears Logistics, State Street Bank, and the Department of Defense. Additionally, Mr. Foster was one of the original entrepreneurs at CheMatch, an online chemicals marketplace which was eventually acquired by the ICE (ICE). Mr. Foster has also previously consulted or worked for advertising agencies such as McCann-Erickson and The Ad Store, serving clients including Sony, Visa, Coca-Cola, Salomon North America, and Vail Resorts. Mr Foster also sits on the board of advisors at and Urban Planet Mobile



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