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Types of Programmatic Deals in Ad Marketing

Posted by Huzefa Hakim | February 12, 2024

Types of Programmatic Deals in Ad Marketing

How well do you understand the programmatic deals shaping your ad marketing's future?

Our knowledge may not be limited to only real-time bidding or private marketplaces. However, it is important to understand the opportunities offered by these deals in terms of ad placements and reach targeted audiences with precision.

In each of these deals, transparency remains a major concern as programmatic deals are highly susceptible to ad fraud. For instance, in a preferred deal, fake publishers can present their premium inventory to advertisers. Once they fall prey to this, they may never be able to figure out what type of traffic qualifies as fraud and creates havoc in their ad marketing campaigns, despite employing the conventional ad fraud mitigation solutions as compared to brands like ClearTrust

In other words, the programmatic deal may turn out to be your biggest nightmare. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to explore these deals in detail with their pros and cons. Securing a safe deal is now a priority as 22% of all online ad spending or $84 billion was lost to ad fraud in 2023 and we would not want to be the one adding on to this number in 2024

What are programmatic deals?

At the heart of programmatic advertising are the deals that dictate how ad inventory is bought and sold. These deals can be broadly categorized into four types:

  1. Open Auction: A democratic setup where ad inventory is available to any buyer, ensuring wide visibility but with higher competition.
  2. Private Marketplace (PMP): An invite-only auction where select advertisers gain access to premium inventory from publishers.
  3. Preferred Deals: Direct negotiations between a seller and a buyer for ad inventory at a fixed price, prior to it being available on open auctions.
  4. Programmatic Guaranteed: A deal where ad inventory and pricing are fixed and guaranteed between the buyer and seller, combining the certainty of traditional buys with the efficiency of programmatic technology.

Each of these deal types offers unique advantages, from the broad reach and dynamic pricing of open auctions to the exclusivity and predictability of programmatic guaranteed deals.

Let’s look at these deals in detail

Types of programmatic deals

1. Open auctions (Real-Time Bidding)

Open auctions, also known as Real-Time Bidding (RTB), democratize the ad buying process by allowing any advertiser to bid on ad inventory in real time. This type of deal maximizes exposure and fills rates for publishers by opening inventory to a wide range of buyers, fostering competitive bidding that can lead to efficient pricing.


  1. Maximum Reach: RTB gives access to a broad range of publishers, maximizing potential audience exposure.
  2. Cost Efficiency: Competitive bidding can lead to lower prices for ad space, optimizing budget allocation.
  3. Flexibility: Advertisers can adjust their bidding strategies in real-time based on performance data.


  1. Quality Variation: The open nature means ad quality can vary, with some placements not aligning with brand values.
  2. Fraud Risk: Open auctions carry a greater exposure to ad fraud due to the wide and unfiltered range of inventory.
  3. Competition Intensity: Popular inventory may attract numerous bidders, driving up costs and making it harder to win bids.

2. Private Marketplace

A PMP is an invitation-only marketplace where premium publishers offer high-quality inventory to a select group of advertisers. This setup offers better control over where ads appear, targeting more relevant audiences in a trusted environment.


  1. High-Quality Inventory: PMP deals opens access to premium inventories in the market which can expand the marketing goals of the company beyond leaps and bounds
  2. Enhanced Control: These deals provide greater control over ad placement and the environment, ensuring brand safety.
  3. Targeted Audience: It opens opportunities for more precise audience targeting, improving ad relevance and performance.


  1. Limited Accessibility: Restricted access to PMP deals can exclude smaller advertisers who might not have the invitation to participate.
  2. Higher Costs: Premium inventory typically comes at a higher price, affecting budget efficiency. This creates pressure on small and medium-budget advertisers
  3. Negotiation Complexity: These deals require direct negotiations with publishers, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

3. Preferred Deals

Preferred Deals allow advertisers to negotiate directly with publishers to secure ad inventory at a fixed price before it's made available to others. This direct relationship ensures advertisers get first access to premium inventory with more predictable pricing.


  1. Price Transparency: In preferred deals, prices are agreed upfront, providing budget certainty.
  2. First-Access to Inventory: Advertisers can secure premium inventory before it hits the open market or PMPs. This provides first-hand access to dream inventories
  3. Brand Safety: Direct negotiations ensure ads are placed in environments that align with brand values.


  1. Limited Scalability: The one-on-one nature of these deals makes it hard to scale up quickly.
  2. Predefined Spend: Advertisers must commit to a certain level of spending regardless of changing campaign needs.
  3. Inventory Restriction: In fixed deals, your access to broader inventory is limited which could become available or desirable later. Thus, you might have to wait to obtain the desired inventory for your campaigns

4. Programmatic Guaranteed

Combining the certainty of traditional buying with the efficiency of programmatic technology, Programmatic Guaranteed deals ensure advertisers a fixed amount of inventory at a set price, offering guaranteed impressions and placements.


  1. Guaranteed Delivery: These deals ensure that a specific amount of inventory is delivered, ideal for campaigns requiring certainty.
  2. Improved Efficiency: Guaranteed deals streamline the buying process with automated tools and precise targeting capabilities.
  3. Predictable Budgeting: Fixed prices allow for straightforward budget planning without the unpredictability of auctions.


  1. Higher Investment: Such deals often require a significant upfront commitment, which may not be ideal for all budgets.
  2. Less Flexibility: Advertisers have limited ability to adjust campaigns based on real-time data or performance in guaranteed deals.
  3. Inventory Limitations: Locked into specific inventory, advertisers tend to miss out on potentially better opportunities that arise.

As programmatic deals dominate the ad marketing landscape, the need for sophisticated and customized ad fraud mitigation strategies becomes increasingly clear. ClearTrust offers a beacon of hope, providing the tools and technologies needed to navigate the complexities of programmatic advertising securely and successfully. With ClearTrust, advertisers can look forward to maximizing their marketing investments, secure in the knowledge that their campaigns are protected against the ever-present threat of ad fraud.