Programmatic Advertising For Singapore Marketers

Programmatic Advertising For Singapore Marketers

In Singapore, it is estimated that 82% of the total population have access to internet. The country has the highest smartphone penetration in the world and a majority of the people prefer using mobile devices to access the internet. Based on these facts, it is not difficult to see why businesses are willing to spend thousands of dollars on digital marketing services.

If you are unsure of how programmatic advertising works, just take a look at this infographics:

programmatic advertising flow chart

Today, we look at a new advertising technique that has gained a massive traction in the country, programmatic advertising.

Overview of Singapore Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising entails using advanced tool to purchase ads slots digitally as opposed to traditional techniques that entails requesting for quotes, human negotiations, proposals, and tendering process. It is tailored to do away with the conventional, hit-or-miss campaign designs that more often than not result in Singapore businesses spending thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns that end up not delivering the expected results.

The software algorithm is fine-tuned to accurately determine where your budgeted ad money is best spent thereby eliminate guesswork. All you need to do is provide the necessary information about your marketing campaign such as key performance indicators.

Contrary to popular belief, Singapore programmatic advertising is not fully automated. In the past, companies would have to insert ad tags and orders on advertisements manually. With the new software, Singapore online advertisers are able to spend more time improving, optimizing, and monitoring the performance of the ads to ensure that they are working properly.

Asia Pacific region has the highest ad spending growth rate globally and research indicates that by next year, the growth rate will be approximately 33.4%. A research by Magna showed that digital ad spending across this region increased by 5.6% in 2017 to reach $156 billion.

In particular, $56 billion was spent in programmatic advertising in 2017 alone. The gap between US and APAC spending on digital marketing strategy getting smaller mainly because Singapore businesses are aware of the potent power of programmatic advertising.

Another research that was done by Ad Agencies found out that 93% of marketers in not only Singapore but also surrounding countries such as New Zealand and Australia have invested heavily in this form of digital advertising. According to the study, 32% of Singapore businesses allocate more than 50% of their annual digital advertising budget to programmatic ads.

Factors that Fuel Demand for Programmatic Advertising

Some of the factors that fuel demand of programmatic advertising in Singapore include:

  • Diverse consumer patterns
  • Local networks across the APAC region
  • Mobile Growth

Digital advertisers in Singapore need to have customized tactics if they are to succeed in using programmatic advertising to access and take full advantage of the local markets.

Mobile ads generate the highest impressions in the entire APAC region and are responsible for the high demand for programmatic advertising. A study by DoubleClick Ad Exchange revealed that programmatic direct mobile impressions in this region account for 150% of the growth. In 2016 alone, mobile impressions increased by more than 150%. The high mobile growth in Singapore demands for a more sophisticated targeting and RTB that can give businesses the ability to segment their clientele base as well as increase the efficiency of their advertising bidding.

Video is becoming the most preferred format in programmatic advertising deals across major online platforms. This is mainly because video has proven to be a superior way of connecting with a large audience. In addition monetizing videos is easier compared to blocks of text.

Does Programmatic Advertising Work?

Yes, programmatic advertising is very successful not only here in Singapore but also in other developed countries. For example, eMarketer estimates that US total spending on this type of advertisements is $33 billion. This figure is approximately 84% of the total ad-spending budget. 74.5% of that amount is spent on direct setups and private marketplaces.

One of the main reasons why most digital marketers prefer private setups is because it gives them control over the automated ad buying process. Concisely, it is an efficient way of using both resources and time.

How to Leverage Programmatic Advertising in Singapore

Understand the Marketplace

The first thing that you need to do is get to terms with what you are doing. As a digital marketer trying out a new way of advertising products and services, you will be faced with a number of new terms and ideas. Take time to understand them fully to avoid making wrong decisions. For example, study the various programmatic ad terminologies to tell the difference between DSP and SSP.

Set Goals

Just like any other digital marketing campaign, it is important that you have a set of goals that you want to achieve after a certain period of time. Make use of the existing data to determine the level of advertising awareness that you need and then come up with an ideal strategy. The data will also help you to come up with long-term and short-term goals.

Human Investment is required

As mentioned earlier, most people think programmatic advertising is fully automated and dependent on machines and algorithms. A degree of human investment is required for it to work and deliver the expected results. It is also important to point out that there are two different platforms, one that offer fully or half-managed services. There are also some platforms that only provide technical platforms and give you full control over your programmatic ad buying activities.

It is highly recommended to delegate this task to personnel who have the required skills and expertise. They will help you plan, control, and optimize your buying ad activities to suit your brand.

Be Sure to Protect your Brand

One of the major challenges of programmatic advertising is the huge reliance on algorithms. Ads can be displayed in the wrong place or platform thereby compromising your brand’s reputation and credibility.

Avoid this kind of a situation by making sure that your demand-side blacklist is monitored for inappropriate sites that your ads may be displayed on and constantly updated. Thankfully, there are platforms that give marketers an opportunity to exclude an entire category from ad spending.

If your product or service is highly sensitive, make use of a whitelist. This will give the program a list of all approved sites that the ads can be displayed on rather than denied. It will also increase your ability to connect with the target audience. Well, such a platform can be expensive, but it will go a long way to ensure that no unsavoury material that could ruin your credibility is associated with your advertisements.

Be On the Lookout for Fraud

As noted by State of Digital, programmatic ads are viewable between 44% and 55%, but Mediative estimate some companies who have the required technology will end charging digital advertisers approximately $7 million this year. However, the chances of scam are lowered compared to other digital marketing techniques.

enquire about programmatic ads in singapore

Targeting Matters

Whom are you hoping to reach with your ads? One of the fundamental steps in a successful programmatic advertising is creating relevant and precise targeting that will enable you connect with your ideal clients or prospects. Here are some of the factors that you should consider when building a target for your display campaign based on the market data that you have:

  • Demographics: Age, marital status, education, income, location, gender
  • Interests: Take time to find people who may be interested in purchasing your products. Strive to create a more specific customer segment.
  • Lookalike audiences: Use the information that you have about existing customers from CRM data and website to match potential new customers with similar or related attributes for prospecting purposes.
  • Use second and third party data: This is data from other companies in your niche that can complement your data. It’s usually purchased from an external provider.

There are plenty of filters can you can use to build your audience, but remember that the more refined your target audience is, the smaller and more limited your ad reach will be. Your goal should be to strike a perfect balance between having a large pool of audience and relevance to generate a substantial reach for each ad.

Once you have the target audience, don’t just sit back and wait for clients to stream in, analyze the results in real-time to known which sections of the ads need to deleted or improved. For example, if a certain target line is not working, cut it out and spend your money on what’s really working for your brand.

Be responsive to the targeted customer segment and adapt quickly to campaign elements to match them. Doing so will reduce the risk of creating ad blindness.

What is ad blindness? This is when the target audience subconsciously or consciously decides to ignore banner ads. This usually happens if the ads are not targeted or relevant to them.


In the current wake of data-driven marketing trends, creatives are still important. The creatives that you incorporate in your display advertising campaigns can have a major influence on how your audience react or respond to your content.

An expertly crafted, creative advertisement will make the difference between grabbing your target customer attention or not leaving any impression. Your creative, be it rich media such as animations or static (flat image) should be able to highlight your brand, personality, product, and visual identity.

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is coming up with beautiful visual designs that have no correlation to the products or services that they are marketing. As a result, they end up creating a confusing customer journey that affect the overall customer experience and engagement. Test different variations of the ads to know which one performs best.


Messaging works in a similar way to creatives. Make sure that you are laser focused on the target audience, when writing content for your ads. Use a tone of voice and language that will appeal to the audience. The secret to getting your ad messaging right is by testing. Ad success can never be subjective and so you have to make use of the data on your hands as much as possible to make the right decisions.

Here are tips about messaging that you should keep in mind:

  • Simplicity: Stick to the point to deliver the message in a clear way
  • Proof: Include customer testimonials and quotes
  • Humor and Creativity: Make use of witty references and puns to engage with the audience
  • Urgency: Increase specific timeframes to create a sense of demand
  • USPs: Pin-point your service or product unique selling points that make them stand out from the rest in the market

As you make a decision on which messaging route to take for every ad, be sure to match the creative with the copy. To generate the greatest engagement, the user experience must be consistent.


Timing is everything and is key to having a successful programmatic advertising campaign. Here are some of the factors that you need to put into consideration.

  • Time of the day:The specific time of the day that the ads are displayed will have an impact on the results you will achieve. For example, you might notice more engagement with ads selling B2B products during normal working hours while B2C ads may record high engagement on weekends and payday. Spread your budget over different times of the month and day to see identify one that generates the most engagement. Use the engagement statistics to adjust your spending accordingly to get maximum ROI.
  • Frequency:This basically refers how often the ads are displayed to the target customers. Ad frequency should be evenly balanced. It is not wise to have a cap of 15 or so impressions per users but delivering them all within 5 minutes. The ads need to spread out well to prevent bombarding the prospects with the ads. Spreading them out will also help build engagement over time and guide your campaign in the right direction.
  • Recency:This is how quickly you display an ad to a potential customer after they have visited your website. It is used mainly for re-engagement and re-targeting purposes to motivate potential customers to visit the website again. Frequency of the ads should be based on the number of days that have elapsed since their last visit on the website. It should also be adjusted based on how engaged the prospects are with your ads and brand in general.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

What’s the goal of your programmatic advertising campaign? Retargeting or prospecting. Your call to action should be in line with the objective or goals of your campaign. It is the essential link between your website and the ad, and so it should be desirable, relevant to the audience, and enticing.

If your campaign is sales-driven, create a strong and direct CTA such as; click here, buy now, shop now. On the other hand, a branding campaign can have softer and tempting CTA that is not overly complicated.

Regardless of your objective, your goal when creating the CTA should be to make it as simple as possible so that the audience can identify the desired action and take it. Have different variations and test them to know which one works best for each target customer group. The test results will help you select the most performing combination to implement into your campaign.

Some Of The Players In Programmatic Advertising

Its now evolved into a behemoth of an industry with billions of ad placements occurring every single minute. Here are some of the players in this increasingly crowded marketplace:

companies involved in programmatic advertising singapore


Important Programmatic Advertising Terms you Should Know

Cookies: A cookie is a piece of code stored on a web browser that contains information about the user’s unique browsing habits. Websites use this to identify users’ preferences.

SSP (Supply Side Platform): This is a platform that web publishers use to manage their adverts. These’ ads earn revenue for their websites.

DSP (Demand Side Platform): This is a system that enables buyers of digital advertising inventories to manage many ad exchanges and data exchange accounts from a centralised interface.

Ad Server: This is a software that allows websites and advertisers to produce ads. After this, the advertiser can then track the performance of the different campaigns and choose the best-performing ads. There are two varieties-publisher ad servers and advertiser ad servers.

Ad Exchange: This is a platform that allows the buying and selling of digital advertising inventories from several ad networks.

DMP (Data Management Platform): A software that simplifies the management of user data and online adverts.

Pixels/tags: An ad tag is a code within the HTML code of a webpage that denotes the position of a particular advert. It uses the information from cookies to identify the ad that suits the preferences of the user.

RTB (Real-Time Bidding): This is the method used to sell and buy ad inventories. It operates in a similar way to the financial markets, where the ad with most impressions goes for the highest price.

Lookalike: A cookie that is similar to another cookie. Essentially, these are cookies intended for the same target audience.

Contextual: This refers to the context and platform where an ad is displayed.

Retargeting: This refers to displaying another ad to a cookie that had already been identified. It usually happens when a user revisits a website.

Device ID: It is a unique number that identifies mobile devices.

Viewability:  A parameter used to monitor the impressions an ad generates in its target audience.

Non-human Traffic: This refers to the traffic generates by robots, unidentifiable browsers and automated impressions.

Closing Remarks

Programmatic advertising success is the sum of the aspects highlighted above and none of them should be sidelined. Make sure that each element of the campaign is properly optimized to achieve the expected end results. Every decision that you make before and when the campaign is active should be based on real-time data to get maximum returns. You can contact MediaOne, an experienced programmatic advertising agency in Singapore which can provide you with a trial consultation about your requirements to reach your target audience in the shortest time and lowest budget.



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