With so many developments and options in the world of online advertising, it is sometimes difficult to choose the route that is the best fit for our project. Here are a few suggested rules of thumb to help you decide whether to go the AsSense Route, or the Programmatic Route when taking out ads:

Google AdSense has a number of points to consider. The first couple of ones are mainly related to the budget you have in mind for your project. If you are working on a project with an overall smaller budget, let’s say under ten-thousand dollars a month, AdSense will probably be a better fit for you. You also want to take into consideration the cost of network fees. If you are looking to pay less in fees, and the publisher wants to receive more with less intermediaries on the way, AdSense’s lower network fees might be the way to go. 

The next point is related to the action you want users to take on your campaign. If you are looking towards executing a more performance-focused marketing campaign, AdSense can be a good strategy to get more clicks on an ad instead of just views. 

It’s also important to consider your skillset and problems that you are generally prepared to tackle. If you have little experience with management and optimization of campaigns, it is advised that you look into AdSense. The Programmatic route is different in that it usually fails to deliver results unless you have strong skills in the optimization of ad campaigns. Additionally, you have to consider how prepared you are to deal with and implement strong anti-fraud measures. Fraud usually seems to be greater on most programmatic networks as opposed to the Google Ad network. However, you have to keep in mind that you will usually encounter frauds on all networks, to varying degrees. 

Now that you have considered these points, let’s discuss Programmatic ads. It’s not only about discarding the points mentioned above, there are new considerations that come into play when thinking about Programmatic. 

First you have to consider your ad campaign, is it political or brand-based marketing? Programmatic ads are usually better for campaigns that are more focused on views than clicks. Additionally, this option allows for a bigger reach of potential audience and the additional option to target specific audiences. 

If you have a specific segment in mind, the Programmatic route allows advertisers to target in a more specific way than AdSense. For example, Programmatic allows advertisers to target people who have purchased a particular product—and you’re willing to pay a premium for it, as you will have to purchase third party data for this kind of information. Additionally, programmatic ads can give you access to higher-value brand audiences via PMPs. 

The last two points are related to the approval of content by the network. Considering that some DSPs have less stringent requirements, you have to think about the possibility of AdSense possibly not approving of the product, or not approving of the ads. 

So, with all of that context, when does it make sense for you to use Adsense and when does it make sense for you to use Programmatic ads? The answer shouldn’t be surprising: maybe should apply these principles above to your particular situation. Maybe you should test both and see which one performs better for you.

Or maybe you just find the pattern in the above. The pattern basically boils down to, how serious is your campaign? The more serious you are about it, the more programmatic makes sense. A final possible way to reconcile them is to start with Adwords as a small test, and then once you’re comfortable and experienced, expand and grow into programmatic.