PALM SPRINGS, Calif —  To date, the biggest beneficiaries of programmatic digital ad buying have been the larger ad buyers, those which are buying at such scale that every efficiency adds up to a big gain.

But an emerging school of thought has it that the next wave of digital ad targeting growth won’t come from national brands, it will come from the grassroots.

Could local advertisers benefit to the same tune, and does the local ad market add up to a market worth much to programmatic platforms?

“It’s big, almost as big as the national market,” says Frost Prioleau, CEO of, a demand-side platform (DSP) trying to push the technology down to the local level. “But many advertisers or many platforms think, ‘Hey, it’s a pain because it’s really populated by high volumes of tiny campaigns’.”

Although Prioleau boasts has as many as 85,000 campaigns on the platform at any one time, he concedes that “half of those are spending less than $3 a day”. But that is netted off by “others that are spending thousands of dollars a day”. That means one of Prioleau’s big challenges is efficiently scaling up and reporting on both kinds of customer equally.

So what would a programmatic campaign look like for a local advertiser? The use cases are two-fold:

  • Imagine a national restaurant chain or auto dealership with thousands of locations nationwide, able to deliver localized messaging.
  • And then imagine truly local businesses, keen to benefit from the same tools the big boys enjoy, “That means powering the local programmatic offerings of media companies, like cable companies, TV companies, newspapers, etc,” Prioleau explains. “We’re powering the programmatic offering for all of those media companies. That’s how we get to the SMBs (small and medium businesses).”

Last year, launched mobile capabilities, allowing advertisers to target people who have visited their location – or that of a rival.

Next up, Prioleau expects big growth in video and connected TV spending.

This video is part of a series covering the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. The series is sponsored by AppNexus. Please visit this page for more coverage.