Automated Guaranteed vs Programmatic Guaranteed

Ad tech terminology can get a bit confusing, even for seasoned professionals. Especially when terms are so similar to one another. In this article, we will see what exactly Automatic Guaranteed and Programmatic Guaranteed are all about, and how they differ. Let’s get right into it.

What is Automated Guaranteed?

The term Automated Guaranteed is used for advertising agreements that were traditionally executed via direct deals (insertion orders) and are now possible end-to-end as a programmatic direct deal. The transaction is agreed upon directly between the buyer and seller via a mediation platform and the inventory volume and pricing are fixed. Publishers usually package their inventory and present it to advertisers at guaranteed volumes. Price is negotiated and once an agreement is reached, the deal elements are plugged directly into the publisher’s ad server via the ad server’s API, which is what distinguishes Automated Guaranteed from other programmatic direct deals (such as Programmatic Guaranteed).


Automated Guaranteed allows publishers to present their inventory to buyers in a way that makes the sales process more efficient and less resource-intensive. Media owners can shift the focus towards building relationships, discussing performance and strategic partnerships, while selling impressions in an optimized automatic way and filling their pipeline efficiently in the meantime. 

Buyers can browse through the available options, and build their own campaigns, which eliminates the need for ongoing communication on those elements and saves both sides precious time, effort, and possible misunderstandings. 

The price of the inventory is determined by both the publisher and the brand side, giving sellers more negotiation power. Media owners can package their inventory, based on various targeting criteria and audience specifics, and arguably increase its value by targeting it to specific advertiser needs.

Another important advantage of Automated Guaranteed is the transparency of this type of deal. Advertisers are clear on exactly where and what they are buying, and respectively what results they can expect in return. This, coupled with the guarantee of the deal, often translates into a higher willingness to spend more advertiser dollars. Furthermore, the optimization process is much more effective and publishers have more cash flow predictability.

What is Programmatic Guaranteed?

Programmatic Guaranteed is a type of programmatic direct deal where publishers get a guaranteed revenue stream, while advertisers lock in the exact audience they want to reach. Media owners get to negotiate the price and deal terms for a specific set of their inventory, which would be reserved under the agreement only for that specific advertiser at a fixed price. In the case of Programmatic Guaranteed, audience targeting is executed via device ID or cookies, so that buyers get a near-exact match to their specifications. The publisher and advertiser Data Management Platforms need to first get synced so that advertisers can find the relevant audience and make an offer. Impression volumes, price, campaign timeframe, frequency capping, ad sizes, and formats are all predetermined between the two parties and get coded into the Deal ID. Once an agreement is reached, the activation of the deal parameters is handled by the SSP. If you want to find out more about Programmatic Guaranteed’s advantages and how to set such a deal in Google Ad Manager, take a look at this article

How is Automated Guaranteed different from Programmatic Guaranteed?

The two types of deals often get confused as they both have a ‘guaranteed’ element and are both executed programmatically. However, they differ in both execution and the processes that take place to seal the deal. 

To display the ads, Programmatic Guaranteed uses Deal ID, while Automated Guaranteed makes use of an ad server API. 

With Automated Guaranteed publishers decide what “packages” of their inventory to expose to the buyers and then negotiate on the price, while with Programmatic Guaranteed advertisers get access to the full information about the inventory and website’s audience and then decide what to make an offer for. 

Last but not least, Programmatic Guaranteed has a larger part of the deal parameters automated, while Automated Guaranteed still requires a human interaction on that part.

To sum up

Automated Guaranteed is the programmatic way to do insertion orders and direct deals with advertisers that provide publishers with more negotiation power. Publishers package their premium inventory and negotiate the price with selected advertisers. Both sides get more transparency and the advantage of automating some parts of the otherwise laborious process. The ads are delivered via the ad server’s API. 

Programmatic Guaranteed gives advertisers a look at the entire publisher’s inventory and then they propose a fixed price for a guaranteed volume. All deal elements are coded into the deal ID and ad delivery is handled by the SSP. Again, transparency is a big advantage of this type of deal, along with automation of a large part of the process, saving time and effort for both sides.

Automated Guaranteed and Programmatic Guaranteed both bring transparency and efficiency to buyers and sellers, and increase the predictability of publisher revenue streams and brand performance metrics. However, they do so in different ways and are used for different needs of the players in the market.