As your business grows, you’ll need to accelerate your digital advertising campaigns and maximize brand awareness ASAP. The more people that are aware of your brand, the more likely your company will make a profit.
This is easier than ever with demand-side platforms (DSPs). Today, let’s take a closer look at DSPs and examine how they work, why they’re useful, and why you should consider using a DSP for your marketing campaign.
Also called programmatic advertising platforms, DSPs let media buying agencies and individual marketers automatically bid on advertising space. Ad formats for DSP advertising can vary. They include out-of-home advertising space (OOH), video ad space, mobile ad space, and search ad space.
Marketers often use their ad spend on demand-side platforms because they automate ad-buying decision-making processes. They use algorithms and targeting options to:
The result? The right demand-side platform can make purchasing ads faster, more efficient, and cheaper for marketers.
Demand-side platforms require advertisers to purchase ad space to reach audience segments based on targeting capabilities across many publisher sites or advertising channels. They don’t purchase advertising inventory specifically from first-party publishers.
DSPs represent an evolution of automated advertising purchasing. To be competitive when buying ads, many marketers feel they have to use DSPs to some extent.
The exact workings of demand-side platforms can be a bit technical. At their core, advertisers use DSPs to replace manually purchasing advertisements through automation and real-time bidding tools.
Here’s a basic breakdown of how a DSP works:
All of this happens in milliseconds. It even occurs in relative real time — one person visiting a publisher's website might see a completely different ad than someone else depending on factors like their search history or previous purchasing habits.
is a complex process that boils down to purchasing and selling ads using software, then contextually publishing ads based on complex marketing algorithms. Most online advertising happens programmatically, but some OOH advertising does as well.
Programmatic advertising can technically be broken down into two types:
In any case, programmatic advertising is required for demand-side platforms and all algorithmically driven ad buying and selling. Programmatic advertising is advantageous primarily because it eliminates human error and allows machines to make purchases or sales much faster than any human sales counterpart.
Demand-side platforms are important because they allow advertisers to consistently secure the best advertising prices for available ad space. In a competitive arena like marketing, every dollar spent matters. To maximize marketing budgets, advertisers must acquire the best ads or ad spaces for their commercials, billboards, pop-ups, and other ads.
DSPs make this much easier and help marketers save money by bidding in real time for the best ad space possible. DSPs can be customized to purchase ad space that is most likely to resonate with specific customers or visitors, to buy ad space up to a certain budget, and so on.
By taking the ad bidding and buying process out of the hands of human operators, DSPs improve efficiency across the board and help organizations save marketing money. Furthermore, DSPs are important for mobile advertisers in particular because they let those advertisers adjust campaign performance standards and metrics in real time.
For example, a mobile advertiser doesn't have to wait for a marketing campaign to end to make changes in terms of budget, target audience, and more. They can adjust their campaigns in real time using a DSP dashboard for immediate positive results.
In a broad sense, demand-side platforms are crucial because they allow advertisers to invest money more effectively into marketing campaigns and get more of a return on those investments. Companies that don’t use DSPs are putting themselves at a disadvantage, especially if many of their ads are online and/or mobile.
Demand-side platforms are similar to (SSPs), but they aren’t the same type of service providers. SSPs let publishers connect ad inventories to ad exchanges. They’re the other side of this complex buying and selling process.
Think of SSPs as the platforms publishers use to put their ad space inventory up on the bidding markets. SSPs also allow publishers to filter advertisements based on advertiser types, costs, bidding rates, and other factors. They can also set bidding rates for their ad spaces to help define the costs for specific ads, like billboard ads or pop-up ads.
Both DSPs and SSPs are necessary for this entire process to work.
As you can see, the right demand-side platforms can help you manage your marketing campaigns more efficiently than before. In fact, a useful DSP can let you scoop up both online and out-of-home (OOH) advertisements quickly and cost-effectively.
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