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DSP Advertising Introduction: What is a Demand-Side Platform?


Buying and selling ads has changed significantly in recent decades. There are more places than ever to buy ads, including multiple digital options. Meanwhile, technology makes it easy to deliver the most relevant ads to highly targeted audiences. Gone are the days of physically negotiating ad buys with publishers, placing ads and tracking their performance through archaic methods.

If you’re involved on any level with programmatic advertising, you probably understand that using a DSP, or demand-side platform, enables marketers to choose from a wide range of advertising opportunities on multiple digital media platforms. With DSP advertising, you can buy ad inventory on mobile, Connected TV (CTV), linear TV, audio, digital-out-of-home (DOOH) and more.

What is a DSP?

A DSP (demand-side platform) streamlines the ad-buying process for marketers through automated systems. You can purchase and manage your ads across a variety of networks.

Still have questions? Let’s dive a little deeper into how DSPs actually work and how to find the best one for your organization.

How does a DSP differ from an SSP?

You’re probably familiar with the terms “DSP” and “SSP” in the digital advertising space. But what’s the difference between a DSP and an SSP? A DSP in advertising automates the purchase of digital media, helping you to manage all your ads through one software platform.

Supply-side platforms, on the other hand, allow the publishers to sell ad impressions via auction. Like a DSP, an SSP is fully automated, saving publishers time and ensuring they are getting the best value, since ads go to the highest bidder.

SSPs and DSPs work together, because publishers connect their inventory to the DSP, enabling marketers to place ads offered on the SSP through the DSP. The entire process is automated, saving time for both marketers and publishers.

How does a DSP work?

A DSP uses advanced technology to analyze your audience and help you to create omnichannel ad campaigns across premium publishers. By analyzing audience impressions and data points, the DSP can shift ad spends to get marketers the maximum value for their money.

Some DSPs offer various buying options. For instance, in real-time bidding, the DSP automatically bids on omnichannel ad inventories in an open market. DSPs can also organize ad spends across a private marketplace (PMP), where you can customize advertising based on specific goals and objectives. You can also use a DSP to place programmatic guaranteed deals, where the publisher promises specific minimum impressions or yields, minimizing risk and maximizing results.

What is DSP Advertising?

A DSP in advertising streamlines your ad buying by leveraging technology to make decisions orders of magnitude faster than any human marketer could. DSPs determine the right ad to show on the right platform within 100 milliseconds.

The automated process of a DSP saves marketers time while delivering better results, and enables you to track, manage and organize all your advertising on one integrated software platform.

How do I pick the right DSP for my advertising needs?

Choosing the right DSP comes down to determining the features you want and the platforms where you may want to advertise. If you don’t want to limit your options for digital advertising, you’ll want a DSP that purchases ads on mobile, DOOH, audio, TV, streaming services and many more.

You also want to find a platform with an easy-to-use interface and advanced reporting features so you can track the success of your omnichannel campaigns. Because your needs may change as time goes on, you want a DSP with flexible pricing options to scale with your company.

Finally, customer service counts when it comes to choosing a DSP. Even if the experts in your company understand all the intricacies of DSP advertising, your DSP software team should be there to assist, helping with training on the platform, analyzing KPIs, and offering post-campaign support to help you achieve the best results.

What if I don’t know how to use a DSP?

If you’re a newcomer to the world of DSP advertising, your DSP software provider should offer the tools you need to save time and create more effective omnichannel campaigns.

For instance, Viant DSP Certification is a free, online educational tool that can help you deliver more efficient omnichannel campaigns. This formal certification program can put you on the road to becoming a programmatic expert or expand your knowledge to become one of the best in your field. The online tools also provide an ongoing reference point for best practices and industry trends.

The world of advertising changes quickly; the right DSP software should help you keep up, and that’s where Viant comes in. Contact us today to see how we can leverage our DSP to help your business.


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