What are DSPs in Marketing and How do They Work?
To get the most of your marketing efforts, it is a good idea to diversify your outreach between organic content creation and paid advertising. To help facilitate your paid advertising, you can use individual platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Or, you can look for a one-stop-shop, automated approach with DSP platforms to help you have a balanced, comprehensive marketing approach.
What is a DSP?
A demand side platform, or DSP, is a programmatic way to purchase your ads and automate them. A DSP platform can help you buy and manage various types of ads across different networks using one interface. It allows you to automate your decision making and procure ads in real time. There are two types of defined demand side platforms – self serve, which you control yourself, and full-service, where an external team does it for you, somewhat like an ad agency. A study by Statista found that the US spends an estimated $70 billion on programmatic advertising, the largest market in the world (1).
How Does a DSP Work?
Demand side platforms use programmatic advertising to purchase and sell ads in real time through an automated system, usually using demand side platform software. With demand side advertising, ad buys can happen in milliseconds. The process for using DSP platforms looks like this:
- You strategize how much you want to spend on your DSP marketing. Using your chosen DSP advertising platform, you designate your target audience and your DSP digital marketing budget then upload the ads you want to employ.
- Publishers, the people who have ad space to sell, use a supply side platform to make their space available for your demand side platform to buy up.
- Based on the ad impression and the instructions you gave your DSP platform, it decides whether to bid on the space.
- Your DSP competes against other programmatic DSP platforms to win the space.
- If you are the top bidder, your demand side platform advertising runs in the publisher’s space.
The Benefits of DSP in Marketing
Should you use a DSP in your marketing? Here are just a few benefits you can expect when using DSP in your marketing:
- Using a DSP in your digital marketing can make your ad buying quicker, more efficient, and less expensive.
- Since DSPs consider advertising opportunities across multiple venues, you can reach strategic target audiences across an array of outlets.
- When you work with a DSP in your digital advertising, you buy, manage, track, and optimize your ads in one place, instead of having to jump around to individual platforms or publishers.
- You can monitor the performance of your DSP in your marketing with the platform’s reporting and analytics.
Demand Side Platform Examples
While using a DSP in your marketing can take a load of the manual work off your plate, you still need to research what each demand side platform does to know which is the right one for you. You’ll want to understand the number of ad inventory sources it has access to, what targeting criteria it uses, and what it offers in terms of third-party data integrations it offers. You’ll also want to consider what the DSP offers in ad types – images, animation, and/or video.
Some popular DSPs or demand side platforms include:
- Basis Technologies
- Facebook Ads Manager/Facebook for Business
- Rocket Fuel
- Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP)
- DoubleClick by Google/Google Marketing Platform
- BrightRoll from Yahoo!
Using a DSP contributes to a meaningful, successful marketing approach. And while using DSPs in your marketing is powerful, they are only one of many tools that contribute to helping you reach your business goals. At Paradigm, we provide a range of marketing and design services to business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and nonprofit organizations – from start-ups to large, multi-faceted companies, specializing in “wraparound” services, where each marketing initiative supports the overall strategic plan to produce a long-term return on investment. If we can help you, please contact us today.