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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Jacobs

Understanding Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)

A Demand Side Platform, commonly referred to as a DSP, is a software platform that allows advertisers to buy ad space programmatically. It is a tool used by advertisers to manage their online advertising campaigns, targeting specific audiences with relevant ads. DSPs enable advertisers to buy ad inventory across a variety of publisher sites, networks, and ad exchanges, through real-time bidding (RTB) or direct buy.

How DSP Works: The Technical Process

When an ad impression becomes available, the DSP processes information about the user who will see the ad, such as their location, browsing history, and demographic data. Based on this information, the DSP will decide whether to bid on the ad impression and, if so, how much to bid. The highest bidder will win the auction and their ad will be displayed to the user.

Benefits of Using a DSP

The use of DSPs in online advertising campaigns offers several benefits, including:

  • Efficient use of ad spend: DSPs can analyze data in real-time and optimize ad bids to ensure maximum return on investment.

  • Better targeting: DSPs use various targeting options such as location, behavior, demographics, and interests to reach the right audience with relevant ads.

  • Automated buying process: The automated buying process of DSPs helps to reduce manual workloads and increase efficiency.

  • Real-time data analysis: DSPs provide advertisers with real-time data and insights that help them adjust their campaigns quickly and efficiently.

Key Features of a DSP

Some of the key features of a DSP include:

  • Audience targeting: DSPs allow advertisers to target specific audiences based on various parameters, including behavior, demographics, interests, and location.

  • Real-time bidding: DSPs use real-time bidding to automate the buying process and ensure maximum efficiency.

  • Data analysis and reporting: DSPs provide advertisers with detailed data and insights on their campaigns, helping them make informed decisions.

  • Multi-channel support: DSPs support various channels, including mobile, display, video, and social media, providing advertisers with more options for their campaigns.

Commonly Used DSPs

Some of the commonly used DSPs in the industry include:

  • Google Display & Video 360 (DV360)

  • The Trade Desk

  • Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP)

  • MediaMath

  • Adobe Advertising Cloud

  • Verizon Media DSP (formerly known as Oath)

  • Adform

  • Beeswax

  • Centro

  • DataXu

  • Conclusion

The Key Point

DSPs have revolutionized the online advertising industry by providing advertisers with an efficient and effective way to reach their target audience. With the ability to analyze data in real-time, automate the buying process, and provide detailed insights, DSPs have become an indispensable tool for digital marketers. By understanding how DSPs work, their key features, and benefits, advertisers can make informed decisions about their online advertising campaigns and maximize their return on investment.


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