DSP and Programmatic Advertising: What are Demand-Side Platforms?

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DSP and Programmatic Advertising: What are Demand-Side Platforms?

As a marketer, you may spend the majority of your time developing organic content. However, remember that paid advertising is just as crucial.

Individual ad managers, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, can be used to handle paid ads for your business. But you shouldn't limit yourself to these options. Demand-side platform is a technological advancement that automates your advertising capabilities.

Every self-respecting marketer should familiarize themselves with Demand side platform DSP. By not learning and utilizing this innovative method, you risk falling behind the curve.

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Demand-side Platforms: What are they?

A demand-side platform (DSP) is a programmatic advertising platform that allows advertisers and media purchasing agencies to bid on advertising mediums from a variety of ad placements publishers.

The essential characteristic of demand-side platforms is that, rather than buying content from publishers, you acquire the capacity to reach certain audience groups across a variety of publisher sites using DSP advertising capabilities.

You can buy mobile ads on applications, banner ads on search engines, and video ads on social media platforms using DSP advertising.

Why are DSPs Such a Big Deal?

Marketers can use DSP to avoid wasting time and effort on tasks that can be handled by a machine. Instead of manually contacting hundreds of publishers with advertising offers, DSPs allow advertisers to swiftly set up and manage campaigns.

Needless to say, this means a lot of time and effort is saved, which equates to more resources saved and allocated to more other important business aspects.

Marketers can set up campaigns quickly and maintain them with simplicity now that they don't have to invest time and energy on something that can be done by an automated machine.

Another reason DSPs are appealing to mobile advertisers is that campaign results can be monitored in real-time.

Mobile advertisers can easily change campaigns from DSPs without causing disruption instead of waiting for a campaign to conclude.

Furthermore, DSPs frequently collaborate with third-party data providers, allowing you to collect and report your data in ways that a single network cannot.

Furthermore, the targeting options are more tailored during the planning process, resulting in higher conversion rates.

What are the Benefits?

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of reasons to use and integrate DSP into your marketing strategy. But let's go into more detail about each benefit you could potentially gain:

Precise and accurate budgeting

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The DSP technology calculates which impressions are most valuable for your campaign. The price for these impressions is determined by the value you place on them. 

This ensures that you aren't wasting money on ad space that isn't producing results, and that the price you are paying is reasonable and can lead to a higher return on investment.

Real-time strategic bidding

Demand-side platforms are valuable because they have extensive access to supply-side platforms' digital ad space. They place bids in real-time across a variety of ad exchanges, ensuring that you have the most up-to-date information on available impressions for your ad display.

When using a DSP, you'll have access to several ad exchanges, ensuring no unknown ground. You may contact customers on a variety of devices and decide which space is most important for your campaign.

Data transparency

Another significant advantage of employing a demand-side platform is the ability to track campaign results in real-time.

DSPs provide granular analytics on things like click-through rate, website traffic, and page view lift to users in a transparent manner.

This form of reporting provides a statistical study of the ad execution in great detail. These useful statistics are updated as they happen, ensuring that you never miss out on important information, as might happen when utilizing a typical ad network.

Precise audience exposure

A DSP employs its advanced targeting features to reach your target demographic on each channel they may occupy once you've successfully purchased the ad networks in the ad marketplace you desire. 

A demand-side platform's many targeting features can help you specify your reach, which makes them incredibly beneficial. DSPs can target users based on context, geography, behavior, and the capacity to retarget. You can take whichever path is most beneficial to your efforts.

Step-by-Step Guide on How a DSP Works

  1. The advertiser chooses their target demographic and uploads the ads they want to run.
  2. Publishers use ad exchanges and supply-side platforms to make their ad inventories available to DSPs.
  3. These platforms hand over the ad impression to the DSP, which decides whether or not to place a bid to buy the impression based on its relevancy to the targeting parameters.
  4. The advertiser competes for ad impressions with other advertisers by submitting real-time bids.
  5. The impression is purchased by the demand-side platform, and the ad is displayed on the publisher's website to the target audience.

This entire process happens in less than a second once visitors view the publisher's website or platform.

Parts and Structure of a DSP

To really familiarize yourself with DSPs, you need to know what are the different parts that make it tick. What are the different factors that coalesce to make the workflow so seamless?


The bidder is the most crucial part of the DSP since they submit bids on ad impressions in the real-time bidding (RTB) procedure. Because the real-time bidding process takes less than a second to complete, being able to execute the bid quickly is critical.

Ad tracker and statistical reporting

The capacity to track and record data about ad effectiveness is an important feature of a DSP.

The capacity to track and record data about ad effectiveness is an important feature of a DSP. This information is subsequently shown on a reporting dashboard and utilized to optimize ad campaigns.

Ad data servers

The DSPs' ad server is responsible for serving the required ad elements to the publisher's website. Ad servers also keep track of impressions and conversions, which can be utilized to fine-tune the ad campaign. They also offer fraud detection software that can spot fake ad inventory.

Budget cashier

This is what permits the advertiser to establish the campaign's budget parameters, such as a campaign's maximum budget. The budget cashier can also set spending rules for the budget to not go over or under ad spend.

Ad exchange and supply-side platforms (SSP)

A demand-side platform can streamline and centralize the ad-buying process by integrating many supply sources, such as ad exchanges and SSPs.

This gives an advertiser a broad cross-channel reach from a single source. 

You can integrate your advertising inventory with multiple ad exchanges to make the most online advertising space for efficiency of digital ad campaigns.

As a result, an advertiser should expect their DSP to work with a variety of ad exchanges and SSPs.

Types of DSP

You have two different types of DSP programmatic advertising to choose from:

Self-serve DSP advertising

A self-serve DSP is nothing more than a buying platform for advertisers. The advertiser's team or their agency is in charge of campaign conception, implementation, and reporting.

This type of DSP allows for more personalized ads and a more hands-on approach to managing ads.

Full-service DSP

A full-service DSP acts more like a marketing firm with their own programmatic advertising technology. An account manager is available to provide more assistance. The ad campaign is managed and overseen by an external staff at the DSP from start to finish. 

It is more expensive, and marketers have less control and flexibility over campaign execution, but it is more convenient for them.

Examples of DSP

There are multiple DSPs available in the realm of online advertising. Here are a few of the top ones out there:

Amazon DSP

Because Amazon is one of the largest online merchants in the world, it's no wonder that companies would want to advertise there. Amazon DSP is available to advertisers that sell products on Amazon as well as those who do not.

Self-service and managed service are the two alternatives available. Brands have complete control over their marketing campaigns using self-service.

The managed option is recommended for those who are new to programmatic advertising or require assistance.

There is also the option of getting an Amazon DSP management partner to handle the technicalities. Individuals or agencies specialized in Amazon DSP can be a great help to beginners and can handle most of the heavy-lifting.


Two-thirds of the Fortune 500 trust MediaMath, and it works with hundreds of developers and agencies to improve business outcomes.

One disadvantage of programmatic advertising is that you won't know where your ad will appear until it's published.

To make things easier for marketers, MediaMath guarantees brand protection for programmatic campaigns and will compensate advertisers if their ads appear next to inappropriate content.

MediaMath prides itself on transparency, ensuring that users have complete access to their data.


Knorex is an ad platform that automates targeted marketing across all channels, devices, and ad formats. In one spot, you can market on Google Search and various supported social media platforms.

This DSP also uses artificial intelligence to learn from historical data in order to predict and change ad expenditures dynamically in real-time, resulting in increased efficiency.

Google's marketing platform

Google Marketing Platform is a unified advertising and analytics platform developed by Google for better marketing and outcomes. This DSP offers a variety of goods for both small and large enterprises.

You may save time with cross-channel ad management and optimize media and creative performance across all of your digital campaigns with this tool.


While DSPs provide campaign management tools to advertisers, evaluating performance across DSPs can be difficult. With more networks using DSPs, it's more important than ever to analyze and contrast advertising campaign performance across time.

When selecting a DSP, make sure you know how many inventory sources it has access to, what third-party data interfaces it has, and what targeting criteria it has.

If it all feels overwhelming for you, never hesitate to get an advertising partner to help you throughout the process.

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