What Is A DSP and How It Relates to Ads

Business woman working on BPRISE DSP Platform

Almost 50% of small businesses are already using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Unfortunately, not many companies realize there’s an easy way to automate their purchasing. By simplifying a piece of your PPC puzzle, you can spend more time on what matters most: your business.

That’s where a DSP can step in. What is a DSP exactly, and how can it help with your digital advertising?

You’ll have to read on to find out! In this guide, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about DSP advertising and how it can benefit your business. Read on to learn more.

What is Programmatic Ad Buying?

Before we dive into the question, “what is a DSP?” let’s discuss programmatic advertising.

Programmatic advertising is a broader term. It’s used to describe technologies that automate the digital ad buying process.

In some cases, that can mean automating campaign set up based on previous settings. You can also use programmatic advertising for rate negotiation, optimizations, and actualizations. By using programmatic advertising, you can streamline your processes, saving you time and money.

One way to launch programmatic ads is by using a DSP.

What is a DSP?

Now for the big question: what is a DSP?

DSP stands for Demand Side Platform. It’s an automated buying platform that allows users to purchase digital ad inventory. These users often include full agencies or companies that want to advertise their own brands.

The digital ad inventory available can include banner ad space on websites, in-stream videos, or mobile ads that display on phone apps.

There’s a chance you’ve heard of SSP, or Supply-Side Platforms. Also known as Sell-Side Platforms, SSPs are very similar to DSPs. They allow publishers to sell their inventory through an ad exchange.

SSPs require minimum bid requirements. This allows the publisher to maximize how much they’ll make from their ad space.

That begs the question, “what’s the difference between a DSP and SSP?”

DSPs are for marketers. SSPs, on the other hand, are designed for publishers. Both are involved in multiple ad exchanges.

The Ad Exchange

The ad exchange is a digital marketplace. There, advertisers and publishers can use real-time bidding to buy and sell ad space. The ad exchange announces each available impression in real-time.

Then, buyers can determine if they’re interested in that space before they make their bids.

How Does It Work?

Now that you have a broad concept of DSP advertising, let’s talk about the process.

With a DSP, advertisers and agencies can purchase ad inventory from publishers through:

  • Ad networks
  • Ad exchanges
  • Supply-side platforms

Usually, advertisers would buy ad inventory through independent networks. These can include Google, Facebook, other search engines, and other social media platforms. With a DSP, however, advertisers aren’t limited to a set platform.

Instead, advertisers can buy multiple ad formats (like video, mobile, search, display, and native ads) from multiple sources. Meanwhile, the user never has to leave the interface.

Here’s how it works:

  • The user visits a website online
  • That website sends the user’s information to the ad exchange
  • An SSP offers that user information to DSPs
  • Advertisers can bid for ad placement through the DSP
  • The highest bidder wins the ad

With a DSP, users can buy impressions across multiple publisher sites. The advertiser can then target their audience based on location, browser history, or other factors.

The impression price is based on a real-time auction through real-time bidding. Since it’s automatic, you don’t need to waste time bidding on prices. Instead, the impressions are auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The entire process takes seconds, allowing you to save valuable time.

The Benefits

If you’re on the fence about DSP advertising, there are a few benefits you should remain aware of.

First, a DSP offers transparency you can’t find in most forms of advertising. You’ll have a suite of reporting tools available, allowing you to review every detail. Then, you can optimize your campaigns and improve your ad efficiency.

In fact, your analytics will update in real-time. That means you don’t have to waste time and money making uninformed decisions. Instead, you can make decisions about the DSPs you’re using.

With DSP advertising, there’s also a wide range of ad formats available. Sticking to one format can bore your target audience. Instead, you can run an omnichannel advertising campaign to cover new formats.

Over 85% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses. By using a DSP, you can reach those customers and reel them in!

Other benefits include audience targeting abilities and flexible budget shifting. The traditional ad buying process can leave you in the dark. In other words, you won’t recognize targeting or spending mistakes until you’ve already made them.

Why Use a DSP?

When advertising, you would usually complete a time-consuming process that can involve:

  • Advertisers (you)
  • Publishers (where the ad will appear)
  • The target audience

Then, you’ll waste valuable time sending emails back and forth to negotiate prices. In addition to wasting time, there’s also a chance someone will make an error along the way.

The marketing DSP process allows advertising and agencies to buy ads in seconds. Since the process is done so quickly, you can improve your efficiency and focus on bigger matters.

Choosing the Right DSP

When choosing the right DSP for your advertising needs, try to consider:

  • The data you want (first- versus third-party)
  • How many ad exchanges the DSP will access
  • Your budget
  • Your desired reach

You’ll also want to consider the DSP’s ease of use. If you’re unfamiliar with the interface, you might end up doing more harm than good.

With that in mind, it’s important to choose the right company to work with. Before you start using programmatic advertising, make sure to find the right DSP. They can walk you through training and help you maximize your advertising spending.

Instead of wasting money, you can use your DSP to reach more prospects than ever before!

What Is a DSP?: Your Guide to Smarter Advertising

To recap, what is a DSP? It’s your smarter, faster, easier method to great advertising. With a DSP, you can reach your customers without wasting your advertising budget away!

Eager to get started? Request a free trial from our team today.

Our Product: The Smart-Marketing Platform

The Arrival

Our platform named “BPRISE Manager Platform” will be used by marketers and media buyers. 

The Solution For Media Buyers

BPRISE Manager Platform is an integral part of the BPRISE marketing solution. The platform makes it possible for you (as a marketer) to serve ads on mobile, web, social media, email and SMS using one simple platform. Rather than being campaign centric like regular DSPs, BPRISE Manager Platform campaigns are target or audience centric. This marketing automation tool is equipped with different supply sources across mobile and web applications, social media and exchanges. Ad-formats supported include banner, interstitial, native, video to name a few. Not just that, through BPRISE Manager Platform, you can also SMS and email your target groups at optimal hours, for example when they’re at your stores or branches. This intelligent marketing tool lets you connect with direct suppliers if you wish to do so. Complementing this, the ability to block and handle fraud, bots ensures that your advertising spend is put to good use.

The Real-Time Everything

At BPRISE, we’re of the opinion that monitoring and optimizing campaigns need to happen in real-time. We root for real-time campaign optimization for the target audience to enable the media buyers or advertisers make course corrections as and when needed rather than realize at the end of the campaign that expected results were not achieved. BPRISE Manager Platform insights provide visualizations of both campaign analysis as well as data analysis in real-time. An easy to use interface and workflow makes a perfect example of how this self-serve platform will create a paradigm shift in the way advertising works. We are now available for agencies, brands and all types of advertisers across verticals be it the Auto, Hospitality, Retail Banking, FMCGs and others. For more information, do not hesitate to connect with us

Basics Of A Demand Side Platform (DSP)

“If you’re not putting out relevant content in relevant places, you don’t exist.”

-Gary Vanerchuk

Ever observe how you end up having ads stalk you? Say for example, you check an item on Flipkart but you don’t make the purchase only to have the  ad follow you almost everywhere you go online. They pop up on Facebook, Instagram, certain other websites that you visit and even emails.

This form of intelligent marketing can only be made possible if the advertiser really knows you – as a  consumer. Which is exactly why despite the rain of digital ads online, there are very few smart ones that grab your attention. That’s the customer’s viewpoint. Let’s take a look at the marketer and advertisers’ points of view.

They sit behind computer screens launching marketing campaigns, chasing marketing KPIs, measuring ad performances, reporting and performing a million other bits. With the dawn of all things “smart” and technology platforms to make lives easier, one could say that advertising on different channels can be accomplished pretty much effortlessly. Speaking of making lives easier in the world of advertising, traditional direct buying processes are taking a seat back given the birth of new buying methods on platforms that better connect media buyers and sellers. For example, programmatic advertising automates the process of buying and selling of online advertisements. One of the primary buying tool/platform facilitating programmatic buying is a DSP.

It stands for a Demand-Side Platform. Simply put, it’s an automated buying platform used by advertisers (aka media buyers) and marketing agencies to purchase digital ad inventory from the media owners (aka publishers). A DSP will have basic targeting functionalities like start date and end date, geo targeting, budget pacing, frequency capping, day parting, device targeting and contextual targeting.

DSP allows advertisers to buy impressions from a range of publisher sites that have the specific kind of audience which is of interest to the advertiser. The medium through which publishers make ad impressions available for buyers (advertisers) is a marketplace called an ad exchange. A DSP is used to manage multiple ad exchange accounts by the buyer. Not just that, they also act as a central hub for handling every data that one can bring in to help with the RTB (real-time bidding) valuation which is very crucial to successful ad exchange management. DSP automates bidding on deals that close at lighting speed, using sensible parameters which are set by the advertiser to control their budget and optimize spend. Decision-making is also automated by demand-side platform with the help of algorithms to ensure if deals are even worth bidding on in the first place. This gives advertisers a transparent view of websites running their ads to ensure they’re brand appropriate.

Is your demand-side platform really working for you?

Advertisers must ask themselves what exactly a DSP helps them accomplish. A strong DSP consists of efficiency and performance, both of which are important in determining the success of your marketing campaigns. It is also important to understand that all DSPs are designed and developed with different capabilities. You as an advertiser must first determine the campaign needs (reach, targeting and cost) and if the solution your’re looking for aligns with what a DSP can deliver.

With the evolution of programmatic buying, the growth of demand-side platform is anticipated to go hand in hand as it introduces advanced targeting tools, providing options to target behaviourally, geographically, and even options to retarget. Advertisers can generate value and increase return on investments (ROI) based on how well they understand the real consumer needs of the target group. Your DSP is a means of presenting your brand and its offerings to potential customers in the form of ads, marketing messages and emails, but having a layer of intelligence to guide you will only fasten your reach to your most convertible customers at actual moments of (purchase) intent.

“Hey! We haven’t seen you for a while on our website, come and check out what we have prepared for you.” Such mailers are not unusual. Whether your’re a retailer or a bank you would at some point consider sending out mailers. If you’re an e-commerce company, how are you reaching your potential customers? Oftentimes, you combine internal data to guide your real-time bidding (RTB) approach. E-commerce giants also often target frequent shoppers with various promotional offers and discounts designed specifically for them. This also helps in maintaining your brand image among the existing customers. Banner ads displayed with the help of RTB have the potential of replacing e-mail, gift cards, discount coupons and even newsletters? What do you think, let us know in the comments below.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we talk about Real-Time Bidding and how advertisers and publishers make it a win-win.

Life Of A Marketer

Who cares about “ad effectiveness” at 08:30 AM? Ah, my bad. What marketer hits the office at 08:30 AM, anyway? Of course, considering the innumerable tasks that a marketer oversees (sometimes, overlooks), performs (or preempts), the 24-hours-in-a-day-thing does not really work for them.

As someone who works in the Marketing Department primarily, I can tell that no marketer ever has “enough time” on them. All the pre-planned schedule goes for a giant toss and what’s more is that the coin lands on its edge more often than all of us care to admit. You may wonder what’s a marketer onto, that consumes all of their sane time. And if you’re a marketer, then this can be your “constructive read” (sic).

A day in the life of a marketer (let’s call her Jane!) concerns the working on the following…

Scene 1: Digital Marketing 

Jane-the-marketer, works her way through multiple creatives, multiple platforms, multiple log-ins, multiple campaign goals, multiple reports, multiple vendors on a regular basis. Although she’s a dedicated marketer, she finds it humanly impossible to smoothly transition between all the aforementioned “multiples“. Now, if her employer (i.e. the advertiser or brand or retailer) is kind enough to split her work by adding new members to marketing, it will mean that the size of the marketing team goes up, in turn increasing the firm’s ad spends. Does having a bulky team deal with multiple platforms and countless vendors ensure that the advertised products meet the respective real-time needs of its target audience?

You and I both know that one-ad-does-not-fit-all. We also know that quantity does not guarantee quality. It is the quality and appropriate fitting of an ad to a situation in the real-life of its target audience that counts. And it most definitely is not the mammoth-sized-ness of the marketing team that counts.

What if we could resolve these issues, for Jane (and marketers like her!) in one shot? How much of an ease would it be on brands (i.e. advertisers/retailers) if they could keep their marketing budgets from skyrocketing and still reach the right customers precisely when they’re in need of a solution/product? How does a relevant, ad-for-a-human sound like? 

Scene 2: Analysis

So, marketer Jane, successfully runs ad campaigns across the web and mobile apps and has received reams of data capturing the performance and reach of her ads. She consults a number of third-party vendors to analyze the data and tell her what all the numbers and graphs of data, means simply. A thorough analysis is possible only when marketers have all the information about their target audience’s preferences as consumers. Although Jane divides her time between consulting with various vendors and gathering insights from distinct sources, she’s still deficient of her target audiences’ offline preferences as consumers. What this means is that customers often walk into stores near them and grab what they really need, for a price. There are times, they hop into branded shops or retail stores more than once just to get product-related information. Is Jane even aware of this practice? Let’s say Mary visited A Shoe Shop a couple of times. She spent a considerable amount of time at the heels section but walked out of the shop each time without buying anything. This offline consumer behavior of Mary is invaluable to Jane. Because if Jane was aware of Mary’s offline behavior as a consumer, she could target Mary with an ad of a footwear right when she’d walked out of the Shoe Shop without having made a purchase? Hence relying solely on users’ online data sounds like one is building a lopsided launchpad for the advertising campaigns to take off from.

Wouldn’t it also benefit if you could understand what happens across web, app and stores? What a winner of a deal if the marketer’s ad platform could serve as a one-stop-solution to all of the ad campaign needs? What if the marketer could enjoy the luxury of not having to consult a multitude of vendors for campaign results and customer insights? What if the analysis helped marketers with target lookalike customers? And what if the marketing platform was automated so well that it understood brands’ customers as well a human marketer could?

Scene 3: Targeting & Retargeting

Targeting Prospects

Jane markets products/solutions to prospects as ads over the web, mobile phones and even apps. But given Jane’s limited knowledge of her prospects’ offline consumer behaviour, her ads do not completely resolve their real-life, real-time problems. This results in the ads becoming somewhat irrelevant to her target audience and thus gives way to unimpressive CTRs. Targeting without insights is like driving without the headlights on.

Wouldn’t marketers be able to provide genuinely useful solutions/product recommendations to potential customers in the form of ads had they been aware of the customers’ real-time needs? Imagine all the gains (for the marketer, for the advertiser/retailer and for the customer) when an ad is truly apt for a customer and solves one of their immediate problems?

Retargeting Potentials

Marketer Jane finds that numerous visitors have looked up her brand’s products online but have left without buying anything. Abandoned carts are one of her main concerns as a brand marketer. And she offers discounted product recommendations to her customers in order to win them back. However, customers could have skipped buying the product online given a number of reasons. The product could have been too pricey for them, they could have been browsing just like that, they couldn’t have found what they’re looking for or maybe they wanted to check the same products at a brick and mortar store. Insights that are derived exclusively from an individual’s online activities will never constitute genuine “customer insights“. A customer’s activities are not limited to their online conduct alone and the sooner marketers tap into customers’ offline preferences and consumer needs as well, the better!  It is quite the combination of online and offline customer data that constitute true customer insights. 

What would make it absolutely easy for marketers to join the dots with customers’ online and offline behaviour and figure out their precise needs? What if all the abandoned carts would suddenly overflow with products of happy patrons?

Scene 4: Conversion

Marketer Jane hits the bull’s eye with her marketing campaign for she sees immediate hike in sales. Let’s say Jane’s ad convinced Mark to buy her brand’s shoes. But does this mean that Jane’s done for the day? Forget the tens of documents she’s got to edit and release! A successful sale or a conversion calls for brands to build on the patron’s interests as a consumer. Brands partially achieve this with the help of loyalty and membership cards; but this practice does not capture all of the user’s online and offline consumer traits. Building a profile with the help of web analytics and proximity-based analytics for every patron will not only help marketers retarget them with relevant content but also help them establish a database of lookalike customers. A lookalike customer is anyone who resembles one or a group of the marketer’s paying patrons. They’re basically prospects that marketers can target on. Also, lookalike customers are external to the database of customers that the advertiser/retailer already has.

Once analytics helps marketers with valuable insights about existing customers, targeting lookalike customers becomes easier. Marketers can target lookalike customers with fitting ads based on the success of their previous ad campaigns.

Insights from Mark’s conversion will help marketers up-sell and cross-sell effectively. Targeting a lookalike customer therefore (say Joe) will not constitute a shot in the dark because Jane has historic data to substantiate the possibility of Joe (who is a lot like Mark as a consumer) converting!

What if marketers could target lookalike customers as soon as their inventory gets restocked? Nothing like the ability to up-sell and cross-sell relevant products to patrons; how do marketers achieve all this?

Having a simple but powerful ad platform that not only optimizes marketers’ reach with ads that are truly relevant to the brand’s customers, right when they’re in need is quite the evolution in marketing. This evolution will not only bring down the firm’s marketing expenses but also allow the brand to have an efficient, slim marketing team. Which is why, marketers, rather advertisers/retailers that are quick to adopt the same could save considerably. Predictive analytics ad platforms like the one BPRISE offers, gathers information and learns user behavior.

If marketer Jane, were to use BPRISE’S programmatic platform, she’d be able to accomplish everything right from marketing, to targeting, to analytics, to sales, to retargeting, to conversion, to up-selling/cross-selling and looking for lookalike customers, all using a single dashboard. This unified ad platform cuts the need for marketers like her to jump between platforms and wait on countless vendors saving the marketers’ time   and money immensely!  If you’re a brand that’s looking for answers to the above questions, get in touch with BPRISE asap. Oh, also if you’re the marketer who’s concerned about ad effectiveness at 08:30 AM, we’ll definitely be worth your time!