Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) – Why The Setup Is So Important

A person typing on a laptop.

Demand side platforms (DSPs) were one of the first technologies developed for the programmatic industry. They exist to allow buyers to purchase inventory from publishers, and handle the financial transaction. They are quite simply a portal into the digital media marketplace in the way that Bloomberg is the portal into the finance marketplaces. The setup of an advertiser's Demand Side Platforms can be the difference between a campaign performing well and a campaign performing exceptionally.

In the early versions of demand side platforms, users would access display banners (commonly found in sizes such as 300x250 pixels, 728x90 pixels and 300x50 pixels) on users desktops. They were a very simple piece of technology with only a few variables to consider.

Modern day demand side platforms

Now if you fast forward to today, they have increased in importance for buyers, these technologies now;

  • Access mobile and tablet inventory, not just desktop
  • Access video, podcasts, TV, outdoor and other formats, not just banners
  • Allow for algorithmic buying, over manual bidding and buying
  • Have multiple complex layers of brand safety, over the previous, simple blacklist approaches
  • Buy in different types of auctions, not just second price auctions like the early days
  • And much more…

The setup is so important

Billions of dollars are spent through DSPs every month, the setup of them has never been more important. If setup goes wrong, it can cause incredible levels of misspending (every programmatic trader has a story to tell here), ads appearing against bad websites, and ultimately campaigns not working.

The complexity of modern day DSPs gives traders lots of flexibility in what to target and when. However, this complexity comes with risks. Buyers need to ensure that they have the appropriate measures in place such as budget caps and brand safety to avoid these. With this added complexity, buyers must also ensure that they are maximising the effectiveness of the platforms by testing new features, targeting and inventory available.

"How to optimise a campaign in a DSP" is one of our most prominent courses. We cover;

  • How you setup campaigns in a DSP
  • The key strategies used
  • Campaign structure
  • How to optimize highly performing campaigns for advertisers.

Check out out our ‘how to optimise a campaign in a DSP’ course page here!