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2010 is showing huge client-side demand for more accountable and effective cross channel measurement, looking at the interplay between PPC, SEO, display, email and affiliates.

Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) can bring another piece to this digital jigsaw. DSPs allow improved performance and ROI for an online display campaign. They give advertisers greater control over targeting and managing their online media campaigns.

Over recent years the online display market has become more and more fragmented. This has presented numerous challenges for advertisers when it comes to buying display advertising. Buying media across multiple platforms can be a very complex matter.

DSPs make this process a lot simpler, and offer advertisers and agencies the opportunity to buy across multiple platforms and inventory sources. In a nutshell, they allow advertisers a new way to purchase and manage auction-based (display) media.

The drive for digital marketing efficiency is pushing agencies to change, adapt, and use technology that can attribute, and hence distribute, spend effectively across all of these channels and piece together ad inventory from numerous, fragmented sources.

Being able to purchase, optimise, measure, and combine display and search data is just about as exciting as it gets for many a digital/search marketer.

Google’s purchase of Invite Media shows how serious this opportunity is. Yahoo has the technology, and many companies in the USA and in the UK are launching, testing and building DSPs as you read.


So what does the rise of demand side platforms mean to search and display marketers?

  • They provide a single interface to manage search and display that connects to the numerous and vast amounts of ad exchanges.
  • DSPs include real time bidding and portfolio optimisation to build upon automated bid management capabilities.
  • They help control and management of budgets across all media types and ‘connect the dots’ across all media channels.
  • The advertiser has better transparency, efficiency, and accountability. Clients are looking for technologies to help them ‘re-visualise’ cross channel data and run different scenarios to better understand and predict how search and display interacts and will interact in the future.
  • Enables real insight into behaviour and allow the retargeting of users across a multitude of platforms.
  • As the relationship between PPC and display is becoming increasingly important advertisers can use PPC data to conduct forecasting and make purchasing decisions in a single platform.

The use of real-time bidding to buy display advertising space and optimise display advertising campaigns, combined with search optimisation, gives access to all cross channel metrics and future decision making. 

This is a very powerful combination.

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Published 20 July, 2010 by Andy Betts

Andy Betts is a digital marketing strategist working with agencies and direct advertisers. He blogs here, and can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn

16 more posts from this author

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katie frothingham

The benefit to DSP's and their real time bidding technology lies in the convenience. With the use of a demand side platform, there is no need to log-in to different servers and systems for every provider an advertiser is working with. Most DSP's have the ability to connect with any Ad Server. Some have compared the efficiency of demand side platforms to that of an SEM campaign, all while having the transparency and manageability advertisers want and need. for more information on efficient, practical, and self-manageable demand side platforms go to http://www.owneriq.com/mostiq

about 6 years ago

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John Were

We specialise in platform traded media and offer a managed DSP service to advertisers and agencies looking to take advantage of real-time bidding. Please contact us if you'd like a no obligation chat.

about 6 years ago

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Bangalow Accommodation

important to be efficient in digital marketing, otherwise as an extra area of marketing to manage, it can be overwhelming. we are new to online media, just getting our heads around it.

almost 6 years ago

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Volker Ballueder

Hi Andy,

Thanks for that article. It really shows the importance of DSP models, and the use of bid management across display and search.

However, whilst DSPs offer a more simplified way of buying display media inventory across exchanges, they also have some drawbacks attached. With the increased numbers of DSPs coming up, there is a possibility that advertisers will understand the use of DSPs rather than the use of exchanges or the available inventory.

If you look at search for instance: with the use of search marketing tools you get a good understanding of how the bid management works but not necessary how each search engine works. Isn't that where search marketing agencies add extra value to most advertisers?

Another point to look at is the massive amount of upcoming Ad Exchanges, Yield Managers and other auction based technologies. That means we are not facing one mature market technology like Google Adwords. Hence putting one single dashboard (DSP) in front of all these new auction based technologies means to keep advertisers away from learning what’s good and bad before choosing the right platforms.

So with every piece of freedom we get from technologies that allow us to "self service" anything, we also add risks and learning to the process. To avoid that, you want to really use experienced "human interfaces" that know the fragmented publisher markets. In my opinion a combination of good technology and knowledgeable display optimisers are the key to improved performance and ROI for an online display campaign.

I believe we first need to see, understand, and learn about the strength and weaknesses of each single technology for display before putting a piece of software on top.

What do you think?

Best,

Volker

almost 6 years ago

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Andy Betts

All great points Volker. DSP development is far from over and I do agree that such platforms need to understand every piece of display software or risk building an inefficient 'Layer Cake' model. I think it is something that is going to happen as RTB develops. However - Not everyone is pro DSP's;

1. The space is going to become very competitive

2. There is a huge amount of resource, skill and knowledge needed to learn about DSP's of these platforms as Adexchangesare very complex. Agencies may be averse to this

3. There may also be esistance to change as the role of the traditional media buyer changes. Automating the media-buying process could hence ause unrest

4. There could also be  resistance from some Premium publishers who fear their CPM's are being reduced

almost 6 years ago

Daniel Bryan Hopwood

Daniel Bryan Hopwood, Digital Media Planner/Buyer at MEC Manchester

I gave a brief update regarding this to our whole Agency up here in Manchester last week.

One of the major points I brought to the table was the increase in Publisher Networks spinning themselves as a DSP - I know of one or two that are already trying this in the regions.

I think we need to be careful and watchful of these "rogue traders" utilising there "garden wall abilities" as a DSP. When in fact it, its just a cherry picked site list with absolutely none of the tech we as buyers want and read about.

Coupled with this...the more supposed DSP's and actual DSP's in the market could keep increasing exponentially until we are at the same postion we are presently at with the current buy model - 4 or 5 networks offering the same old "reach and premium inventory" - no differentiation.

This then results in neutrality again between suppliers. I don't want it to happen but maybe something should be in place as an audit factor to avoid this result.

almost 6 years ago

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Andy Betts

More great points.

I think the IAB in the US is looking at something similar and setting up forums on DSP's.

I agree about differentiation - It will be interesting to watch how propostiions develop (outside of rogue traders). I assume most DSP's are not created equally and the fact that every model is differnent could add confusion also.

almost 6 years ago

Daniel Bryan Hopwood

Daniel Bryan Hopwood, Digital Media Planner/Buyer at MEC Manchester

Have any Networks in the US tried the same trick in regards to fronting themselves as a DSP?

Have you had any visibility on these forums on DSP's or how there developing?

What do you predict the outcome will be? Seals of approvals? Badges of authenticity? or just the ability for one DSP to say "I'm audited, trust me that I'm not a network spinning my old inventory with some technology buzzwords".

I look forward to DSP's coming into our market and welcome it wholeheartedly, I just want what the US have in terms of delivery of the product and the authenticity.

almost 6 years ago

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