In 2018 talks about programmatic has started to calm down. At one time a buzzing trend that everybody was trying to understand (or explain), programmatic has become a frequent clause in brands’ marketing budgets.
A survey company eMarketer forecasts: in 2018 more than 80% of digital ads will be delivered programmatically. US advertisers are expected to invest $46 billion in programmatic in the upcoming year. Last year this sum was about $10 billion lower. Programmatic shares in video, mobile and in-app advertising will continue to grow in 2020.
No doubt, today programmatic is living in its glory days. However, resting on its laurels won’t last forever. This is why after winning its solid share of the digital pie, the programmatic companies started evolving from the inside out. What does that mean?
Programmatic in 2018: New Challenges
The changes that are taking place in the industry are becoming clear when looking at how demand-side platforms (DSPs) are transforming.
At first, programmatic DSPs were focused on growing traffic volumes. This strategy was an attempt to attract more media buyers and show the distinct upsides in comparison to ad networks. Later on, programmatic companies understood that traffic is not the only thing that their users actually needed.
2018 has shown that brand-awareness is still important, but cost-effectiveness, data-based ads and the automation of ad activities still have their seats in the first row. Today advertisers are interested in getting a higher level of performance and also growing their base of loyal customers while keeping eCPMs low.
A massive interest to performance-based ads set new standards for demand-side platforms. As a result, DSPs extended their functionality and have turned into a powerful tool for running and measuring programmatic advertising.
What is a demand-side platform?
Along with other marketing channels (like social media), DSP is an option to enlarge your presence on the Internet. The demand-side platform or DSP is an automated programmatic platform for running, managing and optimizing digital ad campaigns.
The backbone of every DSP is the real-time bidding technology. This means that the media buyer sets a unique bid for every ad and competes for the impression during a real-time auction.
For advertisers and media buyers a DSP is the technology that keeps ad activities under control, but, mainly, it’s a source of online traffic. With its connection to hundreds of websites, SSPs and ad exchanges, the demand-side platform multiplies spots where an advertiser can reach and communicate with the audience online.
What are the main features of a demand-side platform?
Just like an ad network, DSP is a platform to purchase online inventory. However, a demand-side platform has a number of its distinctive features giving it an edge over other media buying platforms.
1. DATA-DRIVEN ADVERTISING
Data about users is a goldmine for advertisers and programmatic companies know that. Most DSPs integrate third-party data providers to empower businesses with insights into their targeted audience. How does it work?
When setting up your ad campaign with DSP you’ll be offered to set an extended targeting, like the age, interests, and other details about users. Data-based ads secure media-buyers from purchasing irrelevant impressions.
2. PRECISE AUDIENCE TARGETING
DSPs are equipped with a wide array of precise targeting options. Precise targeting helps media buyers draw a more relevant audience, and better audience brings more conversions, right? While the number of conversions goes up, the average price for every impression drops. For advertisers with performance ad campaigns, DSP’s targeting is a chance to save on acquiring quality leads and conversions.
3. AD PERFORMANCE TRACKING
The start of a new era in programmatic required more ad performance metrics to be tracked. And DSPs successfully adapted new challenges. Today many DSP accounts allow media buyers to monitor conversions, ad viewability, retention rate and other crucial metrics to measure ad campaign effectiveness.
In fact, no matter how many ad campaigns you have active in your DSP account. DSP brings together tones of real-time data about ad campaigns performance. When displayed in one place, analytics may expose gaps in marketing strategies, as well as suggest further steps on your way to a higher ROI.
4. AUTOMATED OPTIMIZATION BASED ON YOUR AD GOALS
When media buyers handle dozens of performance ad campaigns, some details may get out of the control.
For eliminating manual work, many DSPs invested in development of the smart optimization algorithms. The feature of automated optimization reduces effort and time spent on daily optimization. For example, Epom Market DSP has a feature called “bidding rules”. When being switched on, bidding rules optimize ad campaigns according to advertiser’s ad goals like ‘expected eCPM’ or ‘preferred CTR’. So the platform keeps your ad activities under control and you sleep well.
5. RUNNING OF CROSS-DEVICE AD CAMPAIGNS
DSP is a handy tool for running an unlimited number of multiscreen ad campaigns at a time. With only one DSP, media buyers may acquire mobile impressions, reach desktop screens and launch video creatives simultaneously. Having all your cross-device ad campaigns in one place helps understand, which creatives work better and which ones have to be excluded.
DSPs have many more outstanding features to make your programmatic media buying more effective.
How to implement a demand-side platform?
Even though the market of DSPs has a lot to offer, applying for a dozen demand-side platforms is not necessary. Today even one DSP is able to provide a unified media buying experience. Though the most time-consuming part of getting DSP on board is discovering a DSP to fit your ad goals in the best possible way.
In fact, the process of choosing “only one DSP” will probably take more time than setting up your ad activities onwards.
There are two types of demand-side platforms: self-serve and managed DSPs. With a self-serve DSP, you will take charge of settings, the targeting and the analytics tracking by yourself. Otherwise, you’ll be assigned to a DSP manager who will take these responsibilities off your shoulders.
Most DSPs are self-serve platforms. After creating a self-serve DSP account, you’ll access its functionality and inventory.
In a nutshell, the process of kickstarting your ad campaign with a DSP is as follows:
- Choose the type of ad campaign you are going to launch (mobile, desktop, in-app, video, etc.).
- Adjust appropriate settings: targeting, frequency capping, daily/total budget etc.
- Upload creatives, and customize their settings (if they differ from the general ad campaign settings);
- Add a deposit to your advertiser’s account.
- Go live and keep an eye on your optimization (or switch ‘automated optimization’ ON).
5 Key Advantages Of A Demand-Side Platform You Need To Know
The World’s Federation of Advertisers states that 77% of all multinational companies (Netflix, L’Oreal, P&G, etc.) are planning to increase their spending on programmatic channels in 2019. It sounds reasonable especially when you realize the main advantages of demand-side platforms.
1. DSP IS ABOUT COST-EFFECTIVE MEDIA BUYING
For buying traffic within a DSP, media buyers set a bid that they can afford to pay. Then the DSP takes this bid and offers it to SSPs and ad exchanges. Then finally it purchases the impressions during the real-time auction. With this approach, media buyers won’t overpay for the traffic they acquire, while simultaneously gaining cheaper inventory without losses in their KPIs. Furthermore, DSP technologies like an automated optimization or machine learning safeguard advertiser’s marketing budgets from being spent on underperforming traffic.
2. ALL AD ACTIVITIES AT THE TOUCH OF A FINGER
The evolution of DSPs has reached a level where one unified DSP account may be used for managing all media buying activities. An entire DSP combines things like access to different types of traffic, granular analytics and other tools for managing ad campaign effectiveness.
3. ACCESS TO MULTIPLE TRAFFIC SOURCES THROUGH A SINGLE ACCOUNT
The DSP is a self-sustained and convenient platform for promoting products across hundreds of websites and apps. Within a single DSP account, media buyers open tremendous volumes of digital inventory. As a result, they get a chance to discover specific, yet high-performing traffic that they would never find elsewhere.
4. 100% TRANSPARENT MEDIA BUYING
Yet another upside of DSPs is their transparency. DSPs keep everything on the surface – daily reporting, spends, and most importantly, traffic sources. If you need to break down your reports by the best-performing publishers, you’ll be able to accomplish that. Transparency will set the direction for tweaking your buys and make your media buying more effective. For example, with the Epom Market DSP you can create a blacklist of websites that haven’t brought you expected results and exclude them from your media buying list.
5. INSTANT ANALYTICS DELIVERED IN SECONDS
Enhanced with real-time technology, DSPs have an edge over other media buying channels according to reports and analytics. Once you start advertising with a demand-side platform you’ll be surprised with how quickly your performance results will arrive on your dashboard.
All in all, DSPs proved to be a cost-effective channel for getting quality leads outside social media or ad networks which today are losing steam. DSPs make programmatic advertising more convenient and affordable. Just like the whole programmatic industry, demand-side platforms will continue to evolve in the years to come. With their new features and outstanding opportunities, DSPs definitely deserve a place in any marketing strategy for 2019.
Implement a full-service DSP into your media buying and start driving conversions even before 2019.
The publishing rights of this post belongs to the Company Epom Market. For offering interesting information and creating better coverage, for our customers this information has been reposted.
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