What is a Demand-Side Platform (DSP)?

demand side platform

While there are quite a few ad networks where advertisers can buy campaigns and manage their campaigns, demand-side platforms (DSPs) – sometimes referred to as buy-side platforms – are much more sophisticated and provide a much wider array of tools to target, place real-time bids, track, retarget, and further optimize their ad placements. Demand-side platforms enable advertisers to reach billions of impressions in advertising inventory that can't be realized on platforms like search or social.

Aside from maximizing reach, DSPs also enable an advertiser to maximize their advertising return on investment through exceptional targeting, real-time bidding, and campaign optimization.

What is a DSP?

A demand-side platform (DSP) is a platform that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through a single interface. The objective of these systems is to allow advertisers to service their ad spend and optimize their effective Cost per Click (eCPC) and effective Cost per Action (eCPA).

Here's a solid diagram of the process from Sitescout – from advertiser to audience:

real time bidding ecosystem

What is a eCPA? eCPC?

Effective Cost per Action (eCPA) is a measurement of the effectiveness of advertising inventory purchased by the advertiser by the cost per impression, or cost per thousand (CPM) impression basis. If that measurement is an actual click, then it can also be referred to as an effective Cost per Click (eCPC)

Actions may be tracked by cookie tracking, click-tracking, landing page conversion-tracking, phone call tracking, or promotional code redemption.

A List of Leading DSPs

  • Adobe Media Optimizer – a programmatic ad buying solution that helps you forecast the best mix of search, display, and social ads based on your budget. It also automates the execution of your media plan and helps you find the best way to deliver relevant content to your high-value audiences. TubeMogul is also now part of Adobe.
  • AppNexus – AppNexus Console combines modularity and high-powered programmable tools that help buyers realize accelerated time-to-value and solution differentiation..
  • AudienceScience – AudienceScience is the leading global SaaS-based Advertising Automation suite, delivering simplicity and accountability to advertisers on a global scale.
  • DataXu – DataXu is an independent, 100% marketer-aligned data and analytics technology company.
  • DoubleClick Bid Manager – Manage your bids and connect with your audience on every device through the most complete programmatic buying platform.
  • Fiksu – Fiksu DSP has the data and technology to make your mobile campaigns more effective
  • MediaMath – Our technology and services enable marketers to reach the audiences they want at the scale they need to achieve the outcomes they desire.
  • One by AOL – AOL Platforms enables the world's top marketers and media brands to reach consumers across desktop, mobile and TV through premium experiences, programmatic buying and performance-driven campaigns.
  • Simpli.fi – The display, mobile, video and social platform built For localized programmatic campaigns.
  • SiteScout – SiteScout by Centro is the leading self-serve demand side platform (DSP) for marketing professionals and agencies, enabling display campaigns, mobile campaigns, video campaigns, and retargeting campaigns.
  • StackAdapt – The world's most powerful platform for branded content distribution. Amplify content at scale through targeted native ad placements.
  • Tapad – Tapad is the true cross-device marketing partner. Whether the goal is to amplify your message, engage your audience or transform data into dollars, we make it happen. We unify data across all devices to understand the interests, passions and behaviors of the audiences that matter most.
  • The Trade Desk – The Trade Desk is a buy-side platform providing access to all RTB inventory for display, television, video, social, mobile, and more. Media buyers using our products can run campaigns in every online media channel and report on how each channel combines to influence their customer.
  • Turn – Take command of the volumes of data at your disposal to identify, understand, and locate the audiences you need to reach with your campaigns. Create segments based on real user behaviors, use Turn tools to extend your reach, and then send your data directly to your marketing platforms.

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