Is Your DSP Fully-Loaded Or Basic?




March 10, 2022


Demand-Side platforms make things happen! They are so essential! They are a must! You are probably thinking, where should I start? Or what and how many do I need?

Selecting a DSP is like shopping for a car!

Are you practical? Affordable? Great on gas type of car buyer?

Or do you value looks and bougieness over anything else?

Let me ask you this instead: is your car fully-loaded or a basic model?

What are 3-5 things that are non-negotiable for you? What do you love and hate about the car you have now? No matter what, all cars start the same: press that ON button (or for our gangstas in these streets: put the key in the ignition and turn).

All DSPs offer somewhat the same capabilities and are compatible with most publishers, SSPs, data vendors, etc.  What are you looking for, and how efficient do you need to be?

Before we can even talk about selecting the right DSP(s), let’s really understand the what, who, and why.

What Is A DSP?

A demand-side platform or DSP is a tool that allows digital media buyers and programmatic media traders (refer to the Reach and Frequency course as a programmatic ninja) to manage multiple digital media campaigns through one user interface.  A DSP gives programmatic ninjas access to various ad exchanges, SSPs, and data providers while enabling them with targeting and creative capabilities.

i.e., In the Trade Desk’s Solimar, one of the industry’s leading DSPs from a value and technology advancement capability, you can run omnichannel campaigns, so think display, native, video, digital audio CTV/OTT, and more via the UI.  This is an excellent example of an almost fully loaded car.


Who Should Use a DSP?

Programmatic media is bought via a DSP and is a must if you are thinking, or at this point, I should say, when you are looking to add programmatic advertising.

  • Anyone currently managing and running advertising and paid media strategies should consider partnering with a DSP or utilizing a DSP.
  • Are you a Brand/ Advertiser?
  • Are you currently working in a marketing or advertising agency?
  • Are you currently using Facebook Ads Manager?
  • Are you buying display inventory via Google Display Network (GDN) in Google Ads? (seriously, let’s talk if this is you, please!)
  • Are you working in traditional media and looking to expand your skills?

Why Should You Partner With A DSP?

From a Brand perspective, programmatic media tools are a MUST to grow awareness, consideration, and conversions.  Programmatic media requires talent, time, and Technology investment, and a DSP is the technology piece you need. Most brands are closely working with a media agency that has established partnerships. You will gain leveraged expertise and cost efficiency, maintaining the same value when working with agencies, as Tiffany Caldwell explains in her article in Portent.

There are pros and cons to working under the agency model mentioned above that we cover in detail in module 2 of the Reach and Frequency course.

With that said, from an agency perspective, a DSP will enable your media efforts to become efficient, effective, and data-driven. It will create and grow multi-departmental collaboration across other media channels (search, SEO, social, etc.)

Would you be interested in finding out my recommendations for selecting the right DSP for you? Or maybe you are thinking you should “update/upgrade” from what you are using?

I’ll leave you with this, I was playing DSP(s) bingo, and here’s what I got:

*** These are not all DSP(s) in our ecosystem; I just came across one while searching in Google 😬