Defined: Demand Side Platform

Marketing Innovation

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Defined: Demand Side Platform

Marketing Innovation

A demand-side platform (DSP) automates the buying of display, video, mobile, and search ads for you. DSPs use algorithms to group all the rates of various networks together on a single platform, and is the control center that allows you to buy media that’s sold programmatically (which is the majority of digital advertising today).

In addition to providing controls to target advertising to specific audiences, a demand-side platform usually employs sophisticated algorithms to automate or augment the targeting so an advertiser can apply budgets more efficiently.

What does a DSP do?

DSPs are tools that allow advertisers to buy programmatic advertising. When you combine these capabilities with data (eg. cookie data, CRM data, purchase data, etc), you get targeting.

You can keep this very high level, like showing ads to all of your site visitors, or go further by grouping together similar individuals for audience targeting. Depending on how deep your data goes, and how well integrated it is together, you’re able to target much more granularly and serve more relevant ads to your audiences.

Looking to sell camping backpacks? Use a DSP to buy an audience that likes hiking and outdoor activities, and target them across the web.

Can’t get your site visitors to click “buy”? Use a DSP to retarget window shoppers. A DSP moves these folks toward conversion by keeping track of them and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites.

Trying to get your existing customers to check out your new offers? CRM retargeting uses your first-party data to target consumers already in your database. You know more about your audience than pretty much anyone else, so using your own data allows you to target smarter with a DSP.

The intersection of the use of DSPs and CRM retargeting allows for more effective targeting and more efficient conversion to sales.

To learn more about data-driven marketing, check out the rest of our series, or take a look at our glossary for more terms.