DSPs are Demand Side Platforms.

A solution that allows for digital advertising to be bought in a completely automated way, enabling multiple advertisers to bid for an audience and serve an ad within milliseconds.

It’s a system used by advertisers and trading desks in media agencies to help them buy digital advertising and manage multiple exchange accounts through one interface.

DSPs change the way marketers do ad buying, for the better.

But be aware, they’re based on cookies, instead of personally identifiable information (PII) so audience insights are limited.


This article is Part 6 of Navigating Martech: The Complete Guide, and the reality is, there are thousands of new niche technologies that solve every problem in a different way, and it’s complex.

What Martech do you need and how do you set it up to realize the opportunity of cross-channel insight and personalization for service, marketing and loyalty?

The reality is vendors can over promise, technologies don’t easily integrate, data is messy, and you have limited resource, time and budget to solve this web of complexity.

This series and downloadable full report examine key aspects of the Martech ecosystem and in this article, we look at the role and capability of a typical DSP.

Want the full report? Download it now.

So what is a DSP?

Digital advertising, historically, was been bought and sold by humans.

DSPs have revolutionized this process, helping make the service more automated and more efficient.

DMPs provide a centralized data platform that aggregates cookie browsing behavior to create large, de-identified audiences for ad targeting across digital channels.

DSPs allow media buyers to buy impressions across a range of inventory (e.g. sites, Apps, video streams, audio podcasts etc) that are suitable to them, but allow them to target on available data – such as profile demographics, online behaviors and device location.

It’s the DSP that automatically decides which impressions make the most sense for the advertiser to buy based on campaign setup rules, optimization algorithms and user browsing data.

The bottom line is, a DSP is a tool to manage and optimise campaign media investments.

DSPs love data, give them cookies, digital behaviors and more and they’ll use them to optimize their algorithms.

That data can come from DMPs, CDPs and Tag Managers.


The 5 factors that matter

There are 5 key things you need to know when considering a new piece of tech. Read a full breakdown of these factors over here.

1. Human data

DSPs aggregate cookie browsing behavior, creating de-identified audiences.

2. Data lifetime

As the data source is cookie browsing behavior, this data does expire usually in 30 – 90 days.

3. Analytical capability

DSPs don’t provide customer insight or analytics, they provide advertising performance information.

4. Speed to activate

Marketers can extract data and run campaigns real-time.

5. Orchestration

DSPs enable sophisticated targeting and segmentation in digital advertising in real- time.

What now?

When it comes to Marketing Technology, there’s a lot to consider to ensure you are truly making the most of the Martech options available.

Each Martech platform plays a key role, integrates with other systems and has limitations.

The Lexer Customer Data Platform integrates with many aspects of the ecosystem – so we’ve unpacked the role, integrations and limitations of the 7 key platforms to help you navigate the space.

This is Part 6 of Navigating Martech: The Complete Guide, continue reading for the thrilling final installment of our series: Part 7 – DCO. 

If you’re hungry for more or want to share this information with people across your organization, download the full guide.