What Are Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) and How Do They Work?

Abby is a Jr. Marketing Writer at WebFX. She specializes in creating content for various industries including fashion and retail, construction, healthcare, and digital marketing. When Abby isn't writing, she enjoys movie nights with lots of snacks, yoga, and reading a good book.

Digital advertising involves many time-consuming tasks, like ad bidding and purchasing. That’s why demand-side platforms (DSPs) are a popular alternative to streamlining advertising campaign management for many businesses.

On this page, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of DSPs and answer some common questions, including:

So, keep reading to get all your questions answered!

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What are demand-side platforms?

Demand-side platforms, or DSPs, are programmatic tools or software that advertisers and ad agencies use to purchase ad space. With DSPs, you can buy a variety of advertisements, including search, social, and video ads, to promote your products and services.

How do demand-side platforms work?

So, how do demand-side platforms work? DSPs help you automate your ad purchasing process. Instead of manually bidding and purchasing ads, a DSP can help you do it all with little effort on your part.

Demand-side platforms also help you manage your ad campaigns across multiple networks instead of just one, like Google Ads. DSPs usually include a variety of tools that can help you manage, optimize, and track your campaigns.

When you use a DSP, you’ll first select your target audience and upload the ad you want to publish. Publishers will then make their ad inventories available on the DSP through ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSPs).

Next, the platforms offer an ad impression to the DSP. The DSP will then decide to bid on the ad impression based on its relevancy and audience targeting criteria. You’ll then bid against other advertisers for the ad impression in real-time.

With a successful bid, your DSP will purchase the ad impression, and your ad will display on the publisher’s website.

Why use demand-side platforms?

DSPs make your digital advertising experience easier and more cost-effective. You can use a DSP to control, track, and manage multiple ad campaigns in a single dashboard.

For example, you can manage your Facebook ads and Google ads all in one place. Without a DSP, you would need to control and track these ads in two separate platforms.

With demand-side platforms you can advertise on multiple channels and platforms with ease. You can also measure your results to view which campaigns drive the best results for your company. As a result, you can improve your ad campaigns to earn a higher return on investment (ROI).

Top demand-side platforms to use in 2022

Now that you know the answer to the question “what are demand-side platforms”, you might be wondering which DSPs are the best to invest in for your business. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Here are the top four demand-side platforms to use in 2022:

  1. Adobe Advertising Cloud
  2. MediaMath
  3. Google Display and Video 360
  4. Simpli.fi

1. Adobe Advertising Cloud

Price: Custom

Adobe is a tech giant, which is why it’s not surprising that the Adobe Advertising Cloud is one of the top demand-side platforms in 2022. With Adobe Advertising Cloud, you can easily manage and track your advertising campaigns all in one place.

Features

Here are some of the main features of Adobe Advertising Cloud:

  • Automated private ad inventory management
  • On-demand ad inventory from over 100 networks, publishers, TV broadcasters, and more
  • Search, social, audio, video advertisements
  • Advanced audience targeting features
  • And much more

2. MediaMath

Price: Custom

MediaMath is another excellent DSP platform that enables you to run advertising campaigns across multiple networks and channels with little effort on your part.

MediaMath uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline your ad purchasing and management to save you time and resources in the long run.

Features

Check out some main features of MediaMath below:

  • Dynamic budget allocation to streamline your ad purchasing
  • In-depth reports and analysis of your campaign results
  • Audience segmentation and targeting options
  • Advertisements available for purchase from thousands of advertisers and networks
  • And more

3. Google Display and Video 360

Price: Custom

Next on our list of top demand-side platforms is Google Display and Video 360. Google Display and Video 360 is a premium, paid Google ad management tool that seamlessly integrates your advertising strategies and campaigns into one platform for easy access and management.

With Google Display and Video 360, you can completely automate your advertising processes. That means you can focus on your other business tasks and still achieve incredible results to boost the success of your company.

Features

Here are some of the main features of Google Display and Video 360:

  • Media planning workspace to explore ad inventory and publishers across multiple ad types
  • Reach forecasting to plan your campaigns based on predicted reach and frequency for your audience and budget
  • Automated bidding process powered by machine learning algorithms designed to drive the best results for your company
  • Enterprise data solutions for managing and tracking large-scale campaigns and data
  • And much more

4. Simpli.fi

Price: Custom

Simpli.fi is another excellent DSP that enables you to streamline your campaign management, target your ideal customers, and receive detailed reports to track your campaign results.

From implementing effective advertisements on over-the-top (OTT) platforms like YouTube or Hulu to attention-grabbing display ads, Simpli.fi can help you do it all. If you want to reach your target audience across multiple channels, look no further than Simpli.fi.

Features

Check out some main features of Simpli.fi below:

  • Choose from a variety of ad types, such as OTT, social media, display, video, and more
  • Manage all of your advertising channels, such as radio and print, all in one tool
  • Centralized media planning and buying features
  • Streamlined project management software to easily measure the success of your campaigns
  • And more

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Learn more about demand-side platforms with WebFX

Do you want to learn more about DSPs and programmatic advertising? WebFX can help!

At WebFX, we have a team of over 450 digital marketing experts who know how to implement revenue-driving advertising campaigns for clients. In fact, in just the past few years, we’ve helped clients drive over $3 billion in revenue.

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