[Programmatic Advertising Series – Pt. 2] An Overview: Types Programmatic Platforms

Regardless of the size of your agency or in-house marketing team there’s a great platform to utilize programmatic advertising with. In our second post of our programmatic series we will identify the main types of programmatic platforms and how they work in terms of set up, and deployment of ads. 

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

A demand-side platform or DSP allows advertisers to buy advertising placements with an automation software program. A DSP allows for an advertiser to draft their targeting, budgets, and creative in the platform where the DSP chooses through its extensive network of sites on the web to find the best places to place your ad to the right audience, at your determined budget. This all happens quite fast, and behind the scenes after the advertiser sets up the criteria for the software to meet. 

A DSP eliminates the need of the manual media buying process by automating the “contact” with the publisher’s available ad placements. This also allows for an easy budgeting scale without any lags in communication time with a human on the other end of an email.

We’ve seen DSP’s work well within our agency here at Clix with our client’s programmatic advertising for brand awareness campaigns by allowing us to make changes on the spot and eliminating the middle-man since we are a small, but mighty team. 

Supply Side Platform (SSP)

Supply Side Platforms or SSP’s are on the opposite end of a DSP. Think literal supply and demand – like in their names. DSP’s are ad exchanges used to purchase online advertising, while an SSP arranges the supply of ad inventories. The SSP helps publishers sell their ad spaces. 

While the SSP may be on the publisher’s end and not the advertiser buying the ad placement, the SSP enables the publisher to connect their inventory to ad exchanges and the DSP to allow for impressions for potential buyers. It does this through real-time bidding (RTB). 

Data Management Platform (DMP)

A Data Management Platform (DMP) acts as the umbrella platform to organize data that allows advertisers to see KPI’s into their customers. A DMP takes raw data from DSPs, SSPs and ad exchanges and connects platforms so that audience targeting is tailored and readily available. Once the DMP filters the data the advertiser is able to understand who their best audience is to target as well as how to reach them in the most effective way.

Ad exchange

And lastly, the Ad exchange! The ad exchange is where digital publishers and advertisers trade inventory for ads in RTB- tying both the supply and demand side together. On the publisher’s side, the inventory is available on the Ad exchange through the SSP, and on the DSP side where it is bid on and determined fit for the advertiser’s needs specified (bid, geo, demographics, etc.). 

Different types of Ad Exchanges:

There are different types of ad exchanges such as the public marketplace and open auction. A public marketplace offers insight to buyers from publishers, but the buyer doesn’t have information on the publisher- this is best used when a buyer is looking for a more extensive spread of impressions- however there are limitations like ad fraud with this type of exchange. 

On the other hand, private ad exchange (PMP) allows for the publisher to control which buyer can enter the bid/ market and at what price and conditions. The publisher might also have agencies or clients who are looking to advertise readily available and able to give them first dib to its prime placements, and also allows for the publisher to negotiate with advertisers since this is a more manual set-up. The PMP also allows publishers to block ad networks and 3rd parties, making the PMP a little more tailored than a public marketplace. 

Making sure you’re utilizing the correct platform for your or your clients’ advertising needs is important – continue following our programmatic series for more insight into specific platforms we suggest using and some key insights of each! 



If you found this article informative, check out the rest of our programmatic series:

Part 1: Getting Started with Programmatic Advertising

Part 3: Creative Types of Programmatic Advertising 

Part 4: What’s right for your team? A Guide to Programmatic Platforms