How to choose the Right DSP

How to choose the Right DSP

By: Austin Dicharry

In programmatic advertising, demand side platforms (DSPs) are designed to allow advertisers to bid for display inventory across multiple exchanges to operate real-time bidding (RTB) display campaigns. Whether working with an agency or in-house RTB team, it can be a challenge to figure out which platform best meets a company’s needs. Here’s five factors to consider when choosing a DSP.


Many DSPs focus on the reach of their inventory as a major selling point. However, the difference in reach among the biggest DSPs is really small. Although most DSPs have partnerships with the biggest quality exchanges, there are just a few DSPs with access to more desirable inventory. For example, the Facebook Exchange just recently forged with Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM). Previously, advertisers suing DBM had to use another DSP to run RTB. Automated advertising and retargeting experts advise customers not be fooled by the “biggest and best reach” pitch unless there’s a specific need for an exchange.

DSP Platform Efficiency

Platform efficiency is a critical factor for running an effective RTB campaign. It’s best to choose a DSP that had adapted their tools to meet the needs of advertisers. Even a small inefficiency can cause the team running the marketing campaigns to waste time. At the same time, DSPs are still relatively new. As competition between DSPs gains momentum, these platforms will continue to improve for reporting and optimization.

Third-Party Data

Data is the buzzword when it comes to programmatic advertising. However, the focus of a DSP should be able to use third-party data to cultivate audiences within RTB campaigns. Third-party data should suit the campaigns’ needs. Most DSPs outline the number of audience segments that are available for purchase within its platform.

Support for Users

For novice advertisers in automated advertising, it’s important to consider the level of support provided by the DSP platform. New advertisers may need support on the setup of campaigns. Even more experienced advertisers may need technical help at some point. Keep in mind that there may be a limit to the frequency of support or an extra charge for support. How quickly the DSP able to respond to a request for help is also important.

DSP Costs

Each platform has costs with running RTB campaigns. Generally, a platform fee is included as a percentage of an advertiser’s CPM bid. For the most part, many DSPs require an annual spend or a monthly minimum in order to sign an agreement to maintain the original fees. To evaluate the actual costs, it’s wise to know what percentage of the total CPM goes to the inventory bid and how much of it has an impact on the bottom line.


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