That is a good question to ask because once you realize what this term means, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. The answer is fairly simple. Programmatic display advertising is simply automating the process of bidding on ad space in display ad markets
. The term display advertising is used to contrast ads placed on websites (or on billboards, or in newspapers) with ads placed in search results.
So what can you do with programmatic display advertising (PDA)? A mediocre tool that has limited placement opportunities only allows cost per impression bidding, and has a narrow range of formats can get you mediocre improvements in your return on ad spend (ROAS), if that is what you are looking for. But you can massively increase your ROAS with a great tool that has: great placement opportunities, multiple bidding methods that match your business goals, and flexible formats.
What is a Demand Side Platform?
A demand-side platform, or DSP for short, is the tool a buyer uses for programmatic display advertising. DSPs match ad buyer bids with advertising space for sale on Supply Side Platforms (SSPs). The DSP helps you find the best space to bid on given your business objectives and connects to the SSP to help sellers get the best price for their space.
The difference between Google Display Network (GDN) and DSPs for PDA
You might be thinking that this sounds a lot like the Google display network. You are right. They are quite similar. The difference is GDN has a narrower range of placement options
than many DSPs and does not have as many options for targeting and retargeting
. DSPs also often offer more format options. For instance, with a great DSP, you can show a potential customer a native video ad and then, based on how much of the ad they watch, retarget them with different content. You can’t do that with Google. Google is cheaper, but the old saying holds true “you get what you pay for.” And GDN can’t get your ad placed in the Wall Street Journal or on a TV show. A great DSP can do that. A great DSP can even get you Google placements.
Why should you consider getting a DSP for programmatic display advertising?
Programmatic display advertising managed with a great DSP gets unbeatable results
. More placement options, more format options, more targeting options, and more bidding options combined with automation to test and react in real-time works better than any other approach to display advertising. A lot of smaller businesses are not aware of the opportunity, but already eMarketer has projected that programmatic display ad spending
(including GDN and DSPs) will account for 87.5% of display ad spending in 2021
. The big spenders understand what works.
What features should I look for in a DSP for programmatic display advertising?
There are several key features that set the truly excellent DSPs apart from the mediocre ones. The most important things to look for are:
Partners with great placement opportunities.
Where do you want your ads placed? With the right network of partners, you can reach almost any website
. A great DSP will support conventional options like Google and Facebook. They will also partner with some of the biggest display networks – AdColony, AppNexus, Blueseed, InMobi, Taboola. And they will offer special hard-to-get opportunities like Wall Street Journal placements and even CTV advertising.
Multiple bidding options based on different metrics to meet your goals
Some DSPs still only offer cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) bidding. Impressions are a fine metric if your only goal is brand awareness. But most businesses are not just interested in recognition; they want results. So you should find a DSP that offers bidding methods based on other metrics
. For instance, you might care more about your Click Through Rate (CTR). Or you might want to base your bidding on the ratio of impressions to conversions (I2C). Look for bidding options that match your business goals.
Google Display Network has a limited range of options for ad formats and so do some DSPs. You think you only want banner ads
. But there are many other options to consider. Native ads
, for instance, are banner ads that match the look and feel of the website or media property they are placed on, for an “advertorial” effect. You can also bid on opportunities for push ads
on mobile, video ads
that can be placed anywhere, and pop-up ads
that can earn maximum attention and presence with your audience if they are well designed and placed.
Summing up: What is programmatic display advertising and how can I choose a tool to do it?
Programmatic display advertising is using software to bid on ad placements
. To choose the best demand-side platform tool for PDA, look for a great network of partners, multiple bidding options
that match your goals, and flexible ad formats
. You can start your search with one of the best by checking out the AdInk DSP
to set a high benchmark for placement options, bidding, and formats. AdInk has all the features that are described above. So take a look and then shop around if you have the time. Or just take our word for it and get started
. You will be glad you did.