March 31, 2015

Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) vs. Google AdWords

Online AdsWhat, exactly, is a demand-side platform (DSP)? Isn’t it similar to AdWords? If you’re one of the many marketers who are still unclear about what DSPs are and how they’re different from AdWords, Ratko Vidakovic, director of marketing at SiteScout (which, it should be noted, is a DSP), is here to clarify things once and for all, in a helpful post on Marketing Land. He uses these points of differentiation:

-       Reach: DSPs have the advantage in terms of reach

-       Targeting options: while both AdWords and DSPs have many targeting options, the reach of the real-time bidding (RTB) ecosystem gives DSPs the upper hand here, especially with the help of cookie data

-       Data freshness and granularity: depending on the DSP, data lags are better or worse than AdWords

-       Pricing: marketers can use AdWords to test a variety of banner ads with little risk using CPC bids before moving high-performing ads over to DSPs and direct buys

-       Accessibility: the idea that self-serve DSP options for RTB advertising don’t exist is a myth

Vidakovic notes that while AdWords was originally built for search, keywords and text ads, DSPs were designed specifically for display ad campaigns.

Back in December, Peter Klein, senior vice president of media services at MediaWhiz, predicted that display advertising would grow in 2013, thanks to the rise of RTB technology amongst DSPs. “Display campaigns will be more direct response- and engagement-focused. Expect an increasing number of drop-down lead-gen forms and social media components placed within the banner.”

eMarketer estimated that RTB display ad spending will hit $1.9 billion, or 13 percent of total digital display ad spending, in 2013. This would reflect a 149 percent increase from spending in 2012.

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