The adtech basics
Adtech includes a variety of tools and technologies, such as demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms, agency trading desks, ad servers, and ad networks to help advertisers serve relevant advertisements to relevant audiences. Let’s take a look at each of these technologies.
What is programmatic advertising?
Programmatic advertising is the use of technology to buy and sell digital ads. Programmatic advertising uses an automated process to purchase digital ad inventory from across the web, mobile, apps, video, and social media. Programmatic advertising uses workflow automation and machine learning algorithms to deliver the most effective ads to audiences based on a variety of signals, like demographics, shopping patterns, and more.
Programmatic advertising offers many benefits. Advertisers may achieve greater efficiency, more focused reach, transparency, and real-time measurement and optimization.
What is a demand-side platform (DSP)?
A demand-side platform (DSP) is software that advertisers use to buy video, display, and mobile ads. A DSP is a single, organized marketplace where advertisers access publisher inventory through direct integrations, supply-side platforms (SSPs), and ad exchanges. As its name implies, a DSP is driven by the demand side of the advertising equation: advertisers seek inventory that will help them reach the right audiences at the right time, within a defined budget. Working with demand-side platforms like Amazon DSP allows brands to reach relevant audiences and use insights to inform their strategies. DSPs are a cost-effective and efficient way for advertisers to buy digital advertising inventory.
What is a supply-side platform (SSP)?
A supply-side platform (SSP) is a tool for publishers that automates selling digital ad impressions including video, display, and mobile ads. It is driven by the supply side of the advertising equation: the publishers who want to sell their inventory. SSPs let publishers, ad networks, and ad exchanges sell impressions to a greater pool of potential buyers and allow publishers to set the bidding range to maximize their revenue.
What is an agency trading desk (ATD)?
An agency trading desk (ATD) is a tool or set of services related to media planning and media buying that media agencies provide. Typically layered over a demand-side platform, the ATD is the service piece of the adtech landscape that enables agencies to manage an advertiser’s programmatic, bid-based media purchases as they happen across channels—offering analytics on ad buys to clients throughout a campaign. Agencies typically staff a trading desk with account managers, data analysts, designers, software developers, and other team members on behalf of clients.
While major media agencies own agency trading desks, there are also independent trading desks (ITDs) that smaller agencies or advertisers own and operate.
What is an ad server?
An ad server serves ads to a website or app and reports performance metrics for those ads. Advertisers, agencies, ad networks, and publishers can use ad servers to serve ads to a website. Ad servers house creative assets and optimize the process of selecting which ad to place and where, using automated technology. Ad servers can be a central place for managing advertising campaigns and reporting on their results.