Choosing the Right Mobile Demand Side Platform

A demand-side platform or DSP is a powerful tool for advertisers that helps to automatically buy high-quality ads with minimal effort. To use this software, you need to upload creatives, set up targeting, and define a budget for your campaign. Next, the DSP crawls its network of publishers, searching for websites and apps that meet your specific criteria. After that, the program makes a bid, places your ad, and releases payment for it. All these actions are taken within just a few seconds.

Why is using a DSP important?

DSPs are crucial to mobile marketing since they allow specialists to save time and energy spent on something that can be completed automatically. Instead of manually reaching out to publishers, marketers can instantly set up advertising campaigns and manage them absolutely effortlessly. As a result, specialists can devote time to the most valuable product areas and improve trade performance in the long run. Apart from that, a mobile DSP platform enables managing campaigns in real-time without waiting until the end. Hence, if a campaign is performing pretty well, marketers can invest more money into it. On the other hand, if a chosen strategy is not successful, one can adjust it without causing disruption or completely stop it. Furthermore, a DSP allows marketers to avoid physical constraints (e.g. geographical location) and smoothly scale their efforts on mobile. In general, demand-side platforms support the globalized nature of mobile marketing.

How to select the right platform?

Consider access to the traffic

You might know that some DSPs buy predominantly banner and native traffic, while others are more focused on media, playable or other emerging ad unit types. Hence, it’s essential to identify what kind of traffic you need and then consider the options that fit your business model. Moreover, you have to decide what kind of risks you are willing to take. Only after that, you are able to what percentage of your budget you can spend on historically-proven marketing methods versus more experimental ones.

Pay attention to transparency

If a DSP buys ads from open auctions, it must provide you with some of the important data points, such as the publisher name, app store ID, and so on. This way, you can see whether your DSP works with the right sources as well as avoid some types of fraud. Transparency also proves that the DSP drives real and expected traffic. You should stay away from DSPs claiming that essential information is “proprietary data.”

Ask how a DSP combats fraud

You probably know that fraud is quite common in e-marketing, so you need to understand how your partner tackles fraud. Every DSP declares that they have a powerful fraud solution, so you won’t be exposed to risk. However, you should make sure that it’s true. Therefore, have an open dialogue with potential partners about their security measures and ways of ensuring viewability. To define if the traffic you see is not suspicious, work with your mobile measurement partner.

Assess how much control you have 

The extent of control offered to you by a DSP varies from one platform to another. While some of them provide you with raw access to records, others can be fully managed by your team. However, most DSPs fall somewhere in the middle of these two opposites and offer a certain level of control. Hence, you should decide on the level of customization you need. Think if you prefer to leverage your data on your own or you can leave everything for your DSP. In case you are working with a few DSPs simultaneously, you can consider balancing between self-serve and managed options.

Answer key questions

Apart from everything mentioned above, you need to ask yourself a few essential questions before making a purchase. They are the following:

  • What’s the main difference between you and your rivals?
  • What businesses similar to yours do your work with?
  • What type of ad formats do you need?
  • How do you handle creative and post-install optimization?
  • How do you deal with fraud?

Hopefully, this guide will help you choose a demand-side platform that best suits your needs!


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