May 18 2020
Anthony Loredo

Display Advertising 101: Expand Your Display Ad Buying with Programmatic


We’ve already covered the basics of DSPs for marketers and publishers. Here’s what you should know about display ad buying within a DSP!

What does a DSP do for display advertising?

Ultimately, it comes down to supplementing what you’re already doing on a display network with real-time bidding on a DSP. Display networks only scratch the surface of what a DSP can do – in terms of scale/reach, variety of inventory, audience targeting, and real-time optimization. If you want to make the most of your digital media dollars, you should be utilizing a DSP as a complementary display buying solution.

How is a DSP different than a Display Network?

Let’s start by defining scale and reach. Scale is the number of sites, and reach is the number of impressions available. You can’t target an audience if you can’t find or access them.  DSPs like Basis’ DSP give you access to over 40 billion daily impressions across all devices and channels.

Think of DSPs and display networks as swimming pools. The pool boy at the DSP swimming pool lets you bring in a bunch of fun toys – things like pizza rafts and basketball and one of those floatation devices where you can stash your beer – but the display network pool boy only lets you use their floaties, and you can’t bring any toys in from the outside. It’s a bummer of a time and everyone at the DSP pool party is having more fun.

How are inventories different on a DSP vs a Display Network?

Display networks are built on their own inventory, while DSPs are more agnostic and offer more extension options.

Speaking of inventory, with DSPs, it comes down to variety beyond just banner ads and in-stream video. You can buy across multiple devices – desktop, mobile devices, tablets. You can buy pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, even native. You can find your audience and show them your ads anywhere on the web.

And, finally, if we’re talking about DSP targeting benefits, the number of optimization levers you can pull to target are exhaustive. With a DSP, you can test over 20 different tactics from keyword contextual targeting to site lists, to auto-optimized predictive targeting, to different forms of retargeting. Using a DSP also allows for using both first and third-party data to target.

DSPs offer comprehensive targeting, inventory, and ad formats, all centralized in one place.

Learn more about Programmatic Advertising with Centro.