Oct 25 2022
Kasia Sosin

Roundtable: Building Basis


I’ve always admired people who work on the tech side of things. As a human resources professional, product management is far from my wheelhouse—but the task of building a tool that helps people to solve big problems is incredibly impressive to me.

Take Basis, for example. Basis is a first-rate DSP, which means that it automates the process of buying digital ad inventory from a variety of sources. Building, maintaining, and constantly improving upon a piece of tech that enables this media buying at scale is its own challenge, but Basis is also a lot more than a DSP: it unites all the parts of the media buying process into one streamlined workflow, leveraging many forms of automation to simplify an incredibly complicated process.

I wanted to better understand the big problems our technology teams are solving, so I reached out to two of Basis Technologies’ Directors of Product Management. To help me understand their work, Yura Zelditch shared how his team tackles optimizing Basis’ DSP, while Marshall Bessières discussed how his team approaches all of Basis’ holistic, “more than a DSP” functionalities.

Want to peek behind the curtain to see how our tech teams build Basis? Read on to hear from Yura and Marshall:

Yura Zelditch (Director, Product Management)

What are the problems your team is solving? How are you solving them?

Yura Zelditch

My team is evolving our DSP engine. A DSP is this mega system that processes hundreds of billions of advertising impressions each day. There are only a handful of systems that operate at the scale a DSP operates on, so one of the exciting things is that we get to solve problems that affect hundreds of millions of people daily. Basis DSP processes more impressions and more transactions daily than the New York Stock Exchange or Amazon!

What is the impact to end users?

Anyone who browses the Internet, uses mobile apps, or watches streaming TV is impacted by advertising. At the same time, people don't like to be annoyed by advertising. One of our jobs is to optimize for a seamless end user experience—as you can imagine, if your website takes a minute or two to load, it's not the experience you're looking for. We’re making sure that all these interactions between advertisements and channels like CTV and mobile happen within milliseconds or hundreds of milliseconds, so that the ads that run through our DSP are positioned in a way that’s beneficial to advertisers, and non-disruptive for end users.

What are the challenges that come with maintaining Basis DSP?

The main challenge is time and performance. To maintain performance, we have to process bid requests in under 10 milliseconds—and we have hundreds of billions of bid requests coming through our systems daily! There’s also a huge portion of our work that’s related to AI, machine learning, and other forms of optimizations to make sure that campaigns run and execute as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. In the end, we want the people viewing ads that run through Basis to have the best experience possible, and we want customer satisfaction from the marketers using Basis to fulfill their campaign goals.

Marshall Bessières (Director, Product Management)

Marshall Bessières

What are the problems your team is solving? How are you solving them?

Media teams are buying digital media across many different channels to complete a full campaign. In a world without Basis, they are doing that in different places for each method of buying with completely different experiences for activation. This results in a very fragmented approach to managing a campaign. Regardless of how a marketing team is structured or set up, people are having to work in many different tools in many different platforms, resulting in a high volume of manual work to pull everything together. Basis puts that all in one place, from planning, to buying, to optimizing, to reporting on a campaign.

What is the impact to end users?

The primary goal is to really to help brands and agencies scale out. We want to give marketers the ability to be more successful with their campaigns, and collaborate more easily with their teams. For agencies, we want to help them support more clients and more business and meet their goals.

Basis offers a unique benefit to marketers in that we’re part of the entire digital mixed media buying funnel. Because our platform unites all these channels into one place, marketers can see the relationships between those channels when it comes to campaign performance.

What are the challenges that come with maintaining Basis?

The big challenge is always breadth versus depth. How deep can we get in any individual channel, and how many channels can we cover? The uniqueness of each channel makes this a very big problem to solve. We have to deal with the complexity of those differences while also making it somewhat seamless, unified, and integrated together inside of one platform, so that it still feels like everything is managed in a holistic way. That’s not easy, but it’s also one of the things that makes this work so exciting.

There are a lot of point solutions that have been created to help with the complexity and fragmentation of the marketing landscape—a lot of adtech companies choose to focus on one discreet problem. We’re one of very few teams that gets to think comprehensively across the entire digital media buying experience. I love working for Basis Technologies because there’s a boldness in saying, “we’re actually going to tackle the bigger problem—media fragmentation—by unifying all aspects of media buying.”

Interested in joining our technology teams to help improve upon the industry’s most comprehensive, automated, and intelligent advertising platform? Check out our open roles!

Careers at Basis Technologies