Digital Media Buying 101

As consumers spend more time on digital and mobile devices, the world of advertising has evolved and created new methods to keep up. Digital media buying is the process of purchasing placements for advertisements on websites, apps and other digital platforms.

Advertisers frequently use real-time bidding (RTB) to buy advertising spots on publishers’ websites.  Whenever an individual refreshes or loads a new page online, advertisers negotiate with the publisher to display their ad through RTB. What individuals used to do manually is now accomplished in the amount of time it takes a webpage to load.

How does it work?

The majority of RTB is orchestrated by five main parties involved with the process: the advertiser, the demand side platform (DSP), the ad exchange, the supply side platform (SSP) and the publisher.

The Demand Side Platform (DSP)

The demand-side platform is designed and used to help marketers store the advertisements they would like to place on publishers’ websites and allow you to advertise to specific audience segments. This ensures your target audience is the one seeing your advertisements. Additionally, DSPs are used to work within ad exchanges to purchase placements for their advertisements in an automated, efficient way. Furthermore, the platforms often offer other benefits such as analysis tools and avoiding fraudulent sites that generate traffic with bots, wasting advertising dollars on a non-existent audience.

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The Ad Exchange

The ad exchange is the marketplace for buying and selling advertisements and ad placements. Publishers sell their ad space available for content (also known as their inventory) and advertisers bid in real time to buy those spaces. This all happens in a fraction of a second!

The Supply Side Platform (SSP)

The supply side platform is the publisher’s equivalent to the advertiser’s DSP. SSPs allow publishers to sell their inventory in the ad exchange to interested buyers. The publisher is the website or other content-creating platform that consumers visit. Publishers have ad spaces on their sites that they use SSPs to sell to advertisers.

The Benefits

The introduction of automated digital media buying has made the process more efficient and cost-effective for both buyers and sellers. Advertisers are able to make the most of their advertising budget by targeting the segments of their audience most likely to engage with their advertisements and purchasing that ad space in real-time as users are opening new web pages. The future of digital media buying is increasingly automated, and understanding the process is vital to success with your digital advertisements.

Learn more about the benefits of programmatic marketing.

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