They’ve been around for a while, but advertising trade desks and the exchanges they connect with still influence the digital marketing environment. So, for all you professionals out there, these items shouldn’t be ignored.
What exactly do they consist of? An advertising exchange is essentially an automated online marketplace in which people (publishers or marketers) can purchase and sell digital advertising space by bidding on it in real-time.
This is also known as programmatic media trading, and it’s a popular method of advertising that allows marketing professionals to more efficiently manage their advertising campaigns by pulling all of the levers themselves.
It might sound like a lot to take in, and considering some of the jargon you’re likely to stumble across, it is, even to the most experienced professionals.
In order to help you get a better understanding of how these online platforms contribute to the world of digital advertising and possibly how they can support your own business, read on.
Buying and Selling on the Exchange
The act of buying and selling on a digital ad exchange is simple enough, although it does differ depending on your objective and your role. Ad exchanges are used by plenty of professionals, and in fact, anyone can use them. From advertising agencies to blog owners and everyone in between.
Advertisers, for example, generally enter an exchange via a demand-side platform (a DSP) and set a limit on the amount of money they’re willing to part with to place their digital advertising. The software then automates the buying process based on the set parameters and gets to work.
Publishers (who tend to access the exchange through a supply-side platform, aka, an SSP) can benefit greatly from this system as it tends to supply them with many handy features, such as the ability to set the minimum cost for their inventory and to find the ideal advertisers for their space.
It might be easier to conceptualize the exchange as a digital space in which publishers and advertisers can connect to buy and sell their virtual wares.
The entire automated buying and selling process happens in milliseconds, and it consists of only a handful of steps.
- A publisher puts their ad space up for grabs on the exchange via their SSP
- An advertiser bids on the ad space via their DSP
- When someone visits the publisher’s website, an ad request is sent to the exchange, which then makes a bid request to its connected DSPs.
- If the request meets the advertiser’s established parameters, the DSP will deem it fit for a bid (this also eliminates unsuitable bidders from the running).
- The highest bidder then wins the ad space, and the ad materializes on the publisher’s website. All of which happen in the blink of an eye!
The Trade Desk
The trade desk aspect of the buying and selling process is a service (or set of services) that can be provided as a solution for managing marketing campaigns. Although they work in unison with the demand-side provider, they are fundamentally different. Acting as more of a go-between, a service model that takes care of the incredibly complex management element for you negates the need to hire a dedicated team.
You could look at it as an extra step in the purchasing process – one that is used to make the programmatic process easier for buyers but also costs more to operate since it provides a specialist service. Unlike the DSP which is a critical part of the programmatic process, the desk can be removed and the process will still work.
What are the Benefits of an Ad Exchange?
Programmatic buying services are ideal for marketing professionals who are constantly on the hunt for new advertising space.
By automating the consistent buying and selling of ad space, the process becomes vastly more efficient than a human-led effort.
If you have any experience whatsoever in the world of digital marketing, you’ll probably know that this is a particularly tricky aspect of the discipline, yet nonetheless a vital component of any good campaign.
It’s hard to find this space, or rather, find digital ad space that actually connects with the audience you’re trying to reach. This is because it’s difficult to securely know whether or not you’re targeting them specifically.
Programmatic advertising solutions seek to nullify this issue and grant greater accuracy when it comes to this part of the buying process.
A good programmatic advertising company will know how to best optimize your digital advertising efforts, utilizing a combination of elite software and human expertise to make the most out of any marketing budget.
A programmatic advertising company makes for a good partner. This is especially the case when one recognizes the need to retain the human element in advertising but knows how to appeal to the target audience on the largest possible scale.
Automation and optimization often go hand in hand, so if you happen to be looking for ways to streamline your company, this could be the right way to go.