The world of demand-side platforms can be quite intimidating to the newbie. Luckily, Adam Cahill, EVP and co-media director at Hill Holiday, provided a brief introduction to the field before his Marketing Masters track kicked off in full at ad:tech, New York on Tuesday.
Here are Cahill’s four observations on the space.
1. This is a really big deal
Using a DSP’s factual annual spend and assumed market share, Cahill calculated that there is about $850 million going through DSPs right now. The overall display market is $8 billion, so that means DSPs account for roughly 10 percent of the display market.
That’s with barely a year’s worth of momentum – a big deal indeed.
2. It’s not that complicated
The slide below is now infamous in the display marketing world, as it shows a supposedly crowded and confusing display landscape.
Cahill doesn’t think the landscape is that complicated at all. In fact, he distilled it down to six demand-side companies that matter for a buyer: Turn, Invite Media, MediaMath, Triggit, DataXu, and [X + 1].
“I don’t think the space is complicated in the way people present it to be. Not in that there are too many companies you can choose to work with,” Cahill said. “It’s complicated for other reasons – cultural and operational reasons, and those have to do with skill sets.”
3. This isn’t really about technology
DSPs are creating a cultural shift in media planning and buying that is more human than technological. Buyers used to bring value to a campaign before the launch. With exchange trading, the value is added after a campaign launches – meaning that buyers now need a new set of skills, including understanding auction dynamics.
“What it means to be in media is different,” Cahill said. “We’re completely changing the job for some people. We need to retrain people, and we need to hire new people.”
4. Where things are going
Video and mobile inventory are now available via DSPs, with more to come. Google announced that it will make video and mobile inventory available through its ad exchange in the fourth quarter.
Also, quality will improve as publishers get on board. It’s come to light that some publishers can make more money selling in exchange environments than on networks. But so far, the marketplace has benefited buyers. Once publishers are able to succeed – whether that’s through price floors or selective ad selling – it will lead to better quality and greater adoption.