10 Questions to Ask Your DSP

As a brand, agency or media buyer representing demand-side, what you want while exploring DSPs is knowing if your media buying is going to be painless, effective, and truly automated. Here are 10 questions to ask your DSP before you shake hands with a vendor and start running your first campaign.

1. What’s behind optimizing bid prices?

Bid price optimization is a key algorithm of an automated DSP regardless your campaign goals and KPIs. 

By asking that, you want to check if you’re going to bid a flat rate or buy via sophisticated price optimization. Availability of sophisticated price optimization means there is an algorithm behind the DSP and that you are always bidding to the exact value. Which is good for you, as you don’t let publishers and exchanges take advantage of extracting revenue from you. 

2. How accurate are these automated predictions?

This is where technology and talent empower each other. It’s an advanced algorithm behind, that can find hidden patterns and signals in thousands of other attributes. On the other hand, it’s a team of tech talents who build and nurture that algorithm, teaching it their logic based on historical, device exchange, and geo data. 

3. Can your DSP optimize multiple KPIs automatically?

It’s essential to make sure how exactly a DSP can optimize your KPIs. Meaning, is their optimizing algorithm can work only toward a single goal or cover multiple goals. With option 2, you can really reach the best campaign outcomes. Yet, you have to make sure DSP wont negatively affect other KPIs. 

Specifically, automated optimization with right settings at place can apply to your campaigns white/blacklists, bid prices, and more when it’s needed, and overally increase your performance, save your time and ad budget underperforming traffic sources.

4. What’s the QPS?

It’s another thing related to biding to ask your DSP. QPS stands for queries per second and considers the metric showing a number of times a DSP gets called to make a bid on an ad placement to reach a user.

The more QPS in a DSP – the higher speed of processing and performing the bids. Respectively, greater scale of an ad campaign results in higher bidding visibility. Finally, with a DSP demonstrating high QPS you make sure ad impressions don’t duplicate as such DSP doesn’t bid on the same publisher’s traffic across multiple ad exchanges.

5. How many different kinds of targeting filters a DSP provides within a single campaign?

It’s one of the fundamental things you want to know about a DSP. Specifically – how sophisticated are targeting opportunities available. Along with standard capabilities like targeting a category of website or app, various technical parameters of a device, and connection, language, and location, it’s essential to have access to advanced targeting and to have access to all targeting tactics and capabilities within any one single campaign.

For instance, say you want to set up first-party and third-party data targeting plus target programmatic audio. This is where you want to make sure you can apply all these filters  within one campaign with no need to run a separate campaign for audio.

6. How about retargeting, lookalike, and more?

In terms of targeting you may also want to know if the DSP supports retargeting, dynamic creative optimization, or offers integration with DMP for lookalike modelling. 

Find out if you’ll have an opportunity to put the insights you get from one ad campaign into another, fine-tune your targeting settings, reach more personalization, or power up your campaign with retargeting running simultaneously.

7. What are the main ad formats and which ones a DSP plans to adopt?

What you want is not just to make sure you reach your potential consumers, but also that you’re doing that with the right ad message and creative. So, it’s important to find out which ad formats are available within a DSP, and if they’re compatible across different platforms and devices, as your audience may surf the web on desktop, mobile, and in-app.

Also, as the industry evolves, it’s important to evolve along with it. Specifically, programmatic adopts new media, which in turn, brings more opportunities to reach potential consumers and build consistent brand presence without being intrusive though. Check out if a DSP plans to add innovative formats.

8. Does your DSP detect fraud or poor quality traffic?

To be sure that your campaign is actually performing well, you need technology at place to detect fraud and poor quality traffic. Ask your DSP, what’s their strategy to cope with it.

Normally, DSPs partner with anti-fraud and traffic validating technology providers, like Pixalate, Forensiq, Interceptd, and others. Another option how it may work is when a DSP has an in-house team building a custom anti-fraud solution. 

Getting anti-fraud protection and knowing which fraudulent activities it can prevent, is essential. What to choose: working with a DSP offering ready-made technology or custom development, it’s up to you. Put briefly, the main differences relate to expenses and customization opportunities. 

9. Is DSP self-serve or managed service?

This is a big factor nowadays. Here’s what the key difference is.

Managed DSP offers various the functionality needed to run programmatic ad campaigns and may include the opportunity to pick ad categories, supply partners and selling models, set up numerous targeting rules, upload creatives, and optimize campaigns on-the-go. The only nuance here is that advertisers don’t have access to all these features.

Everything works via a dedicated programmatic specialist or adops, who’s setting up, running, and optimizing campaigns on behalf of a particular advertiser. It can work greatly if an advertiser doesn’t want to go into details and is okay to outsource media buying completely. For instance, a full-service DSP can work for large brands.

A self-service DSP puts advertisers in the driver’s seat providing the access to setting up, managing, reporting and optimizing campaigns. This model gives advertisers full control of their campaigns and brings more transparency. Although “self-serving” may sound a bit overwhelming and scary, it isn’t really if an advertiser partners with a reliable DSP provider. Plus, the self-serve option is more affordable, making it SME-friendly. 

Though you can’t really say one is better than another, as the choice depends on the advertiser’s goals, still self-service is in very high demand today.

10. What’s the main strength of your DSP?

Each DSP has a specialization. For instance, to name a few we at Markpoint provide self-service, giving advertisers maximum transparency. We also care much about traffic quality we offer advertisers and demand partners, that’s why we nurture audience of real users across dozens of owned publishers plus work with hand-picked supply partners, who care about traffic quality and brand safety as much as we do.

Check what a DSP offers and what it excels in. Check your business or marketing requirements and how does it fit with the DSP you are interested in.

Looking for a programmatic partner providing brand-safe environment for media buying? Drop us a line to give a try with Markpoint DSP.

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