A Mobile Demand Side Platform is a tool used to buy mobile traffic and optimise it for the sake of mobile advertising activities.
A mobile dsp connects to many ad exchanges at the same time, providing a single interface for the buying process. A mobile demand side platform simplifies the way mobile advertising activities are managed.
What is a mobile DSP?
A demand side platform is the foundation of programmatic advertising. Together with SSPs, the DSPs allow advertisers to buy and optimise web traffic, using sophisticated algorithms and optimisation tools.
DSPs allow advertisers to manage the process of buying web traffic on many exchanges and SSPs at the same time, adding an intelligence layer to the real time bidding auctions (RTB).
This intelligent layer is used to buy only impressions that are likely to generate results for the advertisers, excluding traffic that is considered not useful by the algorithms, according to the target of the advertising campaign.
In the context of mobile advertising, a mobile DSP is mostly used to buy in-app traffic.
There are some stand-alone mobile DSPs, working only with mobile traffic, and some general purpose DSPs that might be used to setup a mobile only advertising campaigns.
Mobile DSPs and Mobile SSPs
The supply side platform is the counterpart of the demand side platform: it represents publishers, offering a single interface to sell their traffic. The DSP is used to connect to many direct publishers or SSPs at the same time, adding a layer of business intelligence to the buying system.
In mobile advertising, DSPs and SSPs are focused only on mobile traffic and mobile ad creatives (such as video ads, playable ads and more). Mobile DSPs automate the bidding process and also the optimisation process, aiming at reducing the costs for the advertiser, while maximising the conversions (or the price for conversion, CPA)
There are some small differences between mobile DSPs and general purpose DSPs: the bidding protocol (openRTB) supports a few minor changes, but mostly mobile DSPs are tailored to support mobile ad formats.
What is a managed mobile DSP?
A managed mobile DSP is not a self-serve platform, but a company that offers the ability to buy mobile traffic from many exchanges at the same time. It offers some advantages over "traditional" mobile DSPs, as the advertiser is not in charge of the optimisation of the CPA, a process that is done by algorithms and the mobile DSP team. Managed DSPs allow advertisers to buy conversions for a fixed price, while "traditional" Demand side platforms ask the advertisers to take a risk in the buying process, resulting in a variable price.
In the end, managed DSPs offer a way to exclude any price fluctuations.
Three benefits of mobile demand side platforms
1. Lower costs. The optimisation process has been tested by many advertisers, offering a good chance to lower costs while yielding good results. In the case of managed mobile DSPs, the software tool and the skilled team offer a very reliable way of running mobile advertising campaigns.
2. Extended access to supply. Mobile DSPs sign continuously deals with new traffic sources, offering usually a very good coverage of the available traffic. This has an impact over volumes and prices.
3. Formats and targeting. Good creatives matter in the mobile advertising ecosystem. Mobile DSPs develop their own creative formats that offer good user interactions and drive up the conversion rates.