Programmatic Advertising Essentials: What Is An SSP?

March 18, 2022

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5 min read

A Brief Overview: Programmatic Advertising

In the past, digital ads were traded between publishers and advertisers by e-mail. In time, with the growth of digital advertising volume and the rising number of advertisers and publishers, the traditional method became more complex and difficult to sustain with manpower. Consequently, the ‘programmatic advertising’ term has entered into our lives. It is important to emphasize that programmatic advertising, which allows faster, more efficient, and safer ad trading, has made a big difference in a short time.

What Is A Programmatic Advertising?

Online ad trading uses some parts of advertising technology (AdTech) to create better abilities. It manages the dynamic process transparently, quickly, and accurately because it’s supported by algorithms and softwares. Automated auctions helps to minimize error rate and time loss. Programmatic advertising gathers data through user’s browsers ( e.g cookies, IP, pixel tags), analysis every piece of information, including behaviors and preferences. It provides targeting options for SSP-DSP sides along with highly relevant ad viewing experiences for visitors, it also creates ample opportunities for brands such as reaching potential customers, increasing interaction rates, developing the marketing strategy, and brand awareness. Thanks to these features, the market share of programmatic advertising has reached remarkable levels in the digital world.

How Does It Work?

It takes place between publishers with the available ad space and the advertisers or ad networks who want to buy online ad space. The platform brings together a variety of potential advertisers and publishers. The primary goal is providing a perfect match environment for efficiency. In short, it consists of SSP (Supply-Side Platforms), Ad Exchange, and DSP (Demand-Side Platforms) components.

What Is A SSP? What Are The Key Advantages For Publishers?

The platform used by publishers or digital media owners. It plays a key role in the AdTech environment. Publishers have inventory (Ad Spaces) on their websites or mobile apps. During the auction process, the highest bidder or second-highest bidder wins. Here, the main focus is selling the inventories at the best prices and maximizing the publisher’s earnings. Through SSP, publishers can get their inventory to as many potential advertisers as possible. In this way, competition increases among advertisers. SSP allows the whole process of inventory to be controlled by the publisher. It finds the best ad networks for the publishers and manages the latency in the ad networks. It provides an in-depth reporting system with comprehensive analysis. Thus, earnings and campaigns can be followed easily, publishers can determine the inventory value and minimum prices more consistently. SSP optimizes the dynamic price floor. In addition, one of the essential principles is increasing the interaction rate for inventories that do not have bid requests by bringing networks together and abstain from decreasing value.

SSP platforms can work with Header Bidding and Waterfall. Moreover, the platform can be integrated with other advertising technology tools such as DMP (Data Management Platform), CMP (Consent Management Platform). So that, efficiency reaches the highest levels.

What Are The Auction Models? How Do They Work?

Inventory can be sold in a variety of ways according to the publisher’s desires. The platform determines the best match by using certain auction models. For instance, publishers do not want to lose their audience due to campaigns that are not suitable for their traffic. Thanks to SSP they can target, filter, and/or block the advertiser, content, ad size, etc. In this way, they can focus on revenue maximization while protecting the traffic.

Open Auction: Publishers sends the inventory to SSP and it gathers bids from advertisers. The ad that meets the criteria and offers the highest or second-highest bid wins and the winning ad is delivered to the user. It is open to any advertiser who wants to participate. That’s the reason, it is not very secure.

Private Auction: Publishers can conduct an auction between invited advertisers. They sends an individual invitation to the advertisers. Private auction also protects against malware and bots.

Programmatic Guaranteed: It can be defined as a reservation. Unlike other auction models, the advertiser reserves the inventory space for their own ad.

Preferred Deal: In this model, the publisher and advertiser reach an agreement on a fixed price. In the inventory sales process, the advertiser always has priority.

What Are the Main Components of SSP?

Backend And Infrastructure: The technical process required to strengthen the transactions and ad trading skills of SSPs. Many infrastructure and components are located on the backend.

Trackers: It collects data about the publisher’s website and audiences, then sends this collected data to the reporting database.

Reporting Database: The data that’s collected in the trackers is analysed and converted into statistics and reports. In this way, the publisher can easily get information about many details such as the efficiency of the campaign and the details of the visitor views.

Ad Exchange: It is the RTB (Real-Time Bidding) component for ad trading and auctions. However, it is also possible to publishers connect directly to DSPs without any auction needed.

Integration: It is essential to integrate with other ad tech platforms such as Exchange and DSP for trading effortlessly on digital platforms, optimization, and revenue maximization.

Rules: In order to avoid unwanted ads and protecting the traffic, publishers want to add rules, block or allow certain categories, such as advertisers, ad types, apps, and domains.

How Does The Process Work?

In contrast to SSP, DSP (Demand Side Platform) used by the buyer side (media agencies, advertising networks, or advertisers) and it focuses on the advertiser’s objectives. Therefore, it uses the data and information needed by the buy-side and analyse them. It manages and coordinates the whole process to purchase traffic that suitable for the advertiser’s target audience. Advertisers determine the various details that they want to target such as audience, inventory, bid price. Advertisers and ad networks bid in the auction for inventory space. The ad with the highest or second-highest bid is selected. The main focus is showing the relevant ad to the right person at the right time. The process takes place in milliseconds and when the user visit, the winning ad will be shown on the website.

Best SSPs For Publishers

Companies such as Google Ad Manager (Formerly Google DoubleClick), OpenX, App Nexus (Xandr), Rubicon, ShareThrough can be defined as top SSP companies.

Choosing The Best SSP Companies

In the light of the features mentioned above, determining a strategy and finding the best SSP is extremely important. There are certain points that need to be considered in order to determine the best SSP among all companies included in the evaluation process. Additionally, the best SSP should include key features such as consistent performance, ease of integration, ability to perform real-time statistics, analysis, and in-depth reporting system. Also, a simple and comprehensive interface can define a good SSP company.

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