For small businesses looking to leverage a Demand Side Platform (DSP), the focus is typically on finding a solution that is cost-effective, user-friendly, and suitable for the scale of their operations. Here are some key factors that small businesses should consider when choosing a DSP:
Minimum Spend Requirements
Some DSPs have high minimum ad spend requirements, which can be a barrier for small businesses. Look for platforms with low or no minimum spends. If you are set on using a DSP with high miniums you might want to consider an agency that has a seat at the DSP of your choice. They will generally be more flexible on minimum spend requirements, but they will take an additional margin.
Managed Service vs. Self-Service
Most DSPs will provide a managed service for clients that do not have the internal resources or expertise to manage the operations of a DSP. This comes with an additional fee and varies by platform. Managed service is a good way to start out any programmatic journey, but if you’re willing to dive in and manage the DSP yourself (self-service) make sure the platform has a robust and easy to access help section.
Good customer service is crucial, as small businesses might not have dedicated ad operations teams. The DSP should offer strong support and educational resources. Be up front about your budget for a DSP and realistic about your ability to scale spend. If you plan to spend small, you want to make sure the DSP you choose is okay with that. Many DSPs provide relatively poor service to small spenders.
While advanced targeting features are beneficial, small businesses should ensure that the DSP offers the basic targeting options they need, such as geographic, audience, demographic, contextual, and interest-based targeting. For small local businesses geo-fencing is likely to be a critical feature you will need to ensure media is only spent on potential customers in your area.
As the business grows, the DSP should be able to scale up with the business’s needs without requiring a platform switch.
It’s important for small business owners to diligently research and potentially test different DSPs to see which platform aligns best with their advertising goals and budget constraints. Many DSPs offer demo accounts or trial periods, which can be an excellent opportunity for businesses to experiment and learn without committing significant resources.
While these are issues that are specific to small businesses there are many more factors that can come into play when selecting the right DSP. For more on selecting the right DSP for your business check out our other resources on the topic: https://populationscience.com/demand-side-platform-buyer-guide/