How To Implement A Demand Side Platform (DSP)

Planning how to implement a Demand Side Platform (DSP) into your digital advertising strategy involves a multi-faceted approach, including technical setup, team training, data integration, and strategic planning. Here’s a high-level overview of how a business might implement a DSP:


  1. Needs Assessment

Define Objectives: Establish what you want to achieve with programmatic advertising (e.g., increased reach, improved targeting, cost efficiency, new channels).

Assess Current Digital Media Strategy: Evaluate your current media strategy and how a DSP can complement or enhance what you’re currently doing. 


  1. Technical Integration

Data Management: Integrate your first-party data (from your CRM, website analytics, etc.) with the DSP for improved targeting.

Tag Implementation: Place ad tags on your website to track conversions and for retargeting purposes.

APIs: If necessary, integrate the DSP with other systems via APIs for automated data exchange. This can help integrate reporting and attribution with your other marketing channels to understand the value of your programmatic media buy. 


  1. Compliance and Privacy

Data Privacy: Ensure that your use of a DSP complies with all relevant data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, etc.

User Consent: Implement mechanisms for obtaining and managing user consent for data collection and targeting.


  1. Team Training

Skill Development: Train your team on how to use the DSP, including media planners, buyers, and analysts. DSPs are far more complex buying ecosystems than closed platforms/walled gardens like Meta, Google Ads, etc. Programmatic buyers need to have a deep understanding of not only buying media and reporting, but also a myriad of 3rd party vendors and supply partners. 

Knowledge Sharing: Establish best practices for using the DSP and create a knowledge base for your team.


  1. Campaign Planning and Activation

Strategy Development: Plan your campaigns, including targeting, budget allocation, bid strategy, creative rotation, and flight dates.

Inventory and Data Sources: Identify and select the data sources and inventory types that align with your campaign goals.

Testing: Test the campaign setup to ensure everything is tracking and operating as expected.

Go Live: Launch your campaigns.


  1. Monitoring and Optimization

Real-Time Adjustments: Use the DSP’s tools to monitor performance and make real-time adjustments as needed.

Optimization: Continuously optimize for better performance based on data insights.


  1. Analysis and Reporting

Performance Tracking: Track campaign performance against KPIs and generate regular reports.

Data-Driven Insights: Use the DSP’s analytics tools to gain insights and inform future campaigns.


  1. Continuous Learning

Stay Updated: Keep up with DSP updates and industry trends to ensure you’re using the platform to its fullest potential. The programmatic ecosystem evolves very quickly. It is vital that you stay on top of the latest trends and developments. 

Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop with your DSP provider to suggest improvements and get support.


Implementing a DSP effectively requires a good understanding of both your own advertising goals and the technical capabilities of the platform. It’s a balance of strategic planning, technical setup, data integration, and ongoing optimization and analysis. Each business may have unique needs, so the implementation process can vary greatly depending on the size of the company, the complexity of the campaigns, and the resources available.


Are you still looking for the right DSP? We have a guide to help with your selection process:

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Learn how we can take your omni-channel programmatic campaigns to the next level.