No new DSP. No one is investing in that category. Google, Amazon, and The Trade Desk have won, but trying to be another omnichannel DSP for everything is pointless.
That’s not true, mind you.
In fact, it seems like the only way to win as a DSP right now is to abandon the idea of being an omnichannel DSP.
Previously, there were many specialized DSPs, most of which were tied to specific channels or formats such as mobile, video, and video. advanced video. They were integrated into omnichannel solutions, but those that remained focused on one category declined.
There are currently interesting buds sprouting among new specialized DSPs, with niche markets such as healthcare, out-of-home (OOH) media and location, local and small business, political advertising, and B2B. I see it like this. It leads to one’s own growth. It is also insulated from the omnichannel giants.
AdExchanger looked at businesses in each category. DSPs are worth considering in their own right, but they also serve as an example of how startups can find their way through (or around) established companies.
Specialist DSPs have unique capabilities that don’t make sense for omnichannel DSPs.
For IQM, a political DSP entering its first presidential election cycle in 2016, one of its capabilities is a voter file-based ID graph, said SVP Matthew Dybwad, former head of political advertising sales at Adobe and Microsoft. says.
Additionally, all DSPs have data partnership and inventory development teams, but they are not inherently politically involved. For example, IQM obtains data from the census and state voter files. These files are public and regularly updated by many states.
Political advertisers also have specific location data needs.
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“All DSPs have geotargeting,” Dibwad said, but not by political constituency. However, he IQM does not work where the actual voting takes place.
He said there is more granular control to create geofenced polygons to target people by region.
For example, each state has laws regarding advertising near polling places, so you could target people waiting to vote or use polling places to avoid advertising.
Politics is also a high-risk market for Google and Meta. PR worries are not worth political advertising revenue. Both platforms have reduced voter targeting capabilities and continued to change their political advertising rules through October 2020.
Dybwad said major platforms are “cautious” about political advertising, and political advertisers are wary of coming under fire (again). This industry requires a DSP who doesn’t get drawn into partisan politics and who has the potential to abandon political advertising altogether if things get tough.
With little data available for targeting and attribution, OOH media has been shut out of much of the growth in data-driven advertising.
Omnichannel DSPs like TTD and Verizon have made splashy forays into OOH, but are constrained by what inventory they can acquire in a true programmatic manner, biddable in real time. .I mean, oh screen.
However, the majority of OOH media is not digitized.
AdQuick, an OOH DSP, bids and buys static OOH placements (even fancy setups like billboards) without log files. According to AdQuick co-founder and CEO Matthew O’Connor, OOH has programmatic quality, with the ability to retarget advertisers’ first-party data, mobile location data, and devices exposed to OOH ads. Similar modeling and attribution capabilities.
And that’s just the backend. AdQuick is also built for OOH buyers.
Advertisers place ads, for example, on mapping overlays of where people are in the physical world rather than within the media. This allows advertisers to identify the types of stores and locations they want to target their audience to.
O’Connor said omnichannel DSPs are “pushing” DOOH into their services as an extension of their campaigns. AdQuick focuses on adapting the physical OOH, i.e. primarily print rather than screens, to programmatic targeting and attribution methodologies.
AdQuick also educates ad buyers on how to link mobile ID exposure to app install conversions through vendors such as Branch and AppsFlyer.
“When we talk to new advertisers in space, they often have no idea that these things are possible,” he said.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
Founded in 2010 and with 600 employees, Simplifi is no niche business.
But the company is very focused on the long tail of local agencies and small businesses, which often have localized advertising needs, CEO Frost Prioleau said.
According to Prioleau, Simplifi’s secret SMB source comes from its “unstructured data,” which is similar to custom bidding but applied to local ads.
For example, Toyota Motor Corporation’s dealer network may have completely different targeting needs in California, where it over-indexes electric vehicles, than in Texas, where Toyota sells Tundra pickup trucks. there is.
Rather than bidding as one brand, Prioleau said SMB chains and franchises of all types can use Simplifi’s unstructured data to create the most important keywords and contextual information for each location.
Like many specialty DSPs, Simplifi is flexible when it comes to media and monetization. He said smaller regional agencies and advertisers may want to expand on managed services that cover search and social as well as programmatic. And Simplifi complies with that.
And, of course, Simplifi lowers campaign minimums, whereas campaigns on platforms like Google and TTD can cost less than $1,000. Or you may need thousands of dollars to even begin optimizing your campaigns.
Omnichannel platforms consolidate campaigns, so you don’t have a big budget to optimize them. Prioleau said Simplifi is focused on advertisers who are likely to run many campaigns with relatively small budgets.
“This is a different kind of automation and workflow that is built in,” he said.
Business marketers were relatively quick to adopt programmatic targeting. But instead of focusing on individuals, B2B marketers target people in specific job titles or employment types: the companies that buy her B2B software or the companies that call her. This is called account-based marketing.
But B2B DSPs still have major points of differentiation, said Chris Gorek, co-founder of B2B DSP market leader Demandbase, who also founded another B2B ad tech company called Channel99 last year.
One of the things Channel99 borrows from omnichannel DSP is the idea of pixelating everything. But instead of focusing on sites and programmatic advertising, B2B DSPs are pixelating touchpoints like email signatures and syndicated marketing content like white papers and research reports, Golek said. These are important touchpoints for B2B campaigns, rather than in-store sales, app downloads, or video views.
Programmatic display campaigns are big for B2B marketers. Instead of just a few thousand impressions you get from automated email marketing, it’s a sea of tens of millions of impressions. Channel99 makes sure that display advertising is effectively driving value alongside your email campaigns. Email campaigns are not programmatic, so they are not part of a TTD campaign.
With a focus on B2B pixels and measurement, platforms like LinkedIn and other media that are valuable to B2B advertisers are starting to appear within campaigns that previously focused their attribution on search and social. Gorek said.
Gorek said all DSPs claim to have solutions to mitigate the loss of third-party cookies and user-level tracking. However, DSPs that are not backed by large-scale walled-garden datasets can rapidly reduce their effectiveness. Channel99 and his other B2B DSPs are focused on employers and employment types.
Eliminating third-party cookies “will be great for us,” he said. “But I think I’ve been saying that for about 10 years.”
The healthcare industry is also in need of specialization.
First, there are certain laws, regulations, and marketers who are unwilling to push the envelope. In fact, they are often very conservative when it comes to trying new things and touching user-level data.
DeepIntent, a healthcare and pharmaceutical DSP, doesn’t even work with many consumer healthcare brands. It focuses on targeting healthcare providers (physicians and healthcare or pharmaceutical professionals) and targeting patients seeking prescription drugs. For example, over-the-counter medications like Advil are not suitable.
When it was founded in 2016, DeepIntent targeted only doctors and healthcare professionals. But over the past three years, since starting with patient targeting, that part of the business has grown to account for only a small portion of revenue, said founder and CEO Chris Paquette.
A third line of business could be in the future, working with agencies and advertisers to hone healthcare campaigns within a meta-like walled garden, but for now DeepIntent is an open company. We only buy through programmatic channels.
Paquette said that as pharma brands level up their own programmatic technology and adapt to TV ad targeting, DeepIntent will expand further into the channel and create new He said he could develop data products.
Even a few years ago, Deep Intent’s new hires came from pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, he said. These days, it is often provided by program vendors such as OpenX and MediaMath.
“Two worlds are colliding,” he said.
And that means more sophisticated pharma marketers are looking for programmatic-style attribution. But he said he wants the campaign to be based on the number of scripts written, rather than sales or downloads. And for them, “reach” refers to healthcare providers and clinics with relevant patient populations.
“This is just part of our dashboard and planning software,” he said.