Our recent DSP reporting [REPORT INFO] uncovered something fascinating: When it comes to programmatic buying, three in four advertisers are moving away from traditional agency models, with less reliance on their agency, or now entirely in-housing this function.

If you’re a media seller, this could be the moment when the angels break into song. Because that’s a lot of advertisers who need serious partnership from an expert like you, as they learn to navigate the often vexing world of programmatic buying. It’s no secret that the world you work in isn’t just complex, it’s also changing at the speed of light.

At the same time, the technology powering DSPs is becoming more easily available through the democratization of scale – ad tech startups are everywhere. In a highly monetizable industry, competition among media sellers is getting tighter and tighter. What’s worse, our research tells us that most advertisers couldn’t distinguish a DSP brand from an SSP brand or an ESP fortune teller for that matter.

These three factors got us thinking – what does a media seller need to do to stand out? The average number of DSPs being used by publishers and marketers is 3.7. So if you’re #4 – most of the time, you’re out of luck. How do you make sure you’re on the shortest list?

There is one HUGE task you might be forgetting that can help you immensely:  Getting your branding right. Of course you need to meet basic ad tech proficiencies. But to stand out? Consider building your brand around these three points:


  1. Your value proposition matters. Whether you’re a new brand or a brand that remembers buying newspaper ads by the column inch, getting sharp on the value you offer your customer is your first step. Here’s something: most media sellers have the same value proposition. Which means it isn’t a value proposition. If everyone offers an excellent grilled burger, then nobody offers an excellent grilled burger. Build your brand around a value prop that’s authentic, and truly different.


  1. Customer service can be a differentiator. Think of Nordstrom. Imagine your brand in those shoes. Now think of everything you need to do in order to make customer service synonymous with your brand. To really sharpen here, it wouldn’t hurt to do some research with your potential customers to understand precisely what makes them lean toward one media seller over another. Then, when you get that research back, fashion your company to fit those findings.


  1. Put a shine on your story. Be able to articulate your value in just a few short words. “We only sell media on environmentally conscious platforms” is as crisp and clear as you can get. It can be hard to refine your story this way – what about our amazing tech? What about the fact that we’re a global company? When you are able to shine your story to such a point, it opens – rather than closes – possibilities. Because with clarity comes confidence, and advertisers need that desperately when it comes to their relationship with their ad tech partner.


We’re interested in hearing what you’re doing to stand out as an ad tech in this environment. What’s helping you get attention from advertisers? Let us know at [email protected].