Understanding Display Concepts: How a DCO, DSP and DMP can Work Together

Display used to be simple. Impressions were purchased directly from a publisher. And now, display looks like this:

Source: LUMAscape (http://www.lumapartners.com/lumascapes/display-ad-tech-lumascape/)

Fragmented and complex, the display industry has developed into many a large landscape of technologies and offerings. The value is in being able to connect these technologies to work together in advertising campaigns.

One example of a display campaign utilizing multiple vendors is a large scale 1st party retargeting campaign with dynamically optimized creative served through multiple ad exchanges through a demand side platform.  I’ll start by breaking down what some of these words mean, then into how they all connect and finally the step by step for implementation.

DCO: Dynamic creative optimization

DMP: Data management platform

DSP: Demand side platform

1st Party Data: proprietary data owned by advertiser


Display Concept In a Nutshell:

The DMP has likely already tagged pages so the DCO can place a piggy backed tag to collect and match data.  The DSP is where campaigns are built to target inventory and audiences. The audiences are mapped from the DMP. The DCO then optimizes the creative for each individual user in targeted in the inventory within the DSP’s reach.

display by numbers1


Step by Step

  1. display by numbersConnect DMP & DCO by adding a piggy back tag
  2. Build audience segments in DMP
  3. Share segments with DSP
  4. Build campaigns targeting the segments & specify inventory & other targeting tactics (geo, frequency cap, etc.)
  5. Assign ad tags created by DCO to DSP’s ad server/campaigns
  6. Launch campaign, DSP sees a user so DSP fires the ad tag
  7. Tag communicates with the DCO
  8. DCO optimizes creative based on user attributes
  9. Optimized creative is served to user via ad tag on DSP ad server

Point It About the author
  • Lisa Sanner

    Good post Jaime. You make it sound so easy, but we all know the truth…. 🙂 Glad you are on my team.

    September 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm
  • James Hebdon

    Great article, Jaime! And here I thought I had a handle on Display.

    June 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm
  • Joshua Rex


    Are there any example people can share of a company that has an integrated DCO + DMP + DSP offering?

    July 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm
  • Sebastien

    Hi Joshua,
    You may want to look at the Mediarithmics offering, that integrates all three components. They are based in France.

    July 7, 2016 at 6:05 pm

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