Like many people who work in the field of advertising technology, I have a really hard time talking to my parents about my job. They know I work with computers and they understand that my work involves advertising – but beyond that, they haven’t really a clue what I’ve spent the last decade doing.
Somewhere along the way I came up with this analogy. I think translates pretty well and it has certainly worked for my parents.
The analogy compares the ad tech value chain to the “grocery store” value chain and compares the role of the programmatic advertiser to the role of the grocery shopper. Here’s how it goes:
Advertiser = Grocery Shopper
Ad space = Groceries
Let’s say you want to buy some groceries for your home. As a grocery shopper, you have to first choose which grocery store to go to. The grocery store, on the ad tech side of this analogy, is the DSP or “Demand Side Platform”. It’s the place you go when you need to buy food (ad space).
Simple so far right?
Just like grocery stores, there are many different DSPs to choose from. They all offer fundamentally the same product (ad space), but each of them has somewhat different branding and a slightly different buying experience.
Now, let’s move to the next step of the value chain: