The Display Landscape

Blog | 07 min read

Written By: Chelsea Brown

The Display Landscape

The display LUMAscape was first created in 2010 by an ad tech banker named Terry Kawaja, and has since been updated to accommodate new and acquired companies. Terry Kawaja created this visual chart to show the complexities within the digital marketing industry, and to show the relationship between marketing and publishing activities. This image allowed for greater understanding of what each company did, and if you were looking for a particular service you could get a better sense of which companies competed in this area.

Since the digital landscape is so complex, we will go over some of the main categories within the LUMAscape.

Advertising Agency

Most people have either heard or know of an advertising agency, either through word-of-mouth or advertising. In essence, an advertising agency is a business that is dedicated to creating, planning, and handling media buy for digital and traditional advertising activities. There are larger agencies that deal with bigger brands, and smaller agencies that deal with local, independent brands. A couple examples of larger agencies include DDB and WPP. For example, DDB has worked with brands such as Skittles, Iams, Adidas, Nordstrom and more. An example of a smaller agency would be ‘The Original Fusion’, which is based out of Vancouver, BC. They deal with smaller, localized brands such as Cobs Bread, for example. 

Creative Optimization

As the name suggests, creative optimization companies focus on the creative aspect of advertising. Dynamic creative optimization is a form of programmatic advertising that allows advertisers to optimize their creative using real-time software. This software uses data to understand an audiences’ behavior, and then serves relevant ads based on this behavior. Companies in this area generally offer the creative technology only, with media buy being handled by a separate company. At Adacado, we do just that! We are a dynamic creative optimization company offering a SAAS product, that enables businesses to build targeted, personalized advertising campaigns.

DSP (Demand-Side Platform)

A software that allows advertisers to purchase digital media, in an automated way. They are used by both advertisers and agencies to help them purchase different online media formats such as display, mobile, social, and search. In essence, DSPs allow advertisers to buy impressions from multiple publishing sites across the internet. Further, DSPs have automated the process of ad bidding, and therefore it is no longer required that humans be a part of the process. Most DSP companies offer buying services across multiple online formats ie. display, video, and social etc. But, some companies are more specialized such as Videology that do video-specific media buy only. A couple examples of larger companies offering DSP capabilities include Google and Amazon.

Measurement & Analytics

Measurement and analytics companies provide marketing data and analytics to businesses such as media/advertising agencies and publishers. In essence, measurement and analytics companies provide businesses with information about customer experience and how they interact with your brand across a variety of platforms. A few examples of these companies include, Google Analytics, Dynata, and Comscore.

DMP (Data Management Platform)

A platform that collects and organizes, first, second, and third-party data from multiple sources including both online and offline sources. DMPs allow businesses and marketers to gain invaluable insights into their customers. They also help businesses and marketers sort relevant information into usable form. A couple examples of DMPs include Quantcast and Lotame.

Ad Network

An ad network is an advertising technology that connects advertisers to publishers. Essentially, they help advertisers buy available ad space across multiple publishing sites. Further, ad networks collect ad inventory from publishers and re-sell to advertisers at a premium price. Having said that, advertisers pay more with the expectation that they will receive good placement of their ads.

SSP (Supply-Side Platform)

SSPs are an advertising technology used by publishers to manage, sell, and optimize available ad inventory on their websites or mobile apps. SSPs have evolved over the years with greater functionalities that allow publishers to connect to DSPs directly, instead of going through ad exchanges. A couple examples of SSPs include, PubMatic and Rubicon Project.

Ad Server

An advertising technology that is used by publishers, advertisers, ad agencies, and ad networks to manage digital ad campaigns. Ad server make decisions about what ad to show on a particular website. In essence, an ad server is to ads what WordPress is to content. Further, WordPress is used to manage a website’s content, whereas ad servers are used to manage and display digital advertising content to the user. A couple examples of ad servers include, Adzerk and Zedo.