The vital rule for publishers as they make their initial voyage into programmatic is a simple one: maintain as much control as possible.
Over the years, programmatic advertising – for good or worse – has taken a beating (whether it be due to fraudulent monetisation tactics from the supply side, low CPMs from the buy side or even the technology platforms simply not doing what they say on the tin) however pretty much all of this – I argue – derives from publishers historically ceding too much control to mass market programmatic technology platforms (without naming names) who require modes of working which are usually not too beneficial for the publisher in the long term.
This said, the simple things a publisher can seek to do to keep control of their inventory is as follows; keep their data secure, automate where possible (header bidding for example has been useful here), ensure pricing is properly calculated/set + taking generally taking a more analytical approach to monetisation/programmatic in general.
Where it gets more complicated is deciding which technology platforms to work with in terms of working media efficiency (ie where the least value $ for $ or £ for £ is not ceded off to technology platforms that don’t really contribute much or add value to, the efficient process of buying/transacting/trading ads programmatically). I’m speaking here of the additional ad tech costs many of the larger programmatic DSPs/SSPs/exchanges deduct from the working media before it reaches the publisher as a reduced CPM (typically without disclosure to said publisher).
To address what can be done here, let’s look to header bidding.
The standard model of programmatic monetisation of recent years has been to employ the use of a header bidder tool and then seek to plugin as many demand sources (SSPs etc) as possible in order to best maximise on the yield. In terms of managing the yield from an auction to auction perspective, this makes a tonne of sense, however it doesn’t address what should be the primary concern to the publisher i.e. where they are losing value prior to the bid being submitted to their own pub side auction.
To address this, publishers must look to programmatic solutions that cater to their specific inventory and audience type + employ the use of technology that trims the proverbial fat off the programmatic supply chain (reducing the tax burden on the working media before it reaches the publisher).
In Healthcare, The Digital Peloton have recently made strides to address this, employing the use of industry leading technology to remove the tax burden from the healthcare programmatic supply chain. This not only benefits publishers for the reasons stated above but it also provides buyers with a simple entry point to access all the HCP oriented media they need at scale with all the benefits that programmatic provides (audience targeting, algorithmic learning etc, all tailored to healthcare space).
The solution here is Peloton Connect, a header adapter that integrates directly from DSP to publisher header bidder solution (meaning no 3rd party intermediaries tax the transaction process between buyer/seller). This has not only helped tremendously with boosting overall transaction efficiency, reducing potential fraud, ad suitability (per the HCP audience) + addressing free up space for publishers to focus on what should be their primary concerns (UX for smoother user experience, ad render<>fill rates etc) but has also lead to (on average) a 12% boost in revenue potential via programmatic channels (as more working media = CPM value reaches the publisher).
Authored by Greg Ward – Tech Lead at The Digital Peloton