3 Pillars of Publisher Programmatic Success


ADOTAS – In 2013, 1 in 5 dollars spent in display went to RTB, which helps explain how programmatic spending reached over $3 billion dollars last year. Budgets from advertisers and agencies are increasingly going programmatic and predicted to increase by 38.4% this year.

This strong push to programmatic has forced publishers to reexamine their approach to a channel once thought to commoditize and drive down the price of their inventory. Over the last 9 months, publishers have begun to embrace programmatic by leveraging new technologies and hiring top executives to manage and scale their programmatic strategy.

As publishers start to welcome the change and prepare for their future in automated selling, here are the 3 things that they must establish in order to successfully scale their business.

1. Master The Tech Stack. For a publisher to build out something valuable to buyers, it all starts with the data. Yes, there are many other essential pieces and partners that publishers will need to become more acquainted with, but a publisher can’t know what its true selling potential is until it can organize its audience in a way that is unique and proprietary to them.

Utilizing the right DMP (data management platform) will allow a publisher to find trends and segment audiences. A publisher must begin to wean its self from thirdparty data and become a first-party powerhouse. Through mining and analysis, publishers need to find and build valuable audience segmentation and leverage look-alike modeling to extend and scale those profitable segments.

2. AdOps Is The Best Ops. AdOps departments are the unsung heroes of adtech. Usually viewed as the simple job of adding a campaign to an ad server, the ad ops departments don’t get their true recognition. This all changes as publishers begin to scale programmatic. The ad ops team will be the ones with their fingers on the pulse of their inventory.

To ensure successful programmatic implementation, the ad ops team must be focused on yield management and building programmatic systems to best monetize inventory. Once the team has a handle on yield, they can then focus on building operational plans to execute and optimize buys in real time to best facilitate campaign and yield goals.

3. Educate Your Salespeople. The language of buying and selling via programmatic is different than the direct channel. So educating direct sales must be a priority. By combining direct and programmatic teams and sales goals, it will incentivize the sales people to learn and understand their new programmatic channel while easing channel conflict. Hiring a few salespeople with programmatic experience will also help to build a cohesive new sales effort.

When going to market, the sales teams have to be the evangelists of your programmatic channel. When calling on agencies, the offering has to be different. It’s imperative that publishers develop new unique sales propositions specific to the programmatic offering.  Buying programmatically is also new, so salespeople need to also continually educate buyers on how to best plan and buy. By arming salespeople with programmatic knowledge and valuable ways to access inventory, publishers will see an increase in budgets being won and the indication that their programmatic strategy is working.


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