First 3 Pages
RESTORING THE BALANCE
HOW PROGRAMMATIC LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS
In the current programmatic environment, where so much publisher data has been made
available to ad buyers, publishers are faced with a dilemma: How can they best strike a
balance between their needs and those of their buyers?
In this exploration of the sell side delving into programmatic, we will examine
how premium publishers are balancing programmatic and direct sales, how they
are using programmatic to monetize OTT content and what programmatic tools they’re
using now, all in the interest of leveling out control between themselves and the buy side.
Based on a sponsored article series that originally appeared on DIGIDAY
Bridging the direct-programmatic divide: How holistic platforms unify efforts
Publishers increasingly inhabit a world where revenue is divided between direct and programmatic channels, but programmatic won’t fully replace direct sales any time soon. Finding a way for the two sides of the revenue equation to coexist is critical when every drop of revenue and every iota of efficiency counts toward the bottom line.
Delving into specifics, programmatic has swallowed up nearly two thirds of all US ad spend
according to eMarketer, but direct still captures nearly $11 billion in ad spend. The
challenge is a bit of a left brain/right brain one:
Programmatic requires a systematic analysis of A/B testing and advertising optimization.
Meanwhile, direct sales are still all about the personal relationships that have greased the
wheels of media for decades.
To efficiently straddle both worlds, progressive publishers are experimenting with a new crop of holistic solutions that will allow them to efficiently manage both sales methods simultaneously.
THE TWO-TEAM APPROACH
Many publishers have to maintain separate teams to manage each channel. At AOL, for example, sales are essentially divided into two, different groups.
The managed media team mostly focuses on direct sales, but even that “doesn’t mean
they won’t get involved in programmatic conversations,” said Geoff Dodge, head of sales
productivity at the company. “At AOL, we’re doing a lot of team selling now.” This means assessing customers for where they’d fit best, whether it’s direct or programmatic–or a bit of both.
The challenge therein, Dodge explained, is understanding the client “in a world that
moves at the speed of light.” The current pace of the industry makes it difficult to present
custom solutions to advertisers, especially when those solutions might straddle direct and
programmatic...and therefore two different ad sales teams.
THE WATERFALL METHOD
Then there’s the “waterfall” method of ad sales, which lets publishers offer up their inventory to demand sources in order of their profit potential, starting, of course, with the highest revenue option. This bulk approach to ad sales may not be the most nuanced, but it is still a popular way to make the most money off otherwise unsold inventory. And thanks to technology, it’s getting easier and easier to execute.
“If you look at some of the software companies that are now dipping their toes into this space, it is very clear that it’s only going to get more technology driven,” said Dodge. “The amount of space being purchased directly continues to go down every year, and the amount of space purchased programmatically continues to go up. It’s hard to stop this trend.”
If you look at some of the software companies that are now dipping their toes into
this space, it is very clear that it’s only going to get more technology driven.”“