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Why Publishers Should Embrace Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying is a hot topic in AdTech, and one premium publishers are slowly embracing.
Those who “own” inventory are concerned that through exchanges, advertisers and trading desks have access to the same premium placements at lower CPMs, thereby diluting direct sales opportunities.
As a premium publisher, you probably invest in a sales team to monetize your inventory. You sell a unique readership, social engagement capabilities, contextual relevance, and other site-specific aspects that help value premium inventory at premium prices. Your team works hard to close direct deals with high CPMs to make sure the value of the inventory is not diluted so they can keep cash in their pockets!
On the other side of the coin is the brand advertiser. Brand advertisers also have concerns about exchanges because they are hyper-sensitive to brand alignment. They work hard to protect their brand from the “Wild West” we call the Internet, and are über-sensitive to the variability of content across the web.
Buying direct from premium publishers ensures contextual relevancy and protects against brand conflict. It’s the safe route that allows a brand advertiser to lock in contextually relevant real estate and track ROI.
A “true” private exchange turns potential dilution of inventory, internal struggles with the sales team, and contextual awareness into a big-time publisher opportunity. In a true private exchange, the sales team continues to work with advertisers to sell premium inventory.
Let’s not forget what’s important to advertisers: (1) contextual placement and (2) guaranteed inventory/unique(s).
A “true” private exchange gives priority bidding to the select advertisers that have negotiated a higher mid-tier CPM. The CPM is higher than on an open exchange because it’s backed by data, yet lower than a premium CPM because it’s not guaranteed.
The industry needs to embrace true private exchanges. A “true” private exchange solves a real business problem for both the publisher and advertiser:

  1. Publishers can place inventory on a private exchange at a $3-$10 CPMs and offer it to a “select” set of advertisers
  2. Publishers can use the private exchange to build a process and compensation plan for the sales team
  3. Advertisers feel safe using a private exchange that guarantees contextual placement and protects against brand conflict.

The private exchange is a true private marketplace where the prioritized advertiser with the highest bid wins.

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