2bestAccording to SpotXchange‘s "Survival Guide to the Digital Video Landscape“, there are two types of buyers for digital video inventory: brand experience buyers, who will focus on personal relationships to create customized programs, and programmatic buying specialists, who will put to use vast amounts of data and math in order decide about video buys.

In any case, buyers want to know:
• Who viewed an ad and what were their demographic, geographic, besides other attributes?
• What is the URL - not just the root, but at the section - and the page level?
• What is the page content and the environment?
• Was the ad viewed and for how long? What is the completed view rate (CVR)?
• Was the ad user-initiated or did it play automatically?
• Was the ad shown in-stream or in a display placement?
• How big was the player window and in what quality was the video shown?
• What device(s) was it in and on what type of screen?
• Was it clicked on or otherwise interacted with? What is the click-through rate (CTR)?
From a seller‘s point of view, the digital advertising market can look like a jungle of competing technologies - used by voracious marketers demanding precious ad inventory at low prices - using RTB to game each impression‘s price as low as possible.

According to the survival guide, sellers want buyers to:

  • Reveal more clearly what they are looking for.
  • Be open about their price ranges and what an impression is worth.
  • Indicate how a given impression fits into a larger buy or campaign‘s goals.
  • State what they‘ll pay more for - content, consumer attributes, technologies etc.
  • Pay for more. Buyers need to understand that premium content, combined with user-initiated ads in a large video player, calls for higher costs.
  • Take risks and experiment with new opportunities, beyond existing relationships that may show value in new venues.

Both sides complain that the other has the upper hand in programmatic environments, but there are improvements that can be made by both sides in using the growing programmatic market.

The Survival Guide explains that sellers have more options and controls than they realize, and that they need to develop their expertise in order to intelligently place inventory in exchanges to increase revenue.

So sellers should pay attention to the following best practices:

  • Manage pricing. They can set price floors and reject bids below a level that‘s too far discounted from rate cards. Placements that don‘t hit the target can be taken off the exchange.
  • Manage timing. Ad inventory can be handled similarly to an airline offering seats: a video ad that has left the exchange queue, but still hasn‘t sold, can be judiciously put back in at a lower bid rate, but still with a comfortable floor that protects the brand.
  • Look at aggregate dollars. Some publishers are loath to offer spots below a given CPM, but sometimes a slight shaving of price will get much higher fill rates and more revenue.
  • Look at expenses. Yes, direct sales will typically earn more per impression than an exchange, but those insertions also cost more - sales compensation, customization, billing, client management and so on.
  • Manage buyers. Decide which buyers can see which inventory and what pricing levels they can have.
  • Be as transparent as possible. Where there‘s value to a placement, show it! Intelligently expose not just the root URL, but also other attributes as much as possible. Transparency raises prices, even at the lower end of the quality scale.
  • Demand transparency. Exchanges are collecting data and need to share data as well - ideally data that gives a wider view of the market trends – as well as values than can be achieved with just one seller‘s inventory.
  • Use the information. A window into the market in near real time allows for constant adjustment. All else being equal, wouldn‘t you rather have more video that commands a higher price?
  • Segment, segment and segment. Verticals, communities, geography, placements, lengths and types of videos. The more you know, the more you can finely turn the knobs and squeeze maximum value from each placement.
  • Work with geography. Fill internationally in geographies where there are significant views but few direct sales.

On the buyers side, the more targeting an advertiser demands - e.g. search keywords, demographics, geography, behavior to name a few - the more scarce the inventory and the higher the price.

So, here are SpotXchange‘s best practices for buyers:

  • Use a blended approach. Not all impressions are equal, so don‘t demand that the most targeted impressions be priced as low as the ones used to achieve scale.
  • Mix impressions across media. Broad buys can often miss a large segment of intended targets. Intelligently adding targeted digital to a buy can reach up to three fourths of potentials who didn‘t connect on TV.
  • Buy beyond the first impression. Sometimes the second and third impression is more valuable. On a movie show time listing site, for example, users are most engaged after finding trailers they want to watch.
  • Buy impressions of users who started through a sales funnel but didn‘t convert.
  • Be as transparent as possible. Reveal the target or specific attributes and reveal the price range to increase the chances of reaching targeted scale.
  • Request transparency. Make it clear that you‘ll pay more if you know more about it, for example, context, demographics or other attributes.
  • Get a read on what attributes cost more. Is it user initiation? Completed view rate? A demographic overlay? Evaluate if that attribute is really necessary for the goals of the buy.
  • Ask for unduplicated impressions. Buyers complain that demand side platforms (DSPs) sometimes offer the same impression across exchanges and networks, with intermediaries simply arbitraging against each other.
  • Understand that consumers are multifaceted. They don‘t always „play“ the same role, such as frequent business traveler, and demographic age cells are not always the best proxy to target an audience.
  • Respect the seller‘s perspective. Just as ads are not interchangeable, different content and environments have different value. Premium inventory becomes premium for a reason, and publishers are understandably protective of how ads are integrated.
  • Look for custom packages and added value. Where a publisher wants a higher price, what else can they give you that goes beyond the simple auction bid? This approach can require a more global view than is available today through typical programmatic buying interfaces.
  • Understand how video differs from display. A lot of DSPs have the most experience in buying display ads, which can be one of many on a page. In-stream video is very different, e.g. CVRs may be high, but CTRs can be low, especially on the desktop.

According to SpotXchange‘s Survival Guide, buyers and seller should not just jump into programmatic buying, but should invest in relationships with each other and understand each other‘s concerns. With transparency and openness, trust will come, providing value in both directions. (Source: www.spotxchange.com)

By Hiba Assi