3 Ways Publishers Can Get Ahead of Real-Time

real-time analytics

The major shift in ad spend away from traditional media to digital media presents an enormous opportunity for publishers. However, this shift as well as the move toward programmatic sales adds new challenges for publishers. One of the most significant challenges publishers now face is managing and analyzing the mountains of sales data being created each day as they sell and serve millions of ad impressions in real-time.

Forrester Consulting recently released an August 2015 study commissioned by PubMatic, Real-Time Data Analytics: Empowering Publishers To Make Better, Faster Decisionsthat reveals how real-time analytics can help publishers make smarter, more informed business decisions that drive revenue growth.

Real-Time Analytics Drives Publisher Growth:

As publishers sell more ad inventory programmatically, they need access to real-time actionable data to maximize the optimization of their inventory. According to Forrester, 67 percent of publishers believe that real-time data is important to their efforts, but only 27 percent of publishers report that they had access to it when making critical business decisions.

Publishers see significant benefits from real-time data in several areas. Sixty-two percent report increased revenue, 54 percent see better yield, 51 percent report the ability to make better decisions, 48 percent report uncovering new revenue opportunities and 42 percent maintain better inventory management.

Competitive Benchmarking Insights:

Adding context to this data makes it even more powerful. Publishers that are able to benchmark their inventory’s performance against that of their peer set within the framework of the real-time programmatic ad sales market are at a distinct advantage. These benchmarking insights allow them to improve pricing strategies, identify new advertiser partners and ultimately increase revenue generation. But only 24% of surveyed large publishers (those publishers with more than 500 employees) were very satisfied with their current competitive benchmarking insights.

One Holistic Platform for Data Management & Analysis:

With millions of impressions, come billions of data points. So it’s no surprise that many publishers are challenged by their inability to easily aggregate their multiple sources of data into one real-time data stream. Sixty percent of large publishers find managing large amounts of data challenging. In order to aggregate and analyze data, 52 percent use a data warehouse, 45 percent use data visualization and 45 percent use external partners – each representing a significant investment of resources. In order to successfully manage their inventory holistically, many publishers will need to migrate to one programmatic platform, to quickly and simply manage their growing number of concurrent data streams.

Technology that aggregates and analyzes data will continue to play a larger role in digital media and ad tech, creating more opportunities for leading publishers to innovate and drive their bottom line. Real-time analytics are an incredibly powerful tool for publishers to generate revenue, discover new revenue opportunities, benchmark against competition and optimize more efficiently.

Download a full copy of the study here.

Cheat Sheet: SDKs, What are they? Why do they matter?

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There are a host of technical terms and acronyms invading the world of advertising and media. One you may be hearing more frequently is “SDK.” SDK stands for a Software Development Kit, and one reason why people are talking about it is because it’s playing an increasingly critical role in publishers’ efforts to monetize mobile in-app inventory. A well-implemented SDK can boost the value of mobile app inventory and create a much more dynamic in-app ad experience.

To help shed some light on this topic we have compiled a plain language cheat sheet that explains what SDKs are and what they do.

What is an SDK?
An SDK (Software Development Kit) is a set of software development tools that helps developers to build apps for a specific software platform, like iOS or Android. An SDK may contain APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), technical documentation, sample code, and other tools that help a developer to complete her work.

How are SDKs different from APIs?
Another term that is used a lot in the mobile advertising world is API, which stands for Application Programming Interface. The API is not a kit, it’s simply a clear set of rules, or protocols, for interacting with a system. As long as a programmer knows how to use the right protocols they can successfully accomplish the tasks they want to complete on the platform. An API is like a recipe, it’s a set of clear instructions. Companies often use APIs to give external parties access to their data or systems. An SDK is more like a box of cake mix. It has everything you’ll need to make a cake quickly and easily.

How are SDKs used in mobile advertising?
A publisher can use an SDK to serve ads in an app on an Apple or Android device. Many apps do not have browser-like capabilities. Therefore, SDKs are used for in-app advertising to render the different types of ads such as rich media and native.

Does PubMatic offer Publishers an SDK?
Yes, PubMatic offers SDKs for publishers working on a variety of platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and more. The PubMatic SDKs allow publishers to serve more valuable ad impressions in their apps. This is because the SDK can help the app to gather critical data, like location or device type, which can boost the value of mobile ad inventory. PubMatic research uncovered the value of this data to mobile impressions. Once the publisher implements the PubMatic SDK they can serve all ad formats within an app such as display, rich media, video, and native. Our SDKs can even enable an in-app ad to change from profile to landscape, in response to how a user is holding and viewing the mobile device screen.

For more information on the PubMatic SDK click here.

3 Ways to Return Value to the Publisher Rate Card

 

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By Jim Tarr, Director of Product Marketing

Since the early days of programmatic, publishers have been worried that the move to real-time auctions in ad sales would inevitably put downward pressure on the value of their advertising inventory. Some voices in the industry even warned that real-time sales would foster an inevitable “race to the bottom” for CPM rates. Part of the reasoning for this line of thinking is that publishers would be forced to make packaging and pricing decisions with minimal insights into the true value of their inventory. The fear was publishers would be forced to do the equivalent of holding a wet finger in the air to read the current market, and then hope for the best.

In a real-time bidding environment, each impression is valued based on various factors such as user age, geography, browsing history, operating system, content parameters, and more. As a result, buyers evaluate this data and place higher bids on inventory that they consider most likely to help them achieve their marketing goals. In this new paradigm, CPM rates can increase, if publishers are leveraging the right real-time insights about the value of their inventory.

Here are three ways publishers can use real-time and competitive insights to return value to the rate card:

Optimize Pricing & Packaging in Real Time

By using a programmatic platform that offers real-time analytics, publishers can derive insights that enable them to constantly assess their own performance. In a real-time world, publishers need actionable real-time data that allows them to make smarter business decisions if they wish to maximize the value of their inventory. Many publishers have been challenged by analytics solutions that provide stale data, making it difficult to execute nimble and smarter packaging strategies.

Compare Performance

Publishers should also consider using analytics that offers them competitive benchmarking insights into the broader overall market. Many publishers’ performance is hindered by a lack of competitive insights. Indeed, just 25% of media analytics professionals report being very satisfied with their analytics solutions. Publishers that have access to benchmarking insights can compare how various ad sizes and formats are performing against competitive peer publishers. Combined with real-time analytics, this benchmarking allows publishers to assess if changes are needed to its packaging strategies across different ad sizes, and ad formats such as display, mobile, and video.

Discover New Advertisers

Another critical way publishers can increase programmatic demand for their inventory is by using benchmarking insights to find buyers that are advertising on competitor sites, but not on their sites. This critical data can help publishers discover new advertising partners and therefore increase their overall demand. It’s one of the most powerful ways that publishers can use the data promise of programmatic to their advantage.

PubMatic is the leader in publisher analytics including the industry’s only solution that offers publishers real-time analytics and competitive benchmarking. To learn more about PubMatic’s analytics solutions for Publishers click here.

Evaluating Publisher Inventory: A Buy Side Perspective

 

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By Emma Witschi and Colin Brown, Platform Solutions, MediaMath

As publishers increasingly migrate inventory sales to programmatic channels, technology providers have emerged to provide publishers with the tools to realize the full potential of their digital assets. One such company is our valued partner, PubMatic, which provides publishers with marketing automation software that enables them to manage their programmatic advertising sales.

As buyers are shifting marketing dollars into the programmatic space, publishers need to consider what makes their inventory desirable for their advertising counterparts on the buy side.  In the new programmatic landscape, powered by supply side platforms (SSPs), exchanges, and demand side platforms (DSPs), marketers are employing automated media buying and selling tools to ensure that every impression is aligned with their unique campaign message and goals. Every advertising dollar should be spent trying to promote the right message, to the right audience, in the right context.  As these three variables align, consumers are more likely to interact and respond to an advertiser’s message, making the impression a more “desirable” purchase for a programmatic campaign manager.

To determine if a publisher is valuable to a marketer, the first question asked is “can I access my target audience?” Increasingly in the programmatic space, marketers have the tools to answer this question. By leveraging 1st party marketer data, 2nd party publisher data, and 3rd party vendor data, marketers can filter publisher inventory, and purchase the specific impressions that make the most strategic sense with a unique desired audience.  By forecasting and proactively filtering supply, marketers can determine which publishers offer the greatest reach against their target segments.

After determining audience penetration, the next concern marketers have is whether the site is conducive to driving engagement with the advertisements. Two key questions buyers ask are “will the consumer see my ad?” and “will the consumer be in the right mindset to complete the desired action?”

This means that marketers must evaluate the contextual environment and ad placement on publisher sites.  In addition to aligning the page content with the call to action, buyers look for sites with low ad counts per page and highly-viewable placements.

Marketers who buy media programmatically have a distinct advantage over those who rely only on direct buys. Programmatic buyers can measure performance and continually optimize their investment and approach during the life of a campaign. After the message, audience, contextual environment, and viewability settings have been applied, marketers can measure the impact of these choices. Many publishers have relied on click through rate (CTR) to define digital media performance.

However, industry studies reveal that very few users (8%) actually contribute to the majority of clicks (85%), so by optimizing towards clicks, campaigns potentially ignore a brand’s core audience. As marketers learn more about consumer behavior, and programmatic reporting capabilities become increasingly advanced, it is critically important that publishers consider the performance of advertising beyond the click. Engagement metrics that are more indicative of success include: brand survey responses to measure ad engagement; time on brand site or number of pages viewed to measure site engagement; and actions like downloads, registrations, and email or newsletter signups to measure brand engagement. When measuring return on investment using these more indicative KPIs, the influence of audience, contextual, and publisher targeting becomes more apparent.

Marketers are relying on increased levels of transparency and control to drive their desired outcomes.  MediaMath, in partnership with PubMatic, works to give advertisers the tools to make smarter decisions. Marketing platforms, like TerminalOne offer robust targeting and reporting options to help marketers validate their approach and refine strategies over time. Knowledge of the variables (i.e. creative, placement, user location, day-part, etc.) driving the best performance gives campaign managers the data to choose the publishers that best achieve their goals.  Publishers that engage with advertisers to facilitate transparency and control will be the preferred media partners for communicating brand messages.

Publishers Should Manage Programmatic Sales On One Platform. . . Here’s Why

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By Rob Jonas, Global Chief Revenue Officer

During the last few years, the proliferation of screens and ad formats has added more complexity to the business of advertising sales than anyone could have envisioned. More than half of all visitors to U.S.-based news sites come from mobile devices. The consumption of video content is exploding on all devices. Advertisers are shifting budgets towards native ads because of their effectiveness at driving consumer engagement.  All of these market trends and shifts are happening at the same time that the ad sales market is being automated and brought up to the speed of real-time by programmatic technology.

Many publishers are trying to juggle all of these changes. There’s a seemingly endless stream of point solutions designed to help publishers solve this new world one piece at a time. These individual solutions may offer solutions for managing video inventory, mobile inventory or native inventory but they don’t help publishers grasp the entire picture.

Imagine a stock trader that relied on one piece of software for trading tech company stocks and another for trading financial stocks and yet another for energy company stocks. The ability to manage a stock portfolio holistically would be significantly compromised by these separate views into the market. And it’s hard to imagine that this arrangement wouldn’t compromise overall performance. Yet it can be argued that some publishers are trying to manage their business in a similar way as they attempt to adapt to a quickly changing media landscape.

Managing several technology solutions creates new challenges for publishers that are already struggling to keep ahead of a quickly evolving market. With each new solution comes additional complexity. That complexity involves identifying actual and potential points of failure. It also includes a myriad of integration challenges associated with operating multiple solutions.

With each new point solution that a publisher adopts, there comes a new user interface as well as new reporting and analytics.  Managing all of these vendors and partners becomes a full-time job for an operations department. And every hour that is spent on managing the complexity of multiple solutions is an hour not spent on developing strategies to use the technology to drive revenue.

The reality that most publishers face is that even as the media landscape is spliced up into different screens and formats they still need a simple way to manage their business holistically. The best way to do this is to limit the complexity within their organization.  Deciding to use one platform to manage programmatic advertising inventory is perhaps the quickest and simplest way publishers can limit that complexity.

And evolved publishers are now recognizing this. From New York to Berlin to Tokyo, over the last 24 months, views have shifted. If asked two years ago: “Do you want multiple best-of-breed, point solutions or a single-platform for all of your requirements”, probably no more than half of publishers would have chosen the latter. Today, our experience tells us that it’s more than three-quarters and rising as publishers look to escape vendor fatigue.

This in turn creates yet more impetus to partner with publisher specific solutions, such as those offered by PubMatic. Exchanges or vendors offering buy- and sell-side solutions do not have the necessary focus to serve all of a publisher’s requirements across multiple platforms, formats and solutions in the way that a company focused on Marketing Automation for Publishers can.

Publishers are making technology decisions for the next five plus years and not in the same way that they would swap out a network or allocate inventory to an exchange. These are strategic technology decisions that require sophisticated, publisher-centric technology solutions that decrease complexity and accelerate their advertising sales revenue.

Learn more about PubMatic’s One Platform for Publishers here.

Mobile Media and The Hispanic Consumer (Video)

Hispanic consumers are heavy mobile users. Indeed, U.S. Hispanics’ use of mobile devices is higher than that of the general population, according to eMarketer. U.S. Hispanics spend 42 percent more on mobile devices and 35 percent more on data services than the general market, according to research by the Alcance Media Group.

Recently, PubMatic President Kirk McDonald sat down with Alberto Pardo, the CEO and Founder of AdMovil, the leading mobile advertising solutions company in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin America market, to discuss how his company approaches reaching the mobile Hispanic consumer.

PubMatic and Adsmovil from PubMatic on Vimeo.

Three Reasons Why Private Marketplaces Are So Popular With Buyers & Publishers

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By John Stoneman, VP EMEA

As programmatic advertising continues to grow globally, its growth in many markets is partially fueled by the rise of private marketplaces. In its early years, the word “programmatic” solely meant the buying and selling of advertising inventory in a real-time open auction. Recently, however, we have witnessed the rise of invitation-only programmatic marketplaces called private marketplaces. These private marketplaces (PMPs) provide publishers with the ability to designate certain parts of their advertising inventory to a select buyer or group of buyers, which differs from the open auction where the advertising inventory is open to all bidders.

In the U.S., the market where programmatic got its start, private marketplaces have grown massively in popularity. PMP is projected to account for 28% of an $11.8 billion programmatic market by 2016 up from just 2.0% in 2013, according to eMarketer.

Here are three reasons why PMPs have become a favorite of so many buyers and premium publishers.

Control

PMPs allow publishers to determine the buyers or advertisers that will be allowed to bid on certain parts of their inventory. This control often means that publishers feel more comfortable about selling their premium inventory programmatically, since they have selected the advertisers that they are offering it to. It’s the type of control that buyers and publishers have always had during the traditional direct sales process and PMP can bring it to programmatic.

PMPs provide buyers with added inventory transparency as being part of a PMP means they will have already identified a publisher they are comfortable buying from. PMPs also provide buyers with access to some types of premium inventory that may not be available in open auction. Finally, PMPs provide premium publishers with an extra level of confidence about the creative that will appear on their digital properties, helping to address any concerns they have around brand safety.

Workflow Automation

PMPs offer the superior workflow automation that is the hallmark of programmatic advertising when compared with traditional direct sales. Both publishers and buyers benefit by significantly reducing the traditionally time-consuming process required to execute traditional direct sales.

Relationships

PMPs allow publishers and buyers to extend an existing direct relationship into programmatic. As more inventory is bought programmatically, PMP is an easy way for both buyers and sellers to maintain the rewards of an existing direct sales relationship whilst at the same time benefiting from the efficiency and effectiveness of programmatic execution.

Programmatic is exploding globally, estimated to reach 48% of all global digital display spending this year. As that growth continues, PMPs will play a significant role as buyers and publishers seek to take advantage of its benefits as we move further into the age of programmatic.

Click the hyperlinks to learn more about PubMatic’s PMP and programmatic direct offerings for publishers and buyers.