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A Focus on Customer Value Benefits the Entire Programmatic Ecosystem – and is Shaping the Future

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By Jeff Hirsch, Chief Commercial Officer
April 12, 2022

Delivering customer value is predicated first and foremost on listening. As Rocky Balboa told the young Adonis Creed, “You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. That’s a fact of life.” At PubMatic, we have seen that understanding the problems customers have is critical to building the foundation to deliver a product or service that solves for those problems.

In the programmatic industry in particular, one of the key differentiators between technology providers is service, service built on adapting technology to meet customer needs and furthering customer value in the ecosystem. You need tools, the expertise to use them – and the means to listen and adapt – or no one will get the full benefits of what you have to offer.

Taking Care of Publishers

Some ad tech providers have made it clear they are singularly focused on the success of media buyers. We, on the other hand, believe that a balanced programmatic ecosystem is required to build the supply chain of the future.

Our company was founded to serve the needs of publishers and help them maximize yield. Over the past few years, we realized one of the best ways to provide sustainable revenue to publishers was to establish solid relationships with buyers to help them buy the way they want. Naturally, buyers reacted positively to this shift because publishers are closest to the inventory—and therefore to the consumer—and so we transformed into the PubMatic of today, focused on bringing programmatic value to both sides of the equation.

Simply said: We can best serve digital publishers if advertisers get strong ROI from programmatic buying ecosystem channels.

Fair Pricing

We’ve spent years developing tools that facilitate header bidding and unified auctions to create a dynamic that allows for fair pricing in programmatic advertising ecosystem. ‘Fair’ means advertisers are paying the right price for what they’re getting and publishers are maximizing value from what they’re delivering.

If, instead, one side starts to become more dominant, there are negative repercussions across the supply chain, and ultimately for consumers. For example, let’s say buyers had all the control. Their goal would be to get the lowest price. In that case, publishers would be forced to lower prices rather than finding a value-based price, and they would have trouble continuing to develop content and innovation that consumers seek from their media outlets. Alternatively, if publishers had all the control, select publishers could seek untenable premiums for their inventory (which, if you recall, was the world we lived in before programmatic). This could funnel ad spend towards a select few media properties, limiting consumer access to the variety of content available across the open internet.

That’s not to say the auction environment is perfect as it stands. It still needs to evolve to become more transparent. That’s something to which we are firmly committed.

Supply Path Optimization (SPO)

We’ve already made significant progress toward a more balanced and transparent supply chain, particularly with supply path optimization (SPO), which requires close work with buyers to make their transactions more efficient. However, we also bring the point of view of the publisher to the table, and create deals that really serve both sides in a manner that is unique to each customer.

As I said at the start, this works because we ask what problems the customer is trying to solve.

When we work with our buyers to structure SPO deals, we have a number of levers to pull to give them what they need. While price is one such factor, an often more important lever is innovation, such a bespoke technology development or additional access to data that brings the buyer unique value. This also allows our agency clients to look holistically at how to buy effectively for their clients at the same time. Meanwhile, publishers have a competitive environment in which they can maximize the value of what they’re bringing to the table – their content and their audience.

Everybody wins.

We know there is more change to come as the programmatic industry grapples with the future of identity, and buyers access a much wider array of inventory. At PubMatic, we, too, will continue to innovate and evolve to maximize control and value to both publishers and media buyers. This is only the beginning of the next phase of programmatic. Welcome to the future of digital advertising; we’re listening and we’ve developed a platform that’s built for you.