Ad tech is a dynamic industry. From constantly evolving transparency and quality standards, supply chain dynamics, and technology landscapes to government regulations and privacy laws, ad tech is moving quickly. We, at PubMatic, are excited about these changes as they are helping programmatic advertising mature by providing much needed confidence to industry stakeholders.
As programmatic advertising is becoming a de-facto standard to trade ad inventory at scale, we see some publisher partners tinkering with the idea of taking programmatic advertising in-house. While a key reason could be increased control, it is also believed that working with an in-house team will lead to increases in ROI, scale and spend. Publishers have essentially three main options as they move in-house:
- Build a proprietary programmatic platform
- Merge with or acquire technology companies
- Partner with a technology company
The first two options are generally an indicator of a fundamental shift in a publisher’s business. They require significant financial and organizational resources and are often the result of a multi-year strategy for restructuring business practices.
The third option, partnering with a technology company, allows publishers to quickly adjust to the changing landscape and typically requires less resource investment that doesn’t involve a business restructuring. For many publishers, partnering with a technology company is an ideal option for bringing programmatic in-house.
This is where PubMatic Cloud comes in. Publishers can benefit from our efforts of building an efficient and reliable programmatic advertising platform as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering. PubMatic Cloud means publishers don’t have to re-invent the wheel and can instead accelerate their innovation by building on top of our RTB platform.
As a publisher-first technology provider geared to fueling our partners’ successes, we believe five key elements are important table stakes for this type of platform:
- Standardized, quality and proven integrations with DSPs
- Supply Path Optimization features
- Highly scaled and efficient infrastructure
- Analytics that power sophisticated yield optimization
- Rich set of APIs to integrate
Read on to discover more about why each of these attributes is necessary for a programmatic platform and how partners can reap the benefits from an advertising cloud solution.
#1: Standardized, Quality and Proven Integrations with DSPs
To provide efficient infrastructure, an in-house programmatic tool should come with robust DSP integrations. Publishers shouldn’t need to set up the integrations themselves, causing additional (and unnecessary) work for the in-house team. Additionally, publishers should expect transparency into the auction dynamics and support across multiple ad formats. The primary reason for moving in-house is control—make sure to use a tool that allows you to maintain visibility and ensure quality.
By using PubMatic Cloud, our partners benefit from the connections and quality initiatives we already have in place. For instance, PubMatic has an Open RTB 2.3 connection with most DSPs; additionally, we have adopted elements of Open RTB 2.5 specs to support transparency in auction dynamics. Our partners can see whether it’s a first or second price auction or if there is an upstream auction. Furthermore, Cloud users also have support across multiple ad formats (display, video and native) and platforms (desktop web, mobile web and mobile apps).
Quality-measures should also be a key deciding factor when looking at a technology provider. Sophisticated tools around inventory quality initiatives, like ads.txt-based granular filtering, fraud detection and on-demand inventory exclusion mean DSPs get the highest quality traffic.
Additionally, any tool used in-house should reflect the tech provider’s positive relationships with the integrated DSPs. PubMatic offers DSPs the ability to control what, and how much, traffic they receive by specifying QPS requirements. We are also constantly enriching our real-time bidding pipes to provide more information in the bid requests per Open RTB standards. This benefits PubMatic Cloud users because they can have confidence that integrated DSPs are also able to control their traffic—allowing DSPs to buy at scale.
#2: Supply Path Optimization Features are Key
It’s publishers moving programmatic in-house so why should traffic sent to buyers be a deciding factor when considering a tool? Simply put, a quality supply-path benefits both the publisher and buyer.
PubMatic offers intelligent bid throttling systems to send DSPs the most relevant traffic—traffic which matches DSPs’ buying indicators and patterns. Our systems also respond to DSP timeout in real-time by throttling traffic automatically. And if a QPS threshold is in place, we intelligently remove bid requests they are not responding to, further improving efficiency. Remember, an in-house tool should work for all partners of the tech provider. Everyone can, and should, win.
#3: Manage Scale and Improve Infrastructure Efficiency
Publishers should look for a tool that can responsibly manage scale to limit latency and timeouts for publishers. This is done by careful monitoring of bid requests, so any issues can be handled by the tech provider without negatively impacting the publisher. Moving in-house is also meant to improve efficiency so your tech provider should have systems in place to address any issues quickly and without burdening the publisher.
PubMatic Cloud minimizes latency by equipping our data centers across the globe with cutting edge infrastructure and real-time monitoring of various health metrics to ensure that any issues are dealt with promptly. We also release features nearly every week to maintain our performance standards for high scalability and availability.
#4: Analytics that Power Sophisticated Yield Optimization
What good is moving in-house if you don’t have the analytics to optimize campaigns and have more control? Any programmatic tool should give publishers helpful insights that allow high-reliability and availability for impression volumes.
PubMatic believes one of the best ways to empower our partners is to provide rich analytics—providing publishers with full transparency to maintain control. PubMatic Cloud offers features like ad-hoc reporting, multi-dimensional analysis and near real-time data availability. Our understanding of the programmatic ecosystem means that we appreciate what data really matters. Our advertising analytics platform offers dimensions and metrics that allow publishers to dig deeper into what drives spend from DSPs and buyers. You can either login to the PubMatic UI to access the analytics or pull the data directly through our reporting APIs.
#5: Rich Set of APIs to Integrate
Your tool should empower you, as the publisher, and free up your time to focus on what you do best. Make sure your tool provides a rich set of APIs that allows you to seamlessly integrate with other applications.
PubMatic Cloud APIs allow publishers to have their in-house applications invoke PubMatic Cloud features like defining inventory, setting pricing and ad quality rules, managing deals and users , plus gleaning analytical insights.
As we see buyers focus more on supply-path optimization and the industry moves programmatic in-house, publishers need to rely on innovative platforms that allow them to grow. Many publishers want a path to programmatic in-housing that will allow them to stay ahead of the marketplace pressures without completely upending their business by building their own tech or acquiring with a technology company.
With a focus on solving problems that both publishers and buyers face, and helping publishers build on top of an industry-leading platform, PubMatic Cloud is driving advertising innovation while offering scale and efficiency.