The sophistication of programmatic advertising has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. Once viewed as a means for selling remnant inventory, programmatic has evolved into a tool used by premium media owners to execute direct sales. This shift is partly due to the control introduced with private marketplaces, programmatic direct, and now programmatic guaranteed. In fact, programmatic guaranteed is the fastest growing transaction model on the SpotX Platform. In this post we’ll explain what programmatic guaranteed is, when to utilize it, and some best practices for a successful programmatic guaranteed execution.
What is programmatic guaranteed?
Programmatic guaranteed is the term used to describe a direct deal between a media owner and buyer, where deal terms are agreed upon and commitments are made ahead of campaign launch. Once deal terms are decided, the campaign is executed programmatically between an SSP and DSP using a deal ID.
How is programmatic guaranteed different from programmatic direct?
Programmatic guaranteed falls under the umbrella of programmatic direct, but there are two key differences that distinguish programmatic guaranteed from programmatic direct. Here’s how programmatic guaranteed differs:
- The buyer and seller negotiate campaign details prior to creation.
- The DSP defers to the SSP (SpotX) for targeting, frequency capping, and pacing.
When should I use programmatic guaranteed?
Programmatic guaranteed offers the efficiencies and audience targeting capabilities of programmatic, coupled with the assurances of traditional direct sales. Use a programmatic guaranteed campaign if your buyer wants an upfront guarantee to reach a specific audience at a fixed price.
Why should I use programmatic guaranteed?
Programmatic guaranteed campaigns offer benefits for both media owners and buyers.
For media owners, programmatic guaranteed ensures predictable revenue and reduces the risk of unsold inventory. Media owners can also negotiate higher CPMs in exchange for offering buyers preferred access to their inventory.
For buyers, programmatic guaranteed allows first-look access to a media owner’s inventory at a predetermined price. The SSP handles all of the targeting and only sends the buyer’s DSP bid requests that meet the agreed upon deal terms, increasing efficiency.
What is being guaranteed?
It is up to the media owner and the buyer to determine what constitutes a guarantee and a successful campaign. Typically, the buyer is guaranteeing they will purchase a set number of impressions at a fixed price, and the publisher is guaranteeing they will have the desired quantity of inventory available for the buyer.
How does a programmatic guaranteed campaign work?
The first step to set up a programmatic guaranteed campaign is critical: the buyer and seller must agree to deal terms and decide that the campaign will run on a guaranteed basis. From there, each SSP and DSP will handle programmatic guaranteed campaigns differently in their own system.
At SpotX we utilize our campaign tiering structure to strategically prioritize the campaign and provide the buyer first-look access, ensuring both the seller and buyer achieve their delivery goals. The buyer then disables all targeting for the campaign in their DSP, and instead relies on SpotX to handle pacing, frequency capping, and targeting. When an opportunity matches the desired targeting, SpotX sends it to the advertiser’s DSP with a flag populated in the bid request indicating the campaign is guaranteed. The DSP then responds with a bid at the agreed upon price, up to a set impression goal.
Best practices for successful programmatic guaranteed campaigns
The success of a programmatic guaranteed campaign is hinged on setting clear expectations and precise campaign setup. To ensure the success of your programmatic guaranteed campaigns we recommend the following best practices:
No. 1: Set clear goals and expectations with buyers ahead of campaign launch
We recommend you discuss the following with buyers during campaign negotiation:
- What DSP will the buyer use? You will need to know the DSP’s name when creating your campaign in SpotX.
- What is the negotiated price? Programmatic guaranteed campaigns will be set up at a fixed price.
- What are the flight dates? This will help you forecast accurately to ensure you have enough scale to reach the goals of the campaign.
- What is being guaranteed (% fill rate, # of impressions, etc.)? Once you know the desired deal terms, it’s important to forecast to verify you will be able to deliver on your commitments to buyers.
- What targeting needs to be applied in the SpotX Platform? All audience targeting, geo targeting, network targeting, device targeting, etc. must be applied in SpotX. No targeting can be applied by the DSP.
- What frequency capping or daily impression limit should be applied in the SpotX system? This helps avoid running through budgets too quickly as we expect to see a bid for most opportunities passed. No frequency capping or pacing should be added by the DSP.
No. 2: Supercharge programmatic guaranteed campaigns with audience data
First- and third-party audience targeting enables you to boost performance of advertisers’ KPIs, increasing CPMs for programmatic guaranteed campaigns. With the SpotX Audience Management Engine (AME) you can target campaigns using first- or third-party audience data segments directly from the SpotX platform.
Currently, AME supports the following DMPs: Adobe DMP, CXense, LiveRamp, Lotame, Neustar, Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Oracle Data Cloud, Salesforce DMP (f.k.a. Krux), and Tru Optik.
No. 3: Forecast inventory avails to ensure delivery
When selling programmatic guaranteed campaigns, we recommend forecasting to ensure you can reach the desired audience at scale. SpotX Inventory Forecasting predicts your available programmatic inventory based on the specified date range, pre-filtered by expansive inventory targeting, including audience data stored in AME.
Before creating your programmatic guaranteed campaign, ensure you have enough inventory available to deliver the desired number of impressions. If your existing SpotX setup doesn’t provide enough scale, you will need to modify your primary ad server settings.
To get started with programmatic guaranteed, contact your SpotX Account Team or check out the SpotX Help Center for instructions on campaign setup.