As the programmatic boom barrels ahead, demand for its various deal types continues to evolve. Several years ago, open marketplaces reigned with their vast scale and operational efficiencies, until concerns over brand safety and verification drove buyers toward private marketplaces. Now, nearly $4 out of every $5 spent on programmatic flows through private channels, and within this space the fastest-growing transaction on the SpotX platform is Programmatic Guaranteed (PG).
Automating the Direct Sales Process
PG is a breed of programmatic-direct: Buyers and sellers negotiate custom parameters—such as flight dates, audience targeting, and frequency-capping—which are then coded into a Deal ID that is passed between the DSP and SSP. These campaigns marry the efficiency of automation with the personal assurances of traditional direct sales, eliminating the laborious emails and tags and invoices that have always plagued manual direct buys. The unique differences in PG campaigns are that:
- Buyers agree to a fixed price in return for guaranteed access to desired inventory
- The SSP (rather than the DSP) handles the activation of deal parameters
The Rise of One-to-One Programmatic
While PG was just a fad several years ago, it has quickly ascended to the top of the programmatic agenda. Video is an expensive medium, and to ensure a solid return on investment, brands and agencies are increasingly forging direct relationships with exchanges and supply-side partners. Scale is still important, but there is a renewed focus around quality and transparency, which means rooting out bad actors and streamlining the supply chain into fewer, deeper partnerships.
For legacy programmers in particular, PG offers a friendly bridge by which to nudge linear advertisers into digital and OTT. Following the successful re-launch of its programmatic-direct business last year, Discovery has seen PG deals develop into one of its three major digital ad revenue streams.
Advice For Media Owners
Given the speed at which buyers are opting into these campaigns, every publisher should at least weigh the cost-benefit of adding PG to their programmatic mix. As buyers seek tighter and more comprehensive supply partnerships, PG offers a way to capitalize on this ideological shift by empowering media owners to:
- Strengthen buyer relationships through custom deal terms and robust first-party advertiser targeting that aligns with their key business goals
- Enhance the security of your business knowing that advanced inventory will be sold to trustworthy buyers
- Increase ad revenues as more premium inventory is made available for PG deals on which advertisers will pay higher CPMs
Given the variable nature of PG campaigns, sellers should prioritize an initial conversation with prospective buyers to make sure both parties are aligned strategically and technologically. Define a clear set of goals and metrics for success. Discuss and confirm any and all relevant deal parameters. Map out your supply chains to minimize technical hiccups, such as mismatched conversion templates or duplicated targeting, which can occur between the DSP and publisher ad server.
This relatively modest investment in old-school sales development will significantly boost the prospects of smooth sailing post-launch, and more than pay for itself in the guaranteed revenues that stream forth in the months ahead. For more information on activating PG campaigns against your own premium video inventory, contact our team of specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.