Publishers and advertisers want control and compatibility when it comes to a mobile publishing. Here are 9 things to look for searching for a premium solution:
1. Superior Monetization With RTB (Real-Time Bidding)
RTB technology is designed to make buyers compete in real time and maximize the value of a publisher’s advertising inventory. It also simplifies the buying process and creates more efficiency, eliminating the need to do insertion orders (IOs) for each buy. RTB platforms in mobile have scaled significantly over the past two years. All publishers should have an RTB strategy and look for a platform that allows them to sell in real time. As more dollars migrate to RTB, publishers without with the right technology will miss out on a big segment of buyers.
2. Mediation of Top Ad Networks
In order to maximize fill, publishers need ad network mediation that supports all top mobile ad networks, including the recently launched Facebook mobile ad network. With a mediation layer in place, publishers are guaranteed to maximize revenue and ad fill by running multiple networks at the same time, favoring the impressions with the highest CPM.
3. A Private RTB Marketplace Option
Having RTB technology and mediation is still not enough. Look for partners who can implement a private RTB marketplace solution. The private option allows publishers total control over how their inventory is sold. They can develop tiers, whitelist specific buyers, and set CPM floors. This helps maximize the value of their inventory and prevent the “race to the bottom” CPMs seen in public RTB.
4. An Independent Platform Operator
Seek out an independent publisher platform operator to ensure your interests are aligned. Working with a platform operated by large technology conglomerate has a number of risks:
1) If publisher solutions aren’t their primary business, they will be slow to roll out new features.
2) They can use your data in ways that you can’t control.
3) You may be a small fish in a big pond and not receive the level of service you need.
4) After gaining knowledge of your business, they may decide to compete with you.
With an independent platform, the publisher is in control.
5. First-Party Data Control
Publishers who make first party data available in public RTB run the risk of losing control over how it’s used. This puts the publisher and their users at risk. Unscrupulous ad networks, buying platforms, and other third parties can scrape that first party data from the exchange. They then combine the data with other data, cross reference it and resell it, all without the publisher’s control. This has sometimes resulted in the data being used in ways that can violate the publisher’s own terms of service. A private marketplace mitigates all this risk. It allows publishers to define rules over how first-party data is used and limit buying access to reputable partners only.
6. Innovative Ad Formats
Banner ads are clearly not enough. In fact, the popularity of video and native ads this year shows that the banner ad in mobile could have a limited life span. While banners are simple for publishers to implement and easy for advertisers to create, they don’t add a lot of value. Seek out a platform that supports new technology such as rich media, audio and video through standards such as VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) and MRAID (Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions). Also, work with the platform to develop new and interesting formats that are unique to your inventory to increase your ability to differentiate from competing publishers.
7. Advanced Campaign Tools for Direct Sales Teams
Most large publishers have a direct sales team and need great tools to manage the campaigns they sell. Those buyers will have high expectations, including agency buyers who will expect you to be able to start campaigns at a specific time, pause when requested, end the campaign at a specific time, limit the daily spend to a specific dollar amount, target the campaign properly, limit how many times a unique user is shown an ad, and provide the customer with detailed real-time reports. This is a lot of functionality. Additionally, agencies love customization. Look for a partner that has ad serving which can meet the demands of high quality buyers and gives your sales team the tools they need to succeed.
8. Third Party Compatibility
Compatibility with other ad servers such as MoPub, AdMarvel, Burstly and DoubleClick for Publishers is important. You want technology that plays well with other platforms. A publisher solution that can work with an existing SDK helps your technology team save time as they don’t have to test and integrate another one.
9. One Vendor With a Proven Track Record
Publishers have a lot of needs. Not all vendors can deliver all the required technology. Working with multiple vendors is complex and confusing. Find a single stack solution from a vendor with a proven track record of success.
Ash Kumar, the author of this post, is the CEO and Co-Founder of TapSense, the leading independent mobile advertising exchange.