How Publishers Should Protect Their Inventory

How Publishers Should Protect Their Inventory

By: Cortland J. Fondon

The Winterberry Group, a New York based market research and consulting firm, revealed in their 2014 white paper entitled, Programmatic Everywhere?, that 91 percent of the digital advertisers surveyed plan to use a programmatic approach to support audience augmentation. They went on to say that 85 percent of publishers and 91 percent of advertisers plan to implement the programmatic approach between now and 2016. This research data has made it abundantly clear that programmatic is not only being utilized for automated digital inventory sales, it is also being leveraged to better understand –and respond to — consumers.

But along with the valuable information which is available through the use of programmatic comes a serious concern among publishers surrounding both the risks and benefits of opening up their inventory and their audience data within these advertising exchanges.

Traditionally, advertisers took a hard look at the type of content available through certain publications, and assigned a value to the readership based on how closely aligned the brand messages were. However, programmatic’s unique data gathering and usage has given advertisers the ability to establish their own relationships with potential customers, regardless of the content available on their chosen platform.

So the question remains: ‘How should publishers go about protecting their inventory in this environment?’ Following are three (3) viable suggestions.

  • Establishing A Private Marketplace. One of the best ways to protect inventory is to create a private marketplace. The private marketplace creates a barrier of entry, helping publishers maintain control over who has access to that inventory. Although establishing a private marketplace may not lend itself to increased rates or higher revenue, its ability to give publishers complete control over the website content and user data is immeasurable.
  • Retargeting. Retargeting is, in effect, the digital equivalent of going to where the people are, rather than building it and waiting for them to come. This approach allows marketers to allocate their advertising dollars based upon where the ideal customer actually is, rather than where marketing teams believe they will be. Through the use of intent signals from various web addresses (instead of utilizing activity from just one site), consumer conversions are far more effective — not to mention its effect on consumer acquisition.
  • Intelligent Acquisition. While your team may actively be using social media to stay connected to consumers, those existing social media channels are also effective at creating brand awareness. But social media is not the only method used to “get in front of” consumers who are actually looking for what your company offers. Intelligent data involves the use of sophisticated algorithms, machine learning and exclusive data to find clients who are currently looking for what you have.

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