Posted by Danielle Goodman
The mobile ad ecosystem is a crowded marketplace of companies hustling to differentiate themselves and prove their value. When honing in on Supply Side Platforms (SSPs), the biggest differentiators will be based on the information they can provide and the prices they can command for their client’s inventory. While their ultimate goal is to attract and accumulate as many publishers as possible in order to have the inventory to sell, being able to maximize prices and sell inventory that advertisers want is essential.
In order to optimize inventory for advertising demand from ad networks and exchanges, the SSP must be able to make sense of the information they receive from publishers and offer more targeted inventory. An SSP can open up ad impressions to as many potential buyers as possible through programmatic channels, like real-time bidding; however, the more targeted those impressions are the more advertisers will be willing to spend.
For example, only a small percentage of inventory comes with geolocation and traditional IP based location suppliers are unreliable below the city level.
Advertisers are interested in highly targeted inventory and will spend more money for located and contextualized impressions. It is the difference between knowing a person is in a given city versus this type of person is in this city in front of this coffee shop. When an SSP can charge more for each impression the result is higher payouts and happy publishers.
Tagging inventory with audience context like unique personas, venue profiles and exact location adds a new layer of meaning to the ad space that SSPs are trying to sell. Consumer personas that combine demographic data--like income level, education, gender, age and ethnicity--with behavioral patterns based on where users go and when can provide powerful insights into affinities and intents. SSPs can enrich their ad inventories with contextual data on audience lifestyle and location behavior for more transparent knowledge on where the ad will be shown and who will see it. Doing so increases the value of the inventory by providing advertisers with a way to target their ads to certain audience segments.
For example, an SSP will classify a user as a luxury shopper if they visit beauty supply shops and high end clothing stores and has an income of over $200K. The SSP who builds that profile can command increased CPMs for ad impressions to that highly desirable segment, and advertisers can target those users with relevant messages to achieve increased conversion rates. When an SSP uses contextual personas to target ad impressions they allow advertisers to assess who is behind each impression and how valuable that impression is.
Tracking consumer behavior is always a sensitive topic. Publishers care about consumer privacy and will be more willing to work with an SSP who will not exploit private information to target inventory. Anonymized personas can be built without ever using personally identifiable information (PII). This method empowers SSPs to access powerful contextual data about segments of a publisher’s audience without violating individual privacy. Adhering to privacy compliance enables SSPs to build trust with publishers who will not violate their consumer’s privacy.
Adding context to ad impressions and media buying algorithms enables the supply side of the ad ecosystem to better understand the audience behind their impressions, leading to optimization of their own content and ad delivery strategies. Offering contextual impressions based on audience and venue knowledge raises the game for the supply side leading to better yield and higher eCPM. More targeted ad inventory enables the entire ad ecosystem to function more efficiently, ultimately providing more relevant content to the end viewer.