How to Optimize Private Marketplace (PMP) Deals?

Updated on: December 16, 2023
So, you've set up PMP deals with the most active buyers. What's next?

Private Marketplace (PMP) deals have the potential to create a transparent and efficient auction environment for the publishers to expose their premium ad inventories to the right advertisers and sell at a premium price. 

A PMP deal ensures premium CPM rate and brand-safe ads. Hence, more control and greater transparency. Due to the stated fact, it is estimated that US advertisers will spend $13.74 billion on Private Marketplace deals in 2020. However, many publishers are still struggling to reach their revenue goals via PMP deals.

Why aren’t You Able to Make the Most out of PMP Deals?

While the idea of Private Marketplace is nothing new, publishers still not get the most out of the deals when they:

Lack of understanding of the advertiser’s goals and objectives.

In every PMP deal, publishers and advertisers have different goals and objectives in terms of delivery of volume of ad inventories, timelines (days/months), and ad budget. Besides, target audiences are very crucial for the publishers’ invite-only advertisers.

Sometimes, publishers don’t have a clear picture of the relevant audience for the advertisers and the quality of ad inventories offered to them. The goal of advertisers to get into a PMP deal is to have access to high-viewable ad inventories that can be seen by their target audience.

Lack of clarity about delivering what was expected.

In the Private Marketplace, once a deal is negotiated, the publishers should proactively check if the advertisers are actually buying what they are supposed to. For instance, in a Private auction, a handful of advertisers are invited to bid for the ad inventories. If any of them aren’t delivering as expected, what’s the use of having them in the auction?

Instead, the publisher can replace the advertiser with someone who can actually bid and win the auction at a premium price. Nothing in programmatic works on the principle of “Set and forget”. As a publisher, if you don’t have answers to all the questions, then there is room for improvement in your PMP deals.

What are the Key Elements for a Successful PMP deal?

There are no shortcuts to execute a PMP deal and get the expected results. To successfully execute deals, here are a few suggestions that publishers should consider:

Finding the right Private Marketplace deal.

As we mentioned before, there are a variety of PMP deals and each deal should vary with the type/quality of ad inventory and audience, and exclusivity according to the buyer. To put it simply, for every use case, the terms and conditions related to the type of data shared, transparency on URLs, etc. should be optimal.

For example, in Google Ad Manager, you can declare your ad inventories as “Branded” or “Semi-transparent” for Private auctions. While Branded will allow the advertisers to know where the ads are going to be placed, Semi-transparent allows buyers to see the main domain URL. 

Being adaptive to market changes.

Programmatic market changes every now and then. With every season, there is a fluctuation in CPMs, bid rate, and bid density, etc. While Q1 and Q2 are usually downtimes for the advertising industry, ad spending starts increasing by Q4. This makes seasonality one of the most important factors in setting up PMP deals.

Analysis of the Open Auction market.

We all know that CPM rates vary with the type of marketplace (i.e. open and private). Open Auction marketplace gives an overview of the current market price of the ad inventories.

So, before setting up CPM rates and start negotiations with the buyers, ensure that you have analyzed the inventory value in the Open Auction marketplace. It gives publishers the confidence to put the ideal and right CPM rate in front of the buyers and proceed with the deal.

Already done that and still not getting the results? Then let’s start with the optimization of set-up.

How to Optimize Private Marketplace Deals?

Below are some actions and strategies to consider when optimizing a Private Marketplace deal:

Leverage audience lists.

In the Private Marketplace deals, publishers can share their first-party data with the buyers. On the other hand, buyers can reserve the ad inventories and ensure that every ad impression matches the first-party audience list. You can share your unique first-party data to reduce the pain points of buyers.

This is a win-win condition for all. While advertisers get their ROI, publishers deliver better user experience because the visitors will less likely see irrelevant ads on the webpages. Besides, buyers can attach their first-party audience data to a proposal during negotiations. So, make sure that you are using the feature to maximum advantage.

Add custom ad creatives.

Rich-media creatives and video creatives yield better results than display creatives. For a PMP deal, offering a variety of ad format types including video, display, and native sizes along with rich-media will boost the ad revenue to a great extent.

In addition, include custom ad sizes and formats that have a high impact across different devices for PMP deals. And make sure that high-performing ad sizes are kept at the higher floor price.

Leverage roadblocks.

Although header bidding has created a fair platform by leveling the buyers at the same level, it has also reduced the priority of buyers who are exclusively looking for direct access to the valuable ad inventories. Due to this fact, PMPs and various other solutions are being introduced in the marketplace.

One of such examples is Roadblock. Roadblocking is the feature that enables a publisher to display ads from a single advertiser on the same webpage at the same time. That means a 100% share of voice (SOV) for an advertiser. 

Optimize for better match rate and ad relevance.

From the standpoint of header bidding, it is recommended to have PMP partners on the client-side. Why do you need to do this? Because client-side header bidding offers better match rates as you can enable cookie-syncing via your ad-tech partner. 

Additionally, utilize key-value targeting in Google Ad Manager to enhance the targeting capabilities. Via key-value targeting, you can pass the context of the page, ad placements, etc., and allow the advertiser to display ads on the particular section or page.

Additional Tip: Ensure that the integration of PMP partners and header bidding partners is clean and both of the techniques deliver excellent results.

Offer a transparent deal.

Transparency matters. Whether it is a header bidding set-up or a PMP set-up, buyers are most likely to invest more time and budget where they find granular insights and better transparency. For this reason, DSPs acknowledge full domain URLs sent by the ad request in deals. 

However, many DSPs are limited to target the base domain and have no capability to go more granular. In such cases, publishers can offer contextual relevance to buyers within their PMP deals and encourage the targeting of the ads at the content level as well as position level.

Optimize ad viewability.

Ad viewability is the de facto metric that matters within the Private Marketplace and Open Marketplace. It can be overlooked in the open auction to some extent. But in Private Marketplace deals, the viewability score is something that cannot be neglected. So, if you have set long-term goals for your PMP deals, here are some strategies to help you optimize the viewability of your ad inventories.

Wrapping up

To summarize, start with the buyers who are spending the most on Programmatic Direct deals as well as Open Auctions. Such buyers are more likely to help you with expanding the PMP deals and maximizing the ad revenue. Once you have selected the best partners and understand the goals of advertisers, develop a strategy, and keep optimizing the deals in a regular interval of time. Still not able to meet your goals? Get in touch with us to help you out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Benefits of PMP Deals for Publishers?

  • PMP auctions allow a new way for publishers to fill their ad space. Instead of relying on the sales team, publishers can connect and make their inventory available to the selected advertisers via an ad server.
  • It ensures premium inventory, thus ensuring brand safety.
  • It prevents ad fraudsters and spoofers from siphoning the ad dollars. It offers a higher ROI for advertisers and higher CPMs for publishers.

How can I Troubleshoot PMP?

There may be multiple reasons why your PMPs are not working. First, check your PMP setup to ensure you are serving the inventory decided by the buyers on whitelisted domains, Geo’s, Devices, and also check the ads.txt file, If all these are correct and still you think there’s something wrong in PMPs then, the problem may be from the buyer side. Check the Frequency capping, targeting, What kind of inventories needed, get a commitment from the buyer that they’re buying 100% based on the segment you’re selling.

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