In adtech, everyone tries to stay simple. But, no one ever succeeded. It might be because of the complex auctions or tech intermediaries or heaps of proprietary solutions (that’s what they say) or it’s just the misconceptions. We can’t do much about others, however, facts can clear the myths. So, in this piece, we try to bust the five common programmatic myths to help you increase your ad revenue.
Let’s start off with the most common one. Shall we?
1. Higher fill rates = Higher revenue
Aiming for higher fill rates is great; only when you’re considering CPMs too. For instance, if you have a choice to pick up a campaign with $5 CPM and 50% ad fill, and $2 CPM and 100% ad fill, what would you choose?
Your answer should be the former. Why?
eCPM of the first campaign is $2.5, which is greater than the latter. Besides, you’re earning more with less fill. So, next time don’t go for 100% fill rate. Instead, crunch the number to get an estimated revenue and then, make a decision.
You may ask what to do with the blank impressions?
Implement header bidding in the right way. Backfills are gone for good.
Stop hardcoding ad placements and dynamically create ads. (Refer – Reflex)
2. More Demand Partners = More Revenue
Granted, the point of adding more demand partners is to increase the revenue. But what is the use of demands if they’re not going to fill your inventories.
“An average bidder, bid only for 40-50% of available inventory”
– Roxot Prebid Analytics.
Besides, increased competition isn’t the only reason for the success of header bidding (source). Hence, stop adding more demand partners with the goal of increasing your revenue. In fact, the opposite may happen as users will bounce off much faster with the increased page load times.
Analyze the performance of each bidder partners over time and keep the ones who are bidding well. At Automatad, whenever we partner with a new publisher, we test and measure the performance of bidder partners over time. And, then make the move.
3. Higher no of Ads = Higher Revenue
Okay, you might have heard this before. If you follow us, then you’ll know this isn’t the first time we’re going against it. Whenever we hear publishers’ request to increase the number of ad units, we’ll give them a
simple ‘why’ face.
Increasing the number of ad units will not improve your revenue. Here are the reasons:
- Lousy user experience resulting in higher bounce rates.
- Decreased ad viewability.
What should you do instead?
Let your ad ops team optimize the ad placements based on viewability and eCPM. Use tools like hotjar to determine the right placements for the ad campaigns. If all else fails, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’re happy to help.
4. User Experience ≠ Ad Optimization Factor
When the Ad Ops teams work on optimizing your ad stack, do they consider user experience as a metric?
If not, you may need to redo your process again. Let us explain why.
The goal of ad optimization is to maximize the revenue. Although it sounds simple, testing, analyzing, and sometimes predicting several factors at a time is extremely daunting. From bidder partners to ad tags, everything should be taken into consideration. Most importantly, the users.
Again, without users, your revenue won’t be improved. Period.
How to make sure UX is also considered while optimizing?
Ask simple questions like how the user would it feel if I run ads on both sides of the page? Will it block the content in any way? etc. In fact, The Atlantic and The New York Times are experimenting with the UI to deliver a personalized experience.
5. Programmatic Inventories = Remnant Inventories
Gone are the days where publishers offered their inventories programmatically only when the sales team couldn’t find any suitable buyers. Now, several publishers (including Times Inc, Business Insider, etc.) consider programmatic as the essential source of their revenue.
A few premium publishers offer their impressions only through programmatic auctions (direct, open, and private). So, it’s not a remnant inventory. Not anymore.
“Programmatic Ad Inventory Shouldn’t be Viewed as the Remnant Inventory”
– Michael Dugan, CTO, Hearst Magazines
What we’ve shown here is from our own experience. Obviously, there are a lot of misconceptions exists in the programmatic advertising space and they all need to be busted.
Do you know the best way to stay informed?
Follow industry leaders and ask questions both externally (SSP, Bidders, ) and internally. The more you seek, the more you grow.