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If You Still Think Programmatic is Sold at a Lower Rate, Think Again

Tiffany Kelly | Industry Analysis | 5th November 2019
If You Still Think Programmatic is Sold at a Lower Rate, Think Again

Due to the ever-changing digital landscape, and thanks to laws like GDPR and CCPA, there’s a growing interest in programmatic guaranteed over RTB-driven programmatic buys. Yet, despite the growing interest, a large part of the industry still believes outdated misconceptions around the topic in general. 

Programmatic guaranteed is programmatic advertising in its simplest form. It allows publishers and buyers to cookie match and is a great way to build upon long-term relationships or create new ones. Sure, adoption can be difficult without the right team and structure in place, but the pros outweigh the cons.

Let’s walk through programmatic guaranteed facts with some proven stats from our customers who have given us permission to share.

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  • “Programmatic is just low-quality inventory that nobody wants to purchase.”
  • “If I sell programmatic guaranteed, advertisers will think they can purchase my premium inventory for remnant rates.”
  • “There’s no transparency in programmatic advertising.”
  • “Cookies are dying, programmatic is dying, online advertising is dying.”

If you’re still stuck on those beliefs, something may be dying - the opportunity to grow your digital revenue. All jokes aside, it’s not easy to stay up-to-date with every change in digital, especially in regards to programmatic.

Bonus: stay current with our Glossary of Programmatic Advertising Terminology.

What is programmatic guaranteed?

Programmatic guaranteed is a direct deal between one seller and one buyer. The publisher invites buyers to purchase their inventory, but there is no real-time bidding involved. The buyer and seller agree on a fixed rate and inventory, just like a traditional direct buy. 

Programmatic guaranteed is essentially a direct-sold campaign that is transacted through technology rather than the traditional method of buying and selling. There are no manual insertion orders like traditional direct campaigns, and there is no real-time bidding via an open auction, for example. 

I wouldn’t be selling my premium inventory at a lower rate?

No, in fact, most publishers sell programmatic guaranteed at the same rate as traditional direct, or higher. It’s selling the same premium inventory in a more automated fashion.

For additional context, we’ve asked six of our customers located in the U.S. and U.K., to share a few programmatic guaranteed stats. All six confirmed their PG rates were equal to traditional direct, or higher when selling the same products via each method.

So far in 2019, on average, PG display campaigns that were targeted to a specific section of a website and above the fold, were sold at a $13 CPM. The CPM increased when first-party audience data was applied and nearly tripled for PG pre-roll video. For larger legacy publishers, PG rates are even higher, of course.

What are some other advantages?

  • Financial efficiency – no need for manual insertion orders, discrepancy checks, manually re-entering data or chasing down payments.
  • PG transactions are paid out on a net 30-day basis, reducing overhead for finance teams by consolidating billing with just one total invoice and payment per month.
  • Advertisers receive the same premium placements as traditional direct orders but significantly reducing the number of steps to execute for both the buyer and seller.
  • Programmatic guaranteed ads tend to perform better than traditional direct, including higher view-through rates, due to the system automatically optimizing ad delivery.
  • The best of both worlds – the “human touch” combined with automation.
  • Programmatic guaranteed deals took publishers 57% less time to set up and manage than traditional direct ads.

So, the death of cookies and RTB won’t affect programmatic guaranteed?

In its current state, no. It’s a direct deal and allows the addition of first-party audience data for targeting. You’re purchasing a guaranteed amount of inventory and not competing with other advertisers via real-time bidding. 

With the apparent “death of cookies” and data privacy laws, programmatic is evolving, not dying. Spend is shifting from RTB to programmatic direct, as it’s still automated but also GDPR compliant.

As a publisher, can I book programmatic guaranteed campaigns in Adpoint?

Absolutely. You can manage the entire life-cycle of a PG campaign within Adpoint along with your other channels like events, sponsored content, and radio.

Push PG campaigns to GAM and request buyer acceptance from Adpoint with the click of a button. Execute buyer negotiations and communication, and retract or reopen to make changes if required. There’s no need to worry about manually entering buyer seat information (we automatically import and update that for you each day) and no need for double entry in multiple systems.

We check every 15 minutes for buyer acceptance and, once the buyer accepts, Adpoint starts pulling in delivery data. We’ve essentially mirrored GAM’s process to make it easy for you, and to keep things simple.

But unlike traditional direct, GAM still offers all sales management features for PG, right?

Not necessarily. GAM does offer the proposal and negotiation process with buyers, but you’d still be missing out on certain benefits Adpoint provides by managing PG directly in GAM. You wouldn’t have access to an extensive pre-built product catalog, rate cards, automated workflow and more. 

Let’s face it, no one wants to deal with adding a ton of targeting criteria or calculating rates each time they have to set up a campaign - that’s what product and pricing defaults are for. Change them on the fly if you need to if you have the proper permissions.

Don’t forget about the holistic view of revenue and data Adpoint provides. It’s crucial to have access to a detailed view of all revenue streams for yield management, future planning, and finance.

Still have unanswered questions? For further insight, or for an in-depth demo of programmatic guaranteed with Adpoint, fill out the form below or reach out to our Digital Product Manager, Tiffany, directly at tiffany.kelly@lineup.com.

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