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The Exchange Rx: 4 Ways Ad Exchanges Must Get Better

Digiday

Digiday
August 4, 2014

Ad exchanges are looking for ways to step up their game. Global display advertising across the web, mobile Internet and apps continues its rapid climb –up by 32 percent last year, per Nielsen. And the volume of programmatically-traded advertising is rising with it. If the supply-side is to keep pace with the demand, it needs to move beyond standard integrations and pull interfaces.

Here, three DSPs serve tips on what exchanges need to do to push beyond the status quo.

Dial up the communication

Communication has its problems. Typically there’s a quarterly business review, but beyond that, there’s very little check-in.

“The better exchanges work closely with my team and take advantage of our partner program—lunch and learns and sponsorship events, beta releases and those types of things not only make more money, its going to make things easier to fix when there is a publisher that has an issue,” said Maureen Little, SVP of business and corporate development at Turn. “What you do want to do is make sure you have a really good baseline.”

Eye your inventory

With inventory – well, it’s complicated. Obviously, DSPs desire to eliminate any potential for fraud that they are sending through. Brand safety is an issue the entire industry still struggles with today. “To the extent that the exchanges can be more proactive in eliminating those supply sources from their offering is a win-win for everybody,” said Mike Monaco, VP of programmatic strategy and optimization at MediaMath. “It comes down to transparency in the end.” Buyers who Know exactly what a DSP is purchasing from the publisher are more motivated to be more willing to pay for that opportunity.

Turn’s Little gives credit to many exchanges in having human-based monitoring. Using tech that can scrape pages and look for the number of bad actors is vital, but the key, she said is having people on hand to spot check. “It’s really good to rank first by volume of traffic, but you also have to look at the websites that only serve up a few impressions, because we all know the Wall Street Journal likes nothing more than to find that one bad impression,” she said.

Start dealing with Deal ID

Deal ID is a much-craved concept industry-wide. It can flag or segment off specific inventory. How to start fixing Deal ID is one of the biggest topics right now, said Matt Sauls, SiteScout’s co-founder and VP of operations. Structures are being implemented where pre-fixed packages that advertisers can browse through and have a deal ready-and-waiting exist. But, the underlying technology has to be solved at scale. It isn’t just a searchable interface but actually houses recommendations, Turn’s Little pointed out. Here’s what it looks like: I have this inventory that matches your criteria, are you interested? Click yes or no. “It has to be a push interface, not just a pull interface,” she added.

Viewability’s visibility

An important metric, viewability is now becoming more interesting to people and should be ‘viewed’ as a critical statistic in the near future. But, Turn’s Little said it boils down to standards. “If you’re the exchange and you have a viewability metric and those two don’t match everybody is screwed,” she said. It’s Turn’s belief that eventually it will become a part of the ad server.

Added SiteScout’s Sauls on the future of working collaboratively: “I think the dream of what the perfect ad tech eco system will look like – a lot of people seem to agree on what that is.”

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