An Interview with Daniel Macdonald, Director, Programmatic Xaxis Americas.
When it comes to selling and buying media programmatically, Private Marketplaces (PMPs) are one of the fastest-growing buying methods of the ad-tech ecosystem, and it’s not hard to see why. PMPs allow sellers to participate in the success of a campaign by selecting the set of media/inventory and price that has the best performance for a particular buyer/advertiser.
In these closed exchanges, marketers and publishers can gain access to inventory/audiences that they can’t get in the Open Exchange. Additionally, they can enjoy the automation and targeting benefits of programmatic trading, without sacrificing the direct relationships typically associated with traditional media buying.
To learn more about what private marketplaces bring to the table, particularly when it comes to performance advertising, below is an interview with Daniel MacDonald, Xaxis Director of Programmatic.
What are some of the goals a private marketplace can help buyers achieve?
Daniel Macdonald (DM): There are a few. First, you can gain access to inventory and audiences that you can’t get in the Open Exchange. Not every publisher will put all their inventory in the Open Exchange – like domains, or specific audiences, or, in our case, with our Turbine data segments. That’s something you can only buy in our Xaxis Marketplace where we provide clients with exclusive access to quality inventory and can create comScore validated audience portraits and perform advanced analytics based on that inventory.
Second, private marketplaces can also help eliminate buyer competition. When you’re in the Open Exchange, it can be a bidding war. Private marketplaces provide a first look at the inventory before it hits the Open Exchange which can make things easier on buyers.
People often assume that the high-quality impressions available on PMPs are best used for branding campaigns. However, PMPs can also be really useful lower in the funnel. What kinds of brands should be looking at PMPs to drive performance?
DM: I would say all. What I see as a seller of private marketplaces is that they allow me to actually help pick and choose the inventory that I think will perform best for the client, no matter what their KPI is. These KPIs can be viewability, click-through rate, completion rate, or even something more direct-response focused.
In the Open Exchange, it’s on the buyer to optimize and hone in on what inventory works best, whereas in a private marketplace, we’re both participating in that. Therefore, both our expertise can be leveraged – the buyer’s expertise in the DSP and my expertise in inventory and leveraging our exclusive partnerships to access the highest quality inventory that aligns with a specific KPI. Together, we can optimize and heighten the performance outcome.
So, one of the big advantages is that the seller is working with the buyer to help them reach their goals?
DM: Exactly. In the Open Exchange, I’m putting my inventory up, buyers are putting their campaigns in, and then we kind of meet in the middle. With PMPs, we’re working together on a higher level to achieve the KPI goal.
Many buyers and sellers are having trouble negotiating the scale of PMP campaigns. Buyers are looking for precise targeting against certain audiences, domains and cookies, but they’re having trouble finding enough of the right impressions to satisfy publishers who want them to commit to spending a certain amount of money. How can buyers and sellers resolve this conflict?
DM: There needs to be an element of trust. A buyer shouldn’t need to add additional cookies on their end in the DSP or specific domain lists. In the conversation we’re having, I’m going to share with the buyer what the audiences are, who they look like, and what domains they’re going to be served on. By providing this transparency we can build honest and strong relationships with partners and validate our PMPs.
Of course, there will be times when buyers have to do some levels of targeting, but the buyer needs to be open about that, so the seller can make adjustments on their side to send inventory that matches that targeting. There needs to be a commitment from the buyer and the seller that they’re going to work together and communicate. The end goal is successful outcomes for both sides, after all.
Is there anything else buyers should be doing to get the most out of PMPs?
DM: Ask questions. Some buyers think that when they hear private marketplace, what goes along with it is Deal ID, but they are not synonymous. A lot of time, a PMP is transacted via a Deal ID, but a Deal ID can be set up as private or non-private. Just because a supplier sends you a Deal ID, that does not mean you’re getting something unique, or should I say, it doesn’t mean you’re getting a private marketplace.
When you get a Deal ID, make sure you ask detailed questions and look at your data to determine that your win-rates are high and that you’re working together towards reaching your goal.