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31/07/2017 Interview, Programmatic

Doing Inventory

The right person, the right time, the right ad … and the right place. Let’s talk to one of the persons, who is responsible for laying the ground work and making “the right place” happen. We interviewed Christian Eisenblätter, our Programmatic Sales Manager, to tell us more about the supply side in programmatic advertising.

Christian, what do you do at travel audience?

I make sure that we can serve ads on selected premium travel inventory. My job is to find and buy this inventory and make it available at the right time. Before I started at travel audience, I worked on the publishers side, selling premium inventory programmatically. So I have a good feeling for the publishers’ needs as well as their pain points, because I know their perspective.

Our Head of Business Development Christoph wrote an article on why it is safe to advertise with us, where he explained our overall setup. Can you elaborate a little bit on our current supply situation.

We are connected to seven major Supply Side Platforms and receive more than 50.000 bid requests per second on ten different European markets. Also, currently we have about 750 active private deals that purvey handpicked premium traffic from high quality travel and non-travel publishers.

You also presented our supply situation in depth to our team, talking about open auction vs. private deals. What was the outcome? What is better for our advertisers?

My favorit answer to difficult questions: it depends. The main purpose of the comparison was to show, that going into open auctions is not as bad as people might think bad at all. Most people think private deals mean premium and open auction stand for poor traffic. That is not necessarily true and this is what I was trying to show. We work with well managed URL-whitelists on the open auction and also make our machine learning algorithms pick the best performing traffic. There are numerous cases that show, how valuable open marketplaces can be. And I also think, the advertiser cares more about the quality, brand safety and performance of the channel i.e. reaching her goals, instead of focusing on the channel’s auction structure.

On the other hand, you cannot address the relevant target groups in a scalable travel campaign without private deals. But exclusivity and information always come at price; so it is always a tradeoff and a matter of the right mix.

And looking at your experience on the other side. What is better for the supply side?

The same here: It depends. Some publishers really focus on scaling there programmatic revenues by having the best sales men on board. It makes sense for them to sell inventory through private deals because you can count the amounts of deals that have been sold. And it is only appropriate for a publisher to segment their traffic into “blind” and “branded” inventory to sell on different rates. It allows to them to set up specific products that target specific audience groups or environments. But next to that, publishers gain more control on whose ads are shown on their page, and who is buying from them. In the beginning of programmatic advertising, losing control was a major concern for the supply side, and a reason for delayed adoption and programmatic monetization.

Nevertheless, you still need all those buyers out there, whom you haven’t been able to contact, yet; this way you can monetize your inventory properly and raise the pressure on auction-based requests. So, also for a publisher it is important to be good at both. You need a Private Market Place setup that attracts high potential buyers, but not without a properly functioning open auction system.

Thank you very much, Christian. We are looking forward to reading more from the supply side soon.

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