Partnership advertising is tricky: once we’ve made a lot of connections we tend to relax and forget about an important thing — marketplace optimization. Even though partnership marketing isn’t rocket science, the significance of it can’t be underestimated if you operate your own programmatic white label solution like ad exchange. The point is not only to maximize the number of potential partners but also to find the right ones and match demand with supply in order to keep your marketplace really profitable.

How advertising partnerships impact the profitability of your network

Partnership ad technologies that you team up with are represented by SSPs and DSPs, each of which you select and integrate individually. How to configure endpoints for each partner you can find in SmartHub documentation, however, the quality of partners you select will directly impact the outcomes of media-trading, here’s why:

  • Inventory Quality. The traffic quality will depend on each taken SSP you select and the way it manages traffic from publishers. Ideally, you want 0% invalid traffic on your ad exchange along with brand-safe inventory that DSPs will buy actively and without hesitation. Luckily, with round-the-clock Protected Media, Forensic, and other safety scanners keeping traffic healthy is pretty much an easy task on your SmartHub. 

  • Transparency. To incorporate transparency into your supply chain means that you have up-to-date mapping regarding inventory types, prices, quality, and origins. DSPs will buy inventory more actively knowing who they buy from and at what price. With transparent stats and seller authorization tools available at SmartHub you can keep your system transparent at all times. 

  • Matched traffic. SmartHub supports a variety of ad format sizes and resolutions: video ad formats, banner ad formats, rich media ad formats, playable, rewarded, to name a few. Thus, for instance, if SSP partners in your marketplace generate 60% of in-app video traffic, it is important that DSPs could buy specifically this traffic type. If DSPs massively seek banners, rich media, or let’s say the desktop and mobile web video traffic, demand and supply will not match. Thus, the bids will most certainly be wasted. And we want completely different outcomes, right?

  • Targeting. SmartHub provides owners with a strong targeting mechanism that makes it easy to send your DSP partners the relevant traffic according to preferable parameters (Countries, Sizes, Bidfloors, Connection type, Device OS, etc). Plus, the cookie-sync mechanism aligns information about target audiences between SSPs and DSPs so that information about the same user is always updated and audience targeting is hyper precise. 

Partnership advertising: important steps to follow choosing DSPs and SSPs

Advertising partnerships as you see will heavily define the effectiveness of your network functioning. That’s why it is crucial to pinpoint the following strategical and technical details before you make the final choice and connect partner:

  • Carefully analyze documentation provided by the vendor and consult their team regarding basic tech details, e.g the connection type (OpenRTB, VAST, etc.). Ensure that DSP’s bidder is compatible with SSPs’ versions of the OpenRTB protocol.

  • Find out if the vendor has specific requirements (e.g SSPs may have min. monthly account spend).

  • Revise what kind of ad quality standards SSP has in place, what kind of traffic they provide, ad categories they accept, and user data they accumulate. 

  • Determine if SSP is open to practicing joined inventory quality standards and initiatives.

  • Monitor if partners have a strict budget-control component and whether it will be sufficient for you. 

  • Partnership advertising ads should have the right price logic in place to satisfy all network participants and bring profit to you. That’s why you need to determine a suitable traffic cost (e.g per format) from a prospective DSP partner. Then, negotiate a little lower price with your SSP partner so that the rest would make your commission from sale.

Pro-tip for striking profitable partnership ad campaigns 

Our professional account managers suggest following a handful of lifehacks for tuning-up the right partnership in advertising:

  • Verifying credit checks. The partner can provide you with 3 companies it works with, you can contact them directly and find out the amount of average check this company pays. This way you can understand how much a DSP partner spends on average.

  • Verifying performance. If benchmarks are available, ask for the metrics of viewability ad fraud percentage, median traffic volumes (direct/indirect), what other partners they collaborate with, what minimum price they apply. Send them a questionnaire where you list all of those questions.

  • Assessing their experience and staff. Ideally, your partner should have enough experience. Find out when the company was founded: make research using LinkedIn. Find out how big their staff is, write them an email and schedule a call if you are both ready for collaboration.

If you already have partners integrated:

  • Use traffic throttling. Map out how SSPs content categories match to DSPs will help to understand potential gaps. Traffic throttling system of SmartHub will help you analyze what kind of traffic is most preferred by each DSP. If DSP bids on this or that traffic type actively, it means that next time the system will channel more of such traffic towards it.

  • Analyze bid requests. Using the functionality of SmartHub, monitor the bid requests to make sure that DSPs don’t have time out issues. 

  • Examine generated stats. Monitor requests logs that are getting saved on your SmartHub during the period: bid floors, and traffic sources are analyzed in order to provide the owner with dashboard notifications in case changes need to be made. Determine who sends the lowest and highest bid rates, which ad formats and sizes bring the best profit in order to improve performance.

  • Eliminate discrepancies. Regularly generate reports regarding your SmartHub performance. With new functions and updates rolled out every month you can easily pinpoint discrepancies in reporting and billing and investigate sources of such. 

To sum up: test, analyze and grow trusted connections

Partnership in advertising should always be powered by trust and efficiency because these two are the most important things when it comes to running your own ad marketplace. That is exactly why we advise you to properly assess your demand and supply partners before integrating them into your ad exchange. Use traffic navigation tools to match demand with supply and to make sure that ads are strategically placed on areas that really bring impressions.

The more good-quality and relevant traffic comes from your supply partners, the more inventory will be bought by demand, and more revenues you will be able to receive as a result. 

Impact the profitability of your marketplace. Scale, customize, and develop it with SmatHub!

Written by
Oleg Tymchyshyn, Head of SaaS Sales and Business of SmartyAds
May 2020