Optimizing Publisher Buys Programmatically

By admin

  • May 28, 2024,

Programmatic buys are a way of digital advertising in which the buyer and the seller agree to sell and purchase the inventory directly from one another. For the longest time in digital media people have been buying many publishers’ inventories after having a conversation with the partner.

The marketing team then keep an excel collated record of the same. In this setup, however, one does not have a view of duplicated reach on these platforms (i.e., the same customer/s seeing ads multiple times across publishers at a frequency which is more than the desired frequency)

As the programmatic and ad serving ecosystem evolves, the answer to better reach tracking comes here. For quite some time now, ad serving platforms and programmatic DSPs have solved it.

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Knowing programmatic advertising gives brands the way to market that will streamline their efforts. There are six steps to showcase how programmatic advertising works in the marketplace:

1 – Publishers list available ad space on an exchange using a Supply Side Platform (SSP).

2 – The publisher website contains a way to send data to a Demand Side Platform (DMP) about the user, website, and ad space.

3 – An advertiser adjusts ad targeting and budget parameters using a Demand Side Platform (DSP).

4 – The DSP connects with the DMP to find inventory that suits the advertiser’s needs, then the request is sent to the auction.

5 – The exchange takes an ad to match with impression opportunities using algorithms.

6 – The DSP sends to SSP to display the ad to the user.

Types of Programmatic Buys

There are different types of direct deal campaigns, which include the following:

Private Auctions (or Private Marketplace – PMP, Private Exchange) – In this type, a select number of advertisers has access to an inventory segment at a set CPM price. The campaigns then compete at price-priority, winning and filling when they’re the highest bid. The buyers are not obligated to have a spend minimum. 

Preferred Deals (Programmatic Non-Guranteed) –  A more intimate, one-to-one discussion between a publisher and advertiser  where they agree on a price and terms for inventory. Preferred Deals give advertisers access by inventory because bids are prioritized over open-market. Advertisers are the ones in the preferred deals who aren’t obligated to have a spend minimum.

Programmatic Guaranteed Deals are almost like a preferred deal where the publisher and advertiser negotiate price and terms, but the purchase of inventory is guaranteed. Publishers get a guaranteed stream of incom, and advertisers get access to reserved, premium inventory.

Programmatic Buys – The Challenges

The key problem is controlling frequency across different publishers can be a challenge by running campaigns in silos. Considering the audiences overlapping with each other across multiple publishers are at a high rate the instances of Overexposures become higher. 

Additionally, a brand may find the task complicated by keeping a check over each media separately.  Thereby having no control over wastage of Marketing spends. However, with consolidating all your Publisher buys Programmatically, it helps you to optimize your overall Media spends more effectively. 

Few programmatic DSPs are equipped with consolidating all your Publisher deals together and there by applying a common frequency capping which further helps in avoiding overlap of audiences and reaching out to new users against the impressions saved by one common frequency.

Programmatic Buys – The Benefits

Below are the benefits of running a Publisher deal Programmatically via a DSP:


A PG Deal gives transparency to the Advertiser showcasing where the Ads are being run by the Publisher, unlike a Direct Deal where the Advertiser has no direct view for the same and the dependency is largely on the excel sheet shared by the partner. 

Ad-serving platforms can also achieve this with great ease. You can build relationships with buyers more directly, which helps increase trust and loyalty.

Guaranteed Inventory on CPM buying

In a PG Deal an Advertiser gets a guaranteed number of Impressions especially at a fixed Cost-per-thousand (CPM), which is not the case in an Open Auction campaign. So if you are sure about the publisher/site, in terms of audience and brand sync, then going this (PG deal) route is better.

Direct campaigns also generate above-average CPMs by grouping valuable traffic to give the buyer more confidence in the purchase. Publishers who incorporate direct ad sales improve eCPM than other publishers relying on the bids from open-market.

User level frequency capping 

Through a PG Deal, an Advertiser can restrict over exposure caused by running Direct deals in silos and overexposing the audiences more than the required frequency. It can be wasteful of impressions when there’s too much exposure.

Incremental Reach

Through consolidating PG buys and applying campaign-level frequency it helps in widening audience reach to incremental users within the same media spends. Since consolidating multiple PG buys under a single campaign it helps in saving Overlap within audiences as well.

Re-investment of Media Spends

By consolidating multiple PG Deals under a single campaign and applying frequency over the same, the DSP can reduce Impression wastage, which is then re-invested into reaching out to additional users within the same amount, unlike a Direct deal, where the Advertiser doesn’t have the visibility of consolidated savings.

One view

A DSP helps the Advertiser get a single view, avoiding the hassle of switching between different media buys and managing multiple data points. It also saves a ton of time when needing to purchase in real time to keep up with demand.

Audience and Demographic layering

Layering Affinity and In-Market audiences are available in some DSPs like DV360, and clubbing the same with demographic targeting in age and gender provides a more refined result.

Live Dashboard

Programmatic DSPs provide a dashboard that helps get a view of the Additional users reached through common frequency capping on a real-time basis. This also solves for proper data keeping, which is otherwise missed when multiple separate Excels are managed.

Conclusion: A Case Study

In a case study published with Google and HDFC Life, all consolidating PG buys were under one campaign. It limited overexposure caused by the execution of campaigns directly, and applied campaign-level frequency.

Additionally, DV360 reinvested the funds saved by common frequency capping to reach out to more users within the same budget. The overall media savings due to this activity are around 12-15% where and then the incremental reach was at 4.3M.

The moral is that you don’t have to spend as much on ads when you use Programmatic buys, and you can end up with far superior results. Master the art of effective advertising and adapt programmatic buys for optimization.

Related Blogs