(Part 3 of a 5 part series on Holistic Yield Management) Introduction to Holistic Yield Management
There are multiple sales channels that you can rely on today: programmatic open auctions, PMPs – some of these powered by your 1st party data with multiple flavors of Public, Private or Preferred, programmatic guaranteed, direct guaranteed, sponsorships and so on.
Being able to leverage all of these channels will ensure that you capture budgets from most campaigns available on the market.
That said, there are two points to address cautiously:
- Pricing should be managed “holistically”: making sure that you get a high CPM for your Open auction impressions thanks to high floors or high demand for a PMP thanks to a low Ask price might sound like a good idea… But you should always keep an eye on the scale of your prices across all your products. These prices have to reflect the value of your different offerings. As an example, it is likely that your 1st party data is more valuable than “nude” inventory in Open Auction, that guaranteed inventory is more valuable than a PMP, that some impressions are more interesting to demand in Open Auction than through direct campaigns. You should thus monitor the relative CPM of your different channels to avoid creating:
- Cheap ”routes”: as an example, the same buyer/brand pair might be able to buy the same inventory at a lower price in Deals than Open Auction.
- Opportunity costs: as an example, if you sell some inventory direct at a predefined CPM below the CPM realized in Open Auction… then it is likely that you are preventing Open Auction demand to buy you inventory for a better price than what you obtain in Direct.
- The operations team responsibilities should should cover all channels across Direct and Programmatic. Operations will thus have a complete view on how inventory is flowing through the stack. They will be able to manage transversal issues and potentially identify beforehand if a given action might have unexpected impact on another part of the business. As an example, if a key direct campaign does not deliver because of Open Auction competition, they will have the ability either to adjust priorities or increase Open Auction floors temporarily in order to “free some space” for the direct campaign. Or operations will be able to identify that a PMP is targeting inventory consumed by direct campaigns, with a low win rate as a result, and help to make appropriate recommendations for more suitable inventory.
We have mentioned it so many times in this blog: in the era of “holistic yield management”, leveraging a dedicated yield manager (who has the ability to tackle complex data issues) in your organization is a must-have. Any decent sized publisher needs a yield management practice to oversee and integrate the inter-relations among all of these sales channels.
Further to the examples above, the issue actually might not be to design the solution to identify all of the opportunity costs and incremental revenue issues coming from channel management. Simply to have a consolidated understanding of all the use cases and explaining them internally to drive the implementation of best-practices will generate tangible “holistic” benefits to the entire portfolio and all of its individual sales channels. If your budget allows, you can obtain individual channel experts with a very deep yield and data experience specific to open, deals, or direct. However, most publishers, large and small, rely on “broad shouldered” people that can, with the right tools, manage holistic yield while maintaining multiple yield channels.