(Part 5 of a 5 part series on Holistic Yield Management) Introduction to Holistic Yield Management
The last post in the holistic management series is about your data.
Being able to collect, organize and leverage all the data that relates to your advertising business is critical to success in holistic yield management. As explained above, holistic yield management is about managing incremental revenue and opportunity costs across the advertising stack, sales channels and sales processes. While it requires the proper organisation, skills, and culture — the effort is useless if not properly fed by data. Your data is what your team, sales / operations / yield managers, will rely on to make informed choices, monitor the activity and measure the overall effect of all “localized” actions.
When we think of the complexity of holistic yield management, we have to think broadly when it comes to data. Everything that relates to your advertising business should be considered: programmatic bid & revenue data, user data, direct campaign delivery data, header “wrapper” data, “general” market data and data from other parts of your business if it is relevant to advertising (ever consider ingesting revenue data from user subscriptions to manage floor prices to adjust advertising pressure and improve user experience & revenue together?).
The goal is to be able to collect and unify all of this data, and then to create a framework where you can easily access it, process it, shape it, and decision on it. That last part is important: this is where holistic decisions that increase revenue and reduce opportunity costs stem from. Decisioning is where you should be able to apply a number of techniques (basic comparisons, pattern detection, statistical analyses, applied machine learning, etc.) that will deliver more value than raw data alone. Based on our own experience, the most actionable insights are born from a clear idea of what you want to achieve and being smart when analyzing the data.
As with most of today’s publishers, you may not have the internal resources to both hire the right resources and create a unified data framework on your own (check out our Unify product :). For this conundrum, we have seen the best results from the publisher teams that first make sure they have the right people to assemble and make sense of solutions available in the market, understand the concepts, educate internally and drive the implementation of best practices then implement tools appropriate to the framework.
To share some ideas of what better understanding of your data would empower, here are a few examples based on our own experience:
- Better understand the value of your inventory vs. the behavior of demand, at the placement or “user segment” level, and thus better package / price your inventory.
- Better target buyers that require rich service (because of the incremental value they create for you) or instead marketing & promotion (because they are less active with you vs. your peers), better service demand with rich recommendations and campaign wrap ups to differentiate from competition.
- Improve your yield capabilities by monitoring conflicting situations and assessing opportunity costs. The goal is to keep opportunity costs under control and inform your next decisions to minimize them in future decisions.
- Better understand the dynamics of auctions in the header and derive yield actions as a result.
- Better analyze how the advertising business combines with your core business – you may have relationship with brands that goes beyond your programmatic and direct stack – and leverage that knowledge to offer more customized service to key buyers.
- Better monitor the result of your actions: what is the quantitative “holistic” impact of a change? Are you moving in the right direction?
All in all, rationalized data should give you and your team full visibility into your advertising business to inform all the small decisions that will drive great holistic results.
Working on the 4 streams outlined (impressions / channels / sales / data) is how we believe holistic yield management should be addressed in today’s complex era. The next articles on our blog will come back to each of these topics in more depth, to bring you additional insights. Let us know your thoughts below in the comments!