(This is Chapter 11 of the Adomik Programmatic Yield Management Handbook)
Programmatic analytics is a relatively new practice that when mastered, will dramatically impact the health of the independant publisher ecosystem
The first step to taking control of your programmatic revenue is understanding market activity on the exchange. In this chapter we will guide you through two key analytics concerns:
- What to look for in daily analytics checks
- How to look at the open exchange marketplace
The insights you gain from bid-level data analytics is foundational in not only keeping a pulse on the open exchange (RTB) but also informing your overall programmatic strategy.
A problem (until recently) in reaching deep understanding is a lack of seller-centric analytics tools that provide accessible and actionable insights against the massive amount of data that programmatic commerce generates. Most publisher yield teams have been flying blind…and don’t know about how inventory is performing on the open exchange. Programmatic analytics tools like Adomik’s Bid Analyzer can help shine light on your seller trading data to glean insights about inventory and demand partners, making for better decision making.
Publishers need to master their trading data — the bid level data from the exchange about your auctions. This data tells the story of the inventory’s exchange performance. With this data, publishers can keep an eye on trends and deep dive on both supply and demand to empower their business decisions.
For the purposes of this post, we use screenshots from Adomik’s programmatic analytics software to demonstrate best practices. These reporting tools are organized based on the types of queries you have about your programmatic performance. Included in the Adomik toolset are a Performance Dashboard (trends and actionable overview), Demand Overview (for buyer’s bidding behavior), Value Analysis tools (for competition levels and bid price activity on inventory), Auction Simulations (to simulate fill rate and CPM at potential hard floor prices), and Blocklist Impact tracking (for insight on disqualified revenue). If you want to see a demo of these tools, click here.
What should I look for in a daily analytics check?
On a daily basis, sellers should take the pulse of the performance trends of their programmatic inventory. These trends may raise questions about your supply or demand partners that require use of a more in-depth analysis.
The screenshot below gives you a great starting place to analyze your programmatic activity. Review revenue, volume, top buyers, and blocklist opportunity trends. Trendspotting can be the beginning of your daily checks. A few questions you’ll want to ask are:
- Why is the eCPM changing?
- Why is my revenue trending up or down?
- Can I find more incremental revenue opportunity today?
- Is there significant revenue I am blocking or losing each day?
- Once you have your initial guiding question, click into any of these charts to go directly into the relevant tool for detailed reporting.
If you have a yield management strategy (using floor rules to control the CPM you see on the exchange) or a private marketplace strategy (using Deal IDs to offer specific inventory to your buyers), you’ll need to keep a pulse on this activity as well. Look for trendline charts on the revenue gains of your yield management strategy and the CPM on the open RTB exchange. You’ll also want to review private marketplace deal revenue trends and hot deal opportunities.
Using analytics tools like Adomik’s Performance Dashboard you can see the ecosystem of buyers on your inventory. If you are a network, look at how your publishers are comparing in performance. If you are a publisher with multiple sites, look at how your sites are comparing in performance. Seek to understand how buyers are changing in terms of their rank in revenue spend or average CPMs. If the market composition of buyer demand is changing, you might need to adjust your strategies. If you see a buyer dropping bids or interest, reach out to find out why.
How do I look at the market activity on the open exchange?
Beyond basic performance analytics, you should use analytics tools to understand buyer behavior on the open exchange. Because the open exchange operates with second price auctions, knowing your buyer’s bidding behavior can inform your pricing strategy and inform you on which inventory is valuable. Knowing the range of bid density (competition) on your auctions is hugely instructive to understand what inventory is valuable (and should help you inform your content production!). For instance, when you understand buying trends you can do things like tap into seasonal market trends to more effectively manage your programmatic yield and sales strategies.
Adomik uses a metric called Bid Reduction to track market conditions. Bid reduction compares the average winning bid price to the actual clearing CPM price, then calculates the bid reduction as the percentage this delta represents.
Observing Bid Reduction and the competition on your inventory helps you to understand trends of how buyers value your inventory. You can also review specific buyer bidding behavior and develop data-driven relationships with your buyers to increase their spend on your inventory. As you know more about what they are interested in, you can share with buyers information that will help them activate more media with small changes in their bidding strategies.
Track this bid reduction rate to understand how your business constraints (including minimum CPM requirements or hard floor prices) or yield optimization strategies are affecting your CPM in light of how much buyers are willing to pay for your inventory. (For more details on yield management, check out future blog posts).
- Start with daily checks of performance trends and market conditions.
- As your curiosity takes you into deep dive bid analytics tools, you will become smarter at managing your programmatic strategy and find better ways to control your programmatic revenue.
- Ask for an Adomik Bid analytics demo or talk with your Adomik Account Manager for more details and strategic consultation.
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