DFP Premium and Inventory Management Tools
Hello Ad Ops and Inventory Analyst Friends,
After working on a number of inventory management projects with top-tier publishers over the past several years, I have come to believe that there is something lacking in the tools currently available to easily understand capacity/sell-through and to be able to easily distribute that information across an organization. I’d like to open up a discussion on the topic.
Using DFP Premium as a starting point – the current capabilities to view segments of inventory in a “Sell-through” report are extremely limited. Looking through the content targeting lens, I can only get Site Level + Size views. I can’t look at lower levels of the ad unit hierarchy (zones), and I can’t see any key value slices of inventory. It’s also very limited around mixing other dimensions into that view (geo, audience, etc). To get meaningful segments of inventory, I’m forced to use the “Check Inventory” function on a 1-at-a-time basis, which is just not feasible for reporting purposes.
I know DFP plans to kick up the horsepower on these reports in the future, but even so, I don't think DFP alone will solve what I’m looking for. One of the key limitations is that even if a DFP report were to provide the detail I need, some level of processing/formatting is typically required for the report to be actionable by the rest of the organization (and myself for that matter!).
What I want to solve for:
An actionable inventory report that would serve to provide management with a high-level overview of sell-through, give operations the visibility and awareness they need to steer the boat strategically and ensure fulfillment, and finally to inform the sales team.
What I would like to see:
1. Be able to define my own inventory segments with any mix of targeting and delivery parameters. I would like to define a small handful of segments that would serve as the key indicators of capacity/sell-through for my business. That would probably be somewhere between 15 and 100 segments on average.
a. These segments need to be laid out in user-friendly terms the entire business understands.
2. Be able to easily produce this report on some schedule – nightly, weekly, etc. – with a 3-6 month, monthly view. This report should be automatically generated and distributed via email to needing parties.
3. A plug-in for DFP that could also integrate with a contract/workflow system, SFDC, and possibly other sources of inventory data, like YieldEx.
• Incorporate rate card data. Include other metrics like dollars sold, average $ value of available inventory by product or segment
• Visibility into which clients/campaigns have booked which segments
• A view of the pipeline – sold vs. reserved vs. proposed
• Be able to pull ad-hoc reporting as needed with real-time results
• Be able to layer on things like geo-targeting, frequency capping as need to inform the generation of a plan
What are your challenges? What tools/methods are working for you? What would you like to see? I would love to hear your input!