Are Programmatic Demand Vendors Becoming An Endangered Species?

Are programmatic demand vendors becoming an endangered species like the Sirocco Kakapo parrot of New Zealand? Well, if they’re not careful they just might be. Surely, I jest, but in all seriousness, many SSPs aren’t giving publishers the data they need to optimize their programmatic yield and meet revenue goals. “If you don’t have datasets inline with publishers’ needs, will you become extinct? Are you an endangered species? Will you alienate publishers and lose business over time?” asks Dan Lawton, CMO of Ad-Juster.

Since publishers don’t often have all of the resources required to make informed decisions about whom to partner with and what each partners’ data capabilities are, Ad-Juster, a SaaS provider of unified data reporting and analytics for digital advertising, acting as a sort of intermediary between publishers and vendors, has developed the Ad-Juster Programmatic Scorecard, evaluating the top 10 programmatic demand partners based on how well they meet the essential data publishers need to grow their businesses.

While Google’ holds the number one spot on Ad-Juster’s Programmatic Scorecard, even they still have some work to do. “We are totally open to modifying and refining this reporting with input from vendors. We understand that these datasets change all of the time. Demand partners are always improving and investing in better reporting and we want to capture that over time,” says Lawton. “We can see doing another Scorecard in six months and seeing how companies move around.”

Overall, the Scorecard looks at how well demand partners meet what Ad-Justers is calling Minimum Viable Reporting (MVR) standards, the basic reporting offering necessary to work with a data partner, across seven data-related categories, including availability of fields, consolidated reporting, and data variances, with final scores weighted towards the most important criteria. These include any variances in data between a vendor’s user interface (UI) and API. In total, there are 12 core data fields that have been deemed essential for publishers needs, including revenue, clicks and impression, among other crucial fields.

“We have witnessed extensive investments and adoption for ad buyers measuring the effectiveness of their advertising buys. However, until now, there’s been little attention given to ensuring that publishers have the insights they need to maximize their results,” says Dennis Clerke, Ad-Juster CEO. “With our new Ad-Juster Programmatic Scorecard and Minimum Viable Reporting standards, publishers now have a standard set of criteria to evaluate the ability of demand partners to meet their data and analytics needs. At the same time, demand partners can use our MVR standards to better understand and support publishers. We believe the resulting discussions will be important in evolving programmatic advertising toward greater transparency and optimization.”

MVRs were determined in conversations with the over 100 publishers that Ad-Juster works with. As for the Party Parrot emoji being used on the Programmatic Scorecard, they’re representative of an animal advocacy push to bring attention to a species we could soon lose. Likewise, they represent vendor scores broken into four Party Parrot ratings—Endangered, At Risk, Stable, and Thriving.

You can download the full report on the MVR standards and the Summer 2019 Ad-Juster Programmatic Scorecard here.