Leading Operations Online

As header bidding becomes increasingly commonplace, the initial thrill of ramped-up revenue has started to drop off a bit. That’s not to imply anyone who’s really seeing positive results via header is going to take those results for granted—in fact, almost as soon as header bidding itself became commonplace, so did the practice of onboarding as many demand partners as you have the dev resources to manage.

Basically, if header is going to work for your particular publisher business, there’s a good chance you’re or near a point where you know for sure that it’s working.

So the next step, big surprise, is to start optimizing, looking closely at the performance of your header partners and trying to figure out some kind of strategy to allow the best-performing partners to maximize results. And what that ends up looking like is a re-thinking of yield optimization strategy.

Among publishers who have...

While it once seemed the domain of the demand side, publishers are increasingly feeling more empowered when it comes to programmatic channels – in their wallets as well as their minds.

Recent evolutions in programmatic have improved publisher relationships with demand partners and succeeded in bumping up CPMs and overall revenue. The adoption of multiple SSPs and implementation of header bidding partners has become increasingly the norm for publishers, which has given them a clearer view of what all their inventory is worth. 

These developments also pull sales and ops teams out of their old silos so they can work more closely together on effective yield management. In particular, header bidding facilitates deeper business relationships between publishers and their preferred buyers. People who should have been talking to each other for years are finally locked in conversation, and transparency can only be a positive...

In a recent column about the creative slump, I commented: “At Cannes, the talk of the town was virtual reality; yet remember when augmented reality via smartphones was supposed to be the next big thing? It was a neat gimmick, but not one that scales (or keeps consumer interest). How long do you think it will take for the novelty of VR creative to wear off?”

That was a week before Pokémon Go came out, and now I’m feeling a bit like Grandpa Simpson: “I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me….”

For anyone puzzled as to why many people are glued to their smartphone screens throwing virtual red and white balls to attack imaginary creatures,...

Here’s an experiment I’m dying to try out: At the next industry event (AdMonsters or other), I want to see how quickly the conversation about header bidding turns into potshots aimed at Google. Based on what I’ve seen lately, my guess is that it’s almost as fast as the response time of a typical header bidding partner.

Lost in a lot of the discussion is that header bidding has been around for a long time. I recall Criteo pushing header bidding back in 2013 at AdMonsters Publisher Forums, though it didn’t have a “sexy” name like header bidding.

The wide publisher adoption of header bidding is relatively recent and it’s because people figured out that the system was rigged: the auction process was conducted to the advantage of Google and not the publishers from a revenue standpoint (read more about it here). Once word got out that publishers were seeing double-digit revenue growth with this...

The other week when someone asked me by email if I was going to Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, I wrote back, “Do I look like I’m the type to go to Cannes? If I wanted to go to an overcrowded waterfront with a bunch of bloated Europeans, I’d catch a train to Brighton Beach.

“In other words: no, the company wouldn’t pay for it and I’m going to drown my sorrows in kvass at Brighton Beach.”

I haven’t really cared about Cannes in the past because itseemed like a bit of a creative agency… “Mutual admiration society” is the non-vulgar term. The only plus side would be drinking on someone else’s tab while enjoying sunsets on the French Riviera. I’d just hope they’d have something to drink other than Rosé. (Cognac? Well, I guess if there’s no bourbon…)

However, in the last few years a voice has been saying inside my head (in a...

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