Leading Operations Online

I’ve been threatening on twitter (@MarkMcEachran) to write a book on the things publishers need to know about Real-Time Bidding (RTB).  At the Rubicon Project, we like to talk about ‘RTB Done Right’ and how to help publishers understand what’s really going on. With a full-time day job I don’t have quite enough time to bang out chapter after chapter of really fascinating business and technical aspects of RTB, so I thought I’d do a Top 10 list.  I started watching the Late Show with David Letterman to get the format down and then I popped over to a bunch of sites to make sure I wasn’t producing a fluff SEO piece.  So based on what myself and our team has learned, here are the Top 10 Things Publishers Need To Know About Real-Time Bidding.


1. Transparency is a two-way street.

Some publishers are concerned about the data being passed to DSPs when a bid is solicited (URL, namely), but it should be noted that the DSPs deliver valuable information with each bid.  When...

In real estate, they say that location is everything. Real estate agents young and old can preach all day long about how location dictates price and demand and shapes the market. Location has different meanings, and in the world of real estate it’s commonly applied on three different levels: city, neighborhood and situation.

Online display advertising works in a very similar fashion to real estate, and you can apply the same three-tiered approach to determine an ads quality, safety, and relevancy. Instead of city, neighborhood and situation, it’s the domain, channel and situation that determine the value of an ad placement.

When hunting for a new home or apartment, the first decision is often the city. Manhattan has things that Brooklyn doesn’t (not knocking Brooklyn), and real estate buyers pay for that prestige and association. That’s location at its most basic level, and it’s easily applicable to online advertising at the URL level. Brands buy advertising from a publisher because they want to be associated with that name. Buying on Oprah.com is a strong association, and just like how some residents will swear that New York City has everything, some...

August 18, 2011 video Jason Burke

How many of you know that Morgan Stanley’s advisory services division drives more than 15 percent of that firm’s annual revenue? That should come as no surprise, although it’s still shocking that so few of us use financial advisors. Financial planning is a complex undertaking with trained professionals who do this for their living. What makes someone not trained on the thousands of particulars, think they can do as well? Keep that metaphor in your mind as you read on.


As with the above, the ever-changing video ad landscape is pushing publisher and content owners to work with partners who can guide them through the dozens of options and seemingly organized chaos of video advertising.


When Google bought YouTube in 2006, it triggered an explosion of video ad networks, platforms and exchanges in an attempt to be at the intersection where video-loving marketers meet video publisher/creators. But those needs vary significantly depending on the video supplier. NBA.com, and its live-streaming premium sports content, is significantly different from the private, nonprofit PBS.org. What MLB.com needs for managing advertising and eventual revenue...

August 17, 2011 ad exchanges Mimi Wotring

For years, the power structure in digital advertising has not resembled what most consumers would expect. Publishers, the entities that actually empower advertising by owning the relationships with consumers visiting their sites, generally aren’t the ones profiting the most.  This has been true for years, but is an even more prevalent norm today, despite the fact that more money is flowing from traditional media to interactive.

But this trend is shifting. Publishers are finally leveraging the tools needed to command higher rates and take back some of the power.  Newest among these is the single point-of-entry ad exchange, whereby like-minded publishers band together and pool their resources to sell their excess inventory through one single centralized hub.  The key to changing the game is that the ad-exchange platform where this inventory resides provides audience-targeting capabilities that used to be available only through intermediary third parties.

This process drives multiple benefits.  To begin with, it gives advertisers the audience insight they want, including better estimates of age, gender, demographic and interests, when...

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to jump down to Mexico City for IAB Mexico's Conecta conference. It was my first visit to Mexico and also my first time at Conecta, and it proved to be a very productive and enjoyable trip. Thanks to my old friend Dave Morgan for introducing me to Bianca Weishäupl of IAB Mexico (@bianca_iabmx) – and to Bianca for her invitation. 

#iabconecta turned out to be the biggest online media conference in Mexico, and Bianca and her team did a great job of putting on an exciting and engaging event. There's a ton going on in online media in Mexico and Latin America, and there were more than a thousand online media leaders at Conecta, all very engaged and excited about prospects for further...

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