Slides of Our Lives: Take Action on Supply Path Optimization

Supply path optimization is having its moment, as fashionable industry jargon goes, but there’s really important substance behind the hype. In short: DSPs and agencies are adopting new strategies for optimizing their supply paths because header bidding has massively increased the queries they have to process, which puts strain on their tech infrastructure.

Amid all of those queries, they want to find the bids that are most likely to win their auctions. They’re using a variety of strategies, either algorithmic or manual, to locate those bids. The sell-side problem is, those strategies might not be what any given publisher wants. The buyers might be optimizing by giving preference to SSPs that aren’t actually the publisher’s preferred partners. And maybe there’s a good reason for that–maybe the publisher’s preferred SSP is following practices that are inconvenient or opaque from a DSP’s perspective.

So, it’s incumbent upon publishers to get in and make sure DSPs and SSPs are on the right, uh, path. Last month at our Publisher Forum in Nashville, Rachel Parkin, CafeMedia’s SVP, Strategy and Sales, led a lively and comprehensive session about how publishers can (and should) get involved in supply path optimization. If you’re a publisher, you’re going to want takeaways you can act on ASAP, so that’s what we’re sharing with you in this first installment of our Slides of Our Lives series.

Here’s Rachel’s slide addressing action items: You need to get on the phone or email, start conversations with all of your demand partners, your advertiser clients, and anyone else along the supply chain you can. Learn how they’re doing SPO, and let them know how those SPO strategies are beneficial or detrimental to you. Do housecleaning among your own partners–if any don’t comply with your business needs, it’s okay to cut them off. And look closely at how your selling strategies are contributing to the query overload buyers are experiencing. Take steps to simplify it.

Now keep this slide as a reminder of what you need to do.