Whereas buying on Google and Facebook is straightforward, most of the buyers and publishers are still locked into the slow Insertion Order (IO) workflow and manual deal setup for their direct relationships. Programmatic Direct is expected to skyrocket in the coming years but to realize its full potential, we will have to get rid of the traditional IO.

The manual IO workflow involves multiple back and forth between buyers and publishers. Transacting through platforms makes this workflow more efficient by;

• Providing publishers with a single platform to handle all their bookings.

• Helping publishers to get additional budgets, including some of the Small and Medium Business (SMB) budgets that was almost entirely spent on Google and Facebook before, thanks to lower transaction costs.

• Removing errors and reducing troubleshooting time thanks to trafficking automation. On the RTB channel, for example, deals are manually trafficked twice today (both on DSP and SSP) and may have different targetings which result in under delivery.


The new workflow like an e-commerce experience

1 – We let our publishers create their product catalogs on our UI and choose the activation channels for each product: Automated Guaranteed, Deal Discovery or both.

2 – We provide our buying platforms partners (Automated Guaranteed buying platforms and DSPs) with OpenDirect compliant APIs so that buyers can list our publishers’ product catalogs in their marketplaces UIs, check product availabilities, build their media plan by adding products to their basket and make proposals.

3 – Our publishers are able to validate the proposals, trafficking is then automated.

Update on the industry terms

A few words on channels as there are a lot of buzzwords in the adtech industry and it is sometimes difficult to follow;

• Programmatic Direct encompass Automated Guaranteed, Private Marketplaces, Direct Deals and Programmatic Guaranteed Deals.

• Automated Guaranteed stands for the automation of direct orders workflow, done through adservers APIs.

 Deal Discovery stands for the automation of Private Marketplaces, Direct Deals and Programmatic Guaranteed Deals workflows, all done through RTB pipes with deal IDs.

• Programmatic Guaranteed deals enable publishers and buyers to transact guaranteed volume over RTB pipes:

– Publisher guarantees that the DSP will receive an agreed number of bid requests.

– The DSP guarantees to bid on an agreed percentage of the bid requests.

– Publisher makes sure the Programmatic Guaranteed deal is prioritized in his ad server, resulting in the buyer creative being delivered to the end users.

– NB : the guaranteed information is usually sent to the DSP adding a custom parameter (guaranteed: 1) in the bid request’s deal object. It is not yet standardized in the IAB OpenRTB protocol.

In order to successfully transition to this new paradigm, the industry needs to gather around standards. Otherwise, integration costs for a buying platform will be too costly, having separate sets of APIs for each supply partner. At Smart AdServer, we are contributing to the IAB’s OpenDirect protocol and we firmly believe in its future;

• OpenDirect is already the standard for Automated Guaranteed.

• OpenDirect is also set to be the standard for others channels, starting with Deal Discovery (for RTB) and Digital Out Of Home.