Server-side header bidding would minimize latency by avoiding the bottleneck caused by running auctions in a user’s browser. And Kwak likes that Bankrate will maintain its own financial relationships with its partners. “We collect the check from the demand source, not from Sonobi,” she said. Other server-side solutions have the intermediary handle payments.
While SSPs have traditionally been valued by publishers by how big of a check they can write, that wasn’t why Kwak chose the tech, she said. Instead, Bankrate plans to use the server-side bidding as a tool to bring in header-bidding demand partners.
During the implementation of server-side header bidding next year, Bankrate plans to move its SSP partners in the ad server to a spot within Sonobi’s solution. Kwak identified a number of demand partners that she wants to fold into the solution.
Implementing server-side header bidding requires more than just dropping a tag on the page. Testing latency will be the biggest focus, but Bankrate also plans to run tests to ensure that the code on page (which then calls the connected servers and runs the auction) doesn’t interfere with any other of the site code.
Bankrate collects all of its bid data in order to measure revenue per page. As the implementation progresses, it will connect to places like Google Analytics to compare revenue per page against other metrics like bounce rate and page load speed.
Bankrate needs to collect data because it guarantees certain KPIs, like cost per lead/click/acquisition, for its clients.
“The direct strategy is following what’s happening in programmatic,” Kwak said. “[Advertisers] are going to cherry-pick the audiences they want, whether they are retargeting or driving to a certain KPI, or looking for data matching. I don’t see any friction between the direct and programmatic side.”