But the problem was that Egmont’s private marketplaces, although priced at premiums, were trafficked at too low of a priority in its ad server. Lower-priced direct deals won over private marketplace deals that would have paid twice as much.
“We couldn’t deliver what they were buying,” Näslund said.
The solution was to add a header bidder and prioritize the private marketplace higher. Egmont chose PubMatic’s header bidding solution, which it is in the final stages of testing.
Although the decision to prioritize private marketplaces wasn’t initially popular, Näslund sold the team on the fact that header bidding would enable Egmont to establish the true value of its inventory.
A $10 CPM buyer couldn’t previously trump a direct deal booked for $8 CPM. Now, a salesperson can go back to the direct buyer and tell them the inventory is worth $10, not $8.
“Header bidding made it easier for us to establish a market CPM,” Näslund said, which helps the sales team. “A market price is easier to sell to a buyer than a list price,” which is an arbitrary valuation of inventory.
The fact that programmatic deals are increasing the value of Egmont’s inventory is also a sign that, in Sweden at least, buying programmatically isn’t about achieving a lower price, but the ability to add in more data and decreasing the friction of buying.
Programmatic, ultimately, “is just a way to buy,” Näslund said. “A year or two ago it was buying cheap impressions, and today it’s a way to execute and analyze all your campaigns.”