"The Sell-Sider" is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.
Tom Shields is CEO of Yieldex, a publisher yield optimization company.This is why publishers need to use all available information to set their floor price for an impression. Some of the information they might want is unavailable - agency or advertiser information, or certain re-targeting cookies - but any third party and publisher data can be incorporated. Then, sophisticated analysis is required to detect segments of inventory where floors should be raised or lowered - the closer to real-time the better. These algorithms will no doubt continue to be refined over the next several years.
Premium publishers have a much more complex problem: they also sell guaranteed impressions over a period of time. As long as those up-front CPM-based buys were much more valuable than the secondary channel, this was easy to solve: serve the guaranteed ads first, them look at the exchange or network. But as the secondary channel begins valuing some impressions more highly, the publisher needs to manage global yield optimization across multiple channels, and the floor-setting algorithms need to incorporate that data as well. This may seem like it's years off, but several of our customers have asked us about this capability, and we've applied for patents in this area.
Lots of three-letter acronyms have been proposed in the last couple of years, and it's way too early to tell what the final landscape will look like. That said, forward-thinking publishers who are looking at technology platforms to serve them for the next decade or so should be asking about their plans for Real-Time Selling.