The Private Marketplace and How it Can Help Fuel Your Business

Christopher YipChristopher Yip, Vice President of Marketplaces

Having spent most of the earlier part of my professional career in the lead generation space, I was a bit biased that it was the only real way to monetize your high-quality media. And maybe that was the case years ago, but with new advertising solutions coming to market at lightning speed, it is far from the truth now.
Over the years I noticed clients getting savvier – and in turn, pickier – about what they were willing to buy from publishers. I also continued to see increased competition to acquire media, especially paid.

These changes have forced publishers to look for additional ways to generate revenue from their traffic. Publishers typically go for easy options like display ads and Google Adsense. While those are great options, they are often unknowingly sabotaging their return on high-quality traffic. So how can publishers ensure they are getting the most bang for their buck, while still seeing optimal payouts for their most desirable visitors?

This is where private marketplaces come into play. Private marketplaces, all though not brand new, are relatively new to the ad tech space. We have typically seen them when talking about programmatic direct for display, but we see loads of opportunity in direct response advertising as well. It is critical that the publisher differentiates their traffic, as we know this is what will drive advertisers to pay top dollar for it. This concept is what really separates us from the traditional private marketplace model, and in turn, our product is different from programmatic direct in three main ways:

  • We focus on helping publishers capture value for high-intent consumers at the end of their purchase or lead funnels, instead of powering display ads
  • Our platform is RTB, which ensures market price and optimal payouts from advertisers
  • We do not have restrictions on size or type of ad, nor do we limit you on where the ad can be placed

Perhaps what is most attractive about our private marketplace to our clients is that it is designed to be completely incremental to their core business, no matter the existing model of monetization currently in place. We have helped some publishers generate upwards of up to 20-30% incremental revenue on top of their existing advertising solutions. There have also been some cases where CPC marketplaces have taken over as the core part of their monetization. It really just depends how aggressive you want to be.

So where is the downside? Well, private marketplaces are not for everyone. In order to have a successful private marketplace you need to have three main things:

  • High volume of traffic. You need to have enough quality traffic that direct advertisers will want to bid on it. Some advertisers have made it very clear that they will not bid directly on any source if it isn’t producing some minimum revenue or traffic volume.
  • Direct advertiser relationships. Your ability as a publisher to build direct relationships with advertisers is probably the most important thing when considering a private marketplace. Because this is a licensable software platform, if you are not able to do this because of resources, or not being large enough, private marketplaces are probably not for you.
  • The ability to create environments where users can express interest and intent. As I mentioned earlier, we are trying to help publishers get top dollar for their high-intent traffic. If you currently do not have the ability to produce this sort of traffic – and in turn don’t have high volume of buyers visiting your website – then our product may not be the best fit for you.