Private marketplaces are a win/win for buyers and sellers

Private marketplaces are widely seen as a hot opportunity for brands and advertisers. In fact, advertising automation pioneer Barry Lowenthal recently declared that 2015 would be “the year of private marketplaces.” I agree.

Via private marketplaces, marketers are able to target specific audiences they covet and drive the results they seek, while major publishers and apps are able to earn a premium for the audiences they deliver. Better performance for marketers and higher yield for sellers: it’s definitely a win/win.

I’ve had the opportunity to look closely at private marketplace transactions for the past two years, and have observed that the most successful advertisers and publishers have some habits in common. Here are a few ways that buyers and sellers can ensure private marketplaces become a formidable medium for their business objectives, and not just a shallow foray into a new technology:

1.     Sellers: You miss selling 100% of the ad packages that you don’t create. Buyers can’t buy ad packages that they can’t see. If you are a premium publisher or app, the more unique ad packages you create, the more  revenue you will generate. The key, though, is creating unique packages that leverage your unique content, knowledge of your audience, higher value ad formats, and/or major events.

2.     Buyers: Data, like knowledge, is power. First-party advertiser data is gold, and buyers should use that data to deliver the right message, to the right user, at the right time. Private marketplaces, like programmatic in general, are about both buying media more efficiently and more effectively. Leveraging data drives up the effectiveness of media.

3.     Sellers: BYOD – Bring your own data. Buyers want to use private exchanges to purchase individual impressions within a fixed universe of publisher inventory, and to use a real-time auction to do so more intelligently. Consider using your data to create compelling ad packages, which are slices of inventory that help advertisers address specific goals and reach tailored audiences. You’ll increase the value of your inventory for marketers, and they’ll gladly pay a premium for a smarter way to buy.

4.     Buyers: The marketing funnel is your friend. Many buyers today use guaranteed buying to build brand awareness at the top of the marketing funnel. Building a targetable awareness segment moves your buy down the funnel from awareness to consideration, where private marketplaces enable you to deliver a more appropriate marketing message.

5.     Sellers: Activate your salespeople. The best publishers and apps have activated their salespeople to speak with agencies and advertisers about the marketing funnel. These salespeople realize that at any given time, advertisers are building awareness, consideration, and engagement to ultimately drive conversion — and there are budgets and campaigns associated with each level of the funnel. By empowering salespeople, the best sellers are capturing guaranteed and private marketplace spend from the same buyer.

6.     Buyers: Connect with real sellers and real consumers.Private marketplaces also address two major lightning-rod issues negatively impacting digital advertising today: fraudulent, non-human traffic and viewability. Private marketplaces are a better-lit environment for buyers who have been dealing with some of the bad actors in the space.

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