Ad Operation: What Programmatic Traders Easily Overlook

With the maturity of programmatic buying continues to develop, Programmatic Traders are well trained and equipped to operate their DSPs to get the most from their OMP and PMP deals. 


Traders are able to build effective strategies from DSP functionality, which includes;

-Frequency capping - to optimize campaign efficiency

-Brand Safety tools - 3rd party verification partners  to clear the way for safe ad delivery

-Third-party data access - data segments to apply against inventory to reduce wastage and improve performance 

While these are all amazing means to achieve better results, there’s one perspective which often gets overlooked, the role of publishers in 1-1 PMP trades.


The best publishers are committed to deliver the best campaign performance and ROI for their advertisers. Their in-house ad operation team could play a crucial part in PMP, or what we often refer as Premium Programmatic trade. Here is how;


Experts across O&O inventory - Publishers have access to the most granular level of insights across their owned and operated properties, from devices, sections, down to ad units. With an experienced ad operation team, they are able to work closely with traders to align on clients objectives and set up campaigns into placements that meet the desired outcome.


2nd Party Data - Publishers are the only ones that have direct relationships with their users. The best publishers will be able to leverage on their understanding of users to make informed decisions on ad placements or to create audience segments that synergies with campaign objectives, and be able to set up the campaign for success.


Example of Publisher Participation

In SCMP, our ad operation and revenue insights team work behind the scenes to map all ad units across pages and platforms to ensure our reporting goes beyond just delivery and deeper into performance against page types, topics, devices, etc.


Coupled with our proprietary tools Lighthouse (Asia first publisher built 1st-party data platform) and Signal (Campaign Asia 2021 MVP brand-suitability tool), the team has been developing media strategies for our advertisers with no extra cost to facilitate smooth and effective delivery, while working with 3rd party tools of their choice to reduce discrepancies.


We also provide next to real time dashboards to our clients on all premium programmatic campaigns, showing performance insights that drive optimization. The ad operation team will then guide the trader to maximize deal performance with complete transparency.


Where to start

Publishers play an irreplaceable role in maximising premium programmatic trade because of their deep understanding into their properties and audience. It is strongly recommended;

For publishers, to equip the ops team with ad performance data that reflects the nuances among pages and ad units. The more granular you can segment the data, the more flexible you will be able to adjust buying tactics. Creating performance benchmarks in spreadsheets could be a good start; then work with your data engineer to extract the data at scale which allows trends and forecasts. Providing transparency would then be the next step to build trust with buyers.


For traders, to start incorporating publisher’s ad operation capacity into your media evaluation, and communicating your objectives and expectations to those partners. It would help better navigate the fragmented marketplace in the post-cookie era, taking your buying to the next level. 


Click here to view the full synopsis in pdf version


Author: Kenny Cheung, Director, Product, Innovation and Partnership, SCMP

Kenny Cheung

Please address any questions or comments about this blog to 

Alvina Chan, Secretariat Office, IAB (Hong Kong) -