AdSlot wants to take out the Transactional RFP

AdSlot_RFPPublishers whose business model relies on ad revenue live and die by the transactional RFP: emails for possible ad campaigns that flood the inboxes of so many sales reps on a day-to-day basis. They include goals, key performance indicators, flight dates, and, most importantly, proposed budgets. Publishers will send out 100 emails a day to get a chance at these coveted RFPs, and, should they win a piece of business, will send countless more regarding creative and implementation.

In the digital age and dawn of programmatic ad buying, a new question has been raised: is it worth it? When you look at the ratio of pitches to wins on the publisher side, is a $50K-$100K buy worth the hours, nights, and possibly weekends of work it takes to execute it? Companies like AdSlot don’t think so and want to bring in a new way to buy premium inventory: programmatic direct.

“Programmatic” is probably the hottest buzz-word in advertising right now, but agencies and publishers alike are still trying to figure it out. Most associate it with the idea of real-time-bidding (RTB), where publishers auction off their remnant inventory to the highest bidder, but AdSlot and similar companies want to be clear: “programmatic direct” is NOT RTB. Instead, it is more of what it sounds like: a deal for guaranteed inventory executed with the aid of technology.

On AdSlot’s platform, a publisher can offer as much or as little of their guaranteed inventory as they choose, set it at the price they want, and then make it discoverable to buyers, so they can search and buy media on the spot. Payments, creative development and reporting are also handled on the platform, saving time and reducing headaches. The goal for AdSlot is to provide a workflow solution that serves all the publishers’ display ad offerings.

Many publishers are starting to shift inventory and dollars into automated systems. The largest players have, for the mostpart, started to embrace programmatic sales methods, but mostly in the forms of private exchanges and deal IDs, which only reach a small, pre-negotiated group of buyers. “Publishers are never going to release their premium inventory to a black box where they can’t set the price and don’t know who is buying….Agencies are not going to accept it because an auction removes their buying leverage,” AdSlot CEO Ian Lowe told AdExchanger, “In our platform, the publisher sets the price and the agency can negotiate with that. There is no bidding algorithm, there is no auction. What they want to do is to simply automate what they do now.”

Programmatic Direct sits below a publisher’s more involved custom deals, but is above their remnant inventory. It is perfect for advertisers looking for standard display deals which require no customization. For many publishers these deals are a large portion of revenue which are being squandered by the time it takes to pitch, execute, and complete. Programmatic Direct might be answer to premium, yet automated ad deals.


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