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What is Programmatic Guaranteed?

Posted on the 19 October 2015 by Smartadblog @SmartAdServerEN

Ad tech companies continuously innovate and new terms appear almost every day to describe concepts and products. It can be confusing, sometimes…

Recently at Smart AdServer, we debated about the usage of the term: Programmatic Guaranteed.
We read the IAB definition and many articles written by ad tech players but we still had divergent opinions.
So, we thought it would be interesting to share our point of view about this topic.

First, let’s have a look at the IAB description of Programmatic Guaranteed (also named automated guaranteed, programmatic direct, programmatic premium, programmatic reserved…)

What is Programmatic Guaranteed?

It is a one-one sale with fixed pricing, reserved inventory, that is processed automatically.

The problem with this definition is that is doesn’t describe the operating mode. Yet distinct technology implementations can fit those criterias. So we think that two levels of programmatic guraranteed need to be identified.

programmatic guaranteed

Programmatic Guaranteed Via the Deal ID

It takes place in the context of OpenRTB and can be called guaranteed deal. Publishers and buyers negociate a fixed price for a reserved inventory. In the RTB platform, the publisher links a deal to a reserved inventory. This solution can only be implemented in a holistic platform like Smart RTB+ as the publisher has the full vision on what he sold directly through the traditional ad server and programmatic performances.
It is the first level because the transaction is processed with a solution initially designed for real time bidding but pushed to its limits to support “direct sales”.

Programmatic Guaranteed Via API of publishers’ ad servers

The ad tech market sees the emergence of new mechanisms specially designed to automate direct sales based on publishers ad servers’ API. IAB members set a standard: OpenDirect, in order to standardize these API and accelerate the development of these technologies. Publishers can then package and market their inventories with guaranteed volume.

Within a buying interface, buyers can directly access publishers packaged inventories. In the same way as with an e-commerce website, they can search and filter throughout publishers offers according to their desired criteria: site, format, device, targeting, pricing, etc. They can then benefit from publishers ad server capabilities to check available inventory, send booking request, traffick the campaign and access reports, all that from a single interface.
On their side, publishers can accept or refuse booking requests, validate creative files and even propose discounted price. They keep control on their inventory while leveraging additional sales.

The primary purpose of these technologies is to automate direct sales. It brings maximum flexibility and operational efficiency, so it enables publishers and media buyers to save time and money.

Even if buyers and sellers have adopted programmatic technologies, direct sales remain essential. These two implementations of programmatic guaranteed are complementary and bring relevant answers to different needs. What is at stake now for adtech players is to improve and standardize the solutions to ease interactions.

Photo by Jay Wennington

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By Aida Shillings
posted on 14 November at 17:30
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