As more and more mobile ad buying becomes programmatic the amount of direct interaction between publishers and advertisers has decreased, but the importance of it has not lessened. In addition to programmatic buying, there has also been a rise in self serve campaign setup and management for publishers. This further erodes the communication between the parties.
Even though publishers may be able to accomplish many of the tasks themselves, there will still come a point in time when they need to speak with the advertiser or mediation platform provider. There could be an issue they need to resolve such as ad requests not making it to the ad server or tracking down why certain data points are not being passed. Even if ad requests are being passed properly and getting to the advertiser, eventually they will want to discuss how to improve the fill rate or adjust the CPM in order to optimize revenue.
If the publisher and advertiser have had little to no previous interaction then the conversation may not be as fruitful as expected. The publisher needs to be able to clearly communicate the characteristics and demographics of their inventory and what price points are needed to unlock more inventory. For example if the CPM was raised $0.50 it could raise the advertiser higher in the publisher’s waterfall so they would get 25% more ad requests. These types of details are almost impossible to discover without consistent communication between advertiser and publisher.
The back and forth communication also benefits the advertiser. If an advertiser receives a campaign requiring specific targeting such as ‘people who have graduated college and drive a luxury car’. This type of targeting may not be available via the standard information sent in an ad request, so the advertiser needs to work directly with the publisher to learn if they have any targeting that could meet these demands or certain sites/apps or sections that might fit the targeting. Communication is imperative in order to meet the campaign targeting and it is most likely only possible when advertisers and publishers are interacting regularly.
In addition, advertisers are more likely to bring new campaigns to publishers they know well. Publishers may not like this occurrence, but the truth is if an advertiser knows a publisher well, is familiar with the demographics of their inventory, what it takes to unlock their volume and if the publisher is willing to work with them, then they will more often than not approach them first with the campaign.
As publishers evaluate whether to work with a specific advertiser or mediation platform, they should not underestimate the value of excellent and dedicated customer service. Many platforms offer self serve functionality which may allow publishers to get live sooner, but eventually they will need direct help and it is at those times that the publisher will wish they had a dedicated customer service representative. Somone who will always be available to help them and be an advocate for them to fight for campaigns. Having this advocate is extremely important and can have a large impact on the publisher’s revenue.