Thought Leadership

How do you think about SPO for your business?

November 4, 2019
By Rubicon Project

In this new video, Rubicon Project partners discuss their approach to supply path optimization, and the best way to create value in the programmatic supply path.


How do you think about Supply Path Optimization (SPO) for your business?

David Newman, Managing Partner, Programmatic, Dentsu Aegis Network

So I think to understand that, maybe you have to take a jump back two or three years and look at the ecosystem. So if you’re an agency or an advertiser, who are the main people that you relate to and engage with in the space? Predominantly that’s been the DSP itself or the publisher. And the SSP or exchange have predominately been overlooked in that ecosystem.

Jon Levinson, Head of Platform Partnerships, Adobe

We think about supply path optimization in a few ways. Part of it is about making sure that the integrations we have and the inventory that’s coming through it is delivering the best possible value for our advertisers. Depending on the inventory that can have a couple different meanings. If it’s display for DR advertisers, is it driving lower CPAs or better conversions? For video, for branding, is it driving better engagement? Also what are the paths that are more direct to the publishers, and have as few hops in between? But there’s also a distinction in terms of what we do as a platform for SPO on behalf of all of our buyers, as opposed to what a single buyer’s version of SPO will be within our platform, which is more nuanced in picking off sites, or picking off SSPs that aren’t converting for a particular campaign.

Ari Paparo, CEO, Beexwax

When we think about SPO, we think there’s not one solution that fits all. We don’t believe that a platform should unilaterally cut off supply and leave it up to a mysterious process as to what actually gets bought. We want to be transparent. We want to tell our customers what we’re doing. But most importantly we want to give them tools that let them manage the supply in the way that makes sense for their business.

Christian Waurich, Director Programmatic Supply, Publicis Media DE

Yeah it’s – from my perspective it’s extremely important on the one hand, of course, there’s cost efficiencies. On the other hand there are efficiencies in terms of workload, in terms of processes and stuff like that. So the more partners you are having within your supply path for example, the more complex it gets, and the more errors can happen, which takes, finally, time and money as well.

Dan Larden, Global Strategic Partnerships Director, Infectious Media

We thought that supply path optimization meant cutting out all the hops in the supply chain. So how can we buy directly from the publisher and make sure that when we’re buying through an exchange, the most amount of money is going to the publisher. And then actually, after some analysis, what we realized is that isn’t always the best way of doing it. So there are some people in the media supply chain who are adding value. So it’s not all just, it’s not just solely about cutting out the middlemen and making sure we’re buying directly from publishers. It’s actually understanding the people that are in the supply chain and how they’re adding value.

A great example is company called Onscroll Sovereign. So they create viewable inventory that we otherwise wouldn’t have, and they are they are taking another hop, but they’re adding, ultimately, value in terms of viewable inventory. And there are other networks as well that have specific formats that otherwise we wouldn’t have access to. So when we started to do supply optimization, and started to cut those guys out, we were losing some functionality ultimately.

So it’s really a case of just understanding who’s adding the value, cutting out the ones that are not, so the publisher gets the most amount of money, but making sure that we’re also work still working with those guys in the supply chain that are adding value. And that’s not easy to do, because you need to be constantly evaluating your supply chain and understanding exactly where your money’s going. Is it direct to publisher, is it through these intermediaries? And then it’s obviously different for different platforms as well in terms of the ability to actually have that data, to make those decisions, and then optimize it.

To learn more about supply path optimization, check out our SPO Playbook series or email us:

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