When was the last time you took a holiday vacation?
Do you remember the travel agency you booked a tour with; the hotel you stayed at? I bet one of the most significant factors that dictated your decision was your budget. I bet that travel agencies and hotels that offered all-inclusive packages at affordable rates were some of your top choices.
And rightly so. A hotel that offers an affordable package for accommodations, food and drink, and some other amenities would indeed land a lot of very happy clients. This is what ad publishers would do well to learn from resorts, hotels, and travel agencies: don’t just sell the final ad format; pitch in the production too.
It Takes Two to Tango
Let’s say you were in a deal with a media agency and you offer your best ad inventory formats. They say they look good, but they don’t have the resources to pull it off or its CPM rate is dubious relative to your pricing. So they pass on the deal. Now, what if you offered not just the final product, but also its production? That takes away the first objection and balances out the doubts over CPM because of the packaged deal. You see folk’s, it takes two to tango. You’re a publisher: your core competency does not include production, so grab a partner.
Every publisher should have a production partner that’s not just the company the publisher relies on whenever they have projects, but the partner that guarantees the packaged deal. This allows the capability to offer not just premium ad formats and inventory, but premium creative services to boot. You offer the ad format, the creative design, and the production through your creative agency partner, and your offer to media agencies suddenly has a few more competitive advantages:
- Creative direction and strategy
- Expert production
- Increased value proposition for each sale
A Definitive Competitive Advantage
Speaking of advantages, an all inclusive option that sells premium inventory along with production at one cost not only keeps you ahead of competitor publishers, but also balances the huge advantage of RTB driven ad sale.
The combination of RTB and the engaging formats of rich media has been proven to be potent enough to rival premium sales of inventories primarily done to ensure branded content within rich media ads. Premium inventory that is more targeted and more creatively implemented than RTB bought ads are more expensive and hand picked, of course, by actual people and not a 30-millisecond conversation between two computers. Partnering with a rich media agency to add production to your premium ad format offerings does at least two things that instantly make premium manual sales competitive against RTB::
- It streamlines the workflow associated with purchasing the premium inventory – where the buying and subsequent design process is supposed to involve numerous people from varying departments of several companies, if everything comes in a neat packaged deal, a lot of this mess is easily eliminated. Better yet, the media agency instantly knows the timelines of production and delivery associated with the inventory (furthermore, inventory delivered quickly can also be a factor that affects pricing to the advantage of the seller-publisher).
- Premium inventory will not be dragged down to the price levels of RTB inventory – RTB bought inventory is effective because the bidding algorithms that choose them are guided by retargeting and analytics data based on impressions in real time. In a creative, engagement, and experience sense, pound for pound, premium trumps RTB in every way. The last step is for the media agencies buying premium inventory to apply some of the very effective data that makes RTB efficient and use them on premium ads. Now, because RTB is so effective in targeting, publishers could be forced to offer their premium inventory at lower prices to include them in RTB. This not only translates to losses to the publisher, but also the media agencies buying these premium inventory, because they allow a vastly better ad to be delivered based on algorithm alone. They miss out on the advantage of premium.
Make no mistake, RTB is improving as you read this. Yet there will always be premium inventory bought at higher prices for premium reasons. If you’re a publisher and you want in on this premium market, you need a rich media agency partner. You need to offer an all inclusive package to offer more value to your clientele.
Unless you’re a very rich person intent on wasting money, during your last vacation you probably chose one of the travel agencies and hotels that offered all inclusive packages. What do you think your clients would do when choosing premium inventory?