The U.S. market is ahead of Europe when it comes to programmatic advertising selling, according to Aleksander Szafaryn, head of business at Agora Group’s Yield Bird.

But in European countries such as the United Kingdom and France, programmatic trading has already accounted for 20% to 25% of ad spending and has been rising quickly (366% growth in 2013). 

Recent research surveyed U.S.-based “global” publishing companies and concluded that:

  • 98.3% of them now have some form of programmatic ad sales strategy in place for the U.S. market.

  • Just 1.7% of respondents said they are not pursuing a programmatic ad sales strategy “at all” while 56% said they are “aggressively pursuing” the channel.

  • Europe is quite behind with 27.6% of publishers saying they have never thought of any kind of programmatic. Most advanced in this area in Europe are: Agora, Sanoma, Schibsted, and Stampen. 

Szafaryn suggests three ideas to lift ad revenues: 

Lead generation. Publishers have access to the panels with a lot sophisticated data. They can find exact companies interested in buying inventory, and advertisers who need ads.

An optimisation team within should create a list of leads, which should contain who is buying, how many, and for how much, Szafaryn says. More data leads mean more revenues, plus publisher can also sell guaranteed packages

Revenue optimisation. Until now, Google AdSense was the first and only revenue generator. Now we have yield optimisation teams, Szafaryn explains. To increase the revenue, a publisher needs to find more profitable advertisers or generate more traffic (users). Using programmatic selling allows the publisher to keep premium sales and outsource the rest of traffic to a yield optimiser. 

A demand-side platform (DSP) is a system that allows buyers or digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchanges and data exchange accounts through one interface. Real-time bidding for displaying online ads takes place within the ad exchangers. By utilising a DSP, marketers can manage their bids for the banners and the pricing for the data they are layering on to target their audiences. 

Szafaryn says Agora tries to find the point when advertisers are ready to pay the most and when they are not to find the best price for that period. By manually setting up the supply and demand for the publisher’s advertising space, a programmatic team can uplift the revenue by 30% to 80%, according to the simple AdSense.

Publisher trading desk. Publishers attach cookies to audience users and then, through RTB, looks for them online. By displaying forms of advertisers, publishers can mark the users with their own brand.

Szafaryn explains a publisher trading desk also allows publishers to: 

  • Expand the reach and thus get more money out of the market.

  • Diversify the offer.

  • Better a manage “lost” campaign (which is not 100% filled).