Nicole Scaglione

Buyer Development Director

Whenever I ask buyers about bid strategy specific to individual exchanges, I get crickets paired with curious stares. It doesn’t have to be a mystery. While DSPs provide a holistic view of your entire programmatic campaign investment, an exchange can tunnel in with supplemental insights about your investment specifically with us. We know that reporting from individual exchanges can reshape the context of your DSP data by giving you a deeper look. From there, you can make higher quality decisions on how to buy, where to buy and how to optimize.

One of the most important types of insights we can provide is in the form of a bid landscape. We define a bid landscape as “an analysis of bidding habits, bucketed by price range, correlated with a respective win rate.” That is, we answer the question: when I bid at certain prices, how often do I win? And thus, should I change my bidding strategy?

Looking at the blue bars in the above bid landscape example, we see an open exchange buyer who is mostly focused on bids below $1. The red dotted line reflects win rate. In this example, the buyer’s win rate increases steadily around $4.50 mark. Clearly this buyer’s win rate and bid rate are not aligned, representing an opportunity to revisit their open exchange bidding strategy.

At this point, buyers should be asking:

  • Are we not valuing our open exchange bids high enough and thus losing out on the opportunity win?
  • What is the inventory we are actually bidding on?
  • What is the inventory we want?
  • What is the opportunity cost of bidding and not winning?
  • Can we afford to increase our average bids in order to win more often?
  • How will that change affect our back end eCPAs and will we still be efficient?

This line of questioning helps buyers rethink their open exchange versus private marketplace (PMP) strategy. It’s possible that buyers who lose bids are losing because they are bidding into a pool that is already oversaturated with aggressive buyers. Some PMP buys will position a smaller number of buyers above the open exchange, giving them a type of priority access that open exchange buyers may not get to enjoy. While PMPs may come with a price premium, they also come with a better possibility of winning.

The question still remains, how do I optimize my bids to ensure I am taking full advantage of higher-level PMP access? In the example below, you can see that this buyer struggles to answer that question through a lot of trial and error.

Again, what is the opportunity cost of not knowing how to optimally price your bids? With the insight above, we can help this buyer focus within an optimal range where we know they will enjoy both competitively priced CPMs as well as a strong win rate.

Our team at OpenX works with buyers to provide bid landscape insights that illuminate where their investment can be optimized. Often times these reports lead to deeper conversations about PMPs versus open exchanges, bid guidance and possibly working in a direct fashion with publishers through Real-Time Guaranteed. With knowledge of your goals and success metrics, we can provide insights specific to the exchange that will help you achieve the best results for each individual campaign. It shouldn’t be a mystery!