Video Supply Considerations for the Buy Side

August 11, 2015 — by John DeFilippis    

This blog post was first published as a guest post on BrightRoll‘s blog. BrightRoll is a silver certified OPEN partner.

As forecasts for digital video ad spend continue to make headlines, the impact of digital video on media plans has gained industry-wide recognition. In fact, a recent Forrester study found that 77% of advertisers and 70% of agencies plan to increase their video spending in the next two years. And as advertiser interest in digital video continues to rise, the supply side is working to keep pace with demand.

Therefore, it is strategically important for advertisers to think of their media buying holistically, managing a range of options to reach their customer with video ad content. Ensuring control over impressions that have the most positive impact on business outcomes, driving the highest ROI, and appearing in brand safe environments are the primary elements that underpin successful ad campaigns.

Let’s start with video supply challenges. Discarding the false inventory created by fraudulent actors, quality video ad impressions are: (1) without question in high demand; but (2) share little in common with the more familiar market dynamics of display, where supply is effectively unlimited. These are two key elements of the video ecosystem that are generally understood by buyers. In practical terms, this means that video buyers should recognize the high strategic value of video supply (or impressions) and plan accordingly.

This unbalanced supply/demand dynamic is magnified for buyers seeking premium environments. Often, premium publishers point to their ability to sell out, with inventory committed through guarantees, as the primary reason they avoid placing their inventory on the open exchange. And, while some of these publishers are considering the benefits of placing inventory in an exchange environment, it is strictly through a private deal controlled by a mechanism like Deal ID. Proactive exchanges, however, are working closely with publishers to extol the benefits of leveraging the exchange, private or otherwise.

With these inventory access challenges in mind, buyers who are interested in reaching their individual customers through addressable media, broadly and at scale, should plan for and leverage various methods to reach those customers.

At the same time, incorporate a variety of options to uncover the value associated with buying video across: customer platforms (i.e. social), devices, tier (premium to long tail), and markets (i.e. open versus private). It doesn’t require a giant leap to realize the value in access to as much inventory as possible, across all devices, and in enabling all buying methods with control and transparency.

A broad view of inventory sources might include, but is not limited to:

• Open exchange
• Private exchange
• YouTube
• Access to social platforms (namely the massive reach from Facebook)
• Publisher direct
• And mobile across all of the above…

Mobile video, too, is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to contribute substantially to the projected growth for video overall. Your media buying platform should be connected to exchanges that understand the value and future of mobile, and are building for that future today.

And don’t forget that customers are interacting with your ad in many ways, combining platforms, channels, and devices — for instance, display/video, mobile/desktop, social/publisher. The combinations of these ad environments and formats start to add up, and a single brand can easily have too many ad impressions for a given campaign. For instance, too much exposure leads to brand fatigue and ad saturation, which subsequently introduces budget waste and potential detrimental impact on customer sentiment.

Therefore a comprehensive view of all customer touchpoints, and simply managing accurate ad exposures via global (cross-channel/device) frequency tools can bring you economic efficiency across all channels. Once again, more control equates to more value.

Being able to maintain a high level of control across all of the aforementioned variables will lead to smarter decisions and better budget management. Again, which impressions are having the most positive impact on business outcomes? Which are driving the highest ROI? Are the ads appearing in brand safe environments? A marketing platform partnered with exchanges that can, in concert, deliver impressions broadly and with a high level of control and transparency can be the foundational element to successful video strategy.