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Tags: Programmatic, Relevant Digital, Relevant Yield, Prebid

Updated: October 20, 2023

The world of programmatic advertising is in constant flux. This challenges publishers to keep up with developments and maintain in-house expertise. One reason is the difficulty in finding skilled experts. Often, publishers opt for a solution in which programmatic advertising sales are either fully outsourced to a partner or supported by an external partner for development. In addition to expertise, various technologies have entered the market in recent years, intending to simplify publishers’ daily tasks related to advertising sales and revenue optimisation.

It's clear that tools are needed to reduce manual work (and errors), streamline processes, and promote opportunities for more independent work. However, finding the tools or partners that are a perfect fit for your needs can often be challenging. This text delves into various criteria that may help you in the selection process.


Features - what are you looking for?

Numerous market solutions facilitate the work of ad ops and advertising sales in programmatic advertising by reducing manual work and simplifying technical implementations. It's advisable to start by considering the primary challenges for which you seek solutions.

Advertising sales are fragmented, and revenues often come from many different sources (direct sales, programmatic, deals). Merely tracking these revenue streams manually can be challenging and time-consuming, as they require manual login into numerous systems. Larger publishers often tackle this challenge by developing tools for monitoring advertising revenues. While nothing is inherently wrong with that, maintaining such tools and addressing potential issues can surprisingly consume many technical resources. Many publishers have opted to track sales and other vital metrics using solutions designed for this purpose. There are quite a few options available in the market. But how do you choose the one that's right for your needs?

While tracking revenues is a crucial part of developing programmatic advertising sales (how can you develop if you don't know the current situation in real time?), the needs of a savvy publisher rarely stop at this level. Another perspective might involve exploring ways to increase revenues, perhaps through a Header bidding implementation or testing a server-side solution for a mobile application.

Independent work with such implementations requires a deeper technical understanding and coding expertise. With the help of readily available wrappers on the market and the tools designed for their management, it's usually possible to implement various Header bidding solutions and easily add or remove participating SSP partners without in-depth coding skills. Another advantage of such implementations is that they typically don't require technical maintenance on the publisher's end. Instead, the service provider ensures that the system stays up-to-date, considering necessary updates and industry requirements. These tools enable independent adoption of a Header Bidding solution (including on the server side and testing various settings) and independent monitoring, even with limited resources and expertise. In addition to these examples, the technologies available in the market may offer numerous other features, although their emphasis may vary depending on the technology.

Of course, a publisher can use separate service providers or solutions for these and possibly other needs. Still, it might be more optimal and cost-effective if the same platform or team support can offer solutions for multiple needs. You can start by establishing the "basics" and progressively delve into specific details. However, it's crucial to recognise and understand a partner's potential capacity and ability to solve various challenges and deliver value.

Regarding features, questions worth seeking answers to during the evaluation phase might include:

  • For which needs does the solution offer tools?
  • Can features be tailored to individual requirements?
  • How frequently is it updated, taking into account industry trends and standards?
  • Are there integration opportunities with existing systems and tools?
  • Is it compatible with various formats and devices?
  • How would you evaluate the analytical capabilities and user-friendliness?


The expertise of the team

The team's expertise plays a central role. The team's knowledge remains crucial even if you're not seeking a fully managed service to develop programmatic advertising. Tools alone often don't lead to the desired results. The primary purpose of these tools is to streamline daily operations and allocate time away from manual tasks towards more profitable activities. Therefore, effectively leveraging these tools is vital to maximising their value, and this is where the service provider's expertise comes into play.

But how can you then evaluate the team's competence? Try to assess the team's expertise in programmatic advertising sales and their understanding of market trends and industry dynamics. Find out how many years they have been in the industry and any accomplishments they might have. Browse through customer stories and ask for recommendations from their current clients. You can also pay attention to whether the team has received any special recognition or shared their expertise to benefit the entire industry, for example, by working through industry organisations like IAB or



In a challenging market environment, seeking maximum "gains" at minimal costs is easy. In such instances, tools that are offered for free might seem like a tempting option. However, it's vital to remember that if a product is free, you might very well be the product. Few companies can afford to develop technology and provide it to their users at no cost. The platform might not be the company's primary offering, but its income derives from other avenues. The technology provider might not be impartial and might prioritise its channels in revenue optimisation, such as its SSP, thereby generating revenues that offset the platform's maintenance costs.

There may also be differences in potential pricing models. A common approach could be the so-called revenue share, where the user pays the service provider a fixed percentage of the advertising revenues they receive. Another model could be a fixed usage fee, which is often linked to volume, as service provider expenses (such as server costs) depend on volumes.

Knowing the exact costs, you can attempt to estimate how much your advertising revenues might increase or how much time and resources you might save, assessing the overall impact on your business. In reality, exact estimates can be challenging since advertising revenue development has many variables. Unsubstantiated, overly ambitious (perhaps unfounded) promises should automatically raise reliability concerns.

It's essential to thoroughly explore the available pricing models and carefully assess their transparency and fairness. Also, ensure you are aware of any hidden costs or additional charges. Ultimately, aim to assess how much value the platform and the team's expertise bring you relative to the costs.


Customer support

Customer support is also crucial when choosing a potential partner for programmatic advertising revenue development. Before making your selection, assess the support team's accessibility and responsiveness to questions and issues. Inquire about available communication channels like email, phone, or chat. Assess the expertise and professionalism of the support team: How effectively can they solve problems and offer tailored solutions? Evaluate the availability and usefulness of training materials and any documentation. Is it easy to find the information and answers to your questions?

Also, pay attention to what the potential partner promises regarding customer care. Do you have a designated contact when you require assistance and support? How does the company pledge to maintain the client relationship? Are development meetings scheduled in advance or arranged as needed? How transparent is the company in explaining the onboarding process and informing potential clients about the next steps?

A realistic view of customer support's expertise and quality of service can most likely be obtained by asking for opinions from existing clients or by delving into possible customer satisfaction surveys or other feedback.


Company Values and Focus

When evaluating a potential partner, it's essential to delve deep into their values and strategic priorities. Consider how aligned the company's mission and vision are with your objectives and goals. The company's products and services should reflect these values and aims. Specialisations often provide hints about what they prioritise most. For instance, if a company specialises in programmatic advertising, its expertise and knowledge are likely more profound than others. On the other hand, if it's a side venture, it might not receive the same level of attention and passion as their core business.

Many firms emphasise the importance of sustainable development and ethical values. It's vital to scrutinise how these values manifest in practical operations, not just within marketing collateral. How does the firm address its environmental duties? How do ethical standards shape their day-to-day operations, services, and products? Values shouldn't be empty words but guide the company's actions and decision-making.


In summary

When choosing tools and potential additional resources and support for developing programmatic advertising sales, you might be surprised by the number of considerations that come your way. This list will give you a broader perspective on the issue and help you choose your partner better. In summary, we could say that it's beneficial to seek answers to these questions primarily:

  1. What are your needs, and what can different platforms and partners offer you
  2. Does the partner have the specific expertise you are looking for?
  3. Which pricing model best serves your needs?
  4. Is the partner's team accessible when needed?
  5. Are the partner's values and priorities aligned with your needs?

When considering your options, we recommend exploring Relevant Yield, our platform, for better management and development of programmatic advertising sales. With Relevant Yield, publishers and their sales partners can increase advertising revenue, enhance efficiency, retain better control, be more independent, and save on costs. Using Relevant Yield, you can monitor all essential key performance indicators for digital advertising sales in one view and implement, manage, test, and analyse the performance of Header Bidding implementations. Relevant Yield supports all Prebid modules and ad formats, including mobile apps and server-side.

One of our strengths is independence. We genuinely want to help publishers comprehensively develop their programmatic revenue potential. We don't favour any particular sources of demand. We believe any revenue growth a publisher might experience using our tools is entirely due to their efforts. That's why we charge based on usage rather than taking a share of the revenue growth. Transparency is paramount to us, and there are no hidden features or benefits behind our technologies.

We aim to help publishers become more independent, allowing them to control all their digital advertising revenue streams and facilitate a more autonomous workflow, reducing the need for technical resources.

We use our tools and have excellent opportunities to test various new approaches and features for programmatic sales and share these insights with our clients. We work closely with our clients and must be available to provide precise support when needed. We've been focused on helping publishers and addressing their challenges for over a decade, so our expertise and understanding of different perspectives and environments are extensive. We have unique knowledge and experience in the industry, with a particular focus on Prebid Mobile implementations.

Relevant Yield is a trusted and comprehensive platform used by numerous publishers and their sales partners in over 15 different countries. If you wish, you can read more about Relevant Yield here or book a free consultation on how you could benefit from using Relevant Yield yourself.

Behind Relevant Yield is a company called Relevant Digital, which is dedicated to helping publishers enhance the returns of their digital services. Core values for us include expertise, curiosity, and trustworthiness. In our operations, we commit to transparency and ethical practices, and we aim to consider environmental impacts as well broadly. Alongside Relevant Yield, we offer publishers consulting and services related to programmatic advertising.

Suvi Leino
By: Suvi Leino

Responsible for marketing and communications at Relevant Digital.


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