How The Globe and Mail more than doubled programmatic revenue in 2018
You don’t survive in the news business for 175 years without learning how to adapt. At The Globe and Mail, change is an integral part of the company’s DNA.
These are challenging times for newspapers, but The Globe and Mail has thrived by evolving its digital advertising models. It was an early adopter of programmatic advertising and was one of the first media organizations in Canada to feature ads delivered via real-time auctions. In 2012, it established a private marketplace to offer advertisers a way to guarantee their ads would be adjacent to premium content.
Over the last two years, the company has organized its digital ad sales strategy around Programmatic Guaranteed, which combines the automation and audience precision of real-time auctions with the safety and assurance of reserved ad buys. Now 75% of the company’s programmatic revenue derives from Programmatic Guaranteed ad buys brokered via Google Ad Manager. The strategic shift toward more guaranteed deals helped The Globe and Mail grow its programmatic revenue by 164% year over year in 2018.
“We consider our entire inventory as premium, as we are able to provide contextual and audience data to advertisers in the way that suits their strategy and delivers on their goals,” says Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Saunders. “Programmatic Guaranteed allows clients that know and trust our brands to guarantee the placements and service they expect from us.”
Here’s how the company made it work.
Lay the groundwork with staff
One of the big benefits Programmatic Guaranteed brings is how it streamlines ad booking for both buyers and sellers, reducing waste and boosting efficiency. A February 2018 study by Boston Consulting Group found that using Programmatic Guaranteed to handle ad insertions takes publishers nearly 60% less time than doing it manually, while time savings for ad agencies is nearly 30%.
But to get the most from Programmatic Guaranteed, The Globe and Mail had to change its internal booking and tracking processes and retrain staff members. Staffers now spend less time during the booking process on insertion orders, creative tags, and updates, and more time on tasks that add value to the client relationship.