Demands for greater transparency and efficiency across the programmatic industry continue to be a hot topic. One of the ways to achieve this is through supply path optimization (SPO) efforts. SPO identifies the right path to bid and win inventory at the right price while empowering marketers to take back control and accountability for their supply chain. When you enforce an SPO plan, you are helping the ad tech industry move forward toward consolidation and lowering the ad tech tax to put more of your budget toward working media. I’ll walk you through four ways to get your SPO efforts started:

Analyze and evaluate your fraud efforts and do this continually

As fast as the industry changes, opportunities for new fraud techniques abound. Implementing a plan to detect, analyze and evaluate your fraud gets you one step closer to quality inventory and eliminating wasted media dollars. Use pre-bid anti-fraud controls to block fraudulent users, sites and suspicious inventory. Complete post-bid analysis to catch what algorithms can’t.

Buy direct inventory

With the implementation of ads.txt, you can easily monitor the publishers you are buying from and what SSPs are direct sellers of that inventory. The most recent tools, Sellers.json and OpenRTB Supply Chain Object, provide additional verification for buyers to fully understand on the sell side who are direct sellers or resellers of inventory down to the bid request. When you work with a supplier who is a reseller, you are adding unnecessary ad tech fees. Another way to tackle buying direct inventory is applying combinatorial bidding, where you bid on a specific site through one direct supplier. When buying resold inventory or buying the same site through multiple suppliers, you are putting yourself at risk for more fraud and domain spoofing.

Build relationships with SSPs who align with your goals

Your vendor relationships should be just as important as your client relationships. Building a strong relationship with a few select suppliers further enhances your ability to get transparent. Ask for full visibility into log-level data – where you can analyze bids and understand fees across the inventory you are buying. Ask how they measure quality inventory. Does it align with your own goals? Utilize your buying power to negotiate lower fees. The more transparent you can get into what you are buying, the more you can push dollars to the publisher and truly put your working media dollars to successfully achieve your clients’ objectives.

Foster innovation

Test out new inventory providers, learn what works for you and your clients and tailor your strategy to the inventory source.

Supply path optimization works, and we can help make it work for you.