Programmatic advertising shook up the digital advertising industry. The days of endless insertion orders (IOs), paperwork and inefficiencies were suddenly over. And that innovation was, in a word, wonderful.

Wonderful as programmatic was and still is, it didn’t end the need for direct sales. If anything, it brought the benefits of direct sales for publishers into clear focus. Today, direct sales are a key pillar of any revenue strategy. 

In this post, we’re going to examine exactly why that is through the lens of Playwire’s own global direct sales team. To learn more about the benefits of direct sales for publishers, read on.

Our direct sales team drives cost per mille (CPM) rates higher for publishers in all kinds of verticals. We can do that for you, too. To get started, reach out to Playwire.

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6 Big Benefits of Direct Sales for Publishers Who Work with Playwire

Publishers who choose Playwire as their revenue partner get several teams working for them right out of the gate. Several of those teams deal with yield and ad tech, but the one we’re going to look at closely below is the global direct sales team Playwire unleashes for every publisher who signs up with us.

1. Higher CPMs for Direct Sales

If you’re not into the idea of reading the rest of this article, here’s the bottom line that matters to most publishers: Our direct sales team can get you buys that come with higher CPMs. Instead of letting your inventory fade into the ocean of available programmatic inventory, our team segments your inventory to align with buyers' quality standards and KPIs to make your inventory more attractive and drive more revenue — not to mention the fact that we bypass several middlemen and the cuts they take in the programmatic ecosystem.

Here’s an example: Takeovers can't typically be purchased via yield pipes, but our average CPMs for direct-sold takeovers are between $30 and $45. When non-direct yield hits $7 at best, that $30 starts looking pretty good. And direct sales with Playwire is the only way to get it.

Direct sales adds pressure to the yield partnerships that exist in the supply chain. Because we are selling a good portion of our publishers’ inventory through direct sales, it makes the remaining inventory more scarce. As supply dwindles, the competition for the remaining inventory becomes greater, helping to increase even your programmatically sold CPMs. In a nutshell, this is the perfect example of how rising tides raise all ships (with those ships being your CPMs).

2. Direct Sales Gets You on the Inclusion Lists

Well before interested publishers sign a contract with us, we start laying the groundwork for our global direct sales team to move quickly. That means we start making sure you are on all of the big inclusion lists.

For context, inclusion lists are lists of URLs and keywords that the big holding companies like GroupM and Trade Desk maintain. They dictate which publishers they will purchase inventory from. If you’re not on them, you’re not going to get the big direct buys. It’s as simple as that.

The problem for publishers, however, is that they don’t know whether they’re on the inclusion or exclusion list. But when Playwire’s direct sales team enters the equation, we know exactly who to reach out to to make sure you’re on all the right lists so ad supply flows to your site. Most publishers who work with us aren’t even aware that we’re advocating on behalf of our partners here, but they definitely reap the rewards.

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3. Defining the ‘Why Buy’ in Your Ad Inventory

Google, YouTube, Facebook and the other mega sites eat up the vast majority of ad revenue. What’s left is valuable, but it’s a smaller piece of the pie, and everyone is fighting over it. In other words, getting ad revenue from direct sales is a competitive business. And if you can’t define why an advertiser should buy your inventory and not one of your competitors’, you’re not going to do well.

But you’re a publisher, not a sales guru. The Playwire direct sales team, on the other hand, is made up of a bunch of sales gurus, and we take a deep dive into publishers’ metrics, audience data and much more to find the “why.” We even clean up technical bits of publishers’ sites, such as deep back-end code, to make them more appealing to buyers.

Once we’ve done all of that, we don’t just ask buyers if they want to buy a takeover. We tell them we have a great site for them to buy a takeover on, point to the data and show how we’ve vetted and cleaned up the site. We demonstrate the “why,” and it works really well.

4. The Direct Sales Team Deals with Your Data

In digital publishing, data is a weird topic right now. Third-party cookies are going away, and those little morsels have been the cornerstone of many publishers’ revenue strategies for some time now. Meanwhile, data collection and privacy laws are changing rapidly, and it feels almost impossible for publishers to keep up.

This is where your direct sales team comes in handy in a big way. We have an enormous amount of cookie-less data from our huge network of publishers. We’re building our own data management platform (DMP). We can do what you used to do with third-party data with our first-party data, and everyone wins. You build high-value audience segments that lead to high-value ad buys, and buyers get to reach the exact audience they want to reach.

In addition, our built-in Consent Management Platform (CMP) has been fully approved by the IAB. This helps us to tie consent into the data we have in our DMP, which is important for helping brands and publishers navigate challenging topics like GDPR and CCPA. 

If you use Playwire, you don't just have data. You have qualified and consented first party data, much of which isn't based on cookies. And advertisers love that.

5. Making Custom Campaigns Possible

Direct sales are often about custom ad campaigns. And those are really, really difficult to do. You may have multiple rounds of approval from the buyer, complicated IOs, endless revisions and a healthy helping of technical development problems. That’s a lot of legwork just to build the units for one custom campaign. 

If you’re doing direct sales on your own, that’s all on you. You have to have a sales team, an ad ops team, a creative team and a data team just to be able to support direct sales in the first place. But if you're working with Playwire, all of that is baked in with our service. You sit back and create great content, and we sell valuable custom campaigns and oversee them.

6. With Direct Sales, You Won’t Miss the Big Buyer Ship

The biggest advertisers in the world are not flying by the seat of their pants when they buy ad inventory. They are managing budgets in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, and they are planning accordingly. That means they may buy up to a year out.

Here’s what that means for you: If you miss the ship, you don’t get another shot for a year. But how do you stay on top of the ad planning cycles at Ford, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and similar companies? It’s not a venture that most publishers have time for in their already packed schedules.

But the Playwire direct sales team has time for it. In fact, we stay on top of it religiously because we know how valuable campaigns with the mega buyers are for our publishers. When you work with us, you don’t have to worry about missing your chance for the big buys because we’re taking care of it.

Playwire: Global Direct Sales and World-Class Programmatic

It doesn’t have to be direct sales or programmatic advertising. In fact, it shouldn’t be a choice between the two — it should be both. There are benefits of direct sales for publishers, and there are benefits of programmatic for publishers.

With Playwire, you get the best of both. Our global direct sales team packages your inventory into premium offers and sells it to high-dollar buyers, and our tech team ensures your programmatic and header bidding efforts are not just working, but hitting the highest CPMs available every single time.

With a strategy like that, you just can’t fail. Ready for your own bulletproof revenue strategy with Playwire? We’re ready to work with you. Just contact us online

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