This week on AdExchanger Talks, Dotdash SVP Sara Badler advises publishers to adopt a cleaner, more stripped-down version of programmatic.
A subsidiary of IAC, Dotdash owns a network of websites in verticals such as personal health, home design, finance and weddings. This week it announced the acquisition of two publisher brands focused on sustainability: TreeHugger and Mother Nature Network. The company’s 2019 revenue was $160 million, much of which came from programmatic monetization of search-referred audiences and affiliate revenue.
In this episode, Badler emphasizes the importance of reducing the number of “hops” between marketer and publisher. She advocates more selective use of partners as a starting point.
“Sometimes it’s hard when you’re involving LiveRamp, the DSP, the SSP. You get further away from the marketer,” she says. “As a publisher we want to be as close as possible to our clients. We want them to work as directly as we can. It used to be [we’d] work with everyone. But now we want to work with everyone where it makes sense. I don’t think we need to take out an SSP or a DSP necessarily. It’s more about, where does the marketer want to work and store their information?”
But doesn’t integrating with fewer partners ultimately mean fewer bids and lost revenue?
“You definitely are going to have to sacrifice a little bit [of revenue],” Badler says. “Our top 20 advertisers year over year continue to work with us. If I’m going to lose a little money on yield but I’m going to build this relationship where I have a direct connection, I think that’s so important and totally worth it.”
Also in this episode: A rallying cry for Prebid. The quest for fee transparency.