The Three Steps To Building A Global Publishing Business

Sara Badler

"The Sell Sider" is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today's column is written by Sara Badler, SVP of advertising and partnerships at Dotdash.

Fries or crisps? Elevator or lift? Even among English speakers there are a host of regional differences for the global traveler to wrap their his or her head around when they cross the Atlantic. Extending into EMEA (frites? ascenseur?) makes things even more complicated.

A US-based publisher looking to establish a presence and grow business in Europe and the UK faces similar challenges. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that works globally. Setting up your ad stack and sales teams for success across the pond can be very different from setting up for success stateside.

From header bidder selection and deployment to sales team structure, to consent management platform (CMP) selection and integration, becoming a truly global publisher is a daunting task. The details in execution matter – but it’s also important to start with these three steps:

Step 1: Customize your ad stack to the region

When expanding into any new region, setting up the internal ad stack for operational success should be a publisher’s first priority. Rates and demand can fluctuate wildly from country to country and region to region. At a high level, we have found that there is generally less demand at lower rates across the board in EMEA versus the US. To account for this price difference, publishers need to adjust floors in their ad server accordingly.

For publishers with multiple domains, running flooring experiments on select sites can give you a good idea of where the market currently values your inventory. If your company does not have multiple domains, you can identify a site section or inventory pocket and experiment lowering and raising the floors, with the goal to arrive at a comfortable eCPM and fill rate. I would not expect fill rates or eCPMs quite as high as one isyou are used to in the US. Be aware that DSPs and buyers can take some time to adjust.

Step 2: Find the best CMP

While your operations and yield teams conduct flooring exercises and experiments, your partnerships team should implement a CMP.  A CMP stores user consent data that impacts how that user experiences a website, particularly (but not limited to) ad targeting. Under the EU privacy statute GDPR, users must consent to be served targeted advertisements.

Targeted ads tend to garner higher CPMs, so integrating a CMP to request that consent is essential for overall yield in EMEA. With a multitude of vendors offering a variety of integration types and pricing models for a CMP, it is worth exploring many options to find the best fit for your site’s needs.

Step 3: Define your sales strategy

Once the operational aspects are in place, set up your sales strategy. The major agency players in the US hold the same positions of prominence internationally. But the teams often operate separately. Providing learnings and success stories from US campaigns can definitely help open doors internationally. Similar to the US, smaller, regional agencies can control significant budgets.

Growing your revenue team from one focused on the US to a truly international scope requires sticking to the same guiding principles that allowed you to grow domestically. If you focus on optimizing your ad stack by region, getting a CMP in place, and organizing your sales team to connect with local agency representatives, you can put yourself in the best possible position to succeed overseas.

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