SHE Media Steps Up Deals Powered By Niche Data

publisher data
SHE Media is seeing an uptick in programmatic buyers interested in showing their ads in places with niche appeal. Instead of showing ads on health-related content, they’re contextually targeting articles about colds and flus, seasonal allergies or diabetes.

But the infrastructure to set up these deals has traditionally been lacking.

“That data is passed through key values [in the ad server], and only a handful of exchanges can ingest it and allow us to target against it for a deal,” said Nick Kaplan, director of programmatic at SHE Media and its “hands on keyboard” deal creator.

Over the past year, SHE Media has worked with the WarnerMedia-owned exchange Xandr Monetize, which has made it easier to run niche contextual deals. From the second half of 2019 to the same time period in 2020, deals revenue increased 259%, as SHE Media had more deals overall and as it ran more of them through Xandr.

Now, publishers can assemble deals using more sophisticated logic, like combining and excluding different categories in a single deal, explained Ben Kneen, senior director of product management at Xandr. For example, advertisers could narrow the field for a deal to only target parenting content on lifestyle properties, exclude articles about education and mandate 80% viewability.

But putting together deals that take advantage of SHE Media’s niche contextual categories and first-party data is only the first step to a successful private marketplace.

“If you don’t have the right functionality and reporting, I’m not going to be able to retain buyers long term,” Kaplan said of the exchanges he evaluates.

He heavily weighs how well he can optimize deals during a campaign. Many exchanges only offer rudimentary capabilities for a few categories, like viewability or video completion, while Xandr has more robust optimization levers. And since he’s often setting up five deals a day, the user interface needs to be quick and easy.

The other reason why SHE Media is working more with Xandr is its ability to bring in unique demand, thanks to its demand-side platform Xandr Invest, which supplements SHE Media’s own direct relationships.

And Xandr’s deep connections to buyers helps SHE Media market itself better. The exchange will communicate what buyers are looking for – like seasonal content or tentpole events where buyers are seeking inventory, said Kate Calabrese, VP of programmatic sales at SHE Media. Then SHE Media can develop packages that meet those needs. Ultimately, SHE Media’s focus isn’t just on deals, but finding ways to activate its first-party data and lean into its growing prowess in created niche packages where the context and content provide the best fishing ground for advertisers.