Top 3 ways to confuse your team with Header Bidding

business man looking unsure
I'm really unsure about any of this stuff, but I'm trying to look thoughtful here. Credit iStock

For yield managers and ad ops professionals it can be an ongoing challenge to keep your team confused about the latest new developments. Header bidding is no exception, and that’s why we’ve put together this quick summary of focus points to keep your team spinning, and you highly paid. Sure, the entire growing ad stack is a complete mess, and is inherently awesome for confusing senior executives, its not like your job is threatened.

I mean, hey, reality is the last few years have been fantastic, we’ve had programmatic updates, tons of new native ad vendors, rapid change in mobile best practices, new micro payments, secure ads, and more recently ad blocking countermeasures to add complexity to the page. And yet, despite all of these developments, there is the threat of distributed content moving core traffic off our pages, not to mention the existential threat we see developing under the banners of simplicity and transparency. So, as header bidding becomes widespread it’s crucial to extract its full contribution to keeping ad ops a dark art. We put together this proven focus list to keep you on track:

  1. Definition: When you first explain what header bidding is rapidly interchange the terms advanced bidding, pre-bidding, header bidding, and holistic yield management.  At some point someone will likely say they thought Programmatic, and SSPs did this stuff to maximize publisher yield. You should say they sort of did, now this really does, sort of, under the right conditions, sometimes.
  2. Trade-Offs: When you say there are some trade-offs, start by saying “Obviously header tags load before content, and third-party tags can expose valuable data.”  Then talk about how this causes fundamental trade-offs, that are hard to manage, between revenue yield and page speed, and between revenue yield in the short term and long term risk of asset loss from data leakage. Any trade-offs against revenue can make executives really edgy, if done right.
  3. Setup: You want to mention this is a bit of a manual setup process that needs to be done by a true ad ops expert, that in theory this will do away with the traditional daisy chain waterfall but maybe not completely, that direct sold inventory will still require your ongoing management, and of course throw in that this is a tagless integration that requires tags.
worried senior exec
I don’t understand any of this, thank God we have Ad Ops. Credit iStock

So just think Definition, Trade-Offs, and Setup. You want to see confused looks and a quick willingness to end the meeting or change the subject. If you are getting clear and insightful questions remember to move quickly to the application of header bidding in a mobile environment, and combine that in the same sentence with a reference to yield management in a distributed content environment. Point out that mobile header bidding is in its infancy, and that managing and comparing revenue yield on FB Instant Articles will require a lot of time and analysis. Of course we probably don’t need to remind you, but you can always end on a confusing note by referring to both native web apps, and true native mobile apps as mobile apps.