With the header bidding add-on module the ad server is able to inject an RTB auction into a zone, which allows multiple demand partners to simultaneously bid on your inventory to maximize revenue.
The ad server is able to connect with any demand partner that has an adapter available for Prebid.js
The rest of this short guide will walk you through the process of getting demand partners set up in the system, creating demand tags and configuring auctions to run in your zones.
The first thing you will need to do is create an advertiser account for each of your demand partners. If your demand partner already has an advertiser account in the system you can use that account. It is not necessary to create a new account for them.
The key thing is that you select the correct Bid Adapter and that designates the advertiser as having header bidding capability to the ad server. Don't see your advertisers adapter in the list? Just contact support and let us know so we can get the necessary adapter(s) installed for you.
The next step is creating demand tags. At a minimum you will need to create a set of demand tags for each demand partner and for each ad size you are interested in running, i.e. 728x90, 300x250 and 160x600.
Just make sure that you have inserted the bid response macro and that the bid parameter values you enter are correct or your demand partner may reject bids or fail to fill them!
The last step is creating an auction to run the demand tags, which is very similar to the process of creating a campaign.
Typically you will want to utilize waterfalling with header bidding auctions.
Consider, for example, that you want to set up a waterfall like this:
What would happen here is the ad server would first attempt the $2.00 CPM auction. If it does not fill then your direct campaigns would be evaluated. In the event there are no direct campaigns to show, i.e. they may not target a user or could have exhausted their frequency caps, then the $0.01 CPM auction would run. In the event that it also fails then you could have an in-house campaign that could run as a filler.
Let's take a look at how we would actually set up such a waterfall in the system.
In this case we've edit the campaign assignments of a zone and we can see that it has two auctions and two campaigns. The $2.00 auction will run first because it has the highest chain value. It would be followed by the direct campaign, $0.01 auction and in-house campaign as the ad server waterfalls down through the chains from highest to lowest.
The interesting thing about how this works is you can have multiple direct campaigns in the same chain and they might have different targets, limits, frequency caps, etc... You might also have noticed that auctions can have targets too? Well, yes, they can and the reason for that is optimization. You might have different demand partners that perform better with traffic from North America while others perform better with traffic from Europe. What you could do is create different auctions with the appropriate mix of demand partners and geo-target them to the desired locations. Those auctions can both be placed in the same chain and the ad server will run the appropriate one based on each users actual location.
You might be wondering why you wouldn't just put all demand partners into just one auction though? Wouldn't it yield the highest price without geo-targeting? Yes, it would, but what you have to understand is that you don't have unlimited time to wait for bids from dozens of partners before a visitor leaves a page and you end up not showing them any ads. Ideally you don't want to have more than 5-8 demand partners in an auction so you aren't waiting more than 1 second for a much larger number of bids to come back. That is why optimizing with multiple country-specific auctions can help as you can cherry pick the best demand 5-8 partners for each country instead of putting 10-20 partners in a single auction that will be prone to timeouts.
As mentioned above it is possible to use macros for bid parameter values. While we have tons of built-in macros there are also header bidding specific macros that you can set on your zones. Here's a screenshot showing the macros you can set:
Each of those different settings has a corresponding macro you can use in the bid parameter values:
Not all demand partners will be able to use these values, but for the ones that do it can improve fill rate by setting them.
You can go to Reports > Inventory > Auctions to see the performance of your auctions.
Here's an overview of the metrics you will see in that report:
Keep in mind that all of these fields are also documented at the bottom of the report, so you can easily refer to them.
As mentioned above though if you see a low completion rate it is a good indication that you need to reduce the auction timeout whereas if the completion and timeout rates are high increasing the timeout might be a good idea.