Deal ID: What is it and How it Fits into Programmatic Direct

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Deal ID has become a mainstream term in the ad tech[11] world over the past few years. It has become one of the many evolutionary ways for buyers and sellers to become matched on an individual basis during the programmatic ad buying process.

Deal ID is essentially involved in the private marketplaces (PMP[1]) ecosystem as a method of allowing buyers and sellers to negotiate certain criteria of a proposed deal before the deal occurs. For example, they could negotiate the minimum prices that an advertiser[6] is allowed to bid for the specific inventory[12], the types of ad units to be made available, and even the locations of the website in question where the ads will appear.  

It can easily be said that Deal ID gives publishers a bit more control over their relationships with buyers in terms of preferential status while offering a certain level of protection from ad fraud[13] and more.

In this article, we’re going to simplify Deal ID and talk about how it fits into the Programmatic Direct ecosystem. Keep reading to learn more.

Deal ID Explained

Knowing what Deal ID is supposed to do and knowing what it is on a technical level are two different beasts. 

In short, a Deal ID (also referred to as a Deal Identifier) is a unique number that’s typically made up of 19 characters. These characters are generated by the publisher[14]’s ad server or supply-side platform[2] (SSP) and used for programmatic direct[3] deals, ie., private auctions, preferred deals, or programmatic guaranteed.

This unique ID number is what allows buyers to identify certain publishers in the auction so they can purchase their premium inventories based on the aforementioned pre-negotiated terms.

How Does Deal ID Work?

When put into action, Deal ID works like this:

Once the deal between the buyer and seller is created, the publisher’s ad server or SSP generates a specific ID number. This deal ID gets passed alongside the bid request[7] so that the demand-side platforms (DSPs) are able to recognize the pre-negotiated deal so it can automatically bid accordingly. 

One thing that’s important to understand is that private auctions and preferred deals work a little differently with deal ID.

Let’s take a look at that:

Deal ID and Private Auctions

PMP is the platform on which a publisher can make their premium ad inventories available in the ad exchange[8] for specific advertisers after negotiating a deal.

Within the PMP, the publisher sends a proposal of their terms to the buyer and vice versa until both parties come to an agreement. Once the agreement is finalized, the publisher’s ad server or SSP generates the deal ID.

Once the auction begins, the publisher sends over the deal ID attached to a bid request to its pool of demand partners. Upon receiving the bid requests and deal ID, the buyer’s side locates and matches with it. Once the match is made, the deal ID is attached to the bid response and sent back.

In some cases, the advertiser will skip over the deal by attempting to compete for a publisher’s impressions in an open auction. When this happens, the demand partners will return the bidding response by setting the Deal ID to 1 to let the publisher know that they aren’t interested in the private auction.

Deal ID and Preferred Deals

Preferred deals involve a one-on-one selling and buying model during which a publisher will sell a certain amount of ad inventories at a fixed CPM[4] rate. Much like PMP auctions, the publisher will send the deal ID to the advertiser along with the request and a bid is returned in the same manner with the matched deal ID. 

However, in this case, if the advertiser tries to set the deal for less than the pre-negotiated CPM, their bid simply won’t be considered for the auction, regardless of the ID.  

Deal ID and Programmatic Guaranteed

In programmatic guaranteed[5] deals, the publisher and advertiser exchange targeted ad impressions based on the device ID or cookies. From there, the deal ID is utilized in the same way as that of a preferred deal.

So, if the advertiser tries to alter the negotiated CPM, their bid will automatically get rejected.

What Are the Benefits of Deal ID?

The primary benefit of using a deal ID is that it enhances the targeting[15] capabilities within auctions. Deal IDs also benefit both parties in the following ways:

  • It provides more control and flexibility over premium ad inventories in terms of pre-negotiating prices and by directly targeting the buyer and seller
  • It adds more value to ad campaigns compared to that of an open market auction since the buyer pool is limited to those with the specific deal ID
  • There’s more transparency[9] since the publisher and advertisers are engaged in pre-negotiations. It allows them to create better relationships and know who will be buying their inventories as well as the audience being targeted
  • By using deal IDs, both the publishers and the buyers can pre-negotiate campaign[16] specifics, which means a higher and more consistent revenue for publishers and a greater ROI for advertisers
  • It enables publishers to avoid the open market and sell their premium ad inventory[10] to specific buyers
  • It saves publishers the headache of having to use tags. A single deal ID contains a whole list of criteria that would otherwise require individual tags. Plus, unlike tags, using a deal ID won’t negatively impact the page load 

Essentially, utilizing a deal ID is the best way to maximize revenue and build better buyer-seller relationships within the ad tech space.

Deal ID has inevitably become a crucial part of selling and buying through programmatic direct. Deal IDs simplify the process of setting up and running direct deals. Of course, the platform you choose to run your programmatic direct deals makes a huge difference.

1. Private Marketplace [PMP] ( PMP ) Private Marketplace deals or PMP is a direct deal made between a publisher and buyer for programmatic ad inventory. A PMP can also be called Preferred Deals. This practice contains much more human interaction unlike the alternative of selling ad inventory through an ad exchange. Often higher rates for ad inventory can be negotiated through this method.
2. supply-side platform. A technology platform that provides outsourced media selling and ad network management services for publishers. The business model resembles that of an ad network in that it aggregates ad inventory, however they serve publishers exclusively and do not provide services for advertisers (e.g., FreeWheel, SpotX).
3. programmatic direct. Programmatic direct is where specified buyers get access to specified inventory that’s not necessarily available from an open marketplace or a supply-side platform (SSP).
4. Cost Per Mille/Thousand [CPM] ( CPM ) Cost per mille, or thousand (mille = thousand in Latin). A pricing model in which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement served. This is the standard basic pricing model for online advertising. See also CPC and CPA.
5. programmatic guaranteed. This type of programmatic advertising enables a programmatic buyer to agree beforehand or guarantee a cookie/device ID matched audience for a fixed price.

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