2024 Should Be the Year of AI-Powered DPO

By James Hanslip, CEO at Content Ignite

The digital advertising landscape is in a state of flux. Google’s phasing out of the third-party cookie has led to a knock-on effect of tightening privacy regulations – from the EU’s GDPR ruling to California’s CCPA. Add into this the recent Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) calls to action and publishers are facing a difficult time proving the value of their inventory as consumer data becomes harder to get hold of.

There is a fine line publishers have to tread in this emergent new paradigm. Already trying to balance monetisation with user experience, privacy now has to also be a key consideration. However, Demand Path Optimisation (DPO) offers them the opportunity to gain greater control and transparency over their advertising.

DPO is, in short, the inverse of Supply Path Optimisation. It offers publishers several benefits, including allowing them to identify the most valuable buyers, understand the quality of the ads and ensure timely responses to bids. DPO, at its core, gives greater insights to publishers over how impressions are bought. This enables publishers to better understand not only how to maximise returns on each ad slot and the kinds of advertisers buying the slots. Armed with this information, slots can be optimised and buyers more effectively curated, ultimately leading to a better advertising experience for users.

However, DPO in its current guide has a number of limitations. AI changes this. Like many other aspects of advertising, coupling DPO with AI will have a truly transformative effect for publishers, bringing greater control, profitability, and sustainability.

The role of AI-powered technology in addressing DPO challenges

A primary issue that any publisher utilising DPO will face is identifying the most beneficial buyers because it requires teams to analyse vast amounts of bidding data and buyer behaviour.

Moreover, publishers also need to assess a buyers’ financial reliability, the quality of their advertising creative, and ensure timely responses to bids – all critical elements that add layers of complexity to every transaction.

This is where the introduction of AI can prove game changing. As AI has been applied to other areas of advertising, it has become clear that its strengths lie in its ability to sift through large datasets and identify patterns at a pace simply impossible for humans to undertake manually. When it comes to DPO, AI can be deployed to help build a better picture of buyers. By rapidly analysing historical bidding data at scale, the buyers who deliver high quality creative and are reliable will stand out. Armed with this knowledge, publishers can make better informed decisions about their inventory and reap the benefits of higher returns and superior ad experiences for audiences.

AI can also play a role in optimising real-time bids. By again utilising large quantities of historical data, AI systems can better predict the success probability of each bid. From here, publishers can look to prioritise bids that are more likely to result in favourable outcomes. This streamlining of the ad placement process ensures publishers gain a higher return on each ad slot.

There are secondary benefits to AI-enabled DPO that can further increase revenue. Through this approach publishers can effectively optimise on-page ad placements to maximise consumer interaction – therefore driving the price of ad inventory up.

AI powered DPO drastically reduces the workload of staff freeing them up to channel their skills into strategic planning. Armed with the granular insights AI rapidly delivers, teams can increase the effectiveness of ad operations while reducing unnecessary costs. 

A human touch

Even though AI can do most of the heavy lifting, humans are still a vital part of addressing strategy, latency, and sustainability issues. As powerful as AI is, it is still just a tool – and needs human intelligence to guide it. Humans need to write the rules of logic that AI tools run on and give them the parameters to perform from. Experts are still needed to analyse output, tweak processes, and educate clients on business decisions.

As the landscape continues to shift, DPO will give publishers the insights needed to take greater control of their advertising operations, optimise revenue and deliver better advertising experiences. Steered in the right direction by long-term strategy created by publishers, AI-powered DPO will become a vital companion for those looking to do more than just tread water in today’s current market.