Craig Chinn
Oct 24, 2017

5 elements every wrapper solution should provide

It’s increasingly important for publishers to have an easy and scalable way to manage multiple header bidders. Let's take a look at five things publishers should consider when choosing a wrapper solution.

5 elements every wrapper solution should provide
Traditionally, publishers have used header bidding as a tactic to increase yield on unsold inventory. However, publishers are now starting to see how header bidding also increases fill rate for private marketplaces (PMP). And with the increasing complexity, it’s important for publishers to have an easy and scalable way to manage multiple header bidders. That’s where wrapper technologies come into play and why choosing the right one is critical to a publisher’s success.
Wrappers collect various services like multiple bid requests, analytics, tracking, and viewability prior to passing them to an ad server. They make it easier for publishers to manage and alter tags. Without a wrapper, ads ops teams have to manually replace header tags on a page to implement changes. It would be easy to dismiss wrappers as just simple container tags, however, there is much more to consider when deciding on which wrapper technology is right for you. Here are five things to consider when choosing a wrapper solution.
5 wrapper components to consider
1. Open source
The primary benefits of a wrapper are maximising revenue through a fair auction and each exchange adapter being optimized to reduce latency.
There are currently two types of wrappers in the marketplace:
  1. Wrappers built on open source software, the most widely used being Prebid.js
  2. And wrappers built on closed, proprietary software
Prebid.js is a free and open source wrapper script that publishers can use to develop their own wrapper. Or they can choose to work with ad tech partners with wrappers built on Prebid. Open source is the most scalable option with adapters continually upgraded, since exchanges and the large development community maintain the adapters. Transparency is also increased as the source code is open to the community to ensure fair auction dynamics.
In comparison, proprietary wrappers have to work with individual exchanges for constant re-certification of their adapters. This individual recertification process places strains on the development resources of the wrapper provider. This creates longer and less frequent development cycles and more down time. It places publisher-monetization at risk. Additionally, with a proprietary wrapper, it’s difficult for publishers and exchanges operating within the wrapper to ensure a fair auction. Without the oversight of a community, proprietary wrappers are more prone to conflicts of interests — intentionally or unintentionally.
2. UI, controls and reporting
An intuitive UI and robust reporting gives your ad operations department more control.
Wrapper reporting differs from exchange reporting and it’s important for protecting user experience (UX). Publishers want to manage the exchange win-rate and revenue contribution against potential latency that might impact UX. A wrapper should provide comprehensive reporting in near real-time so publishers can decide to pause or deprioritise low-performing exchanges.
Additionally, wrappers work because of line item creation in the publisher ad server. Most publishers use granular line item creation at one penny increments for their wrapper set up. A limitation for many wrappers is the reliance on the price priority model of Open Real-time Bidding (OpenRTB). Relying on price priority creates difficulties for guaranteed buys, such as in private marketplaces guaranteed (PMP-G).
In order to grow their PMP-G business, which is critical as brand dollars move to programmatic, publishers need the ability to prioritise private marketplace bids over higher bids in the open marketplace. Wrappers must have the option to serve ads based on ad priority, not just price priority.
3. Hybrid solution
Publishers need to take advantage of the existing client-side trend today while preparing for a server-to-server (S2S) future.
You will hear a lot about the increasingly popular S2S header bidding. How does it differ from client-side? Simply put, the client-side resides on the user’s browser and S2S happens in the cloud. Many industry experts are predicting the extinction of client-side with S2S as the future of header bidding. But the reality is most DSPs working through exchanges are bidding higher in client-side setups due to better data matching.
The best wrapper solution is one that can take bids from both integration types to provide the benefits of both worlds.
4. Multi-format
Header bidding has mostly been applied to desktop and mobile web. However, mobile app support is beginning. In addition, video header bidding conversations continue to happen. Native ads will likely be next to benefit from header bidding. Having a wrapper solution that works across multiple formats will prove to be important as digital marketing advances.
5. Enterprise support
Programmatic technology evolves at a rapid pace. Make sure you choose a wrapper partner at the forefront of this technology. Getting the basics right matters.
Wrapper setup is best left to the experts who will assist in ad server line item creation and correct key value pairing. If publishers also have custom needs, such as business intelligence (BI) tool integration, it is vital to have enterprise-level support. Beyond the core technology needs, make sure your wrapper provider has the staff, expertise, and dedicated support to be your true programmatic partner.
Navigating the open digital media future
The programmatic landscape will only continue to grow more complex as technology advances. It is important to choose the right tools and partner for future successes. Learn more about what questions to ask regarding header bidders and let us know how we can help.
Craig Chinn is VP of customer success at PubMatic


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