Tuesday, April 24, 2012

PubTalk: PCH’s Denise Leggio on winning big with DoubleClick Ad Exchange

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 |

You probably think of Publisher’s Clearing House (PCH) as a mail-order sweepstakes company that surprised winners with big, over-sized checks. However, PCH has evolved its traditional magazine and merchandise direct marketing business to include several “play and win” properties such as pchlotto.com, pchgames.com and pchsearchandwin.com.

Delivering over 300 million ad impressions per month across these sites, PCH tested multiple strategies for monetizing remnant inventory before turning to DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) in early 2010. Today, AdX’s share of revenue has grown 5X and it now monetizes up to 70% of all remnant inventory. We caught up with Denise Leggio, Director of Ad Operations at PCH, to learn more about what worked for them with AdX.

Won over by strong controls
“With a brand like ours, ad quality is just as important as the RPM. But Ad Exchange is easy to use and allows us a broad range of controls, like blocking competitive or undesirable ads from bidding. It lets us maximize revenue without giving up control of the ads or compromising our brand,” says Denise.

Higher yields with Dynamic Allocation
“One of the biggest benefits of Ad Exchange is Dynamic Allocation with DFP. Ad Exchange will only serve if it can beat the highest-paying ad at that exact time, ensuring optimal revenue.” For PCH, Dynamic Allocation has also informed pricing decisions on direct inventory.

Multiple tools and levers for deeper insights and higher revenue
From reporting features at the individual ad unit level, to the Minimum CPM Recommendation tool to set the minimum auction price, AdX has provided Denise’s team many tools to optimize revenue. “The optimization options have been extremely valuable for our online business. The tools, reports and data provided give us insight into our inventory and buyer habits,” she says. “With those insights, we’re able to make changes extremely quickly.”

Operational efficiencies allow deeper focus on direct sales
The time savings from being on AdX has allowed Denise and her team to better support PCH’s direct sales team, testing and building creative packages involving rich media, takeover ads and site skins. “The operations team can now be a strategic partner on that end, instead of just being on the back end doing yield optimization and trafficking.”

“You have to work with a solution that you trust, and I think that’s why we like Ad Exchange,” Denise says. “For PCH, Ad Exchange is the solution of choice because of its robust technology, insights, control, and ability to offer the highest yield and inventory fill in a highly competitive market.”

Read the full case study here.

This blog post was part of “PubTalk”, a series of conversations with publishers.