With most advertisers and publishers looking to partner in the crucial fourth quarter, paid placements are a critical component of a digital marketer’s holiday strategy.  Yet, for many, managing paid placements can be a time-consuming ordeal.

Ivan Pena, Senior Director of Product Adoption at Rakuten Advertising said, “When I was managing accounts, I could have 300-400 emails in a day, and most were related to paid placements. About 30% of an account manager’s time is spent on activities such as determining which publishers to work with, which messages should be communicated by which publishers, and how those publishers are going to be compensated either via flat fee or commission increases based on performance.”

Enter Rakuten Advertising’s Placements Marketplace, an affiliate matchmaking and campaign management tool designed to give both advertisers and publishers up to 30% of their time back by reducing their reliance on inefficient email communication.

What is Placements Marketplace?

Placements Marketplace empowers both affiliate advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising placements in one centralized location. It is a two-sided marketplace where advertisers and publishers can discover each other, communicate budgets and opportunities, and negotiate effectively.

At its core, Placements Marketplace is designed to help publishers earn higher commissions by building stronger relationships with advertisers who have specific goals and target audiences in mind.

“The marketplace is a sales and negotiation engine, a robust RFP (request for proposal) tool,” Pena explains. “This is where you’re going to go to find publishers to work with, find placements, accept proposals and lock things in.”

What kind of insight can it provide?

Rakuten Advertising has fine-tuned the Placements Marketplace to allow advertisers to measure campaign effectiveness and share more data with publishers in order to make it easier for both parties to work together, bolstering each other’s strengths and shoring up potential weaknesses.

“You can look at the dashboard and pick two underperforming stats and pick publishers that can help you turn those around,” Pena says. “For instance, I would take a look at clicks and see which of the top publishers has been underperforming and then turn that around with strategic placements, by creating a new campaign and inviting publishers into it. When suggesting a budget, start with 10% of the sales revenue you want to generate.”

How can it help me to better manage my placements?

Placements Marketplace provides detailed information in a centralized location, making the placement booking process more efficient and user-friendly.

“Placements Marketplace takes the guesswork out of who you should work with,” Pena says. “There’s a workflow improvement benefit, there’s a time savings we can quantify, and you can get more out of these campaigns because you’re centralizing placement requests, so you can provide all the details to everyone at the same time. This way you do it once and share it with all your partners.”

What do I need to do to get the most out of this tool?

An advertiser has to have clear goals in mind as to who they are trying to reach and what a successful campaign ultimately looks like.

“Publishers know their target audience better than anyone,” Pena says. “You should have an idea of what budget you have to commit to a campaign, whether you want to do flat fees or commission increases or both, and what your overall objective is. There’s never enough data that you can give to a publisher in a request because the more data you give them, the better they can craft a message that gets results.”

Ivan Pena is a Senior Director on the Rakuten Advertising Product Adoption team. He focuses on providing global publisher teams the information, training and support they need to help publishers understand the Rakuten Advertising product roadmap and how it impacts them. He has been with Rakuten Advertising since 2013 and is based in Tampa, Florida.

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