6 min read

What are Publishers, SSPs, and Ad techs roles towards Green Programmatic?

By reducing digital Ads inventory, educating advertisers & marketers, tackling revenue loss through green traffic, by using a high-quality prediction model. Sustainable traffic and clean media that's all we need!

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Written By
Angela Oladipupo
Published on

Green advertising is a method for brands to promote environmentally friendly initiatives, products, or services while minimizing adverse environmental impact. In this context, both publishers and ssps have several roles and responsibilities to consider regarding green advertising.

While there are numerous advantages to using green media in adtech, it may take a lot of work for publishers and supply-side platforms. In addition, it necessitates a mix of finances, technical expertise, and a willingness to invest in new technology.

Adtech role in clean Programmatic Advertising

Ad tech is ultimately an enabler - a set of technologies that help brands communicate their marketing messages to a relevant audience. With that in mind, there are key ways it can influence behavior:

By helping brands promote ethical products and services and successfully grow their businesses.

  • Consumer spend on ethical products has grown significantly faster in the past decade than overall consumer spend. Because of this, many brands now produce products and services that provide people with more sustainable consumer options. This might be an electric vehicle, a meat-free food option, sustainably sourced clothing, or a green financial product. For those brands to grow successfully, they need to reach an audience most likely to be interested.
  • In the same way, a clothing brand might choose to reach fashion-conscious consumers by appearing in Vogue, a brand with a sustainable product message must reach ethically-conscious consumers. Advertising can influence people towards more sustainable products, and ad tech can help brands reach the audience that is most likely to engage.

By supporting publishers whose content inspires and educates people to live more sustainably.

  • The increasing consumer interest in sustainability is reflected in the growth of digital publishers creating content around the subject. This ranges from sites like pebblemag.com, writing about how people can make sustainable lifestyle choices, to mindbodygreen.com, writing about how people can benefit both their own health and the planet around them.

  • However, many emerging publishers do not receive any spending from major media agencies or brands. Ad tech is vital in ensuring these types of publishers get their fair share of ad dollars. This revenue helps them grow and create more content, influencing mass behavioral change.

    diverse group sitting together and working on a project happily

The roles Publishers can play towards Green Advertising

Regardless, there are certain roles the publishers can still play in promoting green advertising.

In a purely operational sense, they can dramatically lower the carbon emitted through their digital ad inventory transaction. They can do this in several ways, from reducing their page-load to rationalizing the number of partners in their ad stack.

Reducing digital Ads inventory

They can dramatically lower the carbon emitted through their digital ad inventory transaction in several ways, from reducing their page load to rationalizing the number of partners in their ad stack.

Influence advertisers and marketers

Publishers can influence advertisers and marketers about the benefits of green media and encourage them to prioritize it in their campaigns. However, publishers have a bigger responsibility than this and, therefore, a bigger opportunity. The content they write can impact the behavior of millions of people.

We would argue that a publisher who emits comparatively little carbon in serving an ad but whose editorial content encourages unsustainable consumer behavior can’t be considered ‘green media’. The true impact publishers can have in producing content that helps drive better consumer behavior in this pivot towards a low-carbon economy.

Use ad networks that prioritize green media

Publishers can use ad networks that prioritize the inclusion of green media in their inventory, which can help them reach a wider audience of environmentally-conscious consumers.

Finally, a publisher can promote sustainability by featuring content that educates and informs readers about environmental issues and solutions and by partnering with organizations working to protect the environment.

Discover how GumGum achieved a 30% QPS on average reduction using Traffic Shaping. Read the full story

gumgum's logo on a banner

The roles SSPs can play toward sustainable programmatic

SSPs have long served as a go-between for publishers and advertisers. Still, with the increased demand for green advertising, Adtech is actively looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions and waste in this industry.

To that aim, we are developing approaches such as Ad Net Zero, which reduces carbon emissions, and Supply Path Optimization, which eliminates redundancy, superfluous middlemen, and, ultimately, waste. Quality Path Optimization tells advertisers to invest in quality rather than cheap reach. Companies like Scope3 assist advertisers in tracking the carbon footprint of each generated impression.

a hand holding a plant in a soil demonstrating green advertising

Tackling Revenue Loss through Green Traffic

What SSPs can do to shape greener traffic without losing revenue is to optimize how they are integrated. For example, the supply path can be optimized and cleaner by sanitizing their incoming traffic, limiting the amount of traffic they send to their partner DSPs, and preventing income loss through meticulous monitoring and waste minimization.

SSPs must determine the values that each bidder is driving through QPS Optimization. Do they bring enough added value to their [SSP's] system to make submitting requests to them profitable? If not, businesses should cut relations with those partners in order to reduce their carbon footprint and waste while keeping revenue—a win-win situation for both sides.

a text that reads "zero wasting" hanging on a line with green plants

By using a High-Quality Prediction Model

Yes, by using a High-Quality Prediction Model. The supply chain can be vastly improved by eliminating multiple stages within the chain and thereby reducing industry-wide traffic by at least 50% by using machine learning and predictive methods to predict how valuable a domain is, how valuable a user is, and for whom a request is relevant and for whom it is not. Yes, by using a High-Quality Prediction Model

What makes this possible?

"Publishers can easily cut 40% of traffic without harming income, whereas SSPs can decrease 50 to 60% of traffic while increasing revenue! by investing in quality prediction algorithms.”

According to Nils Lind, combining these two elements can cut the entire supply chain in half.

Publishers, SSPs, and their partners can now contribute to the industry's journey towards ad net zero. For example, publishers can remove resellers from their ads.txt file and work with direct demand, as well as manually map out SSPs from browsers/countries where they do not operate.

Ad Buyers can contribute by devoting a more considerable portion of their budgets to lower-carbon creative, such as standard IAB display units, and by directing their budgets to greener DSPs and SSPs. DSPs and advertisers must also identify spammy partners and reward SSP owners who prioritize sustainability.

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