Go NET: how to create your own technology and keep up with market trends
Why create your own DSP, if there are giants like Google? Read about it in the new article by Go Mobile that shared information about pitfalls, approaches, and solutions when developing a technology system.
White Label period
The history of Go Mobile began in 2015, at the same time we began to develop our DSP to become a technology partner for our customers.
While Go Mobile NET was under development, we decided not to waste time and work under the White Label. We found a well-known programmatic platform and requested a self-service with already connected SSP and main data operators.
What are the benefits of this approach?
- There is no bureaucracy, only payment of Tech Fee — a percentage of the inventory purchased in DSP.
- In 2016 it was possible to buy traffic and keep a good margin despite Tech Fee.
- Working under White Label let us decide if we needed our technology.
Gradually, the development of tools that track traffic quality became a problem for this approach. Buying became more difficult and the cost of traffic was higher. The margin fell rapidly, so using someone else’s DSP under the White Label became unprofitable. However, this experience confirmed our hypothesis — we needed to develop our own technology.
The demand for programmatic among our clients grew and we gained expertise in working with DSP. The next step was to start developing our technology.
Go NET development
While we were working with White Label, the development of Go Mobile NET didn’t stop. The development teams were constantly changing, but the DSP was not ready yet.
In 2017 Media and digital experts discussed that large budgets were only going to be spent on Google and Facebook, so independent programmatic platforms were not going to have any chance.
But we had already spent a lot of time and energy to develop our platform. Therefore, we decided to achieve a final breakthrough. In 2018 we finally assembled a dream team, and since the beginning of 2019 we have completely switched to our technology Go NET.
Work with Go NET
What’s it like to launch your DSP? In the beginning, it is pain, tears, and persistent bugs. Buyers want to work on a stable platform and not to deal with bugs. Developers fight for their products with buyers. It is constant control to ensure that everything works well. It is the lack of traffic because it is long and difficult to connect to SSP.
SSP connection was quite complicated. It was especially hard to connect to international SSP. We constantly negotiated (and still negotiate) traffic prices, prepayments, and partnership terms to make Go NET better.
Despite all the difficulties, we did not regret that we had put so much effort into the development of Go NET because from that moment we could purchase traffic without commissions. The development of DSP depended only on us.
The strategy of platform development was determined by a large FMCG client with high requirements for traffic quality. We needed to pass all the verifications, so it was necessary to work on approaches to buying traffic. Our next steps were outlined.
Step № 1. Provide clients with quality traffic
We worked hard on brand safety and ad visibility to improve the quality of traffic. We set up a synchronization system with DoubleVerify and achieved the following indicators in our advertising campaigns:
- Fraud/SIVT Free > 99% (protection from bots and fake traffic);
- Brand Safety > 99% (protection of brand and advertising from unwanted context);
- In Geo > 99% (ad impressions only within the given location).
Step № 2. Expand the inventory
One of the advantages of working with DSP is the ability to quickly implement any kind of inventory. For various purposes of our clients, we added the following options:
- Audio ads;
- Smart TV;
- Rewarded video.
We also focused on communication with SSP to optimize traffic and created unique service packages for different types of business: pharma, dating services, games, etc.
Step 3. Scale demand
We began to provide partners with a self-service to scale the demand for Go NET. This required maximum involvement from us. Human resources are very important in this case. A team that can train partners, accompany them during launches, and help them solve problems.
Currently, our self-service is used by more than 10 clients. It doesn’t bring us a lot of profit, but it helps us to get feedback and improve the UX/UI of the product.
The second way of increasing demand was the provision of White Label and licenses. We have come a long way from working under the White Label to our own DSP, so we optimized and simplified our product as much as possible (for example, our Tech Fee is at least twice as low). At the moment, 2 clients are working with us on White Label terms.
Step 4. Create programmatic full-stack
We decided to become a universal programmatic soldier. Our DSP functioned successfully, so we launched the development of SSP and DMP.
Our SSP is already functioning and we are going through hell the stage of adding publishers to it and it is not easier than the connection of SSP to DSP. It requires control over platforms, revenues, and expenses.
Our DMP is mainly used as a platform for retargeting.
Go NET vs. DV360
Development of the technology platform makes us constantly ask ourselves, why we are better than others. Of course, it is necessary to compare our platform with the strongest competitors. We believe that our main competitor is Google.
DV360 (Display&Video 360) is a unified Google system for working with creatives, audience data, inventory, and campaigns in general.
What makes us different from DV360?
- Open ecosystem. Platform allows us to get all kinds of data (IDFA, GAID, cookie) and connect external solutions. This fundamentally distinguishes it from DV360 and other global players who work based on the Walled Gardens approach — closed platforms with strict rules for integration of other systems and uploading information.
- No moderation of creatives. It takes less than 5 minutes from receiving the brief and all introductory information to the first impressions.
- Interface customization for any task. We have created a system that can be easily rebuilt for a new client: you can add additional targeting options, integrations with external systems, and other settings. For example, you can set up the automatic creation of campaigns from specific briefs created in the task manager (we have Asana).
- Separate optimization for each platform. An ability to automate traffic purchase on each platform at its rate, which depends on the cost of an impression, click, conversion, or required margin.
- Unique inventory. You can work with platforms that are not part of the conventional DV360 ecosystem.
- Rich-media in video placements. There is a possibility to launch a video with interactive elements to enhance the performance potential of the campaign.
- Separate solutions for DCO. Launch of dynamic optimization of creatives with leading technology providers like Weborama.
- Automatic selection of black and white lists during the campaign.
We managed to maintain high quality at all stages of Go NET development. How can we prove it? Go NET consistently receives high marks in the annual Russian ranking AdIndex Tech, where brand marketers evaluate advertising technologies.
In 2018 we got the first place in the Mobile CPA and Mobile Premium categories and the second in the CPI and Mobile DSP categories. In 2019 we became the most popular platform for buying traffic on CPI bases and second in terms of traffic quality in the CPI, display banner ads, and video ads nominations.
Go NET has also received certification from Sizmek. We are currently working with all the key players in the traffic verification industry.
Moving forward is our main goal. We continue to develop Go NET and help businesses break into programmatic, as we once did.
Here are some tips from Go Mobile team:
- Develop your DSP if there is a demand and you can recoup the development costs, otherwise you can buy a license (for example, from us).
- Assemble a programmatic team that can work with different interfaces.
- Add a variety of tools to attract new customers.
- Your team and technology need to be prepared because traffic verifiers and analytics systems become better and better. Learn to provide quality traffic.
- Advance your approaches to problem-solving, because this is the only thing that matters.