When metasearch travel site Kayak decided to take programmatic in-house in the spring of 2016, it needed to select a group of vendors that could help it buy media both more efficiently and effectively.
After settling on DoubleClick Bid Manager for display buying, Kayak realized it didn’t have an automated or transparent way to buy and sell cost-per-click (CPC) ads with other travel booking sites, which represents a sizable revenue stream for the company.
Because there was no programmatic marketplace priced on a CPC basis, Kayak bought ads from black-box networks that aggregated inventory at an undisclosed price and gave no insight into where ads eventually ran, said Marek Lacina, senior display manager at Kayak.
“We don’t know where the ad is being displayed or how many players are in the auction,” he said. “Kayak is a very data-driven company. We want to know where we are spending and how efficiently.”
After evaluating several vendors, Kayak came across MediaAlpha, a platform that operates a programmatic ecosystem priced on CPC specifically for clients with meta and native search engines.
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