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Meet Nero. A mobile-first demand-side platform for true bidding transparency.

A few weeks ago we released our new programmatic marketing platform, Nero. We’ve completely re-engineered our DSP with a singular focus: to offer true bidding transparency. What is true bidding transparency? At LifeStreet, it means giving complete visibility into the full combination of variables involved with executing a programmatic media buy. You, the advertiser, now have the exact same level of visibility into bidding strategies, campaign performance, and reporting as your LifeStreet Customer Success Manager.

When programmatic advertising and RTB technology became mainstream during the late aughts, advertisers used the term “black box” to describe the lack of transparency around data visibility. Their request was simple: where did their ads appear and how much did they pay? And while progress has been made with regards to the type of data advertisers have access to, the rise of machine learning, as a component of real-time bidding, added a new layer of complexity to programmatic’s perennial transparency problem. Proprietary technology, the ML models they produce, and how these techniques work continue to be extremely complicated and opaque at their core. But in exchange for lower CPMs, faster execution, and more opportunities to serve an ad, many advertisers have reluctantly accepted this dynamic as the status quo.  

But we always believed that you deserved more. More transparency, more access, and more control over your ad spend. And with the release of Nero, we’ve taken one more step toward our North Star: to make programmatic advertising more transparent and accessible for mobile app developers. 

Let’s dive into some of what you can expect. And I say “some” because this is just the beginning. 

Important bidding decisions are simplified 

At the core of our new platform is complete and centralized visibility. We lay bare the components of our bidding formula so that you can have a step-by-step understanding of the impact our bidding strategy has on your campaign; and eventually the knowledge and skills to fully control your bids. 

In our powerfully simple UI, you can see how we combine multiple predictions using a configurable bidding formula to make a bid.

Configurable Bidding Formula

Choosing the right model types and configurations for your bidding strategy is one of the most important decisions to make when setting up a campaign. And without complete visibility into this process, marketers risk wasting time, money, and campaign performance. The Nero UI was designed so that from a single, centralized portal, users can test and preview an infinite number of bidding strategies across smaller percentages of traffic before changes are applied to the entire campaign.

Model type testing for bidding plan on webpage
In the Nero bidding formula UI, the relationships between each element of the bid is clear to see, and the process of adding and testing a new model is easy.

Testing down to a science 

With every campaign we launch, we continuously ask ourselves, “Are the right models working together to produce the most effective bid?” In the example below, a campaign was launched with our default Install Propensity Model. But would campaign performance improve if we used a Payer Propensity model that took into account pLTV? Would it be a better strategy to optimize towards users who are predicted to spend a certain amount? To check our hypothesis, we added a new bidder that tested an iteration of our Payer Propensity Model at 25% of volume against only the Install Propensity Model.

In this scenario, we only evaluated two bidding strategies, but there is no limit to the number of new bidders we can add, all of which can be tested on varying percentages of traffic. Nero is a tool that makes it possible for whoever is managing budgets and programmatic spending to confidently determine which configurations have the greatest impact on campaign performance.

Bidder test model type
Nero Analytics can report on bidder performance to measure the impact of new models and informs data-driven campaign strategy decisions.

We’re just getting started

We’ve decided to roll out Nero in three phases. Phase I is complete visibility into bidding strategies, which is rolling out now. Phase II will allow you to manage budgets and some targeting. Phase III is for experienced advertisers who want to have total control over their spend. No matter the level of control you decide is best for your business, you will always have the same level of campaign visibility without ever losing the customer support of a managed service.

We can’t wait for you to start using Nero. There is so much it can do. To learn more about our new platform, speak to your customer success manager about what you’d like to access and when so they can build you a comprehensive training plan.

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