FlexServe is a cloud-based platform where users (individuals and entities) having a common purpose meet to interact. Each user must hold an account of some type in the platform, according to the intended role. There are three types of accounts:
1)A Studio Account is required to use the FlexServe Studio web app for creating the basic ad messages that will then be trafficked on the networks in the form of campaigns.
2)A Demand Side Account is required to operate from the demand side of the platform. A DSA is where every FlexServe campaign originates. It is intended to be used by agencies and media buyers to create and offer campaigns within the platform.
3)A Supply Side Account is required to participate on the platform from the supply side (e.g. publishers, sales houses, etc.). SSA accounts can receive campaign proposals, inspect them and then either accept them or reject them. SSA users just need to deliver a specific FlexServe tag in their ad servers to get the ads delivered to their properties.
The workflow described above is depicted in the following figure:
Once an ad is created using a FlexServe Studio Account, a DSA is required to create a FlexServe campaign. The ad can be “shared” between the Studio Account that created it and one or more DSAs, so that the creative can be incorporated within respective campaigns to be run within the platform.
Once a campaign containing the ad has been created, it can now be in turn “shared” with one or more SSAs to complete the trafficking process. Campaigns can then be inspected by the intended SSAs and either approved or rejected, and settings can be edited in the approval process.
Once a campaign is approved by an SSA, the FlexServe ad can be delivered to every piece of inventory that is connected to the FlexServe platform under that SSA. The platform takes care of all details regarding the correct display of ads, in all devices, in a fully automated fashion.
Creating and Operating Your Studio Account
Studio Accounts are free for everyone to use.
Creating and Operating Your DSA
If you are an agency or you need to buy ad inventory in any way, you need an DSA (Demand Side Account) to operate within the FlexServe platform.
To create an DSA you need to provide a logo, a tagline, a code name (4 capital letters).
From that point on you will be able to receive FlexServe creatives (produced by a Studio Account) and create FlexServe campaigns from them. Once the campaigns are created, you will be able to “share” them with one or more SSAs to request approval. Execution of a campaign may start immediately after it is approved by the corresponding SSA.
Creating and Operating Your SSA
If you are a publisher or a sales house, you need an SSA (Supply Side Account) to operate within the FlexServe platform.
To create an SSA you need to provide a logo, a tagline, a code name (4 capital letters) and you need to define a number of sectors (at least one) in which you want to divide the inventory under your control.
The system will then provide you with tags (one for each sector) that you can then use to trigger a FlexServe request from the pages of your properties (FlexServe tags are like third-party tags that can be served through specific line items).
There are no rules or limitations on how to do this; you can try different approaches until you find a good balance between the amount and type of inventory committed to FlexServe and the revenue/fill rate you may obtain from it.
When the FlexServe tag is served on a page, it requests FlexServe campaigns from inside the platform as well as the entire ecosystem. Those campaigns that are eligible for a specific piece of inventory compete for the impression in various ways, according to the type of campaign (see “Campaign Types” below).
All this is completely transparent and occurs independently of the publisher ad serving systems. All ad serving is, in all cases, subject to campaign settings and limitations, from both the DSA and SSA involved.
FlexServe Campaign Types
Unlike other advertising platforms in which campaigns are setup and managed by inventory managers (i.e. supply side), in FlexServe campaigns are created by the demand side and are then offered to players on the supply side. A FlexServe campaign is always created by a DSA (demand side). Once a campaign is created, it can be “shared” with one or more SSA (supply-side), which can inspect the campaign proposal, negotiate changes or just approve the campaign as it is. Delivery can start immediately after a campaign is approved. This is true for all types of FlexServe formats, regardless of complexity. The “share” mechanism inherent in FlexServe hence simplifies trafficking and delivery process by automatically realizing all related functions for all players, on both sides of the market.
Depending on the campaign type, FlexServe applies specific game rules and algorithms to decide which specific campaign is allocated for each impression. Campaigns in FlexServe are divided into four different groups:
Allocation by volume goal. Impressions are allocated under an algorithm that aims at delivering a fixed amount of impressions within a given timeframe. Volume campaigns are always eligible (i.e. they enjoy maximum priority).
First-look, random allocation among a select group of players. Inventory owners can control what portions of their inventory are assigned to sponsor campaigns. Campaigns of this type carry a fixed price which is privately negotiated among DSA and the SSA, individually for each campaign. The campaign’s owner (i.e. the DSA that launched the campaign) can control the number of impressions effectively delivered through variables that can be modified at any time. Sponsor campaigns are allocated whenever Volume campaigns are not (i.e. Volume campaigns have priority over Sponsor campaigns, and Sponsor campaigns have priority over Auction campaigns).
Allocation by auction to external players (i.e. through RTB ecosystem) or internal players (directly within the FlexServe platform). All inventory that has not been allocated to a Volume campaign nor to a Sponsor campaign can then be allocated to an Auction campaign (i.e. Volume and Sponsor campaigns enjoy a higher priority over auction campaigns). Auction campaigns come in two types: External and Internal.
External Bidding campaigns are trafficked through the RTB ecosystem. Demand-side players can use their own DSP assets to define targeting and execute campaigns. In this case, FlexServe produces “token” tags, i.e. conventional ad tags that can be trafficked as any other third-party tag in the existing ecosystem.
Internal Bidding campaigns are launched and trafficked directly within the FlexServe platform. These campaigns compete at the same level with External Bidding campaigns with a pre-set price, which can be modified at any time by the campaign’s owner.
Allocation is controlled entirely by the supply-side players own ad-serving systems. This campaign type is useful for those SSA users that choose to use their existing ad-serving solutions to control delivery. In this case, FlexServe produces ad tags that can be simply inserted as third-party tags in specific line-items of existing ad-serving systems. Line-Item campaigns are allocated before any other campaign type (i.e. allocation of all other campaign types is avoided when a line-item campaign is allocated for a given impression).
FlexServe Delivery Flow