SteelHouse's Media-Buying Model Goes 100% Transparent With New Platform

SteelHouse has created a self-serve retargeting platform that lets advertisers see the exact price the company paid for the advertisers' media on their behalf.  

The move furthers the advertising software company's business model of creating self-service tools that give marketers insight into pricing. This time it's through the release of Premier Edition. The new platform also provides transparent reporting that shows advertisers’ campaign performance down to the publisher level.

Mark Douglas, SteelHouse president and CEO, said the company doesn't markup the media buys and hide the true cost, but does charge marketers to use the software.

"Even with ad networks and programmatic media buys, the advertiser never truly knows how much they pay for the media," Douglas said. "It's different with offline media such as television. You know what you paid to develop the commercial and get it placed. In digital it's all been hidden."

In digital, it's traditionally been hidden, Douglas said. It became clear how big the margins are once they began to reveal costs.



Transparency has been a huge issue in the advertising industry. It's difficult for some companies to change their business model, but some have been working to become more transparent and tell advertisers what they pay for digital advertising, he said.

Douglas founded SteelHouse on a revenue media model, but decided to change it last year. It's the company's first platform with 100% transparent pricing, since changing its business model to "no markup on media whatsoever."

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