AudienceScience announced last week that Alanna Clark has been hired as VP of Strategic Partnerships. See the release. A veteran of the digital media optimization space, Clark discussed the new role and trends in the industry with AdExchanger.com.
AdExchanger.com: Looking at the ad tech industry, in your mind, what has been the biggest surprise in the past year?
I’m not sure if surprise is the right word, but the industry’s misuse of data both in targeting, pricing, and sheer segment assembly is troubling. This could be attributed to the various intermediary players in the online advertising ecosystem but regardless, the confusion is not helping to tell the data story nor aiding to alleviate the privacy concerns.
What new challenges are you particularly looking forward to in your new role at AudienceScience?
Data is and will be a market maker in the display space. And when I say data, I mean differentiated, unique data. AudienceScience is a clear leader in the data arena and we have followed the scarcity model approach in regards to usage for a reason. My goal is to maintain the integrity of our data, make sure we price accordingly, avoid commoditization, and ensure that each data partnership we forge upholds these goals. My job is made a bit easier in that we do have a Quality Guarantee that we firmly stand by, thus it helps to frame the policy and market choices we make.
I also look forward to getting involved with the privacy initiatives as this is an extremely critical time for our space and we are committed to playing an active role in driving and shaping the conversations and policy.
What do you think about financial market comparisons to the increasing data-driven world of digital advertising? Is it a fair comparison?
Digital advertising is a financial market. At the moment this market is quite fragmented with supply, demand, and data sources not competing efficiently in the exchange spot markets. These competition issues are leading to pricing volatility, speculation, arbitrage, and in some cases price fixing.
It is actually quite exciting to watch digital advertising evolve and to observe the market making behaviors that are shaping our ecosystem. Data is playing a large part in the current evolution phase, helped by integrated targeting platforms like our Audience Gateway and the digital availability of offline data sources. De-duping, correct targeting usage, and efficient pricing is key in this critical time.
So is it fair to compare an industry where we exchange goods and services at marginally low transaction costs to a financial market? Sure!
If you were a publisher today, what would you be doing to insure a successful future? Use exchanges, aggregators, ad networks, DSPs, none of the above?
First and foremost, online publishers should focus on their core competencies: quality content creation and the creation of a solid user base. Advertising is a revenue model that is secondary to their core business. I think all solutions can be used with the proper controls in place to help generate additional revenue. The key is planning and execution. Proper inventory management, aggressive demand acquisition, and a firm data strategy are doorways to success. The technical partners you choose to help open these doors are critical; be it network, exchange, DSP, SSP, or a DMP, make sure your partner is working with you.
By John Ebbert
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