Rob Griffin's column on the future death of the ad server does not acknowledge that a targeting and measurement methodology dependent on a third-party cookie is fundamentally flawed.
With a better targeting and measurement methodology, the dynamics of the ecosystem will change, and the ad server will take on an even broader role. The ad servers, including Facebook's Atlas and Google's Doubleclick Campaign Manager (DCM), are driving the shift to tracking in a cross-device world using Facebook and Google logged in identity as the backbone.
To date, neither has been strong in either mobile or cross-device capabilities but, as they integrate identity, they have the potential to provide long-awaited salvation from inaccurate measurement that has prevented budgets from moving to mobile and digital overall.
Time spent in mobile has surpassed time spent in desktop, but since the third-party cookie is barely useful in tablet and mobile environments, reporting in attribution platforms, DMPs, DSPs and ad servers alike all massively undervalue the performance of those placements. The result of the defunct methodology is marketers are missing an enormous opportunity to reach consumers. To Rob’s point, cross-device players like Tapad are innovating but there are three problems preventing cross-device ad tech startups from enabling budgets to move to mobile at scale.