“Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Yael Avidan, vice president of product at Adelphic.
The first question marketers or agencies ask ad tech vendors or media companies is probably this: “That audience is perfect, but can it scale?”
Audience targeting is great, but ultimately, advertising’s main draw is reaching large-scale audiences. Although it reflects the return on investment, that marker can miss the point and may end up stifling the digital ad world’s growth.
We live in a time where consumer experience is fragmented more than ever across devices, channels and experiences. Yet, advertisers want “shortcuts” and are driving media companies and ad tech vendors to provide them with scale – even when that scale doesn’t exist.
This results in three core issues I see threatening the growth and sustainability of the digital ad world. First, the quest for scale reduces the value of smaller yet engaged audiences. As a result, many smaller publishers are having a hard time competing and struggle to maintain their revenue bases.
Second, advertisers’ willingness to pay for scale has unsurprisingly driven the emergence of bots and traffic drivers that step in and “supply” this demand. This, in turn, created a massive distrust of advertisers in the ecosystem and is one of the key problems that holds back the shift of more TV dollars to online.
Last but definitely not least, in a market that values scale above all, a handful of large publishers are capturing the majority of advertisers’ attention and spend at the expense of the rest of the market.
The quest for scale has taken the digital ad industry out of balance and created an industry where only a few win and many lose. Is there a path forward or a way out of this?
Cross-Device Solutions Can Help Pool Audiences Together
In a messy digital world of multiple devices, channels and experiences where individuals switch between several cookies and mobile device identifiers, it is challenging to identify an advertiser’s desired target audiences in a consistent way. But cross-device capabilities can enable advertisers to pool the open web and find their target audiences in a more accurate way.
Go Real And A Bit Smaller
Marketers can find the audiences they really want, but they need to be prepared for real-world scale. When they target people, not proxies, their accuracy is higher so scale is smaller. In this much more accurate world, where they’re reaching actual people, they can better manage that performance or precision via frequency capping, sequencing and other tactics.
Spread The Wealth
Consumers travel between their devices with the greatest of ease, yet marketers still struggle across channels and with weaving in and out of walled gardens. Open web for desktop and walled gardens for mobile still do not reach some of the audiences that brands seek. Marketers must keep their minds open and trial new solutions to evolve their media mix.