One Question: How Does The Complex, Digital Ad Ecosystem Today Get Simplified?

One QuestionOften, a question doesn’t have an easy answer in the digital advertising business. This is a new column devoted to an answer to a single question – and providing a bit of space for it.

Today’s participant is John Donahue, CTO of BuzzLogic, a conversational media solution company, who recently answered the following question during a conversation with… How does the complex, digital ad ecosystem today get simplified?

JD: Good technology simplifies our lives.  For example, think of how word processing has simplified authors’ lives with the ability to revise and edit each sentence on a real-time basis.  The same is true for digital advertising.  Good technology should simplify marketers’ lives -which is my core belief.  A technologist in advertising needs to create an enablement platform to simplify marketers’ lives when they advertise online.

I can see your point, however.  Many vendors focus their energy on disrupting the marketplace through technology, rather than simplifying and improving it.  If a vendor improves and simplifies the process ‑ they will, in fact, be seen as an enabler that improves digital media advertising and increases understanding of how to leverage digital advertising to achieve results.

An ad technology company justifies its team’s position on the media plan because an agency and a marketer right now can’t scale their marketing ops and logistical organizations to handle 300+ sites that would be activated against in a standard execution.

For example, the team can justify its position because it is cherry picking, simplifying and packaging digital advertising to deliver creative consumer solutions that are impactful, engaging, and drive marketing goal results.

As long as we focus our energy on improving and simplifying, and not trying to complicate and disrupt, it is augmenting digital advertising and being a partner to the advertising agency as opposed to a challenger.

My advice to every digital publisher and digital advertising vendor in the world, is focus their energy on improving digital advertising through simple changes so that they can achieve results that move a brand fully and surely towards the direction where things are better, where they’ll get better results, where waste is minimized and where the advertiser’s money is saved.  Increasing an advertiser’s return on investment is the primary goal.

But, doing it in a way that makes marketers’ lives easier on a day‑to‑day basis.  Publishers and digital advertising vendors need to ask themselves if they are accomplishing this constantly.

One simple improvement for a publisher might be to enable page level buying. Site-level buying is pervasive, but page-level buying could provide publishers with an advantage. However, marketers can’t really achieve scale if they buy individual pages because, effectively, the content is syndicated throughout the site in multiple and diverse ways.

So, my recommendation to publishers is to own their data, information and the ways advertisers and partners can buy their inventory so that they can curate content from their sites to provide advertisers with a highly targeted plan from their content and audience.

Publishers’ ability to tag their audience and assets they have – from a curated content perspective is -the only way that they’re going to further “premium-ize” their content and the media packages that they could deliver, to avoid just dumping their additional inventory into remnant pools that other people are going to arbitrage.

Publishers need to understand their audience, understand how they curate content around their advertisers so that they can better sell their inventory.

Follow BuzzLogic (@buzzlogic) and (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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  1. This is a great perspective.

    However, I am trying to better understand what you mean by “Publishers’ ability to tag their audience and assets they have.” Good you give an example of an ideal way this could be done? If pubs are qualifying their own audience, why would advertisers trust that? I feel like that is why advertisers currently do the qualifying. I would love some more specifics about you mean, because I feel like I am missing something. Thanks for the great post!

  2. The proliferation of Do Not track legislation and tons of cookie blocking tools and technologies will eliminate 75% of these companies. Give it a year and the whole chart will be simplified.