Below, Benjamin Kneen, Interactive Media Manager at WebMD, provides his ideas.
“Plenty! The first thing that comes to mind though is a robust toolset to manage data leakage. Cookies are lifeblood to buy-side ad tech, and the sell side offers almost nothing to control and monitor that process for publishers. A few of the ad technology companies offer some lightweight products to this end, but they are mediocre at best and offer no true controls, just some basic reporting from a sample set of data, which is only so useful, or are designed as an all or nothing blunt instrument. It’s a good start, but publishers need more.
Data collection just isn’t that simple, and it’s not going away. Publishers need a way to stop data collection as needed, and audit whatever they choose to allow – who gets to drop pixels, how many they get to drop, which parties are allowed, if they are allowed to piggyback other pixels, if so, to who, and what the expiration guidelines of those cookies are, etc. Publishers also need help and advice to understand the problem in the first place, so building a consultative client services group around this solution is key – ad tech needs to stop thinking about product development as an arms race with the buy side; publishers and advertisers are partners and they want to stay that way!
So publishers want tools, but what they need is a long term strategy and the knowledge of how to compromise with clients. Publishers won’t say ‘find a way to stop this’, they’ll say ‘find a way for me to do this safely and responsibly, that accomplishes the client goals, and doesn’t create a conflict for my business’. You can only engineer halfway to the solution here, any product will have to come with knowledgeable support that speaks media.”