4 Questions Publishers Seeking Identity Partners Need To Ask

Sara Badler

"The Sell Sider" is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today's column is written by  Sara Badler, SVP of advertising and partnerships at Dotdash.

Digital identity has to remain key to any innovative publisher's strategy. But as we approach the post-cookie era (even if it happens later than originally planned), the question of how best to “do” digital identity can be a hard one. The market is packed with tech partners and platforms, all of them working through and promoting their own unique solutions.

How to find the right vendor to work with? First, cut through the noise. As you scan the busy vendor landscape, ask yourself four questions.

Question 1: What value does my company deliver to advertisers and marketers now?

Answers will differ based on how your content, CMS, traffic patterns, and ad stack are set up. A publisher with access to a giant pool of subscriber or email data will approach the post-cookie conversation much differently than will a publisher that relies to a greater extent on contextual signals coming straight from the page or article.

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses as a publisher or a platform is the first step to identifying what you need from a partner.

Question 2: What value can a partner—a CMP or a DMP, say—bring my company?

Whether users are online or in the physical world, each access point they touch represents an opportunity for partners to build relationships with them. Many companies looking to work with publishers compile, anonymize, and consolidate touchpoint information to boost inventory performance and hone addressability.

You need to understand just how they’re pulling that off. Through email? And are they improving site response times? Make sure your data and tech teams peek under the hood to see if a partner’s solution squares with your business values and goals.

Question 3: Can this potential partner help us scale?

The right vendor can help you increase addressability for activation and measurement across your own properties — if, that is, it has made the right integrations and struck the right partnerships on its own side. Find out how many other DSP’s, SSP’s, and publishing partners a company you are vetting has integrated with. The more scale that company can bring to the table, the better for you.

Question 4: What about privacy and security?

You should ideally be partnering with a company that gives users control of how their data is used and collected, even as it still offers the targeting and measurement solutions that benefit you.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this point in an era when privacy and transparency are ever more crucial to ad tech — and to the wider world. Talk to your partners about security. See what measures they’ve taken to ensure that they’re up to date and compliant with ever-evolving laws that govern data collection and tracking.

Keeping up with the ongoing digital identity crisis can be overwhelming; new changes come, and new restrictions are imposed, every day. The right identity partner or partners can help you navigate this chaotic sea, freeing your time to focus on your clients and your business.

By identifying your core strengths and weaknesses, drilling down into just how a potential partner does what it does, seeking out scale, and putting a premium on security, you can position yourself to make the most of your identify relationships — and win in the post-cookie world.

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