Advertisers and Publishers Must Work Together to Ensure Quality Media

Teamwork makes the dream work

Finding high-quality media is a challenge that has eluded advertisers since the early days of the industry.

And despite incredible advances in ad tech, the problem remains today. For many CMOs, access to highly targeted, contextually relevant and data-optimized media is one of the key drivers of the future of digital marketing. But fewer than half of CMOs think they’re effectively delivering on this need today, according to a recent Dentsu Aegis Network study cited in eMarketer.

How can marketing leaders close the gap between what they want and what they can achieve?

The solution can be found on both sides of the ad ecosystem. Advertisers and brands need to rethink their approach to targeting, while publishers need to tell a more comprehensive story to advertisers and prove the quality of their media and audiences. This full-circle approach is aptly suited to propel the industry forward.

Closing the performance gap

Audience data has long been the backbone of the ad tech industry. It gives marketers the coveted who’s who behind their data and has fueled digital display advertising for as long as the industry’s been around.

But as technology gets more sophisticated and new privacy regulations are cemented into the ecosystem, marketers are discovering exciting new ways to complement their audience strategies and expand their capabilities beyond just the who, to begin capitalizing on the where and when.

Take contextual intelligence, for example. Once reserved predominantly for blocking media and ensuring brand safety, context is now being used at stages of the campaign lifecycle from planning to execution.

It’s no longer just about finding the right places to serve an ad or avoiding certain environments, you can now understand how content is being interacted with in real-time.

This presents an alternate perspective on consumer behavior and allows you to capitalize on the moments that drive action and discover new customer groups.

For example, brands were clamoring for any opportunity to capitalize on the internet buzz during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. You’d think that content on wedding dresses or exotic honeymoon destinations would be trending, but it was actually an obscure diet plan that had been recommended to Meghan Markle by her soon-to-be sister-in-law Kate Middleton.

Had advertisers taken a traditional targeting approach, they would have missed out on a valuable opportunity to engage their audience.

The beauty of contextually driven technologies is how they allow marketers to capitalize on these fleeting but impactful moments in ways that traditional targeting can’t.

Contextual advertising provides a timely and meaningful solution for marketers who aim to reach relevant audiences without having to rely solely on ID-based demographic, geographical and behavioral data.

Rethinking the approach

The other half of the challenge is motivating publishers to play an active role in policing their sites and ensuring quality media—an advertiser insecurity that has been shifting dollars to publisher direct deals for years.

This can only be achieved on a programmatic scale if precision and focus are applied to the planning process and publishers apply a robust approach to media quality. Many signals on the page contribute to media quality but if publishers only consider invalid traffic, viewability and brand safety they miss a huge part of the story.

For publishers to thrive in the digital age they need to marry their inventory with premium advertising partners and account for many more signals, such as page clutter, returning users, content formats and overall site experience. Understanding performance across these metrics will empower publishers to create a more compelling environment for advertisers and enable advertisers to easily identify high-value, contextually relevant media.

The ideal digital publishing and advertising experience should be seamless. But we do not live in a utopian digital world. Even so, there are still ways in which advertisers and publishers can reach for that coveted nirvana. The best way to get there is through increased transparency and by exploring new approaches to reaching consumers while simultaneously broadening the definition of media quality.

Derek Wise is VP of Contextual Intelligence at Oracle Data Cloud where he leads product management for context solutions. He is a technologist at heart with a passion for people and process management. Prior to this role, Derek was the CTO of Grapeshot, acquired by Oracle Data Cloud in 2018.