Videos from IAB Advertising Technology Marketplace
The 2014 IAB Advertising Technology Marketplace, Spotlight: Programmatic, kicked off with Randall Rothenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, IAB, rallying the roomful of attendees to talk straight about the biggest issues in the industry—starting with programmatic. “It’s one of the vaguest, most ill-defined phrases our industry has ever developed,” he said. Today, we’ll hone in on the seismic shifts programmatic has created toward a common goal of increasing safety as well as ROI.
Scott Cunningham, Vice President, Technology, IAB, the new lead of the IAB Ad Technology team, continued Rothenberg’s sentiment. “Our digital revenues need to offset more than a handful of resources,” he said. “I believe content creators should be able to earn a living on the content they create.” We’ve created unprecedented growth, but there are real questions about the quality of what we made, he said.
Following these powerful introductions, Jordan Bitterman, Chief Strategy Officer, Mindshare, and Bob Ivins, Chief Data Officer, Mindshare North America, took to the stage to talk about three major challenges facing the media industry: talent, infrastructure, and business model. “Ideas that are generated get taken out and vanish out of thin air, brought down by these three issues,” Ivins said. The industry must do a better job of attracting talent strong in math, economics and statistics to produce our own “Moneyball” moment, and we need to be able to break down data silos to piece together a 360-degree picture. And, we need a business model to power this investment in talent and infrastructure, he said. Bitterman explained, to solve these problems, we need to make data centerstage in the organization, utilize better what we already have—“integrate, integrate, integrate,” and invest in the build-out of the business model through, for example, additional data streams, to better monetize.
From the agency point of view to the publisher perspective—Jay Sears, Senior Vice President, Marketplace Development, Rubicon Project, moderated an in-depth conversation about organizational change with Robert Brett, Vice President, Programmatic Sales, Viacom Media Networks, and Alanna Gombert, Head, Digital Sales, Condé Nast & and General Manager, CatalystDesk. The conversation focused on the programmatic world in the post-remnant era. Topics included the use of brand-level insights driven by first-party, content consumption metrics; the clear value of making information about your media and inventory readily available to buyers; targeting not narrowly to a limited group of intenders, but precisely and broadly to seed brand ideas to a larger group of consumers; and to the future of jobs. Are we automating ourselves out of work? Brett said, “Automation catches demand, it doesn’t create it,” that’s the role of the sales people. Gombert envisions a future in which ad ops and planners shift to a more professional services role. “There’s always going to be a need for support for the technology,” she said. “Technology will be a foundation for evolution.”
Next, Bob Lord, Global Chief Executive Officer, AOL Platforms, addressed a standing-room-only crowd ready to hear insights into the business of AOL. “We can’t just automate,” he said. When I was an agency head, I was frustrated that there was no way to prove that the dollar I spent on behalf of a brand advertiser was being spent wisely. “Doing technology for technology’s sake isn’t going to solve this problem,” he said. Another problem is what is called the “Technology Tax.” For every dollar an advertiser spends, only about a quarter makes it to the publisher or the consumer because of the number of intermediaries involved. His recommended solution is One by AOL, a programmatic advertising platform for marketers, agencies, and publishers, to allow the industry to focus on higher-value contributions instead of the automation of mundane tasks.
After deep-dive track sessions, workshops and a networking luncheon, attendees reassembled for an intensive on Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain, based on a new roadmap for action. Ruth Rafalovich, Director of Supply, Rocketfuel, talked about fraud. “What works one month doesn’t work the next month…No one has a silver bullet. It’s important to work together to share our best practices.” Scott Spencer, Director, Product Management, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, discussed malware. “These are well funded corporate entities that are trying to defraud the industry,” he said. Alanna Gombert, Head, Digital Sales, Condé Nast & General Manager, CatalystDesk, brought Transparency & Brand Safety to the fore. As a seller, Conde Nast focuses its sales pitch on being comprised of premium well-known brands, as opposed to non-premium; as a buyer, Conde Nast only does business with those who have direct relationships with the advertisers themselves. Wenda Harris Millard, President, Chief Operating Officer, MediaLink, spoke to anti-piracy and the results of a major study by MediaLink on the topic of fraud. “As long as the money keeps flowing, [the fraudsters] will still be in business,” she said.
The Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain presentation concluded on the important topic of cross-industry accountability and the expansion of the Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) with David Moore, Chairman, Xaxis & President, WPP Digital, and Vivek Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Ziff Davis, Inc. & 2014 IAB Board of Directors Chair. “We’re beyond the denial stage, which is very good for the industry,” Shah said. The Quality Assurance Guidelines should expand to become the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval. “We believe we can get 100% of the membership to be QAG certified,” Moore said. “Nobody is better positioned to do this than the IAB.” The result will be a new world of metrics based on a purely human audience, meaning prices will go up, click rates will go down, and buyers will have to align behind this shift.
Next up, Chip Schenck, Vice President, Programmatic Sales, Meredith, revealed how Meredith works with brands to connect women to premium content in this data-driven environment. It takes art and science to achieve both impact and reach, he said.
Then, the focus on connecting with consumers took a turn with Lou Mastria, CIPP, CISSP, Executive Director, Digital Advertising Alliance, discussing how to talk with users about privacy. “Privacy is not an easy topic to discuss with consumers,” he said, but the DAA Ad Option Icon, served 1 trillion times a month, standardizes the conversation. Seventy-three percent of consumers are more comfortable receiving ads based on their interests when all or some of the DAA’s protections are provided, he said. Last year, the DAA rolled out guidance for mobile advertising. Video marketing is next to be tackled.
For the final general session presentation of the day, George Ivie, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Media Rating Council, and Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB, dispelled a rampant misunderstanding in the industry about the viewable impression and fraud. “Are fraud and non-viewable impressions the same thing?” Mane asked Ivie. “They are two very different things.” The viewable impression is a decision as to whether the ad appearing in the browser meets defined specifications. It’s completely different from protecting your brand against fraud. The two also provided an update on viewable video guidelines: they are set to be released on June 30, 2014, Ivie said.
A networking reception break invigorated the ad technology experts and thought leaders for the marketplace conversations—intimate breakout sessions where an industry leader facilitates a candid discussion of pressing topics. This year, attendees enjoyed open forums on: preparing for the future of programmatic, the human element of programmatic and native advertising. Video report-backs highlight what was accomplished in each room.
The day was brimming with ideas for responding to critical challenges facing the marketplace that once solved will serve as ripe opportunities for industry growth. It gave attendees a lot to discuss as they unwound at the networking cocktail reception.
IAB chatted off-stage with thought leaders from the main stage and asked some of the most pressing questions related to programmatic, the trustworthy supply chain, traffic fraud. Hear what they had to say here.
IAB Advertising Technology Marketplace 2014 in the News
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