“The networks and exchanges landscape is remarkably complex and the myriad of products and services can be difficult to manage,” opened Randall Rothenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, IAB, as he described the challenges being addressed at the 2010 IAB Networks & Exchanges Marketplace on May 3, in New York City. With the goal of eliminating marketplace confusion by highlighting and exploring the latest trends and solutions, industry leaders and pioneers took to the stage throughout the day, each doing their part to reduce friction and complexity in the interactive marketplace.
Right away Randall called out the groundbreaking work of the IAB Networks & Exchanges Committee--the IAB Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines--which standardizes the information networks and exchanges provide to advertisers, enhancing buyer control over placement and context. The document will be available on iab.net once the industry feedback has been incorporated into the final document.
The IAB Data Usage & Control Primer: Best Practices & Definitions was released onsite and introduced by David Moore, Chairman and Founder, 24/7 Real Media, Chairman, IAB Board of Directors. The guide explains in plain terms what data can be collected online and how that data should be collected, as well as provides a lexicon of commonly used terms and recommends a set of business-to-business best practices to foster transparency and cohesion throughout the interactive advertising industry.
The true education began with Terence Kawaja, Managing Director, GCA Savvian Advisors, presenting “Parsing the Mayhem: Developments in the Advertising Technology Landscape,” which describes the intersection of media, audience and creativity coming together with data optimization and media buying. His slide displaying the busy landscape was referred to throughout the day, providing a true sense of how confusing the players, and their roles and responsibilities can be. Terence offered several key industry insights: 1) The marketplace is overcrowded 2) Demand side capabilities like to amalgamate 3) Google is coming to display in a big way 4) Data becomes ubiquitous and commoditized 5) Life gets tougher for agencies 6) Publishers need to leverage data for their benefit 7) Consolidation likely from several buyer groups.
Throughout the day, Learn from the Solutions Experts sessions gave advertisers and publishers the opportunity to hear from 18 ad networks and exchanges themselves in intimate settings, in quick 15-minute presentations, what differentiates their companies and what their value proposition is in the online advertising ecosystem. After reach of these rounds, the attendees moved on to the next experts’ sessions for a briefing on their business models and what benefit they offered to the attendees’ business.
Insights from brands in the trenches came next as executives from eBay.com and Advertising.com, and the Rubicon Project and CareerBuider.com, each talked through their partnerships, describing what it takes to reach a variety of different goals together.
Potentially the landscapes most pressing issues, data, transparency and privacy, were hashed out in a panel moderated by Alan Chapell, President, Chapell Associates. Major players in the space, Joe Apprendi, Chief Executive Officer, Collective; Ramsey McGrory, Vice President, North American Marketplaces, Yahoo!; George Pappachen, Chief Privacy Officer, Kantar/WPP and Kirby Winfield, President and Chief Revenue Officer, Mpire, discussed and debated contract terms, the true meaning of transparency and engagement as well as what they expect for the future. The bottom line--make sure you are crystal clear about what your company does and what your partners do--ask the questions until you are comfortable understanding every part of the business and how each part works (or doesn’t work) together.
Who really makes the money? Where does the value really lie? And where is it being created? Moderator John Ebbert, Publisher, Managing Editor, AdExchanger.com, worked hard to get answers to these important questions from Michael Barrett, Chief Executive Officer, AdMeld; Jason Kelly, Vice President, Strategy and Revenue Management, Time Inc. Digital; Todd Teresi, Chief Revenue Officer, Quantcast and Nathan Woodman, Managing Director, Adnetik. Starting off by acknowledging the large number of choices in the marketplace, the group sees winners and losers beginning to emerge as they do in any industry, once brands and agencies determine what qualifies a network and exchange as a “quality” partner. What are those requirements? The overarching characteristic is trust--above and beyond the individual needs for the user, because value is truly in the eyes of each buyer.
Closing the day, a forward-thinking group of industry leaders--Jay Sears, General Manager, ContextWeb’s ADSDAQ Exchange; Michael Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer, DataXu; Sloan Broderick, Managing Director, MediaCom Interaction; Steve Katelman, Vice President, Publisher Development, Omnicom and Philip Smolin, General Manager, Platform Solutions, Turn-- provided their sometimes conflicting visions of the future landscape and the business models poised to emerge. They hit on the role of the long-tail in defining premium content, the use of standards to drive scale and the ever-changing role of data in the digital marketplace.
As the sold-out crowd filtered into the cocktail reception to relax after an intense day of learning, they were greeted with “white icicles”--a specialty drink featuring the colors of the reception’s sponsor, Microsoft Advertising. With questions answered and potential partners’ contact information in hand, a good time was had by all.