Reaching the Summit, Ad Ops @ an Inflection Point
What a difference four years and a lot of elbow grease makes. Back in 2007 when we launched IAB Ad Ops Summit 2.0 we had about 70 people attend with only one person, Margaret Bell of OMD, representing the buy-side. Fast forward four years and the 2012 buy-side audience rivaled the entire audience. The audience has effectively quintupled with a healthy blend of industry service providers in attendance. And the discussions have shifted from existing challenges (e.g., Late Creative, Impression Exchange, eBusiness, etc.) to a platter of forward looking opportunities (i.e., Making Measurement Make Sense’s (MMMS) Viewability and GRP Principles and Real-Time Bidding).
Dan Murphy and Adrian D’Souza receiving their IAB Lifetime Achievement Award
from Steve Sullivan of IAB, at IAB Ad Ops Summit 2011
MMMS held the stage for a healthy chunk of the morning session at IAB Ad Ops Summit 2011. Viewable impressions have been one of the most discussed MMMS findings. To the casual observer this might seem like low hanging fruit while bringing a new level of accountability and transparency to today’s impressions. But make no mistake, this is no trivial task and some form of Impression Exchange (IES) will be required to avoid the very delivery issues our buy-side colleagues have railed against for years. For that reason, one of the last sessions was a visual example of the challenges with impression discrepancies. Kudos to the Vindico team for bringing the challenges to life.
Online Gross Rating Points was the second MMMS principle discussed. On the surface, a move toward GRPs is attractive. But we know it is not the be-all, end-all with many marketers seeking out more aggressive targeting methods. Jackson Bazley of Ernst & Young made note of a current effort he’s conducting over at the Council for Research Excellence Digital Committee to study data collected by publishers. The IAB Data Lexicon released last week provides a constructive framework to talk about the data being used. I look forward to seeing more buy-side requirement rigor being brought to bear on these requirements.
My co-Chair Adrian D’Souza hosted the discussion on verification; one of the more contentious topics over the last few years, as mentioned in his recent IABlog post. While my initial take was to dismiss or side-step the verification services, the fact is branded publishers get a black eye from the games played in the marketplace. Since most of the issues were found in long tail, talking about the issues was all the more frustrating. As has been the case since we started engaging our buy-side colleagues, once we sat at the table and laid the issues out, we had a constructive dialogue. I am not saying we agree 100% of the time. But more often than naught, we find common ground to make our lives easier.
At the end of the day we held our traditional town hall - to talk about those issues not discussed over the course of the day (e.g. the elephant in the room - Privacy and need for proactive self-regulation.) During this time Adrian and I announced we would be stepping down as co-chairs of the IAB Ad Ops Council. We want to make room for new blood. With evolution of Mobile, Digital Video, Social and Data we need specialists to step forward and take lead. Ideally, this will be done with our buy-side friends. We’ve got our work cut-out for ourselves and standing in place is not an option.
As we step down, Adrian and I would like to acknowledge many people who have been in the trenches with us fighting the good fight. They include, but are not limited to…
Bev Beeson, Jonathan Bellack, Ben Reid, Dan Foehner, Jeremy Fain, Chuck Gafvert, Heather Keltz, Trish Lemley, Todd Kosenski, Tim Messier, Bill Nielsen, Zachary Putnam, Zack Rogers, Jill Sly , Todd Teresi, Joey Trotz, Robert Wagstaff, Sarah Weisinger, Shane Wiley as well as our buy-side friends - Joe Barone, Margaret Bell, Michelle Burnham, David Cohen, Grace Liau, John Montgomery, Mitch Weinstein, Brandon Wolf, and Julian Zilderbrand.
It’s time for new friends to scale the mountaintop. Join us on this journey.
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