Twice a year, AdExchanger creates ‘Christmas’ for ad tech executives with their event Programmatic IO. Last week, buyers, sellers, and brands flocked to San Francisco to discuss the challenges plaguing our industry. Here is an insider’s view of what’s out and what’s in.
What’s Out: 3 Party Data
What’s In: 2 Party Data
In the wake of GDPR and Cambridge Analytica, more scrutiny than ever is being placed on the quality and collection of 3 party data. Publishers took the stage this year to remind brands and agencies about an alternative way to reach new audiences at scale—2 party data. Using 2 party data (or someone else’s 1 party data) allows brands to trust the source of collection, and feel confident in the value of the audience they’re reaching.
What’s Out: Contractual Transparency
What’s In: Blockchain
Transparency has been abuzz at the Programmatic IO conference for the past few years, and it is definitely still top of mind for advertisers. However, leading brands have spent time maximizing transparency in what they can see – agency contracts, technology fees – and we have arrived at a good place. This year, the focus shifted to how we can infuse transparency and control into every programmatic transaction using blockchain technology. While it’s still a bit nebulous, there are real companies with real offerings built on blockchain, and advertisers are ready to engage.
What’s Out: Full Programmatic In-house
What’s In: Hybrid Model
A hunger for greater transparency and control has led brands to explore bringing programmatic in-house. The conversation at Programmatic IO revealed that it is not an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach. Each company has gone about it differently, ranging from owning technology and data contracts to having internal teams operate hands-on-keyboard. Marketers continue to search for the right mix of brand ownership and agency expertise. Few have gone ‘all-in’, still seeing significant value in agency-trained expert talent, cross-channel integration, and significantly reduced technology fees.
Between now and October when we convene again in New York, brands need to focus on shoring up their data assets and testing into new, trusted data sources. Agencies and brands should continue to shine a light into the programmatic ecosystem, whether through blockchain or otherwise. And finally, brands should continue to assess their internal strengths of themselves and their agencies, to close gaps where they exist.
DIGITAS GLOBAL BRAND PRESIDENT