Despite incremental progress over the past decades, many marketers still see publishers as a means to an end: a way to reach coveted audiences. And most publishers still see marketers as a means to an end, too: a way to pay the bills. The transactional nature of the relationship between media buyers and sellers has led to an impersonal media ecosystem that’s mostly automated, mostly outsourced, and more interested in extracting CPM concessions from business partners than in creating value.
But the door is now open to a more gratifying and effective way of doing business.
Consumers today are much more informed about what advertisers do with their personal data, and they're demanding better privacy regulations. Technology vendors are phasing out third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs. These developments are a strain on the old media ecosystem, but also a catalyst for change.
The key is to realize that the call for more privacy isn't a call for the industry to stop advertising altogether. Most consumers understand that advertising helps keep content free. Rather, it's a plea to brands and publishers to do a better job with targeting. We’ve all seen too many irrelevant ads, on what seems like an infinite loop, shoved in our faces at the worst possible time. Good targeting empowers people and saves time and money. It also happens to work exceptionally well.
But good targeting requires good data. It’s time for all players to stop paying lip service to data quality, take honest stock of their first-party data, and start filling in the gaps. Thankfully, the industry is now pulling together around identity-based solutions connected to trusted external data sources, and building new second-party data marketplaces for brands and publishers to find common ground.
For our part, Neustar has developed a new, identity-based solution focused on creating value for advertisers and publishers alike, and capable of sustaining a whole new media ecosystem.
Thanks to these advances, savvy publishers are able to value their inventory for what it’s really worth, finally, and unlock new ways to monetize their audience data. The death of the cookie and other intrusive device IDs doesn’t spell the end of addressable advertising, far from it. It only spells the end of the ad industry's obsession with the lowest common denominator. That’s a good thing.
To learn how you can make the transition, download The Future of Media eBook.
— Devon DeBlasio, Product Marketing Director, Identity and Privacy, Neustar