Collaboration is key to evolving programmatic advertising

Posted on Wednesday 07 September 2022 | Display & Data Steering Group - IAB UK

Members of our Display & Data Steering Group share views on how the industry can work together to drive programmatic progress forward in 2021

The programmatic industry has revolutionised digital advertising. Since its inception over a decade ago, it has reformulated what’s possible via digital and created huge opportunities for advertisers – allowing them to speak to the right people, in the right place at scale. Yet, along with its rapid growth, programmatic has also faced its fair share of challenges. Now, with increased supply chain transparency high on the agenda and the industry navigating changes to established mobile and web identifiers, the importance of collaboration has never been greater.

We spoke to our Display & Data Steering Group to hear their thoughts on how the industry can work together to drive programmatic progress forward and address current challenges.


Q1: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the programmatic market will face in 2021?
Digital advertising is in the midst of disruption transition. We are rapidly moving from an ecosystem of browser and device identifiers that are universally available, towards a privacy- first world of consent and addressability via authentication. The real challenge for media owners, agencies, and brands will be to prioritise and prepare appropriately for this disruption in a world without third-party cookies. It’s vital they start to shift their attention to authenticated addressability to ensure the open web remains a viable environment for brands to reach consumers.
Luke Fenney, Vice President of Publisher Sales, International at Index Exchange

There is a major shift coming for the digital advertising industry with the deprecation of third-party cookies this time next year. Driven by the desire for consumer privacy and data protection, this change will cause great disruption for the industry and concern among advertisers that they will lose the ability to target the right audience. But there are reasons to be optimistic – such as the use of clean rooms, where data can be mapped in a privacy safe way. This will allow marketers to continue to deliver value for the consumer without mistreating their data.
Chloe Gilman, Director Buyside and Marketplace, Northern Europe at Xandr

Outside of the macro economic challenges and the continual drive for supply chain transparency, the biggest issue I believe will focus on identity.
James Brown, Head of International at Magnite


Q2: Why is collaboration important in tackling these issues? And how can we come together in a productive and representative way?
Companies that solve identity by going it alone will win in the short-term but suffer in the long-term. There is no one-stop-shop for solving identity. Instead, we will see a multitude of solutions that address different parts of the problem, such as targeting and measurement.

It is the multitude of solutions, working together, which will allow us to move forward. Solutions will need to be open at source, not commercially driven to support the interest of one company, and they will need to provide good governance. If they don’t, these solutions will not be adopted.
Chloe Gilman, Director Buyside and Marketplace, Northern Europe at Xandr


Nowhere is collaboration more visible than in the guise of What was once an ‘Open Source Header Bidding Consortium’, has now morphed into the open source movement, where it is solving collective problems and providing universal standards, increasingly focused on identity. Ultimately, is providing universal standards to make it easier for advertisers to invest in the independent web and therefore it is a significant contributor to ensuring the independent web is fit and sustainable for the future.
James Brown, Head of International at Magnite


Collaboration is key to finding solutions to the identity challenge. No single company can solve this in isolation. IAB Tech Lab’s Project Rearc is a great example of industry collaboration to drive new technical standards and guidelines for “privacy by default” across addressable advertising and measurement. Similarly, the Global Privacy Working Group brings together 140 companies from around the world to build upon the work done within the GDPR and CCPA working groups. It’s important we have global representation. Whilst the overarching challenge is consistent, the functional and technical specifications of the solutions may vary by market.
Luke Fenney, Vice President of Publisher Sales, International at Index Exchange


Q3: With a renewed sense of collective responsibility, and increased scrutiny across the whole supply chain, what do you foresee as the longer-term future of the programmatic industry?

The open internet has to remain at the core of the programmatic industry to ensure a successful future. It is here that advertisers have greater control and transparency, allowing them to ‘stand out’ from the crowd, tailoring their advertising approach to suit their specific requirements. In turn, the open internet keeps publishers in good financial shape, allowing them to focus on creating premium content that keeps the consumer happy and delivers engaged audiences to advertisers.
Chloe Gilman, Director Buyside and Marketplace, Northern Europe at Xandr


Do we have lots of challenges to address? Yes. Have we come an awfully long way in the last 10 years? Yes. Has the industry evolved considerably to address concerns in the last 3 years? Yes. Do we have a long way to go to fulfil the promise of ‘Automating the buying and selling of all advertising? Yes. But, if you want to work at the forefront of innovation in our industry, in a landscape that is constantly changing and laying the foundations of the future… Where else do you want to be?
James Brown, Head of International at Magnite


Efficiency is now more important than ever – scale and speed are the key. In programmatic, every millisecond counts! Therefore, participants on both sides of the transaction need to ensure they are working with companies that are driving efficiency innovation – while maintaining quality and privacy standards -as programmatic continues to scale.

That focus on efficiency will enable programmatic trading to drive growth across new formats and environments from connected TV, to digital audio and across the app ecosystem.
Luke Fenney, Vice President of Publisher Sales, International at Index Exchange


This piece was first published on ExchangeWire

Written by

Display & Data Steering Group



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