Next Generation Ad Technology

Pam and Val are joined by Amobee's Chief Product Officer, Niraj Deo, for a conversation about next-generation ad technology and what recent innovations mean for the industry and for consumers.

They discuss the best Demand Side Platforms, Supply Side Platforms, data, cleanrooms and what the future looks like for the ad industry.

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This week my co-host Val Bischak and I sit down with our colleague Niraj Deo, Chief Product Officer at Amobee, for a discussion about next-generation ad technology and what recent innovations mean for the future of the ad industry. We cover the entire gamut – DSPs, SSPs, cleanrooms and their potential for enhancing consumer trust,  the role contextual targeting will play as third-party cookies become obsolete, and more. Let’s dive into the highlights.

Two Pillars of Digital Transformation: Trust & Consumer Experience

Niraj has been working in adtech for many years, since the early days of its digital transformation. In his experience, the evolution of ad technology is defined by two interrelated categories: trust and consumer experience. Trust between the consumer and the brand, as well as trust between the supply and demand sides of the industry. When it comes to trust, there are all sorts of issues at play: privacy, fraud, and identity to name a few. Consumer experience impacts everyone in the ecosystem and depends on the relevance and richness of each interaction, as well as the outcome for the business and for the consumer.

These two key elements shape every decision about ad technology and are a big reason the industry is so fragmented. Instead of consolidating, the number of ad tech vendors in the ecosystem is multiplying – from 6,000 to more than 9,000 over the last decade – as each attempts to address different aspects of the customer experience and keep pace with shifting consumer behaviors. The good news is that it gives marketers and publishers a wealth of options for creative problem-solving. The downside is that the plethora of ad tech vendors can make it difficult to unify consumer trust and consumer experience in one end-to-end solution.

What Makes a Great DSP? 

With Niraj’s pillars of digital transformation to help guide the conversation, we ask him about DSPs and their ability to improve the consumer experience by helping marketers control ad frequency. What’s the difference between a great DSP and a mediocre one?

Fatigue is a question of frequency, and the frequency is a question of the data and the relevance that you can actually bring to an interaction. DSPs are the means by which marketers can manage the consumer experience with their brand, and these platforms are facing a new hurdle as third-party cookies face increasing regulations. Going forward, DSPs will need to work backward from an excellent consumer experience and trust, because privacy regulation will make it very consent-driven and first-party data reliant. The next step in the evolution is aggregation, Niraj says, not just in consumer data (which gives you tools to manage for frequency, fatigue, relevance, etc) on demand side but aggregation of supply spaces (which will address issues of fraud). Contextual data will become essential. A good DSP will help advertisers navigate all of these changes, but it won’t be DSPs alone that solve the problem, says Niraj. Multiple workflows will have to come together to solve the issue.

The Role of Contextual Targeting 

On that note, we ask Niraj to share his perspective on the evolution of contextual targeting as marketers make the pivot away from third-party data. Contextual targeting has been around for a long time, but advancements in its technology have made it possible to surface really granular data about the context in which consumers interact with an ad, from device types and geolocation to content sentiment. Advancements in processing that data have also made it possible to improve the consumer experience with ad relevancy, and therefore consumer trust. With these advancements, contextual targeting will play a crucial role in privacy-centric identity solutions going forward.

Data and Privacy vs Trust

So what is the right cocktail of data resources to create streamlined, privacy-centric identity solutions? Niraj says the pivot here is based on consumer trust, rather than mere privacy. If trust is the North Star guiding advertisers and publishers, it is the consent and permission from consumers that determines what solutions are a good fit achieving business outcomes. In this paradigm, second party data and clean rooms provide a higher degree of compliance towards the regulation, but even more importantly, they create a higher degree of trust with the consumer.

The right cocktail of data resources will not only include identity and audiences, but also data on entities such as supply and currency, and solutions that bring together multiple sources – multi-identity, multi-supply, or multi-currency – to achieve a more holistic view. The goal should be to create a solution that is built for the long-term and not subject to the whims of something that is outside of marketers or publishers’ control, like data regulation.

Amobee’s Vision for a Sustainable Ad-Supported Ecosystem

With so many challenges of data, identity, and fragmentation, the industry is in desperate need of technology solutions that can help create a healthy balance between all players and all major supply spaces: linear tv, digital direct, and programmatic. At Amobee, we’re passionate about providing sophisticated technology with a strong backbone of data-driven, data-enabled strategy that addresses complex experiences like media planning.

Our conversation with Niraj highlighted the incredible potential of the industry to come together to build creative, sustainable solutions that enhance the consumer experience. You can listen to or watch the full episode here. Be sure to leave a review and join the conversation on our LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Check back with us next week for another great episode of Amobee Out Loud.

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