Leveling the Advertising Playing Field: Data for All

Recently The Drum, a U.K.-based publication, published an article called “Publishers Need to Face the Data Challenge to Benefit From Programmatic Trading.” The author, Alex Kuhnel from PulsePoint, points out that advertising today, with programmatic capabilities, is very timely and complete but data transparency is lacking. He writes:

In the current market, publishers do not have access to the information by which their inventory is priced and this leads to low prices for their inventory. Furthermore, there is a real lack of transparency in our industry, which is creating an imbalance between demand and supply as well as increasing market inefficiency with the rise in cheap inventory from the growth of programmatic.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Kuhnel. As the programmatic market stands, publishers have little to no insight into how their inventory is analyzed by advertisers.

Leveling the Playing Field

Publishers need access to the same data as advertisers so they can take a targeted approach to content and site optimization for increased revenue. A better understanding of their audience will allow publishers to make informed decisions about what kind of content they need to create. Sure, they can use any modern UI dashboard and get insights into their audience, but what they cannot get is data on which audience segments are converting into dollars.

For example, a publisher’s site might see most of their traffic from the 18- to 25-year-old demographic, but the 26- to 35-year-old segment has a higher conversion rate. That simple insight would allow the publishers to focus more of their energy into creating targeted content for this particular segment. This would be a win-win for both the supply and demand side, and the advertisers will see more of the inventory they value and potentially increase their investment as a result. The more money we pour into the system, the more we get out of it. The current imbalance of supply and demand data transparency isn’t helping anyone; it’s only holding us back.

Curbing Imbalance

So, how do we curb this imbalance and take programmatic one step further in its evolution? We encourage publishers to only partner with ad companies that will be transparent with their data and show them what the advertisers are seeing. Once publishers have access to that kind of data, they will have better insights into how their inventory is being analyzed, which will allow them to better price their inventory.

What would this mean for the ecosystem? The quality publishers that deserve more revenue for their inventory would finally be getting it. This shift would empower publishers with the chance to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by this ever-evolving programmatic landscape. Empowering publishers through data will optimize the relationship between supply and demand. By doing so, everybody wins.

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