Display Advertising – State of the Union

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Just some high level thoughts on where things are at and where things are going in digital display advertising…

We may look back and call 2010 the year of the “DSP.” It was the year when agencies recognized they could leverage ad network technology and fundamentally change the way their businesses operated. In an instant, buyers had scalable, centralized access to auction-priced display inventory. This new shift realigned agency resources, buying habits and media planning workflow because now, display media could be bought and sold instantaneously. A commodity was now being bought, traded, and sold as if it were the stock market. But now, two things are slowly happening which will bring us to the next wave of technology, or technology protocols and processes. Data Management, or now otherwise known as a DMP:

1.       Buyers are hedging their bets with DSPs, but lack a centralized data warehouse.

As the DSPs or Ad Management Platforms continue to grow, in terms of scale and technical features, the buyers are continuing to explore competitive offerings. At the end of the day, if a DSP is going to power an agency trading desk or a buyer’s business, it will become imperative that the buyer maintains options. And as this diversification happens, the buyers will lose the ability to maintain a standardized, centralized, exportable data set. A data set that can be used in any DSP, any traditional network, or any publisher and more importantly, for any medium whether it is advertising in display, text, audio, mobile or video.

2.       Publishers are realizing the need to better segment and monetize their first party data.

Publishers face perhaps the most challenging problems of anyone in this ecosystem, primarily due to the fact that the majority of VC backed businesses in the last few years have been focused on the buy-side. As a result, publishers must consider the effects of working with ad networks, data companies, trading desks, yield optimizers, ad verifiers, privacy companies and must do so with inadequate or legacy technology. Technology that was built for the traditional ad network world. The value for publishers, outside of the content and the inventory they create, is unarguably the audience data. It is for this reason publishers are now focused on securing a comprehensive data strategy. A strategy that provides intelligence and protection to monetize data through direct or indirect media sales, or through direct or indirect data sales, all the while leaving that choice up to the publisher.

We will look back and call 2011 the year of the “DMP” and perhaps the year that a new Online Advertising Operating System was formed. The year when a loosely coupled system of advertising technologies (or few tightly integrated systems) began to work together in an attempt to empower media planners with the same capabilities of that of a sophisticated ad network.  And in the middle, will sit the delivery mechanisms (DSPs) and the intelligence (DMPs) so that young media planners can deliver data driven ad campaigns for their client across all mediums and platforms from right behind their desks.

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  • Anonymous

    another great article on Wall Street Journal today: http://on.wsj.com/cRsunR | I work as a consultant on a number of projects and Red Aril (www.redaril.com) is a newcomer to the DMP party. I would be interested in hearing from people who are responsible for managing your online & offline data. Take back your data! I hope “DMP” becomes well-known in 2011, as new job titles have been a result of this…Directors, Managers, and VP’s of “Audience Development”

  • http://danreich.com danreich

    Ya, publishers must have a comprehensive data strategy and must understand
    exactly what is going on. Need technology that can help manage this complex
    data ecosystem. Good luck with your current projects.

  • http://danreich.com danreich

    Ya, publishers must have a comprehensive data strategy and must understand
    exactly what is going on. Need technology that can help manage this complex
    data ecosystem. Good luck with your current projects.

  • http://danreich.com danreich

    Ya, publishers must have a comprehensive data strategy and must understand
    exactly what is going on. Need technology that can help manage this complex
    data ecosystem. Good luck with your current projects.