AdMonstes keynotes in 2023 had their finger on the pulse of the top issues impacting our industry. From brand safety, to publishers homing in on their first-party data, to calling BS on identity, to growing your career through the rev ops and ad tech ranks. We had a little bit of everything for everyone at every stage of your career.
AdMonsters hosts conferences four times a year, and with each, our keynotes lead by example and teach us all how to be better ad ops professionals. Of course, we have great speakers for each session, but there is nothing like a great keynote to set the day’s tone or end the day with a severe mic drop.
In 2023, the ad tech industry was preparing for many significant shifts — Chrome cookie deprecation, the generative AI takeover, and supply chain complexity — but we had leaders guiding the industry and learning from one another.
Here is the list of the AdMonsters keynotes that shaped 2023:
With the gorgeous Miami beach at the backdrop, our spring keynotes covered the power of Bloomberg’s first-party data strategies, podcasts’ effect on brand safety, and a live recording of the Minority Report Podcast.
Quote: “As ad technologists, our job is to make it easier to spend at scale,” said Breza. “I’m eager for the industry to get better at defining and managing adjacency in all streaming environments, tightening definitions of standards and infractions, and getting better at the context and tone words appear in – not just words themselves.”
Quote: “I am a servant leader through and through,” said Chris Contreras, Chief Customer Officer, MNTN. “I had a pretty horrible experience with leadership early in my career. I told myself that when I had the opportunity and the privilege to lead others, I would help cultivate an atmosphere where folks understood what it takes to move from a junior to a more senior role.”
Quote: “First-party data platforms offer publishers like Bloomberg a unique ability to offer the context and audience that advertisers need to sustain personalized advertising at scale while thoughtfully cultivating those relationships in a way that maintains the trust that our audience has in us.”
While our PubForum conferences are publisher-focused, our Ops conferences in New York bring together all sides of the ad tech industry for a day and a half of ad ops knowledge. The keynotes from this year covered issues from ad tech environmental woes to calling BS on identity and schooled the attendees on all things ad ops.
Speaker: Shiv Gupta, Founder of U of Digital
Quote: “If it feels like everyone in ad tech is pitching an identity solution for a post-identity world, it’s because they are. But the identity conversation is loaded with BS because everyone talks about it like they know what the future holds. Worse, they’re presenting solutions based on what they know.”
Quote: “Equal access to opportunities should be available to everyone, and we must look to change our hiring practices. To achieve this, agencies must consciously seek out and hire individuals from diverse backgrounds and provide them with pathways to leadership roles.”
Speakers: Brian O’Kelley, CEO, Scope3; Shoshana Wodinsky, Tech Reporter
Quote: “It’s very interesting to see this tension between business and environment, and I feel like I’ve lived with that tension my whole life. I think of Scope3 as a natural evolution: what if you could do both? What if you could be good for business and good for the environment? What if these weren’t at odds?”
Speaker: Mark Sturino, VP of Data and Analytics, Good Apple
Quote: AI is playing more of a role from a publisher selection perspective. At least at Good Apple, it is less and less about flash, and it’s more about what are the actual results you’re giving us because, at the end of the day, everybody will be judged based on performance
On the beautiful Coronado Island, the keynotes were all about effective audience targeting in a post-cookie world, taking a step into the ad trenches with an ad tech vet, and a town hall about growing your career through the town hall ranks.
Quote: “We as an industry must get comfortable with non-identity-based targeting and measurement in the next year to 18 months so that when the cookie gets fully deprecated, you’re not trying to figure out how to do cookieless targeting in the second half of 2024 because you’re going to be doing it with little data to play with and a lot of disruption.”
Quote: “I did know that the advertising business would be big on the Internet and that this would be a way to directly speak to consumers in a way that possibly had never happened in media history. When you’re dealing with television, it’s usually a one-way transaction. When you’re dealing with the internet, especially at the time, you could develop actual relationships with these consumers, depending on what type of ad campaign you’re running.”
Speakers: Rachael Savage, SVP of Ad Revenue Operations at Hearst; Brooke Edwards-Plant, VP of Global Ad Ops and Revenue Platforms at Condé Nast
Quotes: “You need to be resourceful. This job can be stressful. It often requires, in some cases, very junior folks working on things that are visible to senior people. You must ensure you build a team that can work independently and problem-solve. Resourcefulness will get you by in everything, not just ad ops. As you rise through the ranks and want to expand into other things, the ability to problem solve and come up with the solution is significant,” said Edwards-Plant.
PubForum New Orleans
While New Orleans is known for its spooky environment, our conference had a divine visit from ad tech’s premiere deity. Our keynotes in NOLA included a visit from AdTechGod, who declared his CTV commandments, a rundown on Forbes’ first-party data platform, and a look inside the mind of the buy side.
Speaker: Alyson Williams, SVP, Digital Operations & Strategy, Forbes
Quote: “We can provide a robust, first-party powered story about specific audiences to understand how to better serve our readers with the most engaging and relevant content and to allow our editorial team to understand who’s consuming their content and why.”
Quote: Thou Shalt Know Thy Audience — “You can’t monetize effectively if you don’t know who’s watching. Dig into that data, segment your audience, and then tailor your monetization strategies to suit. Data’s your guiding star. Use it to make informed decisions, target your audience, and personalize experiences. Just be mindful of privacy rules, yeah? While you’re hustling with data, be upfront about how you collect and use it. GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy rules are not to be trifled with.”
Quote: “With more than 40% of the market being unaddressable due to cookie deprecation, cookies are more of a signal for directional understanding rather than direct measurement. The best marketers are already utilizing media mix modeling and incrementality testing, but the challenge is helping convey results to the executive team of a brand. Technical knowledge and storytelling techniques are critical to share this information in a clear way.”