Chris Levings, Operations Director for Adconion Direct, can see the future – or at least the future of ad networks. Before his presentation at AdMonsters SE Asia, we questioned him on what value networks add.
Define an ad network that adds ‘value’?
An ad network that adds value brings something unique to the table that will help advertisers, agencies and publishers achieve their objectives. This can either be in the form of audience, technology, data, cross channel reach or a combination of these and other attributes that are proprietary, which differentiate them to the broker model.
With the emergence of trading desk technologies, real-time and programmatic buying, one of the biggest areas where an ad network can add value is through innovation in online video. With the continued acceleration of media consumption of online video through non-PC devices and in non-traditional environments, notably the connected TV and the world of tablets, it is important for an ad network to have a clear and defined strategy in this space.
Is this ‘value’ represented by the fact that an ad network sits on both sides of the demand-supply equation?
Not really. Ad networks get good insight into the demand-supply equation and depending on scale this is certainly a contributing factor to adding value to operations, however this value is not isolated to ad networks alone.
Is custom technology (e.g. custom ad formats) part of this ‘value add’?
Proprietary technology is part of this value add, especially in relation to cross channel data, audience targeting, optimisation and ad-server integrations. Custom technology also is important in relation to custom ad formats as it provides the ability to seamlessly ad-serve multiple types of creative ad formats to the right audience across multiple screens.
Is data a part of this equation? If so, who owns the data? Should it be owned by the advertiser which means an ad network cannot re-target against this data for another advertiser?
Data is a big part of this equation. Ad networks should focus significant time, resource and investment to optimize their collection, storage and usage methodologies to allow better audience profiling and therefore targeting to drive better efficiencies. In relation to data ownership this depends on the type of data we are talking about. In the example of data collected from re-targeting, this must be used only for that advertiser as the data is advertiser specific.
What is the one thing you will share with the AdMonsters audience that will help them succeed?
Differentiate how an evolved ad network model differs from traditional models and demonstrate how this model does and will continue to add value in the evolving digital landscape.