Newer Players Dive Head First Into Ad Tech’s Race to the Bottom

AdMonsters Wrapper: The weekly ad tech news wrap up
This Week
October 13, 2021
The Race to the Bottom Continues
Marketers Still Eating the Cookies?
The Race to the Bottom Continues
We all love loads of irrelevant ads littering our in-app experience,s don’t we? Don’t we? And aren’t they all just great for the industry overall? Aren't they?

Well, that seems to be what delivery and convenience services apps like Instacart and DoorDash think as they follow the triopoly’s lead in selling a crazy amount of ad space — for links, posts and products — within their apps. Just jamming them all up in there.

"Digital advertising [has] become a race to the bottom," Publicis Communications Chief Commerce Strategy Officer told NY Times On Tech writer Shira Ovide. What? What’s good for the triopoly isn’t good for everyone else?

We know these companies are competing against each other and of course Uber, so margins are thin. But at the very least, it seems such service providers should at least care about the user experience on their apps.

“If delivery apps or other convenience services that we love need to be subsidized by ads that we hate, maybe those convenience services make no financial sense?” asks Ovide on Twitter.
Why This Matters

This reminds us of the conversation that Louis-David Mangin, CEO and Co-Founder of Confiant had with Ari Paparo, Head of Partnerships and Strategy at FreeWheel, on stage at AdMonsters Ops Conference in NYC last week — It's All Your F%#*@ing Fault: The Ad Tech Blame Game. (This video is a discussion you don’t want to miss!) The premise: What are the sacred cows that pubs (or ad tech vendors or advertisers) would give up to make the industry better?

“If we could change anything of all the things we just said — getting the advertiser to actually step up and say these are the standards for what a great advertising experience is, and if it doesn’t deliver, we won’t advertise there,” said Magnin.

According to The Drum: “There has been a “dramatic shift” in their priorities of media buyers, from focusing on cheapest ad space to quality and effective targeting as Google’s third-party cookie plans and incoming privacy regulation alter the business landscape.” But while the cookie remains on life support, it seems that old practices die hard.

Pubs, don't you think it's time you do a better job communicating your value exchange to your audiences to garner useful first-party data that will provide you with a more effective targeting strategy? As well, even contextual targeting is proving itself a consummate alternative (if only everyone could get it to scale.)

While you think about that, maybe you should register to join Senior Editor, Lynne d Johnson, on December 8, 2021, at our free webinar, No Third-party Cookies, No Problem: Ranker on First-party Data in a Privacy-safe World, as she talks to Dana OMalley, National VP of Advertising Sales, Ranker and Lauren Kroll, Customer Success Manager, Permutive about how the need for first-party data is creating a shift in power towards publishers. Why? Because publishers have a direct relationship with their readers, giving them access to unique insights about audiences that advertisers crave.

The more meaningful and relevant the ads, the better the experience, the more that people will want to use your products and services and spend time with you and share their data.

Most Marketers Are Still Not Ready For the Cookieless Future
“In this new world, publishers are still waiting to see what advertisers are doing while advertisers wait on the ad tech companies,” wrote AdMonsters reporter Amy Corr in our September 30th edition of the Wrapper newsletter.

Turns out she was mostly right. At least that’s the word according to a new study from AdAge.

In their survey of marketers, ad tech and publishers, they found: “Our research found clashing beliefs in confidence and preparedness, resulting in a lack of urgency to address essential steps before the moment the switch is flipped.”

Marketers don’t have the resources to move things forward, so they’re relying on the DSPs and SSPs to take charge. And, only a quarter of marketers were familiar with the IAB Tech Lab and cleanroom solutions. We guess not everyone is an ad tech geek like us.

It also doesn’t help that, “if measurement solutions like data clean rooms or Chrome’s proposed Privacy Sandbox gain traction, marketers will have to learn how to analyze performance at a rougher cohort level that is simultaneously fuzzy and entirely deterministic,” according to Myles Younger, Senior Director, Data Practice, Media.Monks.
Why This Matters
If pubs are still waiting to see what marketers want to do, looking at the AdAge data it appears marketers are pretty clueless about this all. So the waiting game is probably not the one to play at this time. The mantra, “Always Be Testing,” feels more and more like the path forward for pubs.

Maybe the cookie cutoff will get pushed back once again, but isn’t it better to be ready and raring to go than to always be in this state of limbo — especially when pubs are in a prime position to change the future of the open web?

It’s all about harnessing the power of first-party data and activating it. We know it’s easier said than done. But you now have the time to get this right, don’t you? But, dear pub, you’re even in the best position to bring more clarity to this wild, wild world of tracking IDs.
Sweet Tweet
Name This Company
“We’re going to give consumers more privacy controls, predicated on a very specific definition of the term ‘tracking’” 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 - @eric_seufert
Worth a Listen
A Marketing World In Transition: Essential Insights from Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar
Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Mastercard talks about “purposeful marketing,” the big changes underway for CMO’s, as well the emergence of new media platforms, and the future of identity.
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