Top Takeaways From Publisher Forum Nashville Keynotes

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This Week
November 15, 2022
Top Takeaways From PubForum Nashville
Around the Water Cooler
Top Takeaways From PubForum Nashville
Image sourced from Donna Alberico Photography
From retail media to relevancy vs reach to mastering monetization, there were many inspiring and informative takeaways from PubForum Nashville keynote speakers.

Three industry giants provided their perspectives on key topics impacting the future of ad tech. Wondering how to monetize your business in a post-cookie world? Curious about leveraging retail media to capture a robust and actionable first-party data set? Do you understand why first-party data is better than cookies for creating consumer-focused businesses? Well, our keynote speakers shared the scoop, and here are some of the main highlights.

Cara Pratt, “Building Trusted Bridges: How Retail Media Is Revolutionizing the Advertising Ecosystem.”

Digital retail data influences on and offline shopping behaviors.
“The purchase journey for so many products has become a sprint. The ability to connect content and commerce happens in an instant. Even traditional onshore shopping is influenced by online behaviors. You all know what it's like to be a consumer. Every single person in this room is a consumer. In fact, Forrester is predicting that retail sales influenced by digital touchpoints are going to rise to 70% of US retail sales by 2027.”

First-party data is the gold standard connection.
“The value of first-party data has been clear from the start. It's the transparency. That's the gold standard connection that allows publishers and advertisers to come together to create a meaningful moment that matters. Your media business has consumer value exchanges as well. People subscribe to news they pay for premium content. They join communities. They share and create stories. That's a relationship that you're curating.”

Delu Jackson, “Reach Is Dead, Long Live Relevance: How Buyers and Sellers Use Triggers to Reach and Engage Audiences.”

The importance of audience-centric and audience-specific marketing.
“We talked about being customer-centric and audience-specific and audience-centric. And so what I learned across all those different experiences is if you focus on the audience of the customer, you just have to figure out where your brands and your products or portfolio products fit in their mind. That’s the relevant data. That's really the data and intelligence we're looking for.”

The importance of contextual is going to be key for brands.
“Contextual is going to be key. Even going back to this morning, it will be partnering and connecting with the end result either with another partner or with the brands ourselves. We have a lot of first-party data that connects the attention to the sale. We talked about walled gardens and black boxes. Those are gonna have to go away and there's going to have to be a collaboration between the brands and the data.”

Justin Wohl, Mastering Monetization: Salon’s Post-Cookie Plans

As a publisher, you have a chance to say more about what you are selling.
“The whole thing with cookies was that they found out what they needed to know about your site. But now as programmatic publishers, we get a chance to say more about what we're selling, we have a chance to declare things that we weren't ever looked at or listened to about.”

How do you get your users to give you what you need to give them what they expect?
“This really ties into putting the user first and being able to give them what they most expect when they click. Being able to show them something that they expect and not something that I think is the best, gives us a chance to capture some of that data to build a relationship with them once they sign in. Now our relationship has begun and if it's really an experience they prefer, they'll keep coming back and our relationship will grow.”
Why This Matters
Everyone in the ad tech ecosystem might be tired of hearing about it, but we are at a pivotal moment of change within the industry. It is time that everyone takes a step back and reevaluate how they are running their ad business.

While you should not center your business strategy around a sentiment of pessimism, we have to look at how new regulations and societal changes have impacted the way your audiences consume your content. Many in the industry have relied on the third-party cookie which is slowly being edged out. Ad spend projections sway to the side of doom and gloom. Yet, there is still some light at the end of the tunnel.

For instance, retail media is a gold mine that everyone in the industry should tap into. There is a treasure chest full of first-party data that can help you reach a consumer base that is relevant to your brands. Retail media “is becoming a very critical part of the digital media ecosystem and it is routinely added to brand plans now.”

Consumer first is the mantra that everyone should be leading with. Publishers and advertisers might work with the data, but now the consumer is king. In the wise words of Delu Jackson, “brands need to align with customers’ needs instead of forcing their brand vision to disrupt the consumers’ way of life.”
Around the Water Cooler
Here's what else we're talking about...
  • Twitter’s Advertising Exodus Accelerates, Despite Outreach From Elon Musk (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Google Agrees to $392 Million Privacy Settlement With 40 States (The New York Times)
  • Protocol, the Tech-news Focused Website, Will Shutter and Lay off Its Entire Staff (CNN)
Sweet Tweet
Massive Sellers.json Updates
Last week was rather eventful in sellers.json land, with multiple ad systems making sweeping changes to thousands of sellers at once. Here's a brief rundown brought to you by Braedon Vickers, a Kiwi software developer.
Worth a Listen
Why It’s Time To Put ‘Notice And Choice’ On Notice
Asking the average consumer to read and fully absorb a cookie notice or privacy policy is unrealistic, but better consumer education could help, says Jessica Lee, Partner, Chair, Privacy, Security & Data Innovations at Loeb & Loeb.
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