Data has become like “info porn” - next step is to define how to monetise it, says Google product manager

The volume of data available in the market today has become like “info porn”, but focus must now be on making that data “actionable”, according to Google AdX product manager Michael Smith.

Speaking at Admonsters Ops: Building the Future of Advertising event in London today Smith said it is the inventory that drives the value in a real-time bidding (RTB) environment – not the technology.

“Your brand is the key and you are the keepers of your brand – not the technology. The trick is in extracting the value from your inventory and exploiting it without giving it all away. You must understand what your premium inventory is so you can figure out how best to sell it,” he said.

Publishers must learn how to better exploit their inventory within the RTB ecosystem, according to Smith. “A question I get asked a lot by publishers is ‘how do I use this with my inventory?’ I can’t answer that – only you know your inventory, I can just show you what levers to use.

“You do not want anyone else to manage your inventory – you want to manage it and to do that you need a data strategy. But if you treat this as a data warehouse which you just throw data at you won’t make any money…It’s all about making your inventory more valuable – only then can you make the technology work for you,” he said.

Smith also stressed the importance of measuring success, with all working internally to feed back data insight learned from auction-based activity. “Measurement of your success is extraordinarily important – make sure you know what you want...It’s all become a bit like info porn, but how do you turn that into something you can make money from? Figure out what you can take action on – don’t just look at the pretty pictures,” he said.

Google is currently developing a tool for publishers to better manage inventory controls within DoubleClick’s ad exchange, according to Smith. This “enhanced” inventory control system is in closed beta and currently only for display inventory not mobile or video.

“You will be able to import your ad server inventory and open auction exchange inventory. It will let you play more creatively and correctly at the eleventh hour,” he said.

The tool is due to roll out to mobile by the end of this quarter, according to Smith.

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