First-party programmatic systems provide the innovation, security and control that companies in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) need to continue to drive the ecosystem forward.
In 2016, spending on digital advertising in APAC eclipsed that of the US for the first time ever. This year, that number is expected to reach nearly $70bn, making APAC the largest market for digital advertising by far. As a percentage of total digital media spend, programmatic and RTB also continue to grow, despite the fact that APAC has not been immune to the issues that have very publicly plagued programmatic buying and selling in other regions – namely a perceived lack of transparency, brand safety and fraud concerns, an ever-increasing glut of vendors, and unknown tech taxes taking money away from working media and going to intermediaries.
All this is to say that advertisers, agencies and publishers in APAC, as in other regions, have come to enjoy the increased automation and enhanced audience and data-driven targeting that programmatic delivers.
In fact, we are seeing enterprising companies and startups alike devise innovative ways to tap into the power of digital, data and programmatic, specifically to enhance media buying and selling strategies, create new revenue streams and carve out competitive moats that build long-term, sustainable advantage in the fastest-growing, most populous region of the world.
- Telcos, retailers and financial services organizations are beginning to leverage and activate their data assets for everything from product discovery and enhancement to monetization and ad targeting.
- Publishers are banding together to pool their inventory, data and audiences in an effort to fight off the encroaching duopolistic forces of Google and Facebook.
- A huge influx of APAC-based startups are popping up and innovating to address the growing consumer market and the advertisers who want to reach them.
To initiate these undertakings, APAC-based companies have primarily relied on shared, multi-tenant third-party platforms as low-barrier entry points that enable speed-to-market – albeit with little flexibility, transparency or control. Largely developed out-of-region, these platforms reflect the requisite feature sets and priorities of publishers and advertisers operating in the US and EMEA, and provide no opportunity for product roadmap input, control or customization to accommodate the unique needs of companies operating in-region.
Astute companies, however, are starting to ask smart – and hard – questions:
- To what extent can true differentiation be achieved on a rigid stack, shared by hundreds of other companies?
- Can a third-party system really operate in my own best interest?
- How can I leverage my data securely to achieve outcomes that matter to me?
- What is the business risk of not being able to adapt quickly to new market opportunities?
Thinking through these questions is compelling many enterprising companies in APAC to conclude that a one-size-fits-all technology solution doesn’t fit the needs of their business.
As a leading provider of first-party media trading and data monetization systems, Iponweb partners closely with advertisers, data owners, publishers and ad tech companies to think through their unique business needs and requirements and deliver fully customized advertising platforms that create sustainable competitive advantage and accelerate real business growth.
Unlike shared ad platforms, a first-party system operates in the best interest of its owner and is not beholden to the business demands or concerns of a third-party tech provider or any of its other clients.
A first-party system puts advertisers and publishers back in control of their data and mediatrading strategies by giving them full ownership of product roadmap, features and behaviors, and transparency in all system activities and costs. When Iponweb builds first-party systems, the platform is fine-tuned to their unique needs, data inputs, goals and requirements, and, through Iponweb’s subsidiary, BidSwitch, can instantly connect to hundreds of media buyers and sellers across the globe, and across all media types, allowing for rapid expansion into new markets and channels as opportunities emerge.
For publishers and advertisers to achieve and maintain competitive advantage in the coming years will require constant innovation, flexibility, adaptability and control that only a purpose-built first-party system can deliver. Working with third-party shared platforms to drive business growth may prove for many to be the path of least resistance, but it will never be the path to marketplace differentiation.
Ryan Pestano, general manager, APAC, Iponweb.