The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

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By Madi Bruce, Writer

October 9, 2019 | 3 min read

Is programmatic working for you? And how do you measure success? These questions were unravelled by industry experts at this year’s DMEXCO in Cologne. “Publishers should be rethinking their relationship with dominant tech vendors when it comes to programmatic advertising,” according to Romain Job, chief strategy officer at Smart AdServer.

Speaking to The Drum at Cologne’s annual digital exhibition, Job dived into the importance of strong independent adtech vendors for media companies in “a mature tech market.”

Job point out that publishers “need to rethink the ways they address the technology delivering programmatic advertising Both publishers and advertisers should take a close look at the value they are deriving from each tech vendor they work with.”.

How should publishers be maximising the value of the tech platforms that underpin their programmatic advertising?

Publishers need to get their priorities straight when it comes to delivering programmatic advertising on their platform. When it comes to doing business with advertisers, publishers must “put the tech at the centre again,” Job explains. The value of high performing technology creates “a way to collaborate better with the advertiser and share the value created by programmatic advertising.”

“Ad serving technology is the most important piece of the [publisher] ad-tech stack: it allows them to take control of their audience and their data, which are the most valuable assets they have”, Arnaud Creput, CEO of Smart AdServer, elaborates. “What we see today is dozens of supply-side platforms (SSPs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs), but only three ad-servers on on the demand side and three adservers on the supply side ” he goes on to explain. Ad-servers are difficult to build and there are very few on the market. “Ad Serving is the most critical piece for Publishers.”

Patching the ‘wedges’ between buyers and sellers

Michael Nevins, chief marketing officer at Smart AdServer, talked about how to get to grips with the dynamic between advertiser and publisher, and why this is so important. “The dynamic between buyers and sellers has changed throughout [the rise of] programmatic,” Nevins told The Drum. “Recently, programmatic has driven some wedges between buyers and sellers” as “middle players” have become dominant while taking value from both buyers and sellers..

“Rather than focus on supply-path optimization or demand-path optimization, [we like to refer to it as value-path optimization”, Nevins explains. Removing this “wedge” requires re-shaping the value proposition of advertising technology so that publishers receive the maximum portion of revenue from the media spend and advertisers realize better value and ROAS. Ad tech can - and should - bring buyers and sellers closer together by adding significant value, at a fair cost, and with full transparency.

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