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The demand for cookieless targeting is fueling SPO 2.0

The word supply-path optimization (SPO), has plagued ad tech companies for a long time and now includes a renewed resonance as media buyers still demand precise targeting, even while traditional tools of the trade have eroded.

Its a trend highlighted by Havas Media Groups recent seek out ad tech partners, an activity that saw PubMatic named among its roster of preferred supply-side partners because of its clients in the UNITED STATES market.

The procedure saw it further reduce its amount of SSP partners from five to seven (in 2018 this number was as high as 42) with the most recent iteration of HMGs annual search for ad tech echoed elsewhere on Madison Avenue.

At the core of the pairs renewed partnership is data activation,or even more plainly, the power for HMGs clients to focus on audiences on PubMatic inventory without third-party cookies. That is enabled through the recently unveiled audience management platform Converged that may identify audiences with a partnership HMG struck with LiveRamp, another ad tech company.

From here, HMG sends a listing of audience types its clients desire to target to PubMatic via LiveRamps encrypted identifier with the SSP subsequently using its platform Connect, an instrument that supports a variety of cookieless identifiers, to flag relevant opportunities. HMG then purchases the corresponding inventory with a third-party demand-side platform.

Evolving RFIs

In a statement, Andrew Goode, evp managing director, investment, HMG, said the most recent iteration of the tie-up can help clients bolster their return on ad spend, especially in a shifting addressability landscape that will require scale and efficiency.

The RFI [request for information] process would be to ensure that we’re able to abide by the principles we originally lay out once we enhance usage of data, Goode told Digiday. These exact things evolve and something of the items we look at is preparedness for means of employed in the cookieless future and the ones that may enable us to work within the growing maturity of the info marketplace.

SSPs, they will have data signals we cant necessarily get from the DSP.

Tom Grant, svp, group director, investment operations, HMG

Meanwhile, Tom Grant, svp, group director, investment operations, HMG, said such tie-ups were crucial, especially as about 75% of bid requests it sees dont have cookies anymore. He added, We are in need of these new means of working Were acknowledging the increasing need for SSPs which partnership [with PubMatic] is really a reflection of this, they will have more data signals that people cant necessarily get from the DSP.

John Speyer, senior director, advertisers solutions, PubMatic, characterized the renewed partnership as indicative of how buyers SPO efforts had grown more sophisticated when compared to days of simply culling shady partners.

Were centered on a new degree of SPO, where its moving beyond [quality of media] supply and much more into an addressability play, he said. Supply-side data activation is key I’d characterize it as 2.0 of how SPO looks.

Such partnerships, or trading deals as some would characterize them, are always at the mercy of commercial T&Cs although both HMG and PubMatics spokespeople declined to touch upon such details when probed by Digiday. Albeit, in addition they come at the same time once the traditional roles of online media come in transition, which will probably impact on commercial relationships.

Blurred lines

The HMG partnership isn’t the only real such deal that PubMatic has struck this season, since it was also named within the GroupM Premium Marketplace alongside fellow SSP Magnite such deals are actually key to the ad tech companies messaging to Wall Street.

Partnerships between media agencies and SSPs relationships which were traditionally facilitated by DSPs are increasingly being formed at the same time once the fault lines between buy- and sell-side ad tech companies have become increasingly blurred.

For example, earlier this season, The Trade Desk announced an initiative that proposes direct integration with premium publishers in a move that lots of interpreted as a primary threat to the original role of SSPs. Although, not absolutely all believe of the inevitability of conflict on the list of industrys intermediate tiers of ad tech with Bob Walczak, MadTech Advisors CEO, pointing out how such arrangements often involve the DSP executing a media-buy.

He further told Digiday that partnerships between SSPs and holding companies are essential for agencies to keep their traditional mode of targeting addressable audiences at scale while sticking with privacy requirements.

This is a small leap of logic to suggest we willsee both DSP and SSP offering competitive solutions.

Andrew Goode, evp managing director, investment, HMG

Its been happening for a long time, now they [SSPs] ‘re going direct to the agencies and trying to obtain a preferred relationship given that agencies have the type of technology to aid that kind of relationship, he said.

These deals need to continue steadily to happen because [when] third-party cookies disappear completely you must have a face-to-face relationship in order to do these types of first-party transactions having to know your counter-party better was what started ads.txt and what were seeing may be the evolution of the.

However, HMGs Goode told Digiday his opinion that while both parties assist in the transition to ad targeting without reliance on cookies, the increasingly fuzzy roles of the DSP and SSP could soon prompt change.

Both DSP and SSP today have intrinsic value in the activation of campaigns, however, this is a small leap of logic to suggest soon, we willsee both DSP and SSP offering competitive campaign activation solutions, independent from one another, and perhaps consequentially a potential decrease in tech tax, he concluded.

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