A high percentage of publishers -- 80% -- say they cannot complete with Google or Facebook without better ad targeting technology, and 40% admit they see stagnant or shrinking digital advertising revenue for a variety of reasons.
Kathy Menis, SVP of marketing at Signal, attributes the high percentage to fierce competition in the digital publishing world. "Just last week, Google announced a custom audience solution similar to Facebook's and Twitter's," she says. "Publishers know they need to evolve to keep up, and are thinking about ways to offer real-time, people-based marketing to advertisers to boost ad revenue."
Data from Signal's report -- conducted by Econsultancy, Digital Publishing Increasing Advertising Value through Data and Identity -- suggests that 53% of publishers do not have the technology to target consumers across multiple devices.
Yet, 45% say the capabilities to target by live intent data remains the highest priority.
The findings, which concluded in September 2015, analyze how digital publishers plan to capture their share of advertising budgets, how they plan to increase premium ad space, and where they plan to invest during the next 12 to 24 months. About 127 at the manager level or above responded, with more than 95% from North America.
Publishers agree they see the opportunity to increase CPMs by improving their ability to recognize cross-device consumers, utilize in-the-moment intent data, and import advertisers' first-party offline and online data, per Menis. "This will enable them to generate unique inventory and help advertisers reach addressable audiences without trapping advertiser data, a distinct advantage over walled gardens," she says.
About 79% of publishers say they lose data by allowing users to sign in with a universal login from Google, Facebook, Twitter and others.
Some 80% of those surveyed agree that their ability to compete depends on being able to target individuals to attract advertisers. Interestingly, publishers see a solution in data sharing, Menis says. Some 80% of survey respondents see growth in combining data with trusted partners to offer custom audiences on a larger scale than what they can do alone.
Slow and disconnected technology underpins many challenges. "Resolving identity across devices, creating customized audiences with first-party data, and targeting addressable audiences based on live intent all depend on an effective technology platform that powers real-time, people-based marketing," Menis says.
Targeting becomes impossible when technology doesn't work across channels and devices, becomes dependent on cookies that expire or can be deleted, or is slowed by batch processing.