Even companies that make billions of ad dollars have problems. The question is how much these problems will impede future growth. Here are the problems the biggest names in online publishing not named Google face, and what their futures could look like.
The benefits that come with leveraging cross-device identity for advertising are well known. Cross-device campaigns lead to better targeting, stronger campaign metrics, and higher return on ad spend for advertisers, plus better user experiences, higher engagement, and more value from users as they move across screens. But even with the knowledge of these benefits, many publishers haven't fully embraced cross-device data. When publishers don't have insights about their users, they struggle to maximize the value of their mobile and desktop inventory.
Recently, Jason Kint of the Online Publishers Association wrote an op-ed on Do Not Track. In an attempt to paint the OPA as a leader in privacy and Do Not Track initiatives, Mr. Kint accused members of the third-party advertising technology community of "stonewalling the development of a 'Do Not Track' standard which would, in theory, give users greater control over online tracking." It would otherwise be commendable that Mr. Kint is taking a stand on privacy, except for the fact that Do Not Track doesn't stop OPA members from tracking. There's not a single thing that members won't be …
When a premium publisher with professional journalists and writers sell ads on an exchange (open or private), what they are really doing is disconnecting the value of their professionally produced content from their ad sales proposition. The value buyers place on these programmatic ads is tied to data and performance. Content is eliminated -- or at best, severely diminished -- from the equation.
Remember back in February of this year, when the Interactive Advertising Bureau vented its frustration at brands for dawdling in making the fundamental shift away from the limitations of flash advertising to the superiority of HTML5? Timed with the IAB's Annual Leadership Conference, the trade group pulled no punches in an open letter to advertisers imploring them to move to HTML5.