LOS ANGELES – Rapid changes in consumer habits, public policies and advertising technology have disrupted the media marketplace in the past couple of years. Marketers, agencies, media outlets and ad-tech companies are grappling with these shifts.
Five key themes emerged in discussions about the future of advertising and media at this year’s Beet Retreat conference, Ashley J. Swartz, founder and chief executive of data science and artificial intelligence firm Furious, said in this video.
The first theme centered on the need for technology to provide the underlying “plumbing” for delivering advertising on advanced TV platforms, and for data that help marketers to measure the effects of their campaigns.
This transformation is necessary for “the ultimate goal of deduplicated reach – to be able to buy across multiple platforms, to ultimately be able to measure on the back end as well,” Swartz said. “That was clear and consistent.”
Make It Easier for Buyers
Advertisers face difficulties in ensuring they’re reaching target consumers on newer video-on-demand platforms whose audience has grown amid the cord-cutting trend. Many of these services require viewers to set up an account, creating “walled garden” environments with propriety audience data that don’t reflect people’s broader media consumption habits.
“It’s too hard to buy connected TV and advanced TV — and ultimately, the proliferation of ‘walled gardens’ does not serve our industry or premium video, in general,” Swartz said. “It’s just too hard to deal with these fragmented buys. Unless we have some kind of unifying dataset that allows us to de-dupe across the walled gardens – unified ID – we won’t have it.”
Developing common standards to measure advertising is a herculean effort for the industry. Swartz said NBCUniversal’s efforts to evaluate dozens of measurement services, and to share its findings with the industry were heartening.
“I really believe goodness is going to come out of it, and I’m so excited to see the ripple effect,” she said.
As much as advertisers are demanding more evidence that different media platforms are delivering results, Swartz said she’s like to see more discussion about business outcomes for sellers.
“What was missing, and what hurts my heart, given that I run a company that serves sellers, is that ultimately, there was no discussion of business outcomes for sellers. That is absent from the conversation,” she said. “Everybody has to win in order for this to work.”
Let’s Work Together
Advertisers, media owners and ad-tech firms often talk about working together to tackle problems that confront the entire industry. Swartz said she’s optimistic more results will come out of these discussions.
“I can’t imagine a group of people – and hearts and minds – that are better positioned and have greater readiness to actually do that. So, let’s just do it,” she said.