MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – A healthy media environment increasingly depends on innovations in privacy-safe audience identifiers, brand-appropriate context for advertising and more insights into how consumers pay attention to brand messaging, Doug Rozen, chief executive of the Americas for dentsu Media, said.

“The goal of what we’re trying to do is to know people better than anyone else,” he said in this interview with Beet.TV contributor Mike Shields at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. “That then allows our clients to have advantage in who they’re targeting, why they’re targeting and really put meaning and understanding behind the identity versus just it being a data point.”

A variety of companies and organizations are developing audience identifiers to help advertisers better understand how they reach consumers while protecting their privacy. Marketers face a variety of privacy regulations that give consumers greater control over their personal information, and violating those laws can be costly.

Until these identifiers are more widely adopted, advertisers are relying on other kinds of data signals that offer some insights into consumer behavior and purchase intent. Content that provides the context for advertising is importance, especially for marketers who want their messaging to appear next to brand-safe content. Contextual considerations have been around since the dawn of advertising, but recently they took a back seat as marketers relied on cookie tracking for digital ad targeting.

“Context is really key because at the end of the day it comes down to “the rights”: the right ad at the right time to the right person with the right meaning, driving the right outcome,” Rozen said. “What we haven’t been doing is focusing on the context of the ad. We’ve been focused on the automation, the machine, the programmatic decisioning and we have to recognize that context is as important.”

Dentsu has prioritized the study of consumer attention to advertising as people divide their time among a growing variety of media channels and viewing devices. It’s common for many people to watch television while looking at their smartphones.

“Attention is the most critical way that we know advertisements are having values with the consumers,” he said. “How we drive that attention — understanding and measurement and ultimately trading — is really important.”

You’re watching ‘What’s Next: Scaling CTV Through Industry Collaboration,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at IAB ALM 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.