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Digital Essay: Truth be bold by Ayman Haydar

by Ayman Haydar, CEO, MMP World Wide

Trust, /trʌst/, noun: firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something”; source: www.dictionary.com. Sounds familiar? That is how successful media businesses become popular and grow further. They gain the trust of their customers through offering the most dynamic and effective solutions and yield the best results. The media industry underwent pragmatic changes in the last 20 years with the evolution of technology where the first banner ad appeared in 1994. Online marketers saw the ability to measure who has interacted with the ad; and so it began. This evolution gave birth to programmatic advertising, which toppled the game. The automated way of buying and selling media enabled marketers to reach thousands of websites in no time without any human intervention. Reaching millions of impressions made programmatic unstoppable. Was it enough for marketers to reach millions of impressions? Are these impressions reliable ones? What is the loophole?

Scalability, mass reach, bigger audience and billions of impressions are a few of many reasons why media buyers ran their campaigns on the open market (open exchange). With no doubt, the open market has failed the industry in multiple ways. WPP claims that remnant inventory and fraudulent traffic cost more than $16bn in 2017, which also led to boycotts of major players over matters of brand safety and more.

PMPs (private market places) came into play. Advertisers are shifting to PMPs, invitation-only marketplaces with a limited number of websites, clear audiences, brand-safe environments, and a dynamic environment for optimisation. Studies have shown a decline in open-market buy and a tremendous shift towards PMPs. There are a lot of reasons why advertisers should move their budgets towards PMP buying, including these:

  •  Trust in a brand-safe environment

YouTube, Google and Facebook get the most blame, after the recent incidents when global FMCG, luxury, and telecommunications ads ran next to non-brand-safe content. How much can they do when they either run on hundreds of thousands of websites or next to user-generated content? Running ads on the open exchange gives little to almost no control over where your ads will run, on which sites and next to what content they will appear. Let us create a safe environment by handpicking a handful of websites through a PMP that is managed on both ends of the pipe; the buyers controlling the brands’ KPIs and the sellers controlling the environment hosting those brands.

  •  Trust premium publishers  and transparency

Defining premium can be tricky in today’s media space. All parties involved in a media transaction define premium differently. One says premium means good content, one says the publisher name is a legacy, and the other would say the user experience of the website makes it outstanding. However, our definition of premium revolves around how genuine the publisher traffic – the audience – is. Creating PMPs is not only plugging publishers into a platform and selling their ad space but also managing those publishers. This is through A) continuous validation of their traffic (such as MOAT). B) segmenting and classifying audiences into verticals (such as Lotame). C) maintaining readiness as a 100 per cent compliant and trustworthy environment that can gain the trust of brands when transacting programmatically.

  •  Trust that nothing is for free

We “just” want: transparency, brand safety, performance and
very low CPMs. You are not  asking much…

Good content, proper user experience and genuine verified audience costs a lot of money. Charity needs to be voluntary and not forced. Publishers need those investments in order to survive or else their quality will decline. With technology unveiling the “black box” and giving access to everything the brand goes through in its digital journey, programmatic advertising, which is 100 per cent measurable and transparent, must take its fair share and be valued at the right price, especially as other media are much more expensive and not as measured
and transparent.

Yet “not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts”, so let us all make sure we benefit from what can be counted and make it count.

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