Ok Everyone, You Missed the Point

Last week Burger King earned significant publicity over their latest ad stunt, in which a TV spot was designed to hijack Google Home devices by asking “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” The hope was that viewers with a Google Home Virtual Digital Assistant (VDA) would hear a list the ingredients back from their device. There has been a lot of news and industry talk about the advertisement itself… the Wikipedia skirmishes… but so far, everyone has missed the point.

This stunt is not about the ad, but about the power of the home-based VDA. Given Google’s insatiable appetite for advertising revenue, Google Home is programmed to use Wikipedia to list Whopper ingredients — a tiny illustration of the power of VDAs. How long will it take for your Google Home, Amazon Echo, or other VDA, to not only link to an advertisement and choose where to direct you, but for Google and Amazon to get paid by brands for your virtual self-space? Imagine you ask for paper towels – let’s say your VDA can choose Bounty or Brawny – what is Amazon’s incentive to pick one brand over the other?

I already say to my Echo, “Alexa, reorder XYZ”, and it does. No price check, no alternative, and when XYZ is a generic item, like sugar, it effectively selects the brand. I know this is the effect of my own laziness, but what I expect to see soon will be nothing short of invasive. Amazon already knows far too much about me. Again, my own choice, but in this “winner take all” economy, our retail choices are going to become limited in an entirely new way. It will not just be the local merchant being pushed out by big boxes and malls. Even they are being shattered as we embrace e-commerce, online price checking, and are swayed by social influencers, changing how we buy. eMarkerter’s recent report on programmatic spending, indicating that 84% of all digital advertising will be programmatic, shows that algorithmically-driven advertising works.  It is coming to TV (already in video) and to every other form of advertising.

What is fascinating about the potential power of VDA as it relates to marketing, advertising, and commerce, is that no one is paying attention. This will be the largest sea change in advertising/marketing and controlled by only a few companies (Google, Amazon, Apple, ???). Both Google and Amazon have reduced the friction of every transaction and are basically selling a BIG EASY BUTTON for shopping. However, the costs of finding alternatives, or actually knowing what the alternatives are, will continue to empower that easy button. This enables yield pricing on every product we buy online.

Many are already familiar with how airlines present different prices to the same person based upon how they search (one price on Kayak, another on the company’s website, and a third price on the company’s app).  When I recently searched Delta for a flight from LaGuardia to St. Louis using these three methods I was simultaneously quoted three different prices (ranging from $171~$187).  In each instance, Delta knew different things about me, and therefor quoted me three different prices. What is to stop Amazon Echo from quoting me a different price? Amazon already changes its pricing in real time – that cookware set you bought yesterday may be cheaper today (and Amazon no longer offers price protection). Why wouldn’t Amazon set pricing based upon willingness to pay? They could tune their margins perfectly.

VDAs are becoming the next narrowing point of the purchase funnel. Limiting selection and actively managing price is simply the next step.

What can we do? The answer is complicated, but it begins with awareness. We professionals in the MadTech world are familiar with how algorithms dynamically bid for impressions, change creative content inside of ads, and generally drive the successful targeting of advertising. But most people don’t know how pricing algorithms discriminate based upon what they know. As these Madtech capabilities continue to migrate to pricing, the most important thing we can do it is not fall into the easy trap by spending a little more time looking for pricing alternatives.

5 Minute MadTech — Account Based Marketing: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of our series on ABM’s sales and marketing unification, and how it might best be viewed first as a philosophy, you can catch up here.

According to CIO, there is a renewed interest in the back-to-basics power of ABM: “Targeting key customers and retaining them is the name of the game, and we now couple those principles with technology.” Companies that use ABM know its power – it delivers the highest ROI of any B2B strategy.

The way to target and retain comes from identifying, building and nurturing relationships with the correct people – stakeholders. Azalead, an ABM platform, states that, “40% more stakeholders are involved in the buying decision.”  Using ABM to facilitate this practice, tedious “shooting in the dark” is replaced with tailored-made approaches, focused on stakeholders.

ABM builds off of the importance of quality vs. quantity. As stated by TechTarget, “instead of broad reaching marketing campaigns that touches the largest possible number of prospective customers, an ABM strategy focus resources for book of business on defined set of named accounts.” The idea that success is directly linked to a large number of lead-generated targets should ebb; deals are lost here. Put another way, MadTech professionals have summarized ABM as fishing with a spear, rather than a net.

According to Azalead, “ABM significantly changes the way [one] evaluates the performance of B2B marketing. It’s no longer enough to have purely quantitative approach aimed at booking the highest number of – more or less – appropriate leads provided by marketing and sales.” By ripping off the quantitative blinders, the realization that “fishing with spears” is the affective approach that defines ABM. It also enforces the importance of sales and marketing integrations.

As ABM eases  pressure between two crucial teams, what’s more important to sales departments will not be the number of leads presented to them, but the differentiation between new and returning leads. This differentiation is important in stimulating and nurturing new clients, ensuring that databases don’t stagnate.

Come back on Tuesday for part 3 of our series, where we dig into to the ABM sales cycle.

Content Roundup: Chicken nuggets, Google gets a cold shower, Rubicon’s FastLane

In case you missed it, here are our staff’s fav MadTech news picks from the last two weeks. Notice something new? #Hashtags! We want to know what you’ve been reading, and what we missed. Tell us on Twitter, Facebook… or button it up on LinkedIn.  

In case you missed it 2x, here’s our previous Roundup (#redundant).

 

 

News Corp & Unruly seeking to redefine programmatic through new private marketplacesThe Drum, Apr. 10, 2017
Media buyers can now buy inventory that matches a person’s mood…
#emerging #programmatic #partnership

How The NYT, CNN, and HuffPo approach publishing on platformsNieman Lab, Mar. 30, 2017
A study from Columbia University examines how social platforms have changed journalism.
#publishing #study #social

Rubicon Project Announces Early Successes from Video Header Bidding BetaYahoo Finance, Apr. 6, 2017
The Exchange announced the initial results experienced by publishers using its video header bidding product…
#beta #emerging #programmatic

Diana Ionel, Starcom Romania: “The cold shower for Google is a good thing…”iCEE.news, Mar. 30, 2017
“No matter how sophisticated targeting is right now, the association with quality content involves a judgment on that content…”
#content #international

The Kendall Jenner Pepsi Creative BriefMedium, Apr. 6, 2017
This parody brief for Pepsi’s massive tone-deafness is right on the nose… 
#blowingIt #pepsi

World record for retweets could be broken over some free chicken nuggets The Verge, Apr. 6, 2017
A social media win for Wendy’s. Are you in one of the 2.7 million retweets?
#NuggsForCarter

 

UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS

April 19 – 20  /  Conversion Conference, Las Vegas, NV

April 23 – 26  /  Marketing Nation Summit, San Francisco, CA

April 25  /  Empire Startups FinTech Conference, New York, NY

April 26  /  Influencer Marketing Roundtable, New York, NY

 

(Join in! Tweet us or tell us on LinkedIn of some media that you think is worth sharing.)

Let Them Come…Consultancies Welcome!

It is hard to ignore the steady drumbeat of warnings that management consultants are coming to challenge agencies. Management consulting firms are often seen as the enemies of agencies – new market entrants that need to be stopped.  Many of them have already won, as Forbes illuminated in a recent article. “According to Ad Age, all the top 3, and 8 of the top-10 ad agencies are not those legacy names that might visit your home nightly with their TV commercials. Instead, they are consultancies like Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG and PwC.” Agencies seems to be responding in-kind, building up their consulting expertise.

This trend is driven by many factors, with two of the key drivers being:

  • Brands are increasingly spending more on MadTech, and technology has always been a core capability of management consultants;
  • Digital transformation is now often driven by customer engagement points (MadTech), and agencies have a long history of driving and managing customer engagement points for brands.  

The old three-martini lunch may have passed, but the agencies’ “trust me” attitude often remained, at least until recently. The ANA’s report on agency transparency, the P&G bombshell at the IAB Leadership conference, and recent cries from some YouTube advertisers speaks to the increasing volume of calls for change. The press points fingers at ‘AdTech’ companies, the programmatic nature of buying, fake news, fraud…

I think it’s something different.

Given all the background noise about transparency, agencies, AdTech companies and others have a vested interest in the ‘media’ pricing model, which hides all the dirty little secrets: fees and recharges with agency trading companies, the hidden costs of SSP’s and Exchanges, and the ‘price included’ fees of data targeting. These (and many other) MadTech fees are structured to be imbedded in the holy ‘media-based’ model.

This model is seriously broken. With many claiming the ‘AdTech tax’ is at least 45%—and some declaring it to be as high as 75%—everything is suspect. Brands are spending more on MadTech than ever before. They know they’re getting screwed, they’re just not sure how.

In march the consultants, with their decades of expertise in supply chain management, and a depth of expertise in getting technologies to work together, that few agencies can challenge.

Large consulting firms have spent decades, if not generations, tearing down supply chains to remove waste and friction, reassembling them for higher efficiency. The typical MadTech supply chain to deliver an impression is primed for the consulting axe:

  1. Data and Targeting
  2. Ad Serving
  3. SSP/Exchange fee
  4. Dynamic Creative
  5. Fraud/Verification/Viewability

    …Et cetera.

Each of these technologies, many of which are invaluable, are bundled by agencies into the ‘price of the media’ and distributed behind closed doors. Management consultants know how to play in this game. They are going to continue to gain market share, particularly against major agency holding companies, until the pricing model changes. And, by the way, it’s not that consulting firms come at a bargain, but they don’t hold the same vested interests that agencies do. They expose problems, are more transparent about their own pricing, and are ruthless in attacking the supply chain.

Management consultants will drive transparency in agency pricing models. However, while they are experts in supply chain management, they are not as good at recognizing how MadTech innovation can improve a brand’s performance, and are likely to pick only the largest tech suppliers as they strive for supply chain efficiency.

Let management consultants drive agencies toward embracing transparency. But technology companies, take note: To maintain an innovation-driven ecosystem, rather than to see a culling of the herd with only the largest companies surviving, will require new pricing models. The onus is on MadTech to create them, and to lead the way.

 

660 Minutes

GET YOUR PIECE OF THE CMO’S LIMITED ATTENTION WITH RELEVANT RESEARCH. 

We recently published a study, Research + Content = MadTech Sales. The takeaway:  “Research based content trumps all other forms of marketing.”

We’re not saying the industry isn’t already generating thought provoking, innovative, fresh and informative research. But competition amongst industry experts in the attention economy is growing fierce. Every marketer of MadTech has to… well, bring their A-game. So what does an A-game look like?  

First, audience: Marketers have to strategize and focus on who the research needs to reach and impress. According to new research from Gartner, “Marketing tech budgets are on track to exceed the amount of money CIOs spend on technology in the coming year.” So, let’s connect the dots… the most sought after potential customer for MadTech vendors is the CMO — one of the hardest people to connect with, and even harder to keep their interest.

Second, budget: MadTech vendors have to cease misallocating budgets by accurately accounting for how much money marketing companies are generating towards technology. From the research Gartner depicted, Forbes broke down the numbers: “The average marketing expense budget is now equivalent to 12% of company revenue, and 27% of that is allocated to marketing tech… This 27% is 5 percentage points higher than what CMOs allocate to paid media… Further this 27% means that 3.2% of a company’s revenue is now set aside for marketing technology.” These numbers shine a true light on the importance of tech and who is going to control the budget in coming years.

We hear you saying, “Challenge accepted.” But before you go charging into the CMOs office…

According to Digiday, “the average person spends more than 11 hours each week reading emails, and competition is fierce for every one of those 660 minutes.” This. Is. Just. The. Average. Person. An OMD executive was painfully honest with us, stating, “I actually don’t answer my phone.” Gulp.

What does a vendor have to do in order to stand out and hold a CMOs attention?

With a strategic email marketing plan, research-driven content and the realization of where efforts have to be focused in the coming year — MadTech vendors will be able to offer something more to CMOs. Recalling again our recently published study, “Research-based content trumps all other forms of marketing and can make other communication initiatives more effective.” In order for this research to be effective, it needs to be contextually relevant. According to our Index Insights, 93% of surveyed panelists say that relevant research will positively impact a company as a potential partner. But then only 14% said they’ve received thought-leadership content that was relevant.

Marketers of MadTech, you have your work cut out for you. But if you have information the CMO needs, she might have something you want: Her attention.

Media We Like: “Backlash to the Walled Gardens?”

Here come the I.I. team’s headline roundup. Last week was terrible for Google. Will it be the beginning of advertisers standing up against the walled gardens? Ten brands rock in programmatic buying, whether doing it in-house or letting agencies pull the levers. We are just in the 1st inning of Sales Tech growth – hello to another crowded LUMAscape. (See our previous weekly picks here.)

YouTube Advertiser Exodus Highlights Perils of Online Ads (The New York Times) – Mar. 23, 2017
Google and YouTube are facing a full-scale advertising boycott from major brands like Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and Verizon. (CNET, Mar. 24)

The Top Ten Programmatic Advertisers (AdExchanger) – Mar. 20, 2017
The ten brands who fully embrace data-driven marketing, and understand how to work with a vast partner ecosystem and quality oversight.

Some responses following by P&G Pritchard’s seismic talk:
Premium publishers say They Can Solve His Digital Ad Problems (Advertising Age) – Feb. 16, 2017
DCN, an association of publishers including Hearst and NYT, argues that advertising with high-quality websites is one way out of the digital mess. “The primary way to avoid fraud is economic rather than technical.”

Voice from DSP: A New Era for Advertising Transparency Is Here (The Trade Desk) – Feb. 14, 2017
“To really move the needle on, our industry has got to reduce the conflict of interest it has accepted in the past.” In 2o16, The Trade Desk passed $1 billion in platform spend as non-display products gain stream. (AdExchanger, Feb. 16)

The Future of Sales Tech (LUMA) – Mar. 14, 2017
With over $25bn already invested across thousands of companies in MarTech, it is easy to see how the Sales Tech sector could experience similar growth – if not more.

(Join in! Tweet us or tell us on LinkedIn of some media that you think is worth sharing.)

 

You Can’t Spell Exchange without Change

HEADER BIDDING IS LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD BETWEEN PUBLISHERS AND EXCHANGES

Header Bidding – the new black, taking the market by storm, the must have, top of the trends.

So why is it such a threat?

Header bidding shifts the power dynamic away from the SSPs and exchanges, moving it back to the publishers. Publishers who manage their own header bidding have created what exchanges promised to create for the last five years: a highly competitive auction for a publisher’s inventory. Not only are publishers making more money with header bidding, they are gaining a bigger advantage, transparency of demand, and inventory control.  

Who is winning – and who is losing – thanks to header bidding? Why do I believe it ultimately spells the demise of many exchanges?

THE QUICK HISTORY:

  1. Digital advertising was born.
  2. Digital advertising was sold much like TV, print and radio, mostly on a guaranteed basis via phone calls, faxes and emails.
  3. Digital inventory exploded and “remnant” (unsold) was born.  
  4. Remnant was sold via networks, used for house ads, or went unsold.  
  5. Networks figured out how to create vertical networks and other aggregation methods, providing reach and contextual targeting to buyers.
  6. Networks started deploying audience targeting tools and were the first to really leverage data (with the exception of Google, who always knew how to leverage data).
  7. DMPs and other data companies emerged, created huge pools of profiled cookies.
  8. SSPs, Exchanges, and DSPs emerged to create the ability to “real time target and bid” on remnant inventory.
  9. DSPs leveraged the audience data to drive performance and the size of the RTB market exploded.
  10. Publishers were pushed to “be transparent” with their inventory and add higher quality inventory to what was sold programmatically, increasing eCPMs of exchange inventory, but not necessary the overall eCPM of publishers.
  11. Exchanges, and DSPs starting making some serious money (each taking about 15% of the spend) creating the so called “AdTech Tax.”  
  12. Meanwhile, companies like Criteo realized that being in the header gave them first look for all inventory (not just unsold), driving up eCPMs for publishers while cherry-picking inventory.
  13. Technology-learning publishers began to experiment with “header bidding,” often leveraging DFPs’ dynamic allocation tools.
  14. Open source header bidding wrappers and adapters became available and the market exploded.
  15. Header bidding began driving up CPMs for publishers, allowing them to capture top dollar for high-value inventory.

 

Header bidding is exploding because publishers reason (often correctly) that they are getting screwed by the second price auction and the intermediaries who seem to be rigging the system. With header bidding, publishers are able to bypass the the waterfall of exchanges, increase their overall eCPMs, gain more control of their inventory and only use their exchange(s) (mostly AdX) to sell what is truly now “remnant”.  

Why are the exchanges doomed? First, they’re not all screwed. Some were losing under the “exchange daisy chain market.”  They were the third, fourth, or fifth call on the chain and saw lousy inventory that had been picked over by AdX, AppNexus, Rubicon… Certain companies, in particular OpenX and Index Exchange, made early big bets on the header bidding model.  All of a sudden, they were seeing 100% of a given publisher’s inventory, and their volumes and eCPMs increased. (Yes, they also incurred a “listening fee” for 100% of the inventory, but top line exploded.) AppNexus jumped on the bandwagon a little later, with their open source solution, prebid.org. However Rubicon was late to the party, as was Pubmatic.  

Rubicon has reported header bidding as the primary culprit in their recent earnings calls. One need look no further than the recent stock price collapse of Rubicon. It has been blaming header bidding for its sinking performance for the last few quarters, but was overwhelmed with bad news with its recent reporting (which resulted in hiring Michael Barrett, a consistently successful CEO (successful at selling the companies he walks into).

Most importantly, publishers, particularly the comScore 150, were figuring out how this was all working, and began taking control of the process. Now everyone is talking about server-to-server integration for header bidding. This seems to overcome the real technology problems of header bidding by creating a single header bidding call and having someone else then manage the bidding process. Usually this “someone else” is the exchange. They have the technology infrastructure needed to manage the extraordinary volume created by this system.  

Server-to-server also creates a new problem related to cookie matching, but let’s assume this will get resolved over time. The biggest part of the challenge is exchanges’ unwillingness to cookie sync.  

Shenanigans, deception, and more of the same-old-same-old.  

While server-to-server integration clearly solves most of the problems associated with the speed and load times of header bidding, it leaves publishers exposed to different problems.  One traditional complaint of publishers regarding exchanges was that the actual fees charged by such intermediaries were less than transparent. Also, publishers suspected that, in some cases, exchanges were front running their inventory, creating additional spread within auctions, adding or subtracting data for their own benefit. Publishers felt cheated, but were not certain whether it was true.  

Over the last few years, as more bid stream data has become available, these suspicions have sometimes been confirmed. Certainly, some deceptive practices have been identified.  As with most things, transparency is the greatest disinfectant.  

The problem with header bidding managed by the exchange is that it opens the ecosystem back up to the suspicions of self dealing. In one instance recounted by multiple publishers, some exchanges seemed to win a disproportionate amount of inventory when they were the “wrapper” compared to when they were only an “adapter” inside someone else’s wrapper (i.e., when they manage the whole auction they win too much, compared to when they are just another bidder).

Simply put, server-to-server, at least as most people are discussing, is basically a publisher selecting one exchange and giving them all their inventory. Now they are not just seeing the “unsold,” but 100% of the inventory (like all header-bidding). However publishers are opening themselves up to many of the same transparency problems of yesterday’s exchanges.

Why is this a threat to the exchanges? Simple – the biggest publishers with the highest quality inventory don’t need to use an exchange. Companies like Purch have already tackled this themselves, and we are seeing the emergence of other companies stepping into the breach to either support publishers deploying their own server-to-server deployment, or creating new pricing models so they do not have an incentive to play with the auction.  

I suspect the biggest and best publishers will migrate to a fully-transparent server-to-server model, which will force the exchanges (who are used to working of a healthy percentage of the media spend) to become more transparent, change their pricing, and provide different levels of service. Publishers will jointly create a cookie-syncing solution, and eventually attract the largest DSPs to bid directly, and not through an exchange at all.  

Exchanges will be forced to provide their services to the mid- and long-tail. While some can survive, many will fail. The winners will likely be the exchanges already focussed on the long tail (think SOVRN) versus those competing for the comScore 150.  

There are many exchanges in the market, some focussed on a more vertical approach (think mobile or video) and others providing higher-quality service and trying to differentiate in other ways. However, the biggest exchanges were and are “dispaly first,” and their business models will come under increasing pressure as header bidding technologies become more ubiquitous, and as the expertise to deploy one’s own solution extends further into the market.

These trends don’t fix many of the other problems with the programmatic marketplace (fraud, walled gardens, viewability, effectiveness…) but this shift is going to return some of the pricing power back to independent publishers. That can only be good for the industry.

It’s 2017… Tear Down These Walled Gardens!

AdTech has manifested into a two-tiered ecosystem: independent publishers and “walled gardens.” The latter are the cool kids on the playground – you can play with them… just as long as you play by their rules.

Let’s start with some clarity: Facebook and Google are the poster children for the lot which includes Amazon, Snapchat, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Twitter… the walled gardens, AKA the “easy button.”  PRINTADTECH notes that all require the use of their own systems, dashboards and metrics. With that, these walled gardens retain significantly more of each dollar into their respective ecosystems.

Compare them to independent publishers, and the indies’ data doesn’t measure up. The walled gardens are able to reach a much larger audiences with deeper targeting power. At our last Roundtable it was noted that Facebook and NewsCorp (an independent publisher) hold different apparent value in the marketplace, and that is reflected clearly in a recent Yahoo Finance post, “The two tech giants [Facebook and Google] accounted for 103% of the growth in the digital ad industry, while everyone else shrunk 3%.”

Big buts, though. If your company makes its money by selling online ads, or you are an ad agency… your warm-fuzzies have vaporized. For you, easy-button companies have a different name: Frenemy. Industry professionals including Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, have argued that the industry must take action, and In a recent Huffington Post article, Mark Haviland, EVP at Rakuten Marketing Europe stated, “In order to combat walled gardens and earn the trust of advertisers, the digital world needs to be increasingly transparent.” Note the language here. “Combat.”

Put another way – AdTech as an industry cannot continue to allow the players to be the referees. DIGIDAY notes that Facebook and Google are restricting third party AdTech companies from operating on their networks, stating, “It raises questions about whether Facebook and Google’s AdTech products can be trusted to function objectively, or if they’re merely being used to funnel ad spend through their respective media networks.”

Forrester took a deeper look at the sacrifices made in customer intelligence when working with walled gardens, recognizing that the value coming back over the wall isn’t necessarily equal. Of the research, Media Post summarized, “The short-term benefits are the ability to leverage unique user identification for targeting the measurement. However, the strategic and operational downside of closed ecosystem is that they increase cost and prevent brands from reaching consumers across channels. They leave marketers with a dangerous blind spot, losing ownership of key data pertaining to their consumer over time and coming to depend on walled gardens for customer intelligence.”

Facebook admitted to its third measurement blunder, and advertisers are calling for more accountability. Procter & Gamble announced they would be cutting their investment in targeted Facebook advertising, and Sorrell notes on the Huffington Tech article, “it could even result in budgets being switched to focus more on traditional channels, such as TV.”

Substitution is not a remedy, however. If we are going to continue enjoying the fruits of the walled gardens – and they are juicy – a checks-and-balances initiative has to be implemented now.

Stop Calling It an AdTech Tax

We cringe when we hear it: tax. It feels awful, it sounds unfair. But taxes are additional costs tacked onto the original service or product that often have nothing to do with the deliverables themselves.

Weather transactional fees or SaaS, our fees are necessary to leverage all the amazing stuff we do for brands, agencies, publishers… AdTech has changed the game, embraced and continues to define the digital, attention-based economy. If we allow our revenue to be thought of as a tax, we will never define our value and maximize it openly and appropriately. And what’s worse, our hard-earned dollars will continue to seem somehow an unfair burden that nobody wants to pay for.

What we need is transparency, which will allow all parties to see the real value in AdTech.

According to Advertising Age, through the massive shift of programmatic revenue the IAB estimates that less than 45 percent of revenue into the ecosystem actually reaches the publisher. The IAB also notes that, “understanding where dollars are distributed across the stack from advertisers to publishers can be quite disorienting in the current programmatic landscape.”

…Well, that’s reassuring.

What happens if we have transparency, and all sides can see what-costs-what and who was involved in delivering an ad to real eyeballs? In our last roundtable, we quoted Mike Driscoll, CEO of MetaMarkets when working with a marketplace, “each time they increase the transparency they share with their partners, they actually see that market activity increases… transparency drives market activity.”

What happens when a marketplace is transparent?

  • Advertisers have the opportunity to spend their money more effectively
  • Advertisers have a POV from which to understand audience scarcity and understand the higher eCPMs for that audience
  • Publishers can stand behind the costs for reaching their high-value audiences
  • Publishers have the opportunity increase their revenue by selling smarter
  • AdTech can evolve to a more competitive ecosystem

The IAB agrees – and have essentially put their foot down by creating the Programmatic Fee Transparency Project. The initiative, led by Carl Kalapesi, VP-industry initiative at IAB, recognizes the lack of transparency that has undermined trust and liquidity in the marketplace, vowing “The IAB Programmatic Fee Transparency Project will develop guidance around fee disclosure and transparency within the programmatic ecosystem.”

Opacity is ultimately wasteful and counterproductive – we all know that trust builds lasting relationships. We will continue to deliver, innovate, and monetize our work, but our revenue is based on direct results. The first step in transparency is not calling our revenue something it isn’t.

So don’t call it a tax.