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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Diversify your advertising options to drive revenue

June 3, 2021 | By Mike Woosley, COO – Lotame @Lotame

Media owners may feel like their cups are half empty. Admittedly, it’s a tough business to be in right now. Certainly, the advertising industry is in the middle of a “Great Reset.” However, we must remember that change also means opportunity. Like most businesses, media owners don’t want to guess about the future and they don’t want to make directional bets that could leave their business in dire straits. The good news is they don’t have to. 

Although media owners aren’t fortune tellers, they don’t need a Magic 8-Ball to see that they have a wealth of choices as they move forward. Upheaval driven by the deprecation of the decades-old technology of cookies, a global pandemic, and new regulation focused on consumer consent and transparency have all enabled a tremendous amount of innovation in our industry. As a result, tools for media owners are rapidly becoming more agile and more privacy forward. They are also becoming more effective.

Now, you can target in context. You can target in real time. You can target on first-impression. And you can target across devices, sequentially, with managed frequency, with your own data, with second-party data, with enriched data.

Diversify to thrive

Diversification is key for media owners as we continue into this new era. Marketers want and need options. Many publishers are leaning into contextual as a response to the changes in our industry. While context is a fine option to realize the value of publishers’ great content, it’s not the only lever you can pull, nor should it be. 

Marketers agree. In fact, two-thirds of marketers are not confident that contextual targeting alone is a sufficient replacement for audience targeting. That’s a significant percentage of paying customers looking for alternatives. 

Media owners, marketers are looking to you for those alternative solutions. Are you comfortable putting all your eggs in one basket and one that appeals to a fraction of your customers? 

No one said change would be easy. However, media owners have the tools and partners available today to compete. Google is only part of the story — but you shouldn’t let them be the only story. 

Yes, the Chrome browser is important. However, when you zoom out, there are multiple browsers in common use; tablets and phones that are proliferating in the billions; connected televisions, and a vast proliferation of connected devices, spanning the globe. There’s a prodigious open web opportunity up for grabs. Consumers are hungry for your content and willing to pay good money for it. 

Real solutions

Google may not embrace identity within its walls (except on its own account, of course) but identity solutions are plentiful across the open web. The walled giant may try to woo you with dumbed down tools. However, you can be sure that, for their own marketer clients, they’ll be surfacing all the sophistication attendant to the rich wealth of data that they have for their own clients. Don’t force your buyers to reprogram dollars to those walled gardens. (And by the way: Enriched data can still be activated via Deal IDs, even in Google.)

It would be wise to fill your cup up with solutions designed for you. From deterministic to probabilistic and everywhere in between, there are smart people working hard to ensure your content, your employees, your business can gain an advantage. So, give them a chance to show you what your options look like. 

Deterministic will help you drive your known customers to repeat purchases, while probabilistic will fill the funnel with the other 80-90% of customers that you don’t know or can’t recognize. New privacy regulations are driving better tools for consent and transparency — not the reverse. You’ll be surprised how motivating consumer privacy is for many in the industry. Remember, we’re consumers too. This is the time to test, test, and test again. It will get easier with each test and iteration. 

The current climate may seem rough and complex, full of new regulation and uncertain tech modes; however there is no shortage of solutions. There is an extensive buffet of partners and technology that can make identity frictionless in a regulated world, so you can focus on results and not painful implementations. Have your cake and make room for more!

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