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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Cloudy with a chance of innovation: reinvent the future of advertising

May 6, 2024 | By Manny Balbin, Head of Product Media & Publishing – Switchboard Software @mannybalbin
The topline: Having a comprehensive understanding of a media audience is crucial for personalization and monetization. Cloud-based analytics achieve this with flexibility and scalability.

Google’s timeline for phasing out third-party cookies has had more push-backs than delayed flights at a snowbound airport. After several postponements became a running joke within the industry, Google made a move earlier this year to deprecate the first 1%, signaling that this time, they might actually achieve liftoff. Alas, they have announced yet another delay. 

As we navigate these changing winds, it’s critical for those of us in digital advertising to not just sit in the departure lounge. We need to take the pilot’s seat. We must steer towards innovative and sustainable cloud-based analytics solutions that ensure our industry’s longevity and compliance with ever-tightening privacy regulations.

As we ready ourselves for the final boarding call on third-party cookies, the data-driven digital advertising landscape is like an airport bustling with opportunities and challenges. Signal loss, stringent privacy laws, and changing regulations are the headwinds we face. It’s time to pilot innovative cloud-based analytics solutions that ensure profitability and compliance. Like skilled pilots, we must navigate these skies with precision and foresight, because in the digital age, stalling in the air is not an option.

Harnessing cloud infrastructure for enhanced data management

For publishers, having a deep and comprehensive understanding of their audience is crucial: It’s the jet fuel for our campaigns. Achieving this in the current digital ecosystem requires managing from a control tower approach: overseeing a vast array of data across multiple SaaS partners and vendors. 

Cloud-based analytics solutions provide scalability, flexibility, and security needed to handle any situation, allowing publishers to navigate the complexities of digital media operations smoothly. By integrating with SaaS vendors that operate within the same cloud infrastructure, publishers can enjoy streamlined processes and seamless data management across platforms. Such integrations facilitate data sharing without compromising privacy, enhancing collaborative efforts to deliver personalized and relevant advertising experiences. 

Case study: leveraging cloud-based analytics for audience insights

Consider a publisher who manages several properties and monetization strategies, from subscription-based models to ad-supported formats. By partnering with a cloud-based SaaS vendor, publishers dive into the value of their users by accessing sophisticated analytics tools that provide deep insights into behavior and preferences. This allows publishers to precisely adjust their advertising campaigns and content strategies, optimizing engagement and maximizing revenue opportunities. Effective use of these analytics can enhance user experience and drive profitability, demonstrating the substantial value of integrated, data-driven decision-making in digital publishing.

Customer 360 strategies: integrating insights for tailored offerings

In today’s fast-moving digital environment, understanding and anticipating customer preferences is crucial. It’s like predicting weather patterns for smooth flights. Implementing integrated marketing strategies that consolidate audience insights on a unified platform allows publishers to tailor their offerings more effectively. Such data-driven strategies enable publishers to not only meet the diverse needs of their audience but also attract and retain advertisers by demonstrating superior audience engagement and conversion potential. 

Embrace the cloud for future success

The digital advertising industry has some turbulence ahead, faced with significant technological and regulatory changes. By embracing cloud solutions and leveraging the expertise of integrated SaaS vendors, publishers can position themselves for success in a post-cookie world. The time to act is now—by innovating proactively, you can turn these challenges into opportunities for growth and continued success.

It’s often said that having your head in the clouds is a bad thing. However, in digital advertising, it’s exactly where you need to be. Let’s get together, and maybe find some silver linings along the way.

About the author

Manny Balbin, a seasoned veteran with over 15 years in digital media and advertising, currently shapes vision and strategy for BI products at Switchboard Software. Switchboard’s data engineering automation platform aggregates disparate data at scale in real-time for better business decisions. Prior to Switchboard, Manny led Product, Ad Technology, and Revenue Operations at Freestar, PMC, and Quantcast.

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