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Ask the Experts: Aligning Publisher and Advertiser Interests with Clemens Egle

Publishers have a difficult line to walk between their own operational needs and the unique requirements of their numerous advertiser partners. Despite the size and complexity of that task, the need for effective brand protection is ever-present and non-negotiable. Media buyers know that misalignment on brand suitability can have a big impact on their bottom line, which means the stakes are high for publishers to accurately deliver on campaigns while maintaining suitability standards and reducing wasted spend.

As Director of Product Management for DV Publisher Suite, Clemens Egle is responsible for leading the way to that elusive balance between publisher and advertiser interests. When it comes to solving the suitability puzzle, he has long prioritized the common interests between publishers and advertisers. Today’s Employee Spotlight explores Clemens’ views on the industry.

How did you begin working in this field?

I actually began on the content production side of the business. I led the production team for several live sporting events and video art installations in Europe. Eventually, I moved away from creating media and toward post-production. I discovered how much I enjoyed figuring out the fastest and most effective way to get content online and monetized. 

Then, I became a product manager for a verification company called Meetrics. That’s when I gained a deep understanding of verification and the complexity around the video advertising landscape. Eventually, I worked my way to the Head of Product at Meetrics, and I led MRC accreditations of their viewability and IVT services. I also led the integration of verification services with social media inventory into the Meetrics product suite. Meetrics was acquired by DV in 2021, and I’ve been here ever since.

How would you describe ad verification for publishers in layman’s terms?

Imagine you’ve got a product and you want to buy some ad space on a billboard. Do you want that billboard to face a beachside road or a highway in a major city? Based on your product, should your ad be seen more by commuting professionals or vacationing families? 

The answers to these questions will depend on two key factors: what you’re selling and where your ad will be the most visible to the people most likely to buy it. That data helps you understand the return on your investment and will encourage you to continue advertising on that particular billboard. As the owner of the billboard, you want to use these metrics to build trust and grow advertiser demand. It’s no different in online advertising. Verification allows publishers to show a positive return to their buyers based on the criteria they value most. 

What are some of those criteria for advertisers?

Three of the most important criteria are fraud, viewability, and brand suitability. Fraud and viewability answer some fairly straightforward questions for advertisers, but brand suitability is a much larger and more subjective discussion. The big question is, does the content on a publisher’s site align with the values and preferences of the advertiser and its desired audience? That’s a question with many different answers from brand to brand, campaign to campaign, and site to site, so it’s essential to work with each of your buyers and develop a strategy that meets their unique needs.

What is the biggest challenge that publishers are currently facing?

Two words - keeping up. This industry moves incredibly quickly. Between adjusting to every new advertiser requirement and solution developed to answer that requirement, publishers can easily get stuck in the mud from an operational standpoint. Conversely, it can be tempting to just stop trying to keep up entirely, which can have some negative impacts on revenue generation down the road.

What can publishers do to meet that challenge?

There is a balance that publishers need to find between what they can do and the requirements of their buyers. They must think holistically about their bandwidth and operations to avoid getting so caught up in problem-solving that it hinders their ability to do business. One way to prevent that is to invest in verification vendors like DoubleVerify, who are building publisher-first solutions that will handle the heavy lifting so you’re free to optimize your workflows and revenue in other ways.

Where is your team located and how are you helping publishers achieve their goals?

We have five product managers and two directors in New York, Berlin and Ghent. Despite the distance, we work closely with each other and DV teams around the globe to optimize publisher processes by improving workflows and building new media quality and revenue analysis and optimization tools. We do anything from helping translate complex KPIs into actionable tasks, to streamlining the ad delivery process itself. Solutions must be easy to implement because development resources are usually scarce in the publisher space, and they have to consider the balance between new functionality and overall site performance.

What are your favorite things about your role at DV?

A significant part of my job is putting myself in our clients’ shoes and adjusting my view according to their needs. That can get pretty demanding when you work with many different clients from different verticals. But even so, it’s also very satisfying to collaborate in that way. 

Speaking of collaboration, I also spend a lot of time fostering collaboration between product management and engineering. It’s remarkable how many experts we have on our team, enabling us to look at a single issue from many different angles. I’d say the journey toward a fully aligned and empowered team solving customer problems is the single most rewarding part of my job.

What are some of the trends you see in the industry?

This year, I’ve noticed a newfound interest in direct deals between publishers and advertisers, likely because of third-party cookie deprecation and its impact on measurement in programmatic channels. This is another area that we strive to improve for publishers, particularly with newer offerings like DV Authentic Direct. It makes achieving campaign goals for direct deals simpler by connecting publishers to the brand suitability settings of DV advertiser clients. This provides a new level of transparency and automation that saves valuable time and resources while reducing operational headaches and impression waste.

Want to meet with Clemens to discuss your needs or learn more about DV Publisher Suite? Reach out today to schedule a free demo!