AdMonsters OPS NY Conference Interview
The Ad-Juster crew attended the AdMonsters OPS conference, where digital media and revenue connect, in New York on June 6th. You get to hear about it frontline-direct from Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer Dan Lawton and Director of Product Calson Lee.
What were the hottest topics at the conference? What was the most fascinating element you learned, rediscovered, discussed with a fellow expert?
Dan: The Google/Facebook duopoly is going to be under constant attack from all sides. Publisher, marketers, and ad tech vendors are all in the process of devising options to grow outside the duopoly. What’s especially interesting is they all must partner together to be strong, but this will also naturally make them collectively vulnerable.
Calson: RTG [Real-Time (audience) Guaranteed] was something I hadn’t heard of until I arrived at OPS. Programmatic inventory still has the stigma of low value and fraud on OpenRTB. I think if PMP deals could one day be set up as RTG, this could make both brands and publishers very happy.
What do publishers and/or advertisers have to be especially excited about now or in the near future?
Dan: Industry consolidation is going to reduce the noise and choices of ad tech platforms, which will allow for focus on long-term partnerships.
Calson: For pubs, header bidding isn’t going away. For agencies/media buyers, PMP deals are steadily increasing in maturity.
What should publishers/advertisers be wary of now or in the near future?
Dan: We see that the ad ops and rev ops staff of publishers are really struggling to build sustainable processes. Team churn and high turnover are causing operational progress to slow down and negatively impact revenue innovations. Training and investing in your team is as important as investing in your tech stack.
Calson: There are so many technologies coming out these days. It can be hard to keep track of it all. This makes it hard for both publishers and advertisers to not only define their strategies in this changing landscape, but also have the right processes in place to support and maintain.
What’s one thing every publisher or advertiser should do right now?
Dan: Take a longer-term view into revenue sustainability. We all fall victim to grabbing the latest shiny object and justify it by “staying on the cutting edge.” Getting back to the basics of relationship management to create open communications with internal teams, external vendors, and clients makes a bigger impact on revenue than adopting the latest buzzwords.
Calson: If you are a publisher that does direct deals with agencies who demand viewability as a billable metric (for example, MOAT, IAS, DoubleVerify, comScore, etc.) it’s time to really sit down with your operations team and create an actual process. Too many organizations are treating these deals as one-off issues and it's eating up a lot time for ad-ops departments’ reporting. There’s many publishers that have implemented viewability but still don’t have a clear idea of how it impacts their inventory. That’s because monitoring performance for viewability discrepancies simply isn’t being done.
What do you think the hot topics will be at the conference next year?
Dan: Will publishers team up and let down their defenses to share audience data, as a co-op? Is that notion possible and who will lead them into solidarity?
Calson: I’m keeping an eye on PMP deals to see if they’ll grow. If RTG becomes a thing, I’d like to see some spending moves from social players (for example, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram) into this space. Similarly, whether publishers should focus on optimizing their header-bidding setups or track down more PMP deals is also likely to be a hot topic.
What’s your favorite color?
Dan: Blue. It represents trust and integrity.
Calson: The blue of our new logo!