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New Publisher Survey Shows Advertisers Want Contextual Packages, Targeted Lead Generation and Content Marketing Opportunities

DoubleVerify’s Publisher Division, in partnership with Digiday, conducted research exploring the current state of publishers sales cycle

NEW YORK, NY – December 6, 2021 – DoubleVerify (“DV”) (NYSE: DV), a leading software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, today released its State of the Industry Report in partnership with Digiday. Digiday and DV surveyed over 100 publishing companies and conducted expert interviews to gain insight on how they adapted, and are planning to improve, the publisher's sales cycle amid the uncertainties and transformations that have occurred this past year.  

The study’s key findings include:

Offering contextual packages was key in closing new deals

Over half (59%) of publishers surveyed stated that offering contextual packages in their media kits was most effective in closing new deals over the past year. Further, another half (48%) said that offering targeted lead generation was most effective while 46% thought the biggest factor in gaining new customers was by offering added value with content marketing opportunities.

“The data clearly shows advertisers need to know that their ads are reaching the right people on the publisher’s sites, and they’re willing to pay for this,” said Mimi Wotring, SVP of Publisher Sales and Client Services at DoubleVerify. “Publishers who showcase their contextual targeting capabilities will not only be able to grow their customers, they’ll lead the way in the industry.”

Contextual data is also important post-campaign, over half (54%) of publishers report that advertisers want data that will allow them to engage in more contextual targeting as a post-campaign wrap-up.

Last month, DoubleVerify launched Custom Contextual targeting for DV Publisher Suite, enabling premium digital publishers to positively target relevant ads and align inventory with advertiser targeting objectives without relying on third-party cookies. Unlike solutions that rely heavily on keyword analysis, DV Custom Contextual leverages DV’s Semantic Science engine to create highly contextually relevant and accurate targeting categories.

Publishers are investing in new analytics tools, automated optimization

Publishers are continuing to modernize their mid-campaign performance measuring capabilities to better inform advertisers about the success of their marketing campaigns. Nearly half of the publishers (48% and 47% respectively) have invested in new analytics tools along with automated optimization and inventory allocation tools. This highlights the importance of offering advertisers the means to measure and quantify the success of their campaigns.

Brand safety is top concern for advertiser retention

When asked about the most important strategy for retaining advertiser partners, 58% of publishers felt ensuring ad delivery that aligns with brand safety and suitability requirements was the top concern.

“The past year made publishers more aware of the impacts of brand safety, and now there are added layers of nuance with brand suitability, presenting more opportunities to implement this knowledge into their optimization strategies,” continued Wotring. “We created the industry’s first Publisher Inventory Compatibility Score, knowing that brand suitability was a major concern for publisher monetization and the findings of this survey confirm that publishers are indeed focused on gaining more data transparency around advertiser requirements and interest in their inventory.”

Earlier this summer, DoubleVerify launched the Publisher Inventory Compatibility Score to empower publishers to better understand how their content is perceived by advertisers. The tool fuels publisher optimization efforts and showcases inventory value to potential buyers.

Other findings from the research include:

  • 2020 impacted ad sales: When asked how the pandemic uncertainties impacted their 2020 ad sales cycle, more than half (61%) of publishers said they were at least moderately affected by the changes.
  • Third-party data is still valued: Over the past year, almost half (48%) of publishers have leaned on third-party data to showcase quality and viewability with media kits.
  • Leaning on partners: Over half (60%) of publishers revamped their sales strategies in 2020 by reaching out to partners to create new lead generation campaigns.

To see the full findings of the report and learn how DoubleVerify can help publishers succeed  and future-proof their businesses, please download the report from Digiday's website.