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Ad tech exec: Big data crucial for targeted advertising in fractured landscape

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Ad tech exec: Big data crucial for targeted advertising in fractured landscape

With an increasing amountof data being generated by consumers using multiple devices, the media, TV and advertisingindustry has been given unprecedented opportunities to target customers and tailortheir offerings by using data analytics. Assaf Suprasky, CEO of myThings,a specialist provider of real-time display ads that mainly serves companies targetingconsumers who have left their websites without completing a purchase, recently satdown to talk about how ad technology is evolving to better target customers acrossvarious devices and platforms.

S&P GlobalMarket Intelligence: Data analytics are increasingly used by practically everyonein the industry. How do you see the market evolving a few years from now?

SNL Image Assaf Suprasky, CEO of myThings
Source: myThings

Assaf Suprasky: If you compareindustries that started on the web to those that are mobile-first, you see a hugedifference. The web guys understand the value of data, but a lot of the structureand systems in place to exploit it were implemented in an ad-hoc manner over a longperiod of time. In mobile,and the app space in particular, the ecosystem has been built from the ground upwith rich data in mind. Even the smallest developers can access a wealth of insightfrom the post-install events of their users by plugging in with the right attributionpartner. In the future, data analyticswill be further refined by accounting for the entire user journey and every touchpoint, no matter the device. Cross-device solutions are going to play a huge rolein data analytics systems.

Will the next12 months see a continued rise in mobile app uptake?

Apps will continue rising in popularity because of the higherlevels of engagement and loyalty they tend to engender compared to mobile web anddesktop. Of course, there is a larger barrier to access in the first place withapps; you need a user to download your app and keep it on their device, then openit before they can spend any money. But once the installs are there, you can havemuch more valuable conversations with your users. On top of this, we will see increasedefforts to make the app ecosystem a more connected experience. This will enablemobile developers to offer the best of both worlds: an improved user experiencethat apps deliver plus the power of connectivity that we currently see on the web.

How can advancedtechnologies help websites get the most out of ads?

The key to successful marketing is to understand who you are talkingto and provide them with relevant messaging. Technology has already transformedthe landscape, with ad exchanges, demand-side platforms and bidding algorithms givingrise to real-time auctions for impressions. Ultimately, these technologies enableadvertisers to leverage the assets of publishers in the most efficient way to maximizethe reach and value of their campaigns, by providing the automation tools requiredfor unified impression bidding at unlimited scale. In addition, advances in datacapture and manipulation allow marketers to create ever-more accurate user segmentsin their campaigns, so they know precisely which individuals to bid on and whatto show them.

Operators andadvertisers must take care to avoid missteps though. For instance, several largecompanies suspended advertising campaigns on Facebook Inc. after ads appeared next to offensive posts.How should such issues be avoided?

Brand safety is a very important issue and there are a numberof solutions in place to ensure advertisers are not harmed by the placement of theirbanners. We have blacklists and whitelists for domains and apps. Publishers areheld to compliancy standards, while there are third-party brand safety partnersthat specialize in transparency and ad quality, and the ad exchanges themselveshave built-in safeguards. This is an area that requires close cooperation with thepublishers that show the ads.

How importantis big data?

It isabsolutely crucial. The establishment of programmatic advertising technology andreal-time bidding was only possible once advertisers were able to take a sufficientlysophisticated view of their customers, and that took big data to achieve. With thefractured nature of modern device usage, as individuals move from desktop web environmentsto mobile web or app ecosystems on a minute-by-minute basis, big data is even morecrucial to joining up the disparate dots so we know where these individuals arebest served with impressions and what will be most effective at driving clicks anddesired actions.

Do you thinkthat eventually mobile users will only receive tailored, personalized ads?

There will always be room for brand advertising that, by its verynature, is less tailored to an individual. But at the other end of the spectrum,personalization continues to grow in stature and prominence. Especially in marketssuch as the U.S., people expect the ads they see to be relevant to them. In theretargeting space, it's absolutely essential. With mobile devices, there is thepotential for location data, which opens up a whole new avenue of personalizationand hyper-local services.