Article advertising Heres how to foster greater collaboration between advertisers and digital publishers image

Here’s how to foster greater collaboration between advertisers and digital publishers

Published: 28 Feb 2022

According to the AOP’s latest research report, 51% of publishers see direct deals as having the most potential for advertising revenue growth. But what can publishers do to make collaboration more attractive to advertisers and agencies?

With the demise of cookies scheduled for 2023 and the nuances of GDPR being re-thought, digital publishers are in a strong position to develop direct deals by leveraging the depth and breadth of their audience data and insights. We reached out to the advertisers and agencies on this year’s AOP Awards Jury to understand what they needed from publishers to collaborate more directly.

Bringing publisher audience insights to the table

“I believe in a collaborative tripartite partnership between brands, media agencies, and publishers as the most effective way to manage media,” shared Viktoria Williams, Global Marketing Strategy and Capability at British Airways. “This means publishers need to be brought into strategic conversations upfront to really understand the brand’s long-term goals and create solutions which integrate seamlessly with the broader media strategy.”

In a world where third-party cookies are being expunged from the internet, first party data is going to be increasingly valuable. But beyond, that, publishers need to be able to share audience insights to help inform advertising strategy. “We want our consumers to find our communication relevant, engaging, and rewarding,” highlighted Jenny Lundie, Media Director at Procter & Gamble. “Publishers occupy a unique role in bringing together advertisers and consumers.”

Scott Somerville, Head of Brand & Marketing at E.ON, expounded on the challenge, sharing that “the challenge comes from ever more fragmented channels, seemingly ever-increasing competitions for attention, and apparently never-ending fragmentation of news sources and media in general.” The solution, he explained, was in harnessing the connection that publishers have with their audiences to reach consumers on truly engaging terms. “It is no easy challenge,” he continued, “but by having that direct connection, you stand the best chance of finding a solution that not only reaches a target audience, but does so in a way that entertains them too.”

Ultimately, context is still king. “Since GDPR, a lot of publishers have shifted to alternative targeting, such as contextual targeting. Publishers should focus on delivering better journalism and enhanced content for enhanced user experiences,” explained Krunal Patel, General Manager at Matterkind UK & IE. “Publishers should invest in solutions that analyse every content touch point across their website so that partnering with the right brand is easy.”

Transparency, flexibility, and ease

Simplicity was the name of the game for several of our judges – particularly given the additional complications as the industry looks for new identity solutions. Laura Wade, Head of Sustainability at Essence, stressed that it’s critical “for everyone who is involved in the pitching and creation of a campaign to have an understanding of their business’s first party capabilities and to be able to articulate it.”

Understanding the data is key to optimising a campaign and being confident in a publisher’s data capabilities will be a significant factor when advertisers decide which partners to work with. British Airway’s Viktoria Williams expressed a similar sentiment, saying that they “will be looking for efficient scalable solutions from publishers, as well as transparency and reassurance of data usage.”

“Transparency in the supply chain is crucial to building [stronger relationships with buyers],” explained Emma Newman, CRO EMEA at PubMatic – our headline partner for the AOP Awards 2022. “We support publishers in providing the level of transparency that buyers demand by continually innovating on our platform at a global level whilst at the same time providing local-market support.”

Working collaboratively to identify new identity solutions

As an industry, we’re still looking for identity solutions to replace – or improve upon! – third-party cookies. “There is simply not enough data available today to pick a single solution for the future,” suggested Kofi Amoako, Regional Vice President of Addressability for EMEA at PubMatic. “Buyers and publishers need to work together to establish the highest quality base ID.”

Ian Dowds, CEO at UKOM (and sponsor of the Audience Development Team of the Year category), talked to the importance of a cross-industry approach. “Where appropriate, UKOM are engaging on behalf of the whole industry with the DCMS, CMA, and the ICO, to ensure that the efficacy of the UK industry solution for online audience measurement is not compromised by decisions that are being made by government and regulators,” he explained. “It is a complex area, and UKOM are keen that we are not simply playing whack-a-mole with short term ‘hacks.’”

Publishers will play a significant role in this journey, but by collaborating with all stakeholders we can create an ecosystem that benefits all parties. P&G’s Jenny Lundie shared that “as one of the world’s biggest advertisers, we are looking for flexibility and collaboration from publishers; we want to work through this journey together with them, partnering to understand what is most meaningful for our consumers, whilst finding the balance between relevancy and privacy.”

We look forward to seeing how you’ve partnered with agencies and advertisers to deliver a campaign that really delivers, or how you’ve shifted your strategies to accommodate new collaborations. Find out more about how to enter the AOP Awards here


Related content

Article leadership image 2560 x 1440

AOP News | Awards News

The instruction manual you need to nurture a great team

At the AOP Awards, we put the spotlight on the teams that are leaving their mark on the organisation. But what are the hallmarks of a great team? And how can leaders work to successfully attract the right mix of talent to their teams? To understand, we asked our AOP Awards jury to share their insight and we’ve collated these answers to help you take your team to the next level…

Published: 04 Mar 2022