Q&A with Tom Page
Published: 19 Jan 2022
My role is to change the way publishers people think of IAS. Historically, we have been very successful as a buy-side focused company, but we have a significant suite of sell-side focused tools too - and they will be more important than ever for publishers in 2022 and beyond.
That mental shift won’t happen overnight, so to start with, I’m 100% focused on getting us in the room with publishers, simply to listen. After that, we can get to the stuff that will help them drive revenue.
For now, I just want publishers to be thinking of us as the first port of call with any brand safety issues they can’t solve, relating to our numbers. Got an issue? Message me or Catherine Dunne. We are under no illusions that brand safety can be a headache when you’re on the receiving end of it. Let's end that issue for good.
Primarily, Targeting and Optimisation. Targeting can be Contextual as well as based on Brand Suitability or even Viewability. The chances are, if you have a campaign that has any of those KPIs, IAS has a solution to deliver it efficiently, with minimal effort. The cherry on the cake is that your clients are probably using the exact same segments already.
Simply put, the biggest challenge publishers face is 2022 the same it has been for the last five years. Let's say it again though: 80% of digital adspend goes straight to the platforms. Publishers already have better content - it is just about bringing them up to parity with the platforms in targeting and ease of access. Success stories like The Ozone Project and Planet V are making scalable activation against premium content easier than ever, which is great to see.
The reality is, this is something that ultimately makes targeting harder for anyone with a revenue stream derived from the open web, whilst leaving the platforms entirely unaffected. Not good for the industry, and not really as helpful for the general public as people might initially think.
Fortunately it looks like the world is turning back to the use of Contextual, and 1st party data, and the technology for activating against both has rapidly improved. However, we all have a job to do in terms of ensuring that agencies and brands are also buying into that narrative.