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What is the problem with adtech?

Jack Hershman

Programmatic ad buying makes up 62% of global ad spend. With so much money being invested, there can’t be any problems. Or can there?

When someone as distinguished as Rod Banner begins by saying, “at risk of having my house burnt down”, there’s an unwritten law that says you should put everything down, look for a writing surface and scribble down whatever he has to say.

The likelihood is that it will be gold. In this case, the subject of the point he is about to make is advertising technology.

Feeling an increasing disenchantment with adtech, Banner argues the pipes connecting buyers and sellers in an automated fashion was, “created by agencies in order to spend more money, more quickly in digital assets.”

A point which gets you thinking, particularly when you consider that $21 billion is set to be spent on programmatic this year. A figure forecast to grow as the act of ad buying is handed over to faster more efficient programmatic platforms.

This is the problem with adtech, too often volume becomes the prevailing metric. Advertisers should be thinking about converting sales rather than shifting inventory.

Banner’s problem with adtech is that it, “doesn’t address the needs of the end user. The customer is bombarded by ads that are seemingly legitimate,” when actually, “you are being spammed up the wazoo.”

Talking at the Hot Topics London event, Banner envisions a better way to deliver advertising with, “hyper-relevant insight”.

By utilizing big data.

Banner’s analogy highlights the virtues of data when used correctly.

“We leave data like little trophies. Kind of like building a bird’s nest…You pick up a little twig here, and a little twig there. And then suddenly you stick them all together and you have a birds nest, and that’s your profile. What you are doing, what you like, where you go, the stuff you buy.”

It allows advertisers to build up a detailed profile so that they can sell to them, not at them.

“If I am approached by a salesman who gets what I am and what I do, they talk to me in a language I can relate to.”

When a great salesman gets to understand you, they can reel you in by wrapping their “sales patter” in all the things that makes you tick.

This is the problem with adtech, too often volume becomes the prevailing metric. Advertisers should be thinking about converting sales rather than shifting inventory.

 

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