Increasing concerns about trust, brand safety, and privacy have made it more difficult to maintain a competitive advantage and more important to make decisions based on robust data and accurate insights.
B2B market research has shown that media companies and publishers are facing serious challenges in maintaining the trust of their advertisers, protecting advertiser brands from objectionable content, and delivering targeted ads to viewers who are increasingly protective of their privacy.
In the months and years to come, a better understanding of advertiser perceptions and priorities on these challenges will be crucial to the growth and sustainability of media companies.
1. Earning trust from advertisers
The degree of trust that an advertiser has in a publisher is largely driven by that publisher’s audience reach, ability to target specific audiences, and ability to optimize campaigns based on data and reporting.
NewtonX research has shown that advertiser concerns with reach, specificity, and data transparency have caused many advertisers to reduce or stop spending on issue-prone media. That spending is most often diverted to competing publishers and platforms. Even when trust-issues don’t cause a reduction in spending, they often cause advertisers to put much greater scrutiny on their ad spending.
How can media companies and publishers earn the trust of advertisers?
Media leaders need to evaluate the nuanced factors that drive advertiser trust. When various advertisers talk about trust in a publisher, they’re not necessarily defining trust in a consistent manner. Publishers also need to understand how advertiser priorities differ, and the factors that drive those differences. They need fact-based insights on how much advertisers are willing to tolerate trust-issues with publishers.
2. Protecting advertiser brand safety
Increased political and social tensions have been reflected in the media landscape, heightening the sensitivity of many advertisers to protecting brand safety.
Many advertisers have reduced or stopped spending on publishers that can’t guarantee that ads won’t be displayed next to objectionable content. A number of high profile advertisers have shied away from spending on any media site that has objectionable content, period. However, some other advertisers don’t think that viewers associate ads with the adjacent content, and put great emphasis on spending with publishers that can deliver results.
How can media companies and publishers navigate the diversity of advertiser perspectives on brand safety?
Advertiser sensitivity to brand safety varies and it’s important to get fact-based insights of how brand safety compares against other priorities for various advertisers. They also need to have a nuanced understanding of what topics different advertisers consider safe and what they consider objectionable.
3. Effective advertising in a post-cookie privacy-aware world
A confluence of greater consumer concern for privacy and tracking, more stringent privacy regulations in many markets, and operating system features like App Tracking Transparency could have a calamitous impact on media publisher ad revenue.
Advertisers and publishers will need to rely more on their own first-party data and improve their contextual targeting, while relying less on third-party cookies and identifiers in order to maintain the effectiveness of their ad spending.
How can media companies compete in a world without third-party cookies and identifiers?
Media leaders need insight on the readiness of their advertisers, data providers, and competitors to operate in a post-cookie world. They also need to gauge how concerned advertisers are about the targeting precision and cost-effectiveness of their ads, and track this on an ongoing basis as the landscape evolves. Many will also benefit from learning how best-practice media and publishing peers in various sub-sectors approach the modern challenges of targeted advertising.
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