January 15, 2016
Op-ed: Unlock the hidden value of your inventory

Op-ed: Unlock the hidden value of your inventory

What’s New In Publishing – January 15, 2016

Publishers own two of the strongest assets in the digital advertising industry — content and audience data. So why do CPMs still not reflect the true value of inventory?

The answer is simple. Publishers have what advertisers desperately need — access to vast stores of audience information — they just haven’t unlocked the insights. Without the ability to offer advertisers the detailed audience data required to deliver engaging and relevant ads, targeting quality is dropping and consumers are turning to ad blockers.

It is clear that only one solution can solve both of these problems: publishers must learn to fully utilise their first-party data in relation to their content. A deeper understanding of the audience and their interests will not only enable publishers to significantly enhance the online experience for consumers, it will also boost inventory value and thereby, the revenue publishers receive from digital advertising.

So what can publishers do to extract hidden insights needed to drive advertising yields higher?

Tangled up in web-based data

Consumers have grown accustomed to an online environment that responds to their needs, and – as the ad blocking issue demonstrates – their tolerance for any website or ad that does not meet the new standard of hyper-personalisation or is seen as out of context is low. This shift in consumer preferences is not new to publishers and many are aware of the role real-time data plays in providing a tailored user experience — which includes both advertising and content. In fact, 67% believe it is vital.

Yet wading through the web of user data is proving to be frustrating for over 50% of publishers and consequently only 27% are actively using real-time data. While tech providers have developed a variety of tools to help advertisers identify and reach their desired audience, thus far the availability of similar resources for publishers looking to create premium inventory and maximise ad placements by better understanding their own audience remains limited.

Tech that deciphers first-party data

Fortunately for publishers a new crop of smart tools is emerging and some, such as first-party advanced profiling, are designed specifically to extract valuable audience insights.  These technologies are the answer to the problem of disparate data sources, drawing together content analysis and consumption patterns in one efficient, aggregated process.

By using such tools, publishers can produce a complete, real-time profile for each consumer, giving them an in-depth understanding of individual interests, habits, and preferences based on the content they have engaged with across the publisher’s site. The data this generates has multiple applications; not only can it be used to create tailored content that appeals to individual consumers and recommendations to publisher’s own ecommerce platforms but it also allows more sophisticated targeting options to be provided.

Putting data into action

Through harnessing the power of natural language processing and statistical analysis of the users actions to enrich their first-party data, publishers can profile their audiences more effectively and deliver smart insights advertisers need to build messages that will resonate with their target audience. While this will undoubtedly increase the value of inventory, publishers can realise even greater yields by thinking like an advertiser when creating richer audience profiles using their content and offering a minute level of detail.

Advertisers promoting the new BMW, for example, will automatically be attracted to audiences with an interest in cars and automotive content. But the ability to reach consumers with the propensity to buy luxury cars is far more relevant, and therefore worthy of a premium price tag that advertisers seeking a highly receptive audience will be willing to pay. Using intelligent technologies, publishers can mine their audience data to reveal insights that create maximum advertising appeal, and revenue.

As the digital marketplace becomes increasingly automated, the balance has leaned distinctly towards smoothing the way for advertisers. But the tide is about to turn. New technologies have arisen to clear a path for publishers and help them achieve better value for their inventory by unlocking the hidden insights within their own audience data. With tools such as advanced first-party profiling, publishers can restore the industry balance, while improving targeting quality — building a positive online environment that has no need for blockers.

Nick Welch, Business Development Director at ADmantX

From: What’s New In Publishing