What a Time to Rethink Programmatic

GDPR is almost 2 years old (and counting), CCPA wished us all a happy new year in 2020 (Brazil says hello) and third-party cookies’ gravestone is in the making. So, what a time to be alive or what a time to rethink programmatic?

Experts predict that new data privacy laws are going to deliver a challenging 2020 for adtech. I’m a bit more optimistic. This creates a clear opportunity to reshuffle things. The exciting part about working in this industry has always been executing in a dynamic environment while employing new technologies and choosing the right partners to share knowledge with to grow revenue. It requires a ‘not afraid to fail but fail faster’ attitude.


Rethink Programmatic

Tighter Ad Tech Partnerships

Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) have seen a lot of changes and consolidation in recent years due to Supply Path Optimisation (SPO) but despite its potential, it didn’t live up to its hype. As the number of SSPs that come out stronger reduces, there is a growing need for them to do more, especially to manage data regulations. 

They can either choose to push the responsibility towards publishers and buyers or liaise between both parties and transact through the marketplace.

Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) collect and store user consent while passing it to buyers as needed for data transactions, while Data Management Platforms (DMPs) aggregate second/ third-party data and enable the transfer of data. I believe SSPs who chose to contract between buyers and publishers will start to offer CMP features. As the industry continues to consolidate, I expect DMPs and CMPs to merge or larger SSPs to buy DMPs and CMPs.

Context Makes a Comeback

There was a time when contextual targeting was a part of every adtech product pitch, and now it’s making a comeback. Facebook and Google have kept increasing their market share in advertising and publishers need to use context, intent and other types of publisher first-party data to enable buyers to make smarter decisions. The inconsistent IAB ad categories need cleaning up. If you are delivering an ad for life insurance, you want to make sure there is some serious, appealing content around it, which creates a better emotional context and results in a stronger intent from the user.

Publishers for the Win

Publishers are the superheroes I always root for. They are the ones who are creating valuable, unique and useful content for users to interact with. Data privacy and third-person data challenges are pushing publishers to demand user consent. It’s not a surprise that major news websites are trading user consent for valuable content in a similar fashion to how they fought ad blockers.

We can’t always rely on advertiser data to buy inventory in the marketplace. The simplicity and hygiene of gathering user data and generating actionable insight will become key for publishers to win. It is a fair question to ask the user and let them decide if they choose to protect their privacy or pay for the content.

There’s no question that 2020 will be challenging but it will definitely be exciting. By executing quickly, adtech players can stay ahead of the curve and grow their businesses. Slow and steady will never win the race in adtech, and I love that.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.

Satya Vinnakota is Head of Publishers at Applift and Director of M&A Operations for the MGI Group. Apart from his interests in mobile advertising, interactive media and mobile gaming, he is an avid football fan and loves Manchester United. Armed with an engineering degree, Satya has experience in product and business development, business operations, market research and technical sales. Follow him on all major social channels: @satyamanojv.