After over a dozen meetings with vendors in the advertising technology ecosystem, it is fairly evident that the services rendered are fairly commoditized. One hears the same promises, more or less, over and over.
Every SSP on the market, even in the APAC region, claims to be the best tool for yield optimization tool in display advertising. Some even have the case studies to prove it. Nearly all throw around fancy words like blockchain, deep learning, and machine learning to insist on a competitive edge against ad fraud and for quality impressions.
What is missing from the claims and conversations is equally important, and reflects the concerns of the CMOs that will ultimately be vouching for their ad dollars being siphoned through an imperfect system. In order to truly stand out, an SSP needs to invest in capabilities in one of the following.
SSPs need to start offering advertisers options across video, native, affiliate, and interactive video platforms. Gone are the days when display advertising was nearly enough. AdColony is an example of a company that is working in this area.
Similar to the affinity play by IPG and Hive, SSPs need to start going for depth-based targeting instead of width-based claims. This means that advertisers are interested in reaching audiences in a targeted matter with psychographic identification, doing away with demographic alienation. Untapped communities with tremendous potential in the APAC region include the online gaming market and the independent web that is outside the influence of the duopoly.
To better serve publishers, SSPs need to police the ads that appear and shut them down if they don't match the publishers' advertising guidelines. After all, user experience and monetization go hand in hand. The SSP that wants to evolve will need to create a multitude of UX optimization tools that predict a malware attack, implement frequency capping and adjust creative to the publishers' parameters.
SSPs are in a position to implement these fixes and address these market needs in order to stop getting lost in the crowd, from a positioning and a messaging standpoint.
|Babar Khan Javed is Campaign's Southeast Asia editor.|