Adtech was created to simplify marketing, saving time and money. Ironically, it has complicated the process. Companies are spending a boatload of money on platform solutions. Advertising and marketing agencies are under pressure due to the overcomplicated tools with bad UI, which kill the creativity of the campaigns.
Companies across industries admit that the user interface for most of these ad tech platforms is not friendly. The extended offer of marketing platforms makes it difficult for agencies and marketing companies to navigate the space swiftly. With the growing importance of data analytics, the advertising industry is becoming more and more data-driven. Anxious marketing experts say that the multitude of data streams leads to misinterpretation of the data killing creativity of advertisement campaigns.
Ad tech operation on the open web works as a disjointed chain of systems that are fragmented, preventing any single player from innovating at scale. Amazon, Google, and Facebook have built walls leaving the rest of the ad-tech ecosystem behind. But what attracts more eyeballs is innovation; that’s why Google and Facebook accounted for 58% of all U.S. digital ad spending in 2018 owing to its creativity. The duopoly has perfected the art of user data tracking, which most advertisers are not able to, so they are unclear about who they are bidding on. Without the knowledge of the audience characteristics, firms have no innovative ad ideas and formats to engage with those audiences. This pushes all the other advertisers understandably behind the walled gardens built by Google and Facebook duopoly.
Fragmentation is making successful advances in ad technology it difficult. But, monopoly within the open web is not entirely at fault. Marketers, DSPs, advertisers, exchanges, SSPs, and publishers are stuck with a haphazard scenario without any standard framework for protocols and cooperation they so desperately need.
Some technologies like native ads and ads.txt have started to overcome the fragmentation on the open web. But, implementation of these technologies at the required scale needs firms to navigate massive barriers. Publishers must adopt the code and potentially change site visuals and layouts. The fragmentation is making it difficult for any innovation in ad technology to grow successfully.
Advertisers need to accept the urgency for communication, and not get complacent about solving advertising problems. As per the latest survey, less than a quarter of the top 3,000 publishers have adopted ads.txt to prevent frauds. It is time for all open web players to join forces and pool resources to keep up with the duopoly. All players need to determine consumer intent appropriately. Identity data is proportional to the amount an advertiser is willing to spend for the ad placement. However, even though SSPs, Publishers, DSPs, DMPs, and the advertisers have individual identity data, there is no synchronization. Publishers need to have complete data of users for successfully advertising on the open web platform.
Though Open web ad-tech market is showing slow growth, ad tech itself is not dying. The segment players need to focus on innovation and banding together to agree on standards and protocols. This could reduce the detrimental impact of fragmentation on open web advertising- the only way to safeguard the innovative identity of the open web.
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