Link to home page
Link to home

News from the open internet


To advance the open internet, publishers and advertisers need to align on better measurement

To advance the open internet, publishers and advertisers need to align on better measurement

Illustration by Nick DeSantis / Getty / Shutterstock / The Current

Measurement and attribution are critical in today’s advertising ecosystem. That's why mediums with a defined measurement and attribution solution see advertising dollars flowing without concern, because it not only provides insight into assessing return on investment, but also informs buying strategies for better results.

With accurate measurement, marketers can identify what resonates with their audience, optimize their ad spend, and ultimately enhance the overall efficiency and success of their brand KPIs. At the core of programmatic advertising, measurement and attribution have been the foundational elements for maximizing efficacy and relevance.

So what happens when one of the greatest challenges facing the open internet is the over-reliance on third-party cookies and the reality that Chrome endeavors to deprecate the last of that signal to meet privacy and regulation concerns? The industry is currently caught up in cycles of grief, complaints and now, with early testing results from the Privacy Sandbox, concern.

In the current version of the Privacy Sandbox, publishers have extremely limited campaign results to package up for advertisers. Advertisers could remain bearish on Privacy Sandbox if there are no improvements in measurement and reporting capabilities soon.

First-party data is powerful but restrained by aggregate use cases when sharing between the buy side and sell side. The industry’s resistance to moving away from vanity media metrics compounds the issue.

Buyers are worried about frequency capping, measurement and attribution. However, no singular solution exists to answer those concerns, including the proposed APIs within the Privacy Sandbox.

The open web is not an immeasurable place. Therefore, we need to endeavor to find an agreed-upon measurement framework to keep advertising dollars supporting content creation while meeting brand expectations.

"The industry is currently caught up in cycles of grief, complaints and now, with early testing results from the Privacy Sandbox, concern."

Advertisers spend millions, if not billions, of dollars across mediums with less signal than digital advertising and are already succeeding in a cookie-less world. What lessons can we take from their approaches and how do publishers aid brands and agencies in standing up digital media modeling they have faith in?

The answer is likely a little bit of “what’s old is new again” blended with innovation. First-party data will serve our industry as a valuable seed but not the holistic solution. From there we can model, source insights from panels, measure lift, create new metrics, innovate with AI and create the next generation of media measurement.

The largest opportunity that presents itself in this situation is that neither the buy side nor the sell side can do this on their own. True collaboration is necessary for the future of the open internet, a collaboration that wasn’t necessary before, as our industry allowed third-parties to do the work for us.

So, how do the two sides come together to capitalize on this opportunity?

Here are some themes that Mediavine is emphasizing as areas of focus. We encourage others to do the same so we can innovate and move in the right direction:

  • Alignment: Publisher signals need to align with advertiser signals. The support of alternative IDs will be key in making the connection between our disparate data sets.
  • Modeling: Recognizing the value of modeling when it comes to measurement, publishers and sell-side partners need to align their data with the advertisers’ modeling methodologies. Clean rooms can offer an opportunity for buy-side and sell-side data to aggregate toward measurement.
  • Definition: With first-party data being the valuable seed, the industry will need to define what probabilistic methodologies it wishes to support. This is a learning curve for both the buy side and the sell side, and we should work together to determine what is and isn’t acceptable.

Both the buy side and the sell side should be seeking opportunities to align signals, learn from each other, and ultimately pull the pieces together to innovate measurement and attribution for the open internet. If we do not, the open internet could be at risk of no longer existing.

This op-ed represents the views and opinions of the author and not of The Current, a division of The Trade Desk, or The Trade Desk. The appearance of the op-ed on The Current does not constitute an endorsement by The Current or The Trade Desk.