Standardization and Measurement Are Top Challenges for the New Ad Tech Stack - eMarketer

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Standardization and Measurement Are Top Challenges for the New Ad Tech Stack

April 20, 2016

Lauren Fisher
Senior Analyst

Driven by programmatic technology, the ad tech stack is changing drastically. The evolution has led to the development of new platforms, products and services aimed at supporting companies’ digital advertising efforts, but both vendors and advertisers are still tiptoeing around stack standardization. eMarketer senior analyst Lauren Fisher will tackle the subject in her upcoming report, “The New Ad Tech Stack,” and provided a preview of what to expect.

eMarketer: How is programmatic advertising changing the ad tech stack?

Lauren Fisher: Ad buying used to be a direct deal between the buyer and the seller. The technical requirements for executing it were just for the delivery and the accounting of the advertising. Now, buyers can still use a traditional sales force, but they can also automate the process and buy programmatically. They can still buy through an ad network, but they can now use real-time bidding or auction as well.

eMarketer: What new tools have emerged to help support programmatic advertising?

Fisher: Ad exchanges, which function as ad network aggregators, have popped up. For buyers, demand-side platforms, which serve as the primary vehicle for plugging into programmatic inventory, have also emerged. For the sellers, there are now supply-side platforms that they use to sell their inventory programmatically on an impression-by-impression basis.

“Bringing marketing and advertising technology closer together can create a very cohesive experience for the consumer.”

eMarketer: In what ways are marketing and advertising technology coming together?


Fisher: Companies have been using marketing automation to build customer segments, nurture these customers, generate leads and bring them through a life cycle. There are ad tech technologies that essentially do the same thing. Bringing marketing and advertising technology closer together can create a very cohesive experience for the consumer. If companies are already doing a great job creating personalized experiences on their website or in emails, it only make sense to continue that personalization and relevancy in ads.

eMarketer: Do you expect the advertising stack to become standardized in the near future?

Fisher: Companies like Google, Adobe or Oracle try to make it easier on buyers and sellers by integrating key components into a single ad tech stack. The capacity to move toward a more unified stack by a single provider is coming, and there is definitely value in that, especially for companies that have to integrate extensively. The capabilities are there, but there are some advertisers that still prefer to work with specific platforms or service providers.

eMarketer: What’s missing from most ad tech stacks?

Fisher: The industry is crying out for dramatic changes on the measurement side, but one of the biggest challenges is that measurement and attribution providers pull data from hundreds of different technologies and platforms. Improvement to measurement will go hand-in-hand with better identity management capabilities, because the only way to crack attribution and measurement is to have a better understanding of who an individual is across different touchpoints.

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