Publishers Look to Harness Real-Time, People-Based Marketing to Compete With Walled Gardens

Oct 13, 2015

In order to compete for ad spend with companies like Google and Facebook, 80% of digital publishers say they need better data-driven capabilities to help advertisers target their customers at scale, according to a report released by Econsultancy and Signal, a provider of real-time people-based marketing. While digital display advertising is growing at about 20% annually, ad revenues for the vast majority of digital publishers aren't keeping pace, and are even stagnant or shrinking for many, the report found.

Specifically, survey respondents reported the following:

  • 96% say it would be valuable to offer an advertiser the ability to identify customers and real-time signals to target with live intent data.
  • 88% say connecting visitor identity across devices and platforms would add a CPM premium.
  • 93% say it would be valuable to import first-party data from advertisers or partners to instantly build out custom segments of known customers and provide contextually relevant ads.
  • 80% say they will add new data capabilities -- including mobile capabilities -- for cross-device identity, live intent targeting, and the use of advertiser data in the next 12-24 months.

The biggest challenges reported are:

  • Cross-device identity: 46% of respondents say they aren't confident in their ID technology, and less than half say they can resolve identity across devices and platforms, including mobile.
  • Speed: 1 in 2 respondents say their targeting capabilities are hampered by slow technology, and only 41% can target by live intent.
  • Customized audiences: Just 4 in 10 say they have the ability to leverage advertisers' first-party data to create and target custom audiences.
  • Scale: 1 in 3 publishers surveyed say they have insufficient scale to recognize individuals online and across channels, but 84% see growth in combining data with partners.