About a year or so ago, a study circulated that calculated consumers’ average attention span at eight seconds, a second shorter than that of a goldfish. In today’s “right now” economy where brands are vying for even a portion of these eight seconds, creating media experiences that excite people is more important than ever. For marketers to capture our attention we need to be, intrigued, excited and emotionally connected. The content creators that own the hearts and minds of audiences are best positioned to help brands and marketers create these experiences and interactions that cut through the clutter, stop our thumbs from scrolling and drive us to interact. The need for truly premium relationships and meaningful context appears to be more important than ever.
Premium, direct advertising allows marketers to better emotionally connect with audiences and to align their brands in the appropriate context to stoke an emotional response from people. So it should be simple, right? Let’s buy more publisher direct.
Unfortunately, to date, this hasn’t been a scalable endeavor. Navigating the waters of purchasing premium media is largely inefficient for agencies and clients alike. The struggle is real and the consequences of a misstep in this fight for attention can be tremendous.
While programmatic has rightfully won its place in the sea of advertising options due to its ability to leverage algorithms and deliver scale, premium publishers and the media they provide undeniably provide the high-quality environments that brands desire when communicating their value to audiences.
Working publisher-direct and focusing on the strong relationships between the content creators (publishers) and brands helps brands immediately control transparency, brand safety, and ad fraud. A study conducted by comScore last year provided evidence indicating that premium publishers deliver substantially higher brand effectiveness for display ads. The study also showed that premium ads’ effectiveness is likely the result of the contextual environment in which the ads were viewed.
Outdated at Best
So, if premium ads and their associated environments are more effective, then why hasn’t the purchasing process been improved? More than 20 years ago the world was introduced to the display ad. Since then, the science of advertising has skyrocketed with the introduction of technology players all layering in elements of sophistication, data, and omnichannel offerings. With all this complexity and sophistication, however, the premium media purchasing process has remained stagnant and the Insertion Order (IO) process is archaic at best.
Up until recently, there hasn’t been a technology offering introduced that preserves the relationship between marketers and publishers while offering a platform that could eliminate the hassles and outdated administrative hurdles of the IO.
It Doesn’t Have to be This Way
The workflow required to buy direct, premium media is riddled with operational and administrative headaches. There’s jockeying for inventory, there’s back and forth, there are needless clerical tasks and manual work that’s all part of the direct order process that publishers, agencies, and clients all deal with.
If we hone in on what’s actually important, the relationship between the brand and the publisher, we can identify immediate opportunities to scale the human connection associated with publisher direct buying. We can create a scalable media solution designed to build relationships with audiences rather than a soulless transaction.
Tear Up the Playbook. Start Fresh
Connecting emotionally with target audiences through advertising will never be easy, but premium media has proven to work. And when it works, quality undoubtedly trumps quantity in winning the hearts and minds of consumers and driving ad performance. It’s time for the industry to demand change and embrace a new, modern approach to premium buys with new publisher-direct technology platforms that offer scale across premium media while underwriting the emotional connections that make advertising work.
Paul Josephsen is global chief marketing officer at Adslot, a pioneer for the next generation of premium media buying focused on empowering collaboration and scaling publisher-direct buying.