MarTech Interview with Brian Atwood, CEO at NOM

“Advertisers are doing publisher direct deals, and then running them through programmatic channels to ensure content quality and accountability.”

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Hi, please tell us about your current role and the team/technology that you handle?

I am the CEO of NOM.

Brands utilize our contextual targeting technology on YouTube to ensure their ads;

1) show up next to the content that the brand is specifically targeting; and,

2) don’t show up next to content that is not brand-suitable, or potentially offensive.

Furthermore, when brands are aligned with the targeted content, it eliminates wasted ad spend.

How has the adtech industry evolved in the last 3 years?

AdTech has evolved significantly in the areas of transparency, accountability and privacy.  However, in all three of those areas, we are in the early stages of that evolution.

The industry, as a whole, has yet to fully integrate transparency in the supply chain from brand-to-agency-to-vendor in terms of both fees as well as ad placements.

Accountability is also still a work in progress as platforms do not take full responsibility for the content they contain, and brands want to achieve the scale and efficiency that platforms provide, while also aligning with premium content most closely associated with publishers – those goals are often at odds with one another.

Finally, privacy has been mostly a legislative initiative that the industry has continually scrambled to adhere to, and adopt.

However, in my opinion, it is unlikely that privacy legislation will stop at GDPR and CCPA unless the industry can become a leader on this issue vs. reacting to it. The pendulum has swung too far in terms of user/audience targeting and needs to swing back to more fully incorporate content adjacency as a strategy to mitigate the privacy concerns continually raised around cookie-based targeting.

Tell us about the most vibrant trends you see in adtech inventory management and how are businesses managing their budgets.

More and more advertisers are doing publisher direct deals, and then running them through programmatic channels to ensure content quality and accountability and doing less in open auctions.  However, when brands are still relying on open auction environments they are employing 3rd parties to monitor contextual alignment.

The way brands are managing their budgets indicates that content is still very important to them.

Where is premium advertising heading in the COVID-19 era?

When it comes to premium advertising, video is king. The screen (TV, phone, tablet, etc.) is mattering less and less. With the advent of 5G, the infrastructure necessary for “video everywhere” is arriving shortly. Many of the content consumption habits which consumers develop during the pandemic are going to become ingrained and permanent behaviors going forward – and most of those behaviors are around video consumptions, thus premium advertising will follow that lead.

Please point out three top-class enterprise adtech stacks that every B2C brand should invest in.

I think that regardless of the channels or tactics B2C companies are using to attract clients and generate leads, first and foremost these companies need an analytics platform that allows them to understand their consumers’ behavior from end-to-end so they can be refining and optimizing their strategy based on actionable data.

Also at the top of that list would be a holistic social media management platform and marketing automation.

Thank you, Brian! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

With over 20 years experience across diverse organizations within digital marketing, Brian has built his career scaling businesses in emerging technology platforms such as AOL where he grew the premium advertising and platform business to over $200M in revenue, and iHeartMedia – the fastest growing audio platform in history. After heading up North American Sales for DataXu, he most recently spent 3 years as the Chief Sales Officer of Zefr.

Brian joined NOM as CEO in March 2020 with the focus of growing their business by delivering best-in-class outcomes to brands with precision and transparency.

A graduate of Illinois State University, Brian lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.

NOM is the leading solution for brand-suitable, contextually relevant video advertising.

NOM ensures ads reach the right YouTube, video and social audiences and are aligned with content that reflects each brand’s values while eliminating wasted spend and exposure to questionable content.