A Letter To Adtech Vendors: Innovate Or Get Out Of The Way!

Engaging new ad formats are here, and they’re ready to be deployed. However, there’s a bottleneck with regard to improving the overall inventory of the web (and especially mobile) advertising: adtech vendors.

Despite the availability of unique creative formats that delight users and engender positive brand experiences, the infrastructure isn’t there to support these ads hitting the marketplace en masse. Or rather, it’s there, but the proliferation of poor creative continues to drown these formats out in the marketplace.

Luckily, Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) appear to be fighting back against the cavalcade of poor inventory.

Bots and ad fraud are clogging the ecosystem, creating brand safety concerns. But more than that, it’s disruptive ads that create negative customer experiences that are holding back the pace of innovation. Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) have the tools to empower the marketplace with quality inventory, and brands and publishers WANT THESE FORMATS.

It’s time for DSPs to implore SSPs to innovate or simply get out of the way. DSPs are already taking some steps to simply move right around the sort of SSPs that are stalling innovation and pushing an ancient way of thinking about ad inventory and exchanges. Curating the best inventory helps ad exchanges, but that also costs DSPs money. By simply removing the contrived SSPs from the equation, you’re left with only the best ad buy options, and with less of the hassle of sifting through each and every ad.

For honest — MRC-accredited — SSPs, you’re not dead to this world yet, however. You can still change your ways and join with the countless brands and publishers altering the way consumers interact with ad content.

Best of all, these SSPs don’t have to alter their sales strategy much at all. Chances are they’re already serving up their inventory programmatically. Well, coincidentally, so are these innovative formats. Header bidding helps prioritize the SSPs that deliver quality ads, putting a premium on the sort of inventory that drives quality results.

And again, there’s an easy way to join the “party” so to speak: become one of the SSPs that’s exhibiting a penchant for cutting-edge, attractive formats and you’re in. Ad networks are shrinking, cutting costs by limiting relationships from hundreds of partners to a choice few. The requirements? Do you provide the sort of creative inventory that provides positive results? Do you reflect well on the buyer and enhance exchange’s relationships with brands and publishers?

If this sounds like a bit of an “in crowd,” you’re not mistaken. The new DSP/SSP dynamic is an exclusive club, but not an unattainable one. There are rules for success, that when followed, assist all parties. Either fall in line, or get out of the way. We’re innovating here, after all.

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