Confusion about why we call adtech adtech
03 April 2017
If you want people on the Internet to argue with you, say that you're making a statement about values.
If you want people to negotiate with you, say that you're making a statement about business.
If you want people to accept that something is inevitable, say that you're making a statement about technology.
The mixup between values arguments, business arguments, and technology arguments might be why people are confused about Brands need to fire adtech by Doc Searls.
The set of trends that people call
adtech is a
values-driven business transformation that is trying
to label itself as a technological transformation.
Some of the implementation involves technological
changes (NoSQL databases! Nifty!) but fundamentally
adtech is about changing how media business is
Adtech does have a set of values, none
of which are really commonly held even among people in
the marketing or advertising field, but let's not make
the mistake of turning this into either an argument
about values (that never accomplishes anything)
or a set of statements about technology (that puts
those with an inside POV on current technology at an
unnecessary advantage). Instead, let's look at the
business positions that
adtech is taking.
Adtechstands for profitable platforms, with commodity producers of news and cultural works. Michael Tiffany, CEO of advertising security firm White Ops, said
The fundamental value proposition of these ad tech companies who are de-anonymizing the Internet is,This is not a healthy situation, but it's a chosen path, not a technologically inevitable one.
Why spend big CPMs on branded sites when I can get them on no-name sites?
Adtechstands for the needs of low-reputation sellers over the needs of high-reputation sellers. High-reputation and low-reputation brands need different qualities from an ad medium and
adtechhas to under-serve the high-reputation ones. Again, not technologically inevitable, but a business position that high-reputation brands and their agencies don't have to accept.
Adtechstands for making advertisers support criminal and politically heinous activity. I'll just let Bob Hoffman explain that one. Fraudulent and brand-unsafe content is just the overspray of the high value platforms/commoditized
contentsystem, and advertisers have to accept it in order to power that system. Or do they?
People have a lot of interesting decisions to make:
policy, contractual, infrastructural, and client-side.
When we treat the
adtech movement as simply
technology, we take the risk of missing great
opportunities to negotiate for the benefit of brands,
publishers, and the audience.