audience at a concert

Guiding buyers: Through audience addressability…and beyond

Magnite Team

March 7, 2023 | 5 min read

By Mike Evans, Senior Vice President, Demand Facilitation at Magnite
& Pete Danks, VP, Product at Magnite

As media buying continues to adapt to changes in audience addressability, Magnite is guiding buyers through new models and approaches being developed on the sell-side to enable buyers to continue reaching audiences efficiently and effectively. As an SSP, our position in the supply chain allows us to see the whole supply footprint, including data on inventory, to provide better audience curation and targeting options, advanced planning, forecasting, and optimization. Here is how buyers are exploring new and existing ways of identifying and addressing their target audiences, and how the supply-side has become a key ally in that mission.

Consumers’ decisions about where they spend their time are influenced by user experience, content quality and availability, and increasingly privacy – all of which impact marketers’ ability to effectively reach their audience. The continued shift to digital across channels – exemplified by the recent growth of streaming – gives advertisers an opportunity to deliver tailored ads to addressable audiences across new channels, provided the data, infrastructure, and measurement capabilities are in place.

The increasing shifts in privacy and balancing those requirements with personalization makes the testing and implementation of alternate audience identity and addressability solutions important today.

Impact on media buyers

While reaching audiences has usually been a channel, platform and device consideration for media buyers, they now also have to consider those within the context of the availability of data and how addressable an audience is in those environments. The declining viability of third party cookie and device-ID dependent targeting has focused audience addressability efforts on contextual and first-party data based models.

Advertisers with direct customer relationships are well positioned due to the continued value of consent-based CRM and owned data that can be leveraged off network through data matching solutions such as Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) and clean rooms. Some PETs, for instance, use forms of encryption and other privacy solutions to create opportunities to address audiences in a way that minimizes the risk to data security and privacy.

However, the scalability of advertisers’ data on its own is leading buyers to explore collaborations with media owners to benefit from the valuable data that primarily sits on the sell-side, while helping them to make the most of their own data in relevant environments. For instance; Supply Path Optimization – or SPO – helps buyers optimize their supply paths to unlock access to quality inventory and addressable audiences, more efficient workflows, and improved transparency. Media owners work with Magnite to deliver these improved supply paths, enriching data and adding value to the impressions they deliver to buyers while minimizing the data privacy risks and improving workflow efficiencies.

What this means for buyers

Portfolio-based identity strategy

Due to the uncertainty as to which ID solutions will scale, buyers need to adopt a portfolio approach including the main types most relevant to them. Owned first party data – such as CRM data – will continue to be valuable to activate against directly, through universal ID solutions, or through data matching. Those without access to such data will have to rely on contextual, probabilistic or cohort-based solutions or work closer with publishers and SSPs to access first party based audience segments created on the sell-side.

For instance, Magnite offers several different audience activation features including first-party data fuelled segments such as seller defined audiences,  Magnite curated audiences, universal identifier integrations, third-party data integrations, data matching solutions, and contextual targeting.

Explore data collabs through data matching

With third-party cookies going away, being able to convey data in a secure way that minimizes the risk of data exposure has become increasingly important to ensure accuracy and scalability of audiences. Data matching allows buyers and sellers to build out a scaled, secure method of matching data for insights and activation. While clean rooms are a starting place, the future of data sharing will be encrypting data where it sits, but activating it where it’s required, allowing publishers to attach matched data to an ad opportunity.

Seek optimal paths to audiences

Buyers should look to work more strategically with the publisher supply paths that provide better data enablement – including actionable insights for more informed planning and campaign optimization – as well as better audience curation, and improved contextual intelligence. Brands should divert budgets towards solutions that can ensure an optimal path to their media buys in all environments regardless of the level of addressability. As addressability, targeting, and audience layering move to the supply side, it will be increasingly important for the exchange to act as a partner in presenting the value of an ad to the buyer, so they can make an informed bid. 

Navigating the addressability landscape

With all the evolution happening is addressability, the goal is still the same: Providing advertisers with secure, profitable access to precise audiences at the right time in the right channel while maintaining complete control over their valuable audience data. Magnite’s close proximity to supply positions us to help buyers make more informed decisions on media buys allowing for advanced planning, forecasting, targeting and optimization through customizable measurement and reporting tools.

Though buyers should continue to use third party cookies while they still exist, they now have an opportunity to test and learn new options that will future-proof audience addressability beyond third party cookie deprecation. As advertisers and media owners continue to work more closely it will facilitate the continued delivery of tailored ad experiences to specific audiences, improved performance and measurement, and reduced wastage across all formats including CTV, online video, display, mobile, audio, and beyond.

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