To Punish or Reward the Big Few

By Lauren Stein: SVP, Group Client Director

More and more agencies, marketers and clients find themselves in a place of cognitive dissonance where they are forced to make a decision — accept that the 3 big behemoths who will remain unnamed are just too big to cooperate OR find a way to live (advertise) successfully without them. That is — live without the few platforms with a combined reach of 90% of the US population and 95% of millennials. The platforms for which more millennials claim they cannot live without than any other (these are what we commonly refer to today as “first world problems”)! To make such a decision, one is forced to revert back to a simple pros/cons analysis

Pros (why the big 3 are a necessity)

· Inherently high viewability (90+ where measured)
· High reach
· Reach against desired target audience
· Relevancy meaning platforms that are ingrained and a part of peoples everyday life
· Efficient pricing
· Breadth of targeting options
· Maintain health of large, and quite often longstanding and global partnerships

Cons (why the big 3 are a barrier)

· Operate in a walled garden to a degree where their intent, seemingly, is to continue to build products in an effort to keep marketers, dollars and consumers in house
· Often only extreme measures (loss of $$) are necessary to even consider change
· Restrictive 3rd party viewability tracking — just now starting to allow for 3rd party viewability, however, cannot control which vendor is chosen
· Blocks 3rd party ad fraud tracking
· Slow to make changes to policy given enormity of platforms

So the question really becomes can you (on behalf of agency/marketer/client) reach your desired target audience as effectively and efficiently without these powerhouses? In my opinion the answer is not really. There are certainly workarounds but these are generally short term solutions for which the long term sacrifice is too much for advertisers to swallow. So they eventually give in, however, ideally not before some progress is made. If enough advertisers hold out, if even for a short while, hopefully that’s enough lost revenue to force the changes agencies and advertisers need to see.

Spark Foundry Digital

Written by

Thought Leadership, Insights & POVs from the Spark Foundry Digital Community