Digital Publishing Guest Columns
3 mins read

3 ways publishers can prove their value to marketers using first-party data insights

The internet’s original sin was allowing users to believe that its content is free, when in reality, good content – that informs, entertains and connects us – is generally very expensive to create and is mostly supported by advertisements.

Today, publishers are competing with Google, Facebook and other walled gardens for advertising space, but are not able to offer the same level of granularity when it comes to data and overall performance. This has created a significant gap in advertising spend on quality advertisers – and this advertising spend directed towards big tech isn’t showing any signs of slowing. In fact, businesses reserve almost 30% of their ad spend for Google alone – this is money that could be spent instead on the open internet with trusted publishers who are driven to create quality, educational content.

The gap between walled gardens and the open internet may expand even further as third-party cookies are deprecated across the open internet, which may lead even more budgets to move toward the walled gardens unless alternative, privacy-safe options are created.

Publishers can overcome these challenges by leveraging real-time first-party data, also known as live data, that is based on real-time content consumption trends. Live data gives publishers real-time insight into consumer behavior, interests, and intent so they can adapt their advertising and marketing strategy to ever-changing consumer behavior and drive business growth.

Real-time first-party insights enable publishers to measure, validate, and receive detailed reporting on their programmatic deals and highlight diverse content and audience segments. As a result, publishers are able to build stronger, result-driven relationships with advertisers.

Here are three ways publishers can grow their business, prove their value and reach media buyers by leveraging real-time first-party data insights.

Audience Building

Leveraging real-time first-party data insights enables publishers to build the exact personas that come across in request for proposals (RFP), and uncover a detailed picture of unique insights about that audience across their websites. In other words, publishers are able to easily identify audiences and more accurately respond to RFPs to win business they previously may have lost. Publishers that have access to advanced intelligence and granular insights are valuable because those insights enable marketers to customize their campaigns to fit their unique business needs.

Granular Audience Insights

With real-time demographic, psychographic, and browsing interest data, publishers can better understand audience behavior and contextual interests as well as identify unique audiences wherever they live on their network – all the way down to the section, article, or author. As a result, publishers spend less time gathering data and more time connecting with brands. This enables publishers and brands to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship.

With granular audience insights, publishers are able to:

  • Increase discoverability and drive non-endemic leads by highlighting diverse content and audience segments;
  • Measure, validate, and receive detailed reporting on their programmatic deals and activate the desired ones;
  • Maximize the value of inventory by making hard-to-sell inventory more attractive to marketers;
  • And control the use of their content and audience segments to drive desired business outcomes.

In addition, brands are able to uncover new insights relevant to their desired audience and expand their reach, quickly plan and activate deals with publishers, and purchase impactful inventory from publishers that will drive measurable business outcomes.

Campaign Reporting

Having access to real-time first-party data allows publishers to stay on top of audience key performance indicators (KPI) for mid-campaign optimizations and deliver value-add insights to advertisers that could lead to additional revenue opportunities and/or renewals. This gives publishers the opportunity to broaden their reach and uncover additional sites and segments, which opens up new possibilities for both sides of the media ecosystem.

In summary, publishers that leverage real-time data insights are able to grow their business and prove their value and reach to media buyers by being able to easily adapt their advertising strategy to ever-changing audience behavior, better align with advertisers’ request for proposals, and clearly demonstrate audience reach and campaign performance to brands to drive business growth.

It is critical that publishers who are investing in their own first-party data have a trusted resource to provide granular insights to validate their first-party data. The first step publishers should take is finding a partner with AI and machine learning technology capable of ingesting, understanding, and acting on the complexity of internet-scale first-party data in real-time if they want to see true value in their investment.

Seth Forman
Global Director of Publisher Partnerships, Quantcast

About: Quantcast is an audience intelligence and measurement company headquartered in San Francisco. Combining machine learning, a privacy-by-design approach, and live data drawn from more than 100 million online destinations, Quantcast provides software, information and advertising services for marketers, publishers and advertising agencies worldwide. Founded in 2006, Quantcast has employees in 20 offices across 10 countries.