From The Bureau: Championing Competency & Cross-Industry Collaboration

From The Bureau: Championing Competency & Cross-Industry Collaboration

In this latest column from the IAB and its members, Jonas Jaanimagi, IAB Australia’s tech lead, stresses the need for deep specialisation in the adtech world, rather than “enthusiastic generalists.”

We recently ran a strategy day for our IAB Executive Technology Council, a diverse and senior council we established seven years ago to provide leadership and guidance and strategic oversight on what IAB should focus on from a technological perspective. The topics of discussion were interesting, ranging from media quality and further fostering talent, to the impacts and considerations of AI.

However, I noticed that one theme remained consistent throughout the discussions: the ongoing need for genuine competency in and around core industry issues as the industry prepares for many of the forthcoming changes from both a regulatory perspective and operationally with the ongoing deprecation of third-party cookies.

Both these key topics require high competency in specific areas. They can’t be covered by enthusiastic generalists. We also discussed the importance of a willingness from business leaders to embrace the requirements and invest time and resources in building competency over the medium-long term. This is not always an easy ask, particularly in a climate of contraction and with the relentless pressure to meet monthly and quarterly targets.

It’s one thing to have the right legal advice to understand the implications of regulatory change in media but ensuring that any resulting operational requirements can be clearly communicated and understood internally is a different challenge. For many companies, it’s a fresh dimension of internal collaboration between teams that will rarely engage directly. Yet often these discussions will require product-level interpretations. Additionally, technology vendors and solutions for data collection, management, and collaboration may need to be reviewed –adding yet another set of engagements, requirements, and considerations.

All these discussions and planning for the future demand competency of each of the stakeholders. It also requires a vision of future success that looks beyond the mitigation of any risks to the business benefits and into the innovative opportunities that our evolving ecosystem will provide to those willing to invest.

This is particularly the case with what we are seeing with ongoing signal loss and the relentless deprecation of third-party cookies for ad campaign targeting, optimisation, and measurement.

There is always a lot of noise about the timings for the Chrome browser, but rest assured those changes will come soon enough and preparing for them now along with the new related mechanics remains as critical as ever.

The ramifications of the privacy sandbox proposals go way beyond just advertising. Fully testing for the full range of web-based customer experiences is important, especially if you are running several different domains with consumers logging in and purchasing online. You also have to consider concurrently testing for current features such as Enhanced Conversion within the Google Ads API. There’s plenty to be done!

Of course, it’s not just Chrome. Changes to Google’s Android will follow and we have already seen restrictions and new proposals for many of the other popular applications and operating systems through which we all access the internet. Apple made dramatic changes both in Safari and iOS with minimal warning and consultation. The APIs being made available by Apple to mechanically target and measure online advertising are now various and fairly quirky. The same goes for Meta’s Conversions API and Private Lift Measurement for Facebook & Instagram and Microsoft Edge has a proposal now out called the Ad Selection API.

Being able to test for all these changes, both current and impending, requires genuine competency across a range of roles and responsibilities. Internal collaboration is important, but for many of these fresh approaches, there is also a level of external collaboration that is important. Working with vendors and other key partners is now even more critical – and the Executive Technology Council was strongly of the view that all need to be prepared to engage with clients and customers on these changes to get the full picture, whether you are a publisher, media agency or client.

As an industry body, we feel it’s our obligation to help raise awareness around these topics and provide as much objective guidance as we can. We are also very aware that not all our members have large teams and the resources at hand to dedicate time and effort to these initiatives – so we will be updating our guidance for testing and trying to make it specifically relevant to each part of the industry where possible.

But it falls to the industry to continuously engage collaboratively, at events and workshops. Not only to network but to honestly learn from one another and be open to the experiences of others – including your competitors. IAB will continue to run as many industry events as we can focusing on the important topics as they arise. We hope to see you IRL at one sometime soon.

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