In this episode, I get to interview Paul Bannister. Paul is the Chief Strategy Officer at CafeMedia where he helps publishers succeed in monetizing their content with ads. Due to his extensive knowledge of the publisher business, Paul is in the unique position to tell us firsthand what the effects of privacy technology are on the publisher advertising business model.
In this episode we discuss among other things:
- Why privacy tends to benefit large companies like Google and Apple
- The effects of ITP and ATT on (Smaller) Publishers
- The challenges ahead for measuring advertising performance
You can follow our guest on:
Make sure you follow the show:
- Follow LifeAfterGDPR on Twitter and on LinkedIn
- Follow the host Rick Dronkers on Twitter & LinkedIn.
- Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast or Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts by searching for "Life after GDPR"
- If you’d rather get notified by email, subscribe for updates via the lifeaftergdpr.eu website
If you want to help us out, please share the link to this episode page with anyone you think might be interested in learning about Digital Marketing in a Post-GDPR world.
Talk to you next week!
Life After GDPR EP011 Transcript
Transcription Disclaimer PLEASE NOTE LEGAL CONDITIONS:Data to Value B.V. owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of the Life after GDPR Podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as the right of publicity.
WHAT YOU’RE WELCOME TO DO: You are welcome to share the below transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles, on your personal website, in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., Medi), and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include attribution to “Life After GDPR” and link back to the https://lifeaftergdpr.eu URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.
WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED: No one is authorized to copy any portion of the podcast content or use the Life after GDPR Podcast name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book smaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services without written explicit consent to do so.
Transcripts are based on our best efforts but will likely contain typos and errors. Enjoy.
[MUSIC SOUND EFFECT BEGINS AND FADES]
[00:00:00] Rick Dronkers: Hey everybody. Thanks for tuning into the Life After GDPR podcast where we discuss digital marketing in a post GDPR world. In today's episode, I get to interview Paul Bannister. He's one of those real must follow people on Twitter. Where he often shares quite contrary statements but they’re always based upon his experience. So I was really happy that he wanted to join the show.
So Paul's background is in the publisher side of things. And Paul's been working in that area for. A long time and he has a lot of experience from that side of the business. So that made it a really interesting conversation. It's fun to hear Paul's angle on what is going on currently? What the impact of privacy regulations and privacy preserving techniques by browsers are and how these might actually impact smaller businesses more often than the big conglomerates?
So yeah, it's a really interesting episode. I really enjoyed interviewing Paul. There are some issues with the recordings. on my end, unfortunately. Now, hopefully we can edit that all out, but especially in the video recording, you might have some blackouts sometime. Sorry for that it won't happen again. Now, hopefully you can enjoy this episode with Paul Bannister.
Paul Bannister, welcome to the podcast.
[00:01:30] Paul Bannister: Thanks Rick, great to be here.
[00:01:32] Rick Dronkers: I have been following you for a while on Twitter, and I think this is one of the reasons why although, a lot of people are hating on Twitter. I really love Twitter for finding people that you've never met and then really getting a lot of content from them.And you're one of those people.
I have no clue when I started following you, it's probably in a discussion around one of the topics that we're going to talk about today. You're very outspoken and usually back up your tweets with some form of insight that, yeah, that always triggered me. Well, before we dive into those could you introduce yourself to the people listening to this podcast?
[00:02:14] Paul Bannister: Sure. Absolutely. I appreciate that introduction and I also liked Twitter and I do agree with you that I find that it's a good place to find people. And I think there's a lot of people with good with good insights. You have to, to your point, you have to know how to follow up. I'm the Chief Strategy Officer of CafeMedia and what our company does is we represent the advertising of close to 4,000 websites. Typically kind of mid-size that couldn't easily do it themselves. I mean, we'll talk about this. And I think anybody probably listened to your podcasts knows, but advertising in 2022 is complicated and not obvious and has a lot of different components to it. Technical and relationship base and everything else that are challenging.
And for publishers, if you're a very large publisher, sure, you're going to build your own team. You're going to build your own technology, going to do it yourself. But for many kind of more mid-sized publishers, it's harder and harder to do that. So we fill that gap and kind of, act as their exosome representative. And we run the ad server for them. We run all the ad exchange and that technology partnerships be how to direct sales team that goes out and sells on behalf of our publishers and, and really, we have a very strong internal culture around like really focusing on helping our publishers make the most money from advertising.
For many of them that is, for their family iIt is their main source of income or for their business. That is their main revenue stream. And so therefore it's really critical for us to make sure that they are making the most they can make. And then to flip that around that often also means that. Making it, so our publishers are great places for advertisers to spend their money. Obviously, advertisers only want to spend money in places that are effective that can help them meet their goals. and so really trying to focus on making our publishers a great place to, for advertisers to spend their dollars. So that's a bit about us.
As the Chief Strategy Officer, I work in a bunch of different areas. I also run all of our revenue teams on our ad sales team and our ad tech partnerships teams, and a lot of our yield optimization teams and things like that. as well as working, we have a few people now that are focused on what I'll call it industry engagement and advocacy.
So we are very active in the W3C, the world wide web consorti which is the industry body that kind of defines a lot of web standards. I'm on the board of the IB Tech Lab,which is fine for a lot of the advertising industry, standards and practices. Patrick McCann who's on our team is the chairman, the chairman of one of the main groups of Prebid, which is the main, open source organization that makes software for publishers to make money from programmatic advertising.
So we've really like, spent a lot of time trying to be very involved in the industry and really making sure that it continues. W w we really believe that advertising is important to democracy. It is important to fund great content. It is important as a way for advertisers to grow their businesses. And so we really believe in that and, really are leaning into making sure that as the world changes for many reasons that are mostly good, that it continues to be a really positive positive part of society hopefully.
[00:05:24] Rick Dronkers: Just lots of threads that we can pull just in that statement. But how did you personally end up on the publisher's site? Was it just by chance or did it evolve over time?
[00:05:38] Paul Bannister: I'll try to tell a long story shortly. I started a newspaper for my, the block I grew up on when I was nine, a friend of mine had a printer and I made a newspaper and we distributed it to everybody on the block. I worked on a nber of different, kind of, pre web, but like, digital magazines.
When I was in high school, in college, I worked in one of the college newspapers. And I was one of the people at the university TV station, sort of random, clearly it wasn't random. Like I've had a passion for bringing good information to people since I was a kid and I really believe in it. And advertising is really one of the, obviously one of the core revenue streams for a publisher. So I've been a believer in it for a long time.
[00:06:25] Rick Dronkers: How in this case let's call it privacy regulation right. Cause it's bigger than GDPR obviously a lot is being modeled after the GDPR but how is privacy privacy regulation influencing the world of digital marketing and most of the people listening and most of the people from my network usually work on the client side of digital marketing So they're mostly advertisers right and they are experiencing a decline in the way their tools used to work right. And you are basically on the other side of where those tools actually get or their audiences and show their impressions so that's I think an interesting thing to explore.
And advertising is the yeah, where those two worlds meet. It is under pressure. I think in your opening statement you said the importance of advertising. Why do you think advertising is important?
[00:07:24] Paul Bannister: If you believe that advertising is the primary revenue stream for most publishers, whether they are news or sports or lifestyle or technology or whatever they are. Then if advertising is supporting the funding of that content, then that's critical for, if you like to read a given technology site or whatever you want to make sure that they're earning money for the content they're creating for you.
But then when you get into journalism, again, the statement can be unpacked and certainly there are other revenue streams and some news organizations have done a good job diversifying. But for many it's still the major source of revenue and for pretty much everybody until a significant source of revenue for sure.
If you believe journalism is important to protecting democracy and well-run countries and things like that we all personally care about. I think advertising is important for that reason. And I think that's, and that's been true for I don't know when the first newspaper ad was published, but I would bet you, it was pretty close to the first newspaper being published. That this has been true for a long time and will be true for a long time too.
[00:08:38] Rick Dronkers: If I can simplify it, it funds the ability to keep the people in power honest. Right it’s one of the business models that does that.
[00:08:49] Paul Bannister: Exactly. And I also think there's the grand point, which is kind of what you're saying, like the real value there, but there is that small point to like, for us as a good example, like we work with a lot of food publishers and is getting a great recipe critical to democracy? Like maybe not, but is getting a great recipe, like critical to feeding your family and making your life a little bit easier and a core part for you. Like, absolutely. I'm like, does that person deserve to make a living from the content that they create that readers value? Like, I think that that's true also, even if it's a little bit less grand than the journalism side of things.
[00:09:33] Rick Dronkers: That’s the reason why advertising has value and obviously it has worked a long it's an exchange that people seem to agree with. But then the flip side of it where could argue with a lot of this privacy regulation also sparked out of Is that we may have gotten a little bit overexcited with the way we started to track people and tag them.
So and that sparked of course like asked turn advertising tool that was used to protect democracy. Like we just discussed that could be used to harm democracy because the data that is harvested can now be used by the NSA to whatever kind of a story we can spin up on top of that. What are your thoughts on that? [Laughs]
[00:10:26] Paul Bannister: That's a great counterpoint or that the flip side of what's happened for sure is that, it can certainly be, the content itself can be bad. Obviously there's disinformation and other bad forms of content that, I would say strongly should not be able to get funding. But there is the point that the technologies that we use primarily in digital advertising, have gotten, have certainly had a lot of negative or potentially negative side effects that, now finally are being taken into account and consideration for and that really is, the mega trend of mega trends right now, I feel like in our industry is move towards privacy and how that set of changes impacts everything. You were sort of saying that before, like it's threaded through everything that we're touching and it is the most important thing to understand deeply I think.
[00:11:12] Rick Dronkers: I think if we s it up high level, we have the on web, we have let's call it the death of cookies, right. Every browser, basically. And then, and then in the two main apps, SDK, so on iOS and Android, well iOS with the app tracking transparency or transparency tracking framework has taken some really bold moves where, I think you've also had some interesting points on Twitter on that.
And, but also Google, which is obviously themselves heavily reliant on [00:12:00] advertising is also taken steps on, or at least announced to take steps on the Android platform. Any other trend we're missing here besides from obviously the legislative trend of privacy regulations?
[00:12:13] Paul Bannister: So I think, I mean, in what you're saying, it's sort of in there, but I think it is worth saying out loud that, and this is my belief. And I think we had a very long conversation about this, that privacy as it has often been defined today, very much advantages very large companies And very specifically in that case, Google and Apple. It’s no coincidence that from Apple launching ITP in their browser and then ATT in the App Store world has coincided with a massive growth in Apple's advertising revenue. That is not a coincidence that is completely a hundred percent a tied concept.
I do really believe that there is a world we can create where privacy and competitive markets can be, can work together and can be supportive of each other. But I think the world, as it has been defined today has a little bit been too much bias towards the very large companies. The definitions of privacy that are used in different cases are advantageous to them for a variety of reasons that I think we, the collective, we have to figure out how to make it so, how do we get both? How do we get competitive markets and how do we get privacy at the same time?
[00:13:30] Rick Dronkers: Well, so before we search for that nuance, let's dive a little bit deeper on basically your point against Apple and Google in this case. Right? So why is the way privacy is being implemented right now let's call it. Why is that benefiting the big players?
[00:13:46] Paul Bannister: The metaphor or whatever that I like the most is “in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king”. And I think that statement is very true here because in a world where you talked about cookies before, and first and third party cookies, and I feel like that nuance exists in the cookie world, but it exists in the world of data in general. There is data that you as a company directly own and even that's questionable to some level because really the user owns it. But let's say you as the company owns it, and that's your first party data. And that means that companies with the most first party data have the greatest advantage. And so for an app, I think, and I think Apple and Google, you have to look at separately because of their position in the market and then what their business lines are.
But for Apple, a company that historically has made almost all of its money from hardware. And now we're seeing, I wouldn't say plateau and clearly iPhone and iPad and Max are selling quite well and that's doing pretty well for them, but Apple's largest growth, biggest growth part of the business is what they call services. And the biggest part of services is their advertising business. With something like ATT where they basically say that all of these apps no longer contract across all the apps.
[00:14:57] Paul Bannister: Okay, that sounds like a good thing. but in that world, Apple has defined their first party has everything within their ecosystem so they can know. I don't know every specific, but I don't even know what's to stop Apple from knowing that you listen to certain music on Spotify. Because Spotify is part, is inside the app store. So they know you, you start a fire and they can probably figure out what songs you're listening to. And then they could recommend like, well, you should use Apple Music and we'll give you a special deal. And, don't you love your part rock or whatever it is.
Apple considers that to be their first party data. And so it's like, Spotify has been limited in terms of what it can do, which it should be. And I think that's a good thing. but Apple has not been limited. And so the access that it has, the data is so much greater. I think with Apple, like, that's the problem there?
I think Google and you sort of alluded to this before is a little bit different because Google, like all these big companies has multiple parts to their business. So when you look at Google and you think about their search business, which is the biggest part of their business, but one of the slower growing parts, none of this matters to search at all.
Like if you search for luxury SUV's like there's your answer. Like that's exactly what Google showing you in the search results. They don't need any other data about you at all. Like the value is entirely in the search term. YouTube, a little bit different. Mostly I think YouTube probably can survive on its own based on the enormous amounts of content that people conse on YouTube, but they know a lot about you there Google also because you're logged into both Google.com and youtube.com and most of the time can share data across those.
So they know you search for luxury SUV's on Google.com that can show you that those SUV ads on youtube.com as well as just the contextual data from YouTube. So like, I think there's some value in third party data to use. But not tremendous, but some, I don't know, I don't know what that nber is.
And then you've got Google, network ads, business, which is what we as a company deal with and what a lot of people think about in terms of Google running the answer from running the ad exchanges and running the DSPs and these different platforms that help advertisers and publishers make money on the web and the app ecosystem.
And, that part of the business is like certainly is challenged by this move towards privacy. So I think Google's challenge is a little different because they're all like, how do we protect search on YouTube from these changes and advantage them but will not totally crater this network ads business that we have that it makes a bunch of money for them.
So I think like they're trying to, which is obviously why they've been slower. They're trying to thread that needle of how do we do both at the same time? I think if they were forced to shut everything down, they might lose money, but I think they would lose less than most because of search and YouTube, but it doesn't really matter to them. It's just, it's one part of their business that's affected.
So all of this is like, how do you like think through the mechanics of these different companies and what, what their challenges and situation is to, in this new world that we're, that we're moving towards.
[00:17:24] Rick Dronkers: Yeah. And I think one of the interesting things for a company, [00:18:00] so huge as Google or Apple is that even based on their own products, Their own first party data set that people willingly opt into in exchange for using their free service, right? Whether it's Google Maps or Apple iCloud or whatever, that data set is so gigantic. And it will cover so much already that their ability to model and predict based simply on that is already. Nobody else can do that without a dataset of the same voles.
[00:14:57] Paul Bannister:
[00:17:24] Rick Dronkers:
[00:14:57] Paul Bannister: Yep. Exactly. Hundred percent agreed with you like because of privacy so much is moving from deterministic solutions where we know who the, some system knows who the person is, it can, can talk to them or measure them to these more modeled [00:19:00] systems, modeled systems work better with more data. [00:19:03] And the biggest companies have the most data. And therefore they're, they're advantaged by that.
[00:19:06] Rick Dronkers: The added problem with this modeling is that for instance, Google analytics recently introduced conversion modeling for their newest version. And then on one end, it's great because you, it feels like you're getting some data back, but once you start diving into it, it's black box.
[00:19:28] So you're not, you can’t be sure like how it's being modeled and, and how that's built up. So if it's about a small budget, that's sure that's fine. Right. But once you start talking serious nbers, then that becomes problematic at a certain point.
[00:19:44] Paul Bannister: One thing, I saw a tweet about this over the weekend, and I'm just getting back from vacation like you. So I didn't fully process this, but somebody wrote, and this was somebody who manages Facebook ad campaigns for advertisers. And his general comment was [00:20:00] that, people who were spending thousands of dollars a day. Are doing okay but people who are spending hundreds of dollars a day are not doing okay. And I think a little bit, that's the same point where it's like, if you're spending, if you're as an advertiser, if you can spend enough money to get enough data created, then Facebook and systems like Facebook can use that modeling to your advantage.
[00:20:21] But if you don't spend enough money, it's harder for the systems to work. They don't have the access to data that they need. And again, and that's a tweet, so who knows exactly how true that is. But it brings true and it feels very connected to a lot of the other points.
[00:20:36] Rick Dronkers: I wanna circle back to the ATT part. [00:20:41] So for the people who are not aware, like basically Apple set up some guidelines for apps that stipulated like heya across on the back end about users a lot of free apps their only, the only reason they were free was basically because they were, could you [00:21:00] explain that from like at tech point of view, how that setup used to work?
[00:21:08] on iOS there is this continues to be an ID system called IDFA identity for ID for advertisers. And the way that worked was that your iPhone would generate an IDFA let’s was say, Rick's is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and it would send that IDSA in all apps that the user had. So when, when the user requested a page or element within a given app, and there was communication back to the service, the app on your phone would send back that I have ID 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and it was the same across every app.
[00:21:46] To unfairly pick on Spotify and Candy Crush. Spotify's servers would know that Rick's iPhone was one IDFA one, two, three, four, five, and Zenga, which owns Candy Crush would also [00:22:00] know that Rick's iPhone was one, two, three, four, five, and, and now, those companies or partners they work with can share that information across those apps.
[00:22:10] And you could see ads in Candy Crush that were influenced by your Spotify listening history, or the fact that you use Spotify or whatever it is. And again, that's with two apps. When you, when you're using dozens of apps, there's a lot of data built up about you across them. And so to some level IDFA well different functions quite similarly to cookies.
[00:22:32] and that it allowed that kind of cross. I think we talked about like cross side tracking and things like that. But I think like the larger term is like cross context tracking. It allowed systems that were across places that you wouldn't necessarily expect to know that you were the same person to, to track you together.
[00:22:50] And Google has a similar system called gate or Google to stands for, but same idea that that's on your Android phone.
[00:22:57] Rick Dronkers: Apple basically stated [00:23:00] like, Hey guys, this is our, and from that moment, you need this huge in your face banner, right? Where basically everybody, I think opt out rate is probably gonna be close to a hundred percent with those banners.
[00:23:15] And then if somebody opts out, you can't circumvent that by doing shady stuff. And if we do catch you doing shady stuff, your app does not get updated or even gets thrown out of the app store eventually, right?
[00:23:30] Paul Bannister: Yes. Although, and I'm not fully expert in the app stuff, but I follow it pretty closely. It sounds like Apple has still been pretty lax about enforcing the rules about the shady stuff. [00:23:42] They do stop sending the IDFA if you, as a user opt out, but there's a lot of other things that more nefarious actors can do to track you in other ways like your IP address and things like that. That sounds like it's still happening. And Apple has not really cracked down.
[00:23:57] Rick Dronkers: A lot of people switch to fingerprinting. But I think [00:24:00] in the, in the latest update by Apple, which was like saying that you don't want people to do something is at that pause.
[00:24:08] Paul Bannister: Yeah. This is an interesting place where Apple, where you start to see these privacy versus competition issues where the popup within. Candy Crush to ask the user if their consent to being tracked is, can't be customized.
[00:24:27] It talks about tracking it. There's no way for the, for the, for the owner of the app to express what any, any of the advantages to the user could be. And people have developed a lot of pretty good systems to try to make that optin rate like better than zero to get at least some users opting in, but on the reverse side, Apple's own popups for their own apps.
[00:24:46] Or talk about personalized advertising and personalized features and like kind of dislike the word civilians overuse, but like have dark patterns in them where like the like allow Apple to track button, which doesn't say that at all. It sounds like, yeah, [00:25:00] personalized my experience is like highlighted and like the don't track me is like hidden down the bottom.
[00:25:05] Like it's textbook monopoly practices, in my opinion. Like it's so easy to see how it, how they're advantage it themselves via the interface, via the words via everything like that.
[00:25:15] Rick Dronkers: Yeah. So, and I think that's, so is his name, Eric Benjamin Seufert, I guess, he's yeah.
[00:25:10] Paul Bannister: Ah yeah he's great yeah.
[00:25:21] Rick Dronkers: Mobiledevmemo.com is his website, I think. And he, yeah, he's really on top of all of this. There's a lot of examples where you're really scratching your head, like, okay, I get it that you wanna clamp down on user privacy and you wanna make your ecosystem, the Apple ecosystem privacy friendly, like go for it. But then you should be, [laughs] you should have a level playing field where you're also respecting your own rules and that's definitely not the case so that, yeah, I think on that part, people will keep highlighting it. And I suspect [00:26:00] that eventually there will be some form of a lawsuit if, if it's not already being started somewhere where lawyers are gonna try to get a verdict on this by judges, whether it's in the EU or in the US, or probably both.
[00:26:16] Paul Bannister: The regulator that seems to be at the forefront of pretty much all of these things in my opinion at least is the UK's Competition of Markets Authority, the CMA. And they came out with a big analysis. They've been working on a big analysis of the mobile app ecosystem and the gatekeepers as they've been called Google and Apple and their most recent. I think the final
[00:26:39] kind of document came out a week or two ago, and talks about these kind of self-referencing issues and talks about different things that, easy to pick on Apple here, because they've done things that are so, that are pretty blatant in my opinion. Another thing they've done is they, for a long time, really underinvested in their web browser [00:27:00] Safari and specifically Safari's underlying technology is called WebKit and on iOS devices, all browsers are forced to use WebKit.
[00:27:07] So normally Chrome and Firefox and whatever use they use different engines. They're called, Chrome uses Chromium and Firefox uses Gecko as the underlying systems. But on iOS are all forced to use WebKit and Apple like purposefully underinvested in WebKit. So it had less capabilities and made it so the web was a worse platform for development than the App Store.
[00:27:28] And, no shock there, Apple makes a 30% cut of every app that they sell and makes tons of money from the advertising and the app ecosystem. So of course, they're gonna wanna make the app ecosystem better than the web ecosystem. Now it seems like they're finally trying to change that.
[00:27:44] I don't think they've caught app yet, but they're, they're trying to fix that. But years of underinvestment give them a very big head start.
[00:27:50] Rick Dronkers: It's always hard for me to judge the WebKit developer. So I follow John Wiland. [00:28:00] I think it's like the lead developer and I do from what I can judge, like, I don't know him personally, but from what I can judge, I think he truly cares about privacy and about the privacy features of WebKit.
[00:28:12] So I could see that the WebKit team truly values privacy and tries to build for that. But on the other end, on like an Apple corporate skill, they definitely know how to make and optimize making money. That's yeah. That's clear.
[00:28:28] Paul Bannister: I've been on many calls with John. He is very smart and really cares and very thoughtful and very reasonable.
[00:28:35] And, and I've talked to a bunch of the other WebKit and Safari developers, and they're all like the people are good people who really are trying and really believe and wanna do the right thing. It's not about the people really, it's about the company and the broader actions that it takes.
[00:28:54] Rick Dronkers: There's some larger incentives. Taking this back to your everyday [00:29:00] business. How do these changes, which are what you do. So you help small to mid-size publishers try to monetize what they do. You're probably creating content in what kind of form they're probably impacted by this, right.
[00:29:17] Paul Bannister: They certainly could be to date because of the way the web ecosystem works. What we've seen happen is that when Safari and Firefox made their changes to drop third party cookies and other tracking technology over the last few years, those browsers from a programmatic perspective and assemble from a direct advertising perspective too, became far less effective on the web.
[00:29:39] If you can't track the users in any way, it's really hard to measure. It's really hard to target you lose those benefits. But what we saw happen is that while revenue from those browsers and CPMs and other metrics like that went down significantly, the money mostly moved to quor. So the pie didn't really shrink.
[00:29:55] It just redistributed where the money was. So like that was annoying, but like not [00:30:00] catastrophic by any stretch. Whereas, when Chrome who is now, in this kind of final process of removing third party cookies and replacing them with these new technologies, they call the privacy sandbox.
[00:30:12] With that happening probably next year, sometime that's a little bit of a different change because when that change happens, like there's nowhere UN unless the collective we in this industry like create new technologies and solutions, there's nowhere for the money to redistribute, to like, if you do nothing, advertisers will just spend less money because it'll be less effective and that's bad for advertisers and bad for publishers.
[00:30:34] Rick Dronkers: So what you're saying is we had a hypothetical publisher and they made a million bucks and that was spread across all browsers on the web. And what you saw was you saw that advertising budget, go move basically almost all to Chrome. To me, this is always puzzling because if there are actual people using those other browsers, just as effective on [00:31:00] the bottom line, right.
[00:31:01] It's just that you're not able to measure it. You're not able to measure the clicks and this is not able to stitch them together right. To use it. What are your thoughts on this? Because this has always baffled me. Like I get it, like business wise, it doesn't make sense. Cause there are still people using Safari and fire folks.[00:31:17] It's still people who actually purchase stuff demographically.
[00:31:19] Paul Bannister: I'm sure you know this, like iPhone users are more affluent and spend more money than Android users. So like of course you wanna reach those users, but, and you hit the nail head with measurement, like that's the killer.
[00:31:33] And you deal with marketers all the time. Like if you're spending a million bucks and if I spend this way, I can measure exactly how the million bucks is being delivered and what the, what, what the returns are and what my return on ad spend is. And all those things that you really care about.
[00:31:49] Like, and I, and if I spend a million bucks over here and I get none of debt data, why would I spend a dollar there when you think about it, philosophically like of course you wanna advertise like [00:32:00] users, but in reality, If you can't measure that it's really hard for you to, and there's also all these, like other sort of like misaligned incentives in the industry where buying platforms like DSPs are they're incentive to spend your money.
[00:32:15] So, and if they're, it said to spend your money, they're gonna spend them in ways where they can justify that money, which is going to be tools that you can imagine. I think if you went to a lot of marketers and said, you're not actually reaching any users on iPhones? They would probably be shocked by that fact.
[00:32:30] I don't think that they really registered to people because you don't see that unless you like dig into the reporting, you just see that I spent a million dollars and I made $2 million. And I one, you don't know that you actually missed that on a bunch of people that you don't even reach at.
[00:32:43] Rick Dronkers: This is really fascinating, cuz I think it's, it's actually a huge business op opportunity if you can. [00:32:49] I think the issue is twofold. So one is people want to have the feeling of control, right? [Laughs] So they want that measurement piece and we have become [00:33:00] is what I do. But then I was, I was once at a Google conference and there I got to talk with some big players on the double click site and then I heard some numbers and I heard how, how the incentives work and that really
[00:33:16] blew my mind. It immediately made so many things clear about why certain things are the way they are. Could you walk the listeners through like how the setup works with, like you have the DSP, the SSP and how, what are the parties in between like an ad being served and an ad being clicked and where, and how the money flows.
[00:33:37] Paul Bannister: There's lots of nuances beyond this, but you sort of hit like the core flow of how the money flows and how things work. Advertisers typically use platforms called DSPs demand side platforms. And this is to buy ads on. The web or in the app ecosystem or in YouTube or on Google search [00:34:00] or whatever. Facebook has their own system and they might not all be called DSPs, but there's some web interface you log into or app interface that you log into where you can say, I'm spending this much money.
[00:34:10] I wanna reach these kind of users. I'm gonna run from this date to this date. Here's what my ad creative looks like. It's your system for setting up your and managing your ad campaign. So on the advertiser side, you've got DSPs publishers set up their sites. So as sort of like market their sites and systems called SSP supply side platforms on those, let you as a publisher package up your inventory and say, this is my sports section.
[00:34:36] And this is my cooking section. And this is my news section. And, and, and break things down that way. They allow you to attach when, as a publisher, you have user data like that information can be sent in through there. They allow you to, they do yield optimization to help you maximize the return on every impression.
[00:34:53] And then those SSPs also ultimately conduct the auction. So what happens? So if you've got publishers connect to SSPs, SSPs [00:35:00] connect to DSPs and DSPs connect to advertisers, like that's your flow. And then when you think about like, okay, like how does the ad actually get delivered? A user goes to a website, unless for sake of simplicity, say this website has one ad on it.
[00:35:14] The SSP sees that one ad and it creates it. It sends out a signal to a bunch of DSPs and says, Hey, I got an ad for sale. It's on this site. Here's the IP address of the user. Here's the page that it, the users on. And here's some other information that I have, Hey, you DSPs cuz advertisers work with many different DSPs.
[00:35:32] So the SSPs have to connect to dozens of DSPs who wants to bid the DSPs, go into their systems and see, okay, for this site, for this user, for this time of day for this, do whatever. What ads do I have that are relevant? The DSP itself figures out that, okay, what's, what's my best bid and sends that to the SSP.
[00:35:51] The SSP receives now bids from all these different DSPs and it conducts an auction and says which one is usually the highest price wins, but it could be some reasons why sometimes you [00:36:00] might wanna throw out the highest price for some reason or whatever. I might conduct that auction.
[00:36:04] And then based on the winner of that auction, the ad creative displays on, on that site and that's sort of the way it all flows through and to your point of incentives, pretty much everybody's incentive to get the dollar spent except really for the marketer. So, the marketers, like, kind of guarantee has to be not, has to be, but historically has been measurement by how my dollars are being spent in ways that I'm making more money.
[00:36:29] Okay. I wanna do that. But if I can't, if I don't know, or if I'm not making more money, I don't want to do that. So everybody is incented to make the system say that you are making more money and that's, that's why measurement. I think matters so much.
[00:36:49] Rick Dronkers: That's also, I guess why the switch from deterministic to probabilistic all, it can be very dangerous. [00:36:53] Like, because usually the companies who are doing money from the advertiser.
[00:37:00] Paul Bannister: Yep. A hundred percent.
[00:37:01] Rick Dronkers: I remember, I think it's already a co a couple of years ago now that I think it was Proctor and Gamble. Yeah. I think first we don't trust the transparency of this, this chain that you just described. And we think that there's, first of all, too much money that's being kept in each of those AdTech stacks in between.
[00:37:22] And we highly doubt the validity of impressions and stuff like that. And then they decided to do a big budget cut. I don't know if they came back from that. Do you know that?
[00:37:36] Paul Bannister: Proctor & Gamble still spends a lot of money. I'm not, they might have said something like that. I know a bunch of other advertisers did say and measure similar things. [00:37:45] I think it was Chase Bank was one, and this is a little bit of a different point, but one thing they were doing, I think they realized they were spending money on, like, I forget the number, but it was like 120,000 websites. They were like, [00:38:00] what the heck are, what even are these websites? Like where the heck am I like it doesn't make any sense.
[00:38:05] And they cut their ad spend from I'm making up the number a hundred thousand websites to like 4,000 websites. And they lost no scale. They lost like, everything measured just as well as it was before. And they were like, and now we can actually look at this list and be like, okay, I can actually wrap myself, rub my head around those list of websites.
[00:38:23] So I do think that it's really important for advertisers to be thoughtful about like how they're spending their money, where they're spending money, understanding those incentives of other companies to spend their money for them and really be thoughtful about where are you spending your money and how is that being measured, but who are you actually reaching [00:38:41] And like asking those hard questions, I think is really important.
[00:38:44] Rick Dronkers: And just having this talk with you and discussing this issue of the budget, moving all to Chrome when the other browsers were not measuring anymore, one thing that come their bottom line when doing those incrementality tests, right?
[00:38:59] So just, [00:39:00] just try to only spend on Safari for a month and not spent on the other prizes for a month. And, and don't try to measure the steps in between have faith in, in your funnel that it's still, I think that's actually a, if you, if you dare to go against the common wisdom of everything needs to be measured and you kind of go against the stream on that, you might actually be able to find some underpriced at inventory [00:39:28] if others are running away from it.
[00:39:31] Paul Bannister: I totally agree with you. And, and I totally agree that incremental is the way to look at this cause because it's funny, and this is a place where I think publishers and advertisers really have. We have shared interests and, and, and shared the right ways to do things.
[00:39:45] I think the shared interest is, and I sort of said this at the beginning, like as a publisher, I wanna make sure that the advertising on my sites is effective because if it's effective, then you as the advertiser wanna spend more. So that's a win for both of us. And I [00:40:00] think on the reverse side, like you talk about incrementality.
[00:40:02] We spend tons of time measuring incrementality from the publisher perspective, because it's so easy to, if you're making a million bucks and you bring on a new ad tech partner and that ad tech partner makes you $50,000. You're like, Ooh, that's $50,000. Like that's good. That's more money. And it's like, but in reality, it's not true.
[00:40:23] Most of the time that's just money redistributed from elsewhere. Maybe you're making. A million and $5,000 now. And so, and, and so like the incremental is far lower than you would believe if you just look at like the, the, the base nbers of, of where's my, where my money is coming from. So I think incremental is so critical to measure for, for advertisers and publishers.
[00:38:44] Rick Dronkers: On the publisher side is that what you would call yield optimization? [00:40:48] You would do that with incremented.
[00:40:50] Paul Bannister: Yeah, exactly. The technology and tools are slightly different. Like we measure incrementality by, we call it holdout. We hold out ad tech partners some percent of the [00:41:00] time. So we know when they're not there, here's how much less we make. And we take a small percentage.
[00:41:04] You can figure it out, but it becomes once you've got the system set up relatively easy to know this, partner's making us a ton of incremental. This partner's actually negative when we run them. For some reason, we actually make less money than we would, and we're gonna shut them off immediately. [00:41:17] So, it's definitely the best way to, to look at things.
[00:41:20] Rick Dronkers: Yeah. Super interesting. Never thought about it from the publisher side of things. Do you also do those kind of tests across multiple publishers or you test an ad tech vendor across multiple publishers and then per publisher? Cause I could imagine like it could be that one ad tech partner really works well for this specific publisher or a niche or….
[00:41:44] Paul Bannister: Exactly. Yeah. We definitely do all those things and you can, and just like on the advertisers side, you can really get into the weeds and see like this partner, like actually doesn't do well between midnight and 5:00 AM, turn them off for those hours. Like there's all kinds of nuance about like the way, [00:42:00] the way it works and this special. [00:42:03] Solutions that each company has that you want to, you wanna measure all those different cuts to understand it. And I think, again, same is true for the advertiser side too.
[00:42:10] Rick Dronkers: Let's call it pre GDPR pre-cookie banners, and everybody was moving towards the tool will fix everything for me world. Right? So, we were in an implement, every implement for clients was baffling.
[00:42:25] And, and now because of both legal reasons, right? Cuz every script, but also because of most of the scripts don't even work anymore because ITP ATT whatever is, is limiting them, that testing, you could build a framework for it, but in the end, you're still gonna have to figure it out a bit. , you got gift people working on it, trying to make sense of what's going on. [00:42:46] Do, do you think that's a fair statement?
[00:42:49] Paul Bannister: We definitely see similar things and we deal with similar things because of GDPR and other privacy regulations. [00:43:00] And, the legal point you brought up is interesting. Like there's a study from some academic researchers that I thought was pretty interesting that showed, and you probably saw this, that after GDPR, not only did the number of scripts and partners that, that different companies had go down, because now you've got legal risk, you've got legal review, that's higher and things like that.
[00:43:26] And that's certainly true but the companies that were the, the partners that were most affected were smaller. I think that's probably true too, because if you're, if you, as a publisher or an advertiser looking for who your partners are gonna be, you're certainly gonna partner with Google.
[00:43:44] You're certainly gonna partner with Facebook. You're certainly gonna partner with a few of these, like, maybe Adobe or some other like sets of giant companies, but some third party that's smaller that might have some really great innovative solution. You're probably gonna say no to, because you can't deal with the legal review.
[00:43:58] You can't deal with the legal risk. [00:44:00] And like, is that you, the study didn't get into, does this really reduce innovation, but it did certainly say that smaller companies are more negatively impacted because , the users of the technology are just less likely to approve those things to run, which I think is its own interesting side effect here.
[00:44:18] Rick Dronkers: Yeah, definitely. If you, if you have to run through the hope it's yeah. It's, it's really, I'm still on the fence on these things. Cause on one end, I love the way that we were just experimenting with. Oh yeah. There's a new tool. Let's throw it on. Let's see what it does. Right. I love that way of doing things.
[00:44:41] And I learned a lot to be fair. There's probably a lot of tools that I've used in the past and that we tested on websites that may have been hacked without us knowing it on the back end or a leak data or what, right. So there's a lot of carelessness in our enthusiasm, might be the best. [00:45:00] So, and I think that's where these regulations come in and play a role.
[00:45:08] But it's the point of innovation is, yeah, it's really valuable, right? Because of innovation, you have to jump through X amount of hoops. It's a hard problem.
[00:45:22] Paul Bannister: Like that's the killer. Is there isn't really a simple answer. Cause I do think the other, the other question that we haven't asked that again could be its own.
[00:45:30] Long conversation is a bit of an unfair question, cuz I think to some level the answer is, is positive, but, is users' privacy better now? Four years into GDPR and several years into CCPA in California and years into other ones is users' privacy better now than it was or would have been without those things.
[00:45:52] And I think the answer is yes, but like how much and really where and like what is better [00:46:00] and like, and what has changed because of that. Like there's also this point that like, no one's really focusing on like we all, I think, we all raise our hand and say more privacy is better. Like I think we all agree with that statement, but do these regulations, are they getting us to that place?
[00:46:20] In the right way. And, and I think those questions aren't, aren't being asked or answered, and they're hard questions. They're not easy questions to answer. And I, and I don't, I don't know aside from like a simple, yes, like, I don't know how much, like, I don't, I think on flip, I've known would say like, the GDPR is the best regulation in history of regulations.
[00:46:39] People are like, it's complicated, it's confusing. It doesn't make sense. Cookie banners are terrible, like they had all these unintended consequences. Like I think people would say those things too. So it's like, are there better ways to get to the point we want to get to? And, and again, it's a really hard conversation, but I think those are important things to dig through.
[00:46:54] Rick Dronkers: For me, the more I talk to people from, from all sides of the spectrum, the [00:47:00] more I've I think it's about because it's so [00:47:04] Big and how we proceed as a world. So it's one of the most important things we have. That's why it, it can, it can be figured out and then released, like, it's not like gonna be a version one it's gonna, the GDPR is like a counter move from, for all those years of everybody just freewheeling on the internet and just inventing and throwing stuff out there.
[00:47:32] And now, it's a pendulum swinging and now it's probably overcorrecting perhaps a bit, like, I think it's, it's definitely limiting innovation compared to how fast innovation in those kind of spaces went before. But it is, it is making people think about building tools with a privacy by design mindset, right?
[00:47:56] Because if I would fund a startup now, [00:48:00] That startup had, did not have like way to build their data infrastructure in a way that isolates data sets in, , basically to make them not liable to huge lawsuits. And so that's, that's probably happening already. Cause I'm not an investor and I'm definitely not at the front of all that, but those people are probably way smarter and have been thinking about this. [00:48:27] So that's, that's likely an, an outcome. So it will take a couple of years for us to see that, , in, in the marketplace. Of course.
[00:48:35] Paul Bannister: Yeah. I agree with that. I also think, I haven't fully read through it, but the proposed us federal privacy legislation that got released a few weeks ago has a few interesting things in it that I think, I'm not making a comment on the broader legislation in general, but I like the point that it thinks about some kinds of data as more.
[00:48:59] Needing [00:49:00] to be more private and more secure than other forms of data. And, I think, when you're talking about location data or healthcare data or financial data and things like that it is more important and could be misused in far worse ways. Whereas the silly example I used before, like if you're in the market for a luxury, luxury SUV, like you might actually want companies to know about that because like, you don't actually know what all your choices are and you wanna get what the right ads are.
[00:49:27] And like it, it doesn't matter as much. Like it's that information is not as important as like, the fact that you have diabetes or you were in this location at this time and things like that are really, should be very private and very secure.
[00:46:54] Rick Dronkers: Yeah. I think the main thought on the, like the GDPR has these special classifications of data, right. [00:49:47] That is about health and those kind of topics. But I think the GDPR takes this point of view, it's better to prevent it from happening. Right. So it's [00:50:00] better to yeah. The issue with all those data sets. Once they are able to link them, then suddenly the picture becomes really detailed about a person.
[00:50:09] And, and I think that's the main at this from your point of view, in your daily business. So you help publishers with ad tech, right? So you are in that, that picture that we, that we just sketched out with the, with DSPs and SSPs, and you are also dealing with making sure that those ads are as relevant as possible.
[00:50:34] So what, what are, what are the steps you are taking, like from a privacy perspective on the technology side?
[00:50:46] Paul Bannister: I think for us step one with privacy is we talk about the sword and the shield as sort of our conceptual framework. and so the first part is the shield. How do you make sure that the way you operate is [00:50:58] Adhering to privacy [00:51:00] regulations and privacy expectations and things like that. Like how do you just do the defensive things to make sure you're not breaking any rules or you're not doing things in a way that users wouldn't understand or whatever. So I think, so part one is the shield, like how do you just defend around this?
[00:51:14] And I think, and then the second part is the sort, how can you use changes in the world around privacy, to your advantage from a, from a business perspective and again, with the shield level was being first you gotta do do things the right way, but to your point about innovation, like if companies are innovating around creating new technologies that are really privacy respecting those companies [00:51:40] and it will take time, but those companies will win in theory over time.
I think the same is true for a company like ours, where it's like, how do we stay ahead of those privacy things and do forward thinking things? And it's one of the reasons, I mentioned in the beginning, we're active in the W3C and in Prebid and the IAB and these other trade bodies, because [00:52:00] we wanna be part of helping define what the standards are going to be, because that one makes sure is that we can defend the way our publishers move away our publishers make money and the way our part of the world works.
[00:52:12] But second, by being at the front of the line, we know more about those technologies than other people. We understand how to use them better. We, we are the first in line to, to implement them and, and things like that. I think where that the sword comes in, comes into play is like really being front of the line and knowing what's happening better than most. [00:52:35] So for us, like, that's kind of how we think about it.
[00:52:39] Rick Dronkers: Like in practice since 2018, have you had to redesign, like how, basically how your systems work or is it alterations or how, like, how does this look in from a technical point of view?
[00:52:57] Paul Bannister: You've got like the cookie banner part of the world, which there, like, we basically just follow [00:53:00] in the advertising industry, the IAB defines the standards about how websites and apps and things, collect data and collect consent and distribute the consent information to whatever.
[00:53:09] And we just, we follow those practices. And as, and as those practices have evolved and been updated, we just continue to, again, like stay at the front and keep making sure we're doing things the right way. so that's what we, what we do on that side. I think internally, , we spend a lot of time thinking about and continue to think about, , when, , and you being based in Europe, probably we know this even more think about this more than we do, but like, it permeates a little bit of like everything you do.
[00:53:37] Where even now our database team has to think about like, oh, we're like, we're moving data from here to here. And if that data has no PII, it has no user data likes do what, do whatever you need to do. But if that data does have PII or user user data edit, aha. Now we've gotta document this though.
[00:53:58] Now we gotta keep track of this. Now we gotta understand what these [00:54:00] processes are, who has access to these controls. Like there's a, there's a different and more structured process that you go through to make sure that you're, you're keeping track of those things and, and using them the right way. , and so it has like, , it, it, it, it permeates your organization and the way you think about things and the way you do things, because you have to be more cautious and careful and thoughtful about, about what you're doing there to, , to stay on the right side of, of the regulations.
[00:54:29] Rick Dronkers: One thing that I'm always curious about. I have a couple of publisher clients as well. So then I, I get to work with those, with those ad scripts in a lot of cases, it's Google's DFP, what always puzzles me is the way of loading, right? Cause let's, let's assume it's a European website, right? [00:54:56] So strict GDPR implementation, GDPR cookie [00:55:00] cookie banner. So I arrive on a website first time, first visit. So I am unknown. I get the cookie banner popup at that moment. Should is the DFP loaded or not? Before I click the popup, right. So I've not interacted with it.
[00:55:22] Paul Bannister: Those are good questions. [Laughs] I remember being parts of these conversations. I can't remember what we do and, and what we recommend others do. I do think that to make a db statement like GDPR doesn't mean you can't call other partners. It just means you need to call them appropriately and instruct them what they can do with any data that they get themselves.
[00:55:46] So, in your case, if you're calling DFP or GAM as it's called now, before you have consent, that isn't necessarily wrong. As long as you are telling Google, [00:56:00] I don't have consent yet for you. And therefore you can, you can't, can't process this in certain ways and you can't use this in certain ways. so I think to some level it's less about the, it's partially about the order, but also partially about how you're communicating consent or lack of consent at those times.
[00:56:20] Rick Dronkers: Exactly. Because I remembered that DFP or them, like you said, had the option of showing non personalized banners. So, basically the lowest yielding stuff you can get, I guess, right. And I think that's the topic of the website and then after consent we could update the signal and then Google could go all out with all the, all the interesting stuff they knew about the user and, and everything else we sent to them.
[00:56:56] To me, it's still, yeah, it seems like such a, because [00:57:00] once you go into that, you opting out becomes really hard, right? Because you, once you start to share, you have an, of you under the GDPR, you have to give the opt out option. But to me, that always feels like, okay, I can't verify that, that information that you just shared before, that that will actually be removed because once you send it to the, you're gonna send it to one DFP, it's gonna spread it out across the gazillion of ad networks that are, that are integrated in that.
[00:57:36] Right. And you, if you open the network tab, you see them all, you see them all load. If you're lucky. And to me, that concept. It feels like that is broken, like going forward.
[00:57:46] Paul Bannister: Do you know about the GPC, Global Privacy Control?
[00:57:50] Rick Dronkers: That's the opt in, opt out list that you can get in the IAB?
[00:57:55] Paul Bannister: No that's the GBL, that's the Global Vendor List. [00:58:00] GPC is a, whatever you call it standard, but it's like a little industry group that popped up in the US at first to deal with CCPA. But, but what it is is it is a signal that you, as a user can like flag on yourself. It's not about a website, it's about you.
[00:58:19] And so the easy way to think about GPC is it's a. It's a browser plugin that you can put on Chrome or any browser. It's like the do not track signal. It's like the do not track signal, but it's, but it in theory will work better than the do not track signal because for a number of reasons that people who are smarter than I about privacy have thought about a lot, because what it does is when you turn on GPC for yourselves, you as a user in that browser release are always kind of emanating the fact that you are GPC enabled.
[00:58:53] And what that means is that even if a thousand companies or 10,000 companies, whatever, have your data, if that GPC signal is [00:59:00] attached to it, that company has to abide by that signal. And if they don't, they are liable for that. And so it removes the onus from the user and the site on that page. For team drag itself and it kind of addresses your problem where like, data that previously about me, I did consent to, but now I've removed consent for that old data self floating around GPC.
[00:59:25] Like, because it's about you like that old data in theory, as long as, as long as it's attached to you, which is where the problem comes from anyway, and your GPC enabled, and those companies need to know that they can't use that data in the wrong way. And, and, and GPC is great, cuz it's so simple. It doesn't quite fit with GDPR because GDPR is more complex consent requirements and things than CCPA does.
[00:59:47] But there may be a way to make it work because it is about, it's really funny in order to prevent tracking, you have to trick yeah, you actually need [01:00:00] to track the user. Which is kinda funny. If you can't track the user, you actually lose consent and you lose. Those capabilities. And so it's this very weird catch 22 and, and TBC is like a pretty elegant way to try to get around some of those problems.
[01:00:13] Rick Dronkers: Every time I try to do this mental be solved easily without giving up a lot of data. You always end up with the fact like, yeah, if you wanna signal to delete it, then by, by definition, you have to tell them who you are, cuz otherwise they can't delete it. Right. And that's, it's the hard part. Right?
[01:00:32] Paul Bannister: We had this funny conversation about deletion requests and access to information requests and whatever that different names under GDPR and CCPA and other regulations. And if somebody requests that their data, that they don't wanna be tracked and that they want their data deleted, we can do all of those things for them.
[01:00:54] But the, we actually have to keep the fact that they sent in a, [01:01:00] a DSR. We can't delete that data because we totally do that data that we might accidentally recapture their data later. And so it's this very weird. And some of those things were forethought, people had figured those out, but it puts you in these funny situations where you're like, how do we do this the right way without breaking the law, but also like meeting the user expectation correctly, which aren't exactly in sync.
[01:01:22] Rick Dronkers: Yeah. My, the first episode of the podcast I talked to Aurélie Pols, who's a DPO for mParticle among other things. And yeah, she really has a great understanding of this legal framework and how complex the role of the DPO is in order to do the thing that you just described. I think currently the only Dell, right?
[01:01:48] So you have the technical part and then you have the legal stuff to cover that. But I. I personally, I would love to be able to do it just with technology and make the [01:02:00] legal part obsolete. Right. If we, if we can figure out some way to, to get it to a construction where you could say like, Hey, we, we had your data, but we deleted the keys and then we deleted the data set, and you can verify that here, that would be the perfect solution, right. [01:02:15] If we could figure something out where it's actually impossible to change it after the fact, but, maybe that's the real use case of crypto after all? [Laughs]
[01:02:26] Paul Bannister: [Laughs] Or maybe not. But I agree. That's an important question to answer.
[01:02:31] Rick Dronkers: For you, if you are thinking about both the future personally for your company, like, what are the things that you're really worried about or excited about?[01:02:41] What do you see for the next couple of months in the space that you're watching?
[01:02:47] Paul Bannister: We focus on the web primarily. And because of the Chrome changes coming, I think like that is the overriding focus for the next batch of time. We're doing a lot of [01:03:00] work beta testing, a lot of these solutions. We're in the origin trials of Chrome's privacy sandbox and testing those things out.
[01:03:06] And it really is about getting ready for those things with the caveat to everything that it's always hard to, if we're gonna deploy engineering resources as an easy, , case, it's always easier to deploy them against things that we can do that will make us a dollar more tomorrow.
[01:03:26] These things are things that like might make us a dollar more a year and a half from now. And so sometimes they're hard to prioritize. So, but like we're figuring out the right, right balance. We're actually in the process of hiring a dedicated team to work on these future. Oriented things because when they're prioritized against tomorrow's problems, tomorrow's problems usually win.
[01:03:45] and when they're next year's problems can be punched out our a little bit. So, it really is about prioritizing these new technologies, these new solutions of which we talked about the Chrome privacy [01:04:00] sandbox a little bit, but there's dozens of other technologies and solutions being tested and tried, and some are quite good and some are not very good and some will last some, some I think will stand the test of time and others, I think might be dead in two years for other reasons.
[01:04:16] So I think it is about trying these things out and the other metaphor we've been using a lot is, and this was, yeah, the kind of a paraphrase of something, a major advertiser said to me, which I liked a. She said, , there's no silver bull, this they, to these problems, it's a patchwork quilt of solutions.
[01:04:35] And I think that's the truth. I think in the old world, the third party cookies and IDFA sort of made everything work. And now with those things gone or dying, it is about this new patchwork quilt of solutions. Cuz there won't be a once fits all answer anymore. And the benefit is I think for most marketers and most pollers, you don't need to worry about all of them.
[01:04:56] There's too many, they're too complicated. They're very technical. You don't need to know the details, but [01:05:00] you need to make sure that your technology partners are really thinking about those things and are really out of those things and are picking good solutions. I do think the danger of thinking there's a silver bullet is bad like you, you need to be investing in multiple directions.
[01:05:15] And again, I think it's a marketer it's critical to be pushing your partners in many directions. If, if you're, if the company you work with most is focused on a single solution, like. That almost definitely is not the answer.
[01:05:25] Rick Dronkers: Silver bullet solution is always dangerous in technology.
[01:05:31] Paul Bannister: Exactly.
[01:05:32] Rick Dronkers: And I, yeah, I think for marketers on the client side, I think what I notice advertise on the advertising side, they're getting pushed a lot by Google and Facebook to spend more pushed, but ever since the ability to measure dropped, it has become worse and the pressure is on. And also the rate to regain what was lost in measurement.
[01:05:58] They're both trying to pull [01:06:00] it towards them. So finding a pure and advisory on that is probably worth it at least to get some Intel top totally. Totally. I think that's, I think it's hugely important to find trusted partners and, and there aren't that many out there, but they exist. Great, Paul, thanks a lot for talking with me. [01:06:20] I learned a lot maybe in the future after Google releases their Chrome of publishing, looks from your end.
[01:06:28] Paul Bannister: Yeah. Sounds good. Thanks for having me. It was a great conversation
[01:06:31] Rick Dronkers: You’re on Twitter, for sure. I'm not sure if you're also active on other platforms.
[01:06:36] Paul Bannister: Follow me on Twitter @pbannist is my Twitter handle. [01:06:41] Feel free to connect on LinkedIn. I don't use LinkedIn as much, but happy to connect with people and happy to talk and answer questions and always want to talk to people who care about content and advertising. And I think it's critical and always a chat to like-minded people. Yeah.
[01:06:59] I recommend your Twitter feed. I learned a lot from it over the last couple of months. Thanks for being on. And, we'll talk soon.
[01:07:07] Paul Bannister: Thank you.
[MUSIC SOUND EFFECT BEGINS AND FADES]