Podcast: How To Use Ad Tech Properly

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This week on AdExchanger Talks, Dotdash SVP Sara Badler advises publishers to adopt a cleaner, more stripped-down version of programmatic.

A subsidiary of IAC, Dotdash owns a network of websites in verticals such as personal health, home design, finance and weddings. This week it announced the acquisition of two publisher brands focused on sustainability: TreeHugger and Mother Nature Network. The company’s 2019 revenue was $160 million, much of which came from programmatic monetization of search-referred audiences and affiliate revenue.

In this episode, Badler emphasizes the importance of reducing the number of “hops” between marketer and publisher. She advocates more selective use of partners as a starting point.

“Sometimes it’s hard when you’re involving LiveRamp, the DSP, the SSP. You get further away from the marketer,” she says. “As a publisher we want to be as close as possible to our clients. We want them to work as directly as we can. It used to be [we’d] work with everyone. But now we want to work with everyone where it makes sense. I don’t think we need to take out an SSP or a DSP necessarily. It’s more about, where does the marketer want to work and store their information?”

Some larger marketers bring their own tech stacks. Badler cites AT&T, Verizon and Google as prominent examples.

But doesn’t integrating with fewer partners ultimately mean fewer bids and lost revenue?

“You definitely are going to have to sacrifice a little bit [of revenue],” Badler says. “Our top 20 advertisers year over year continue to work with us. If I’m going to lose a little money on yield but I’m going to build this relationship where I have a direct connection, I think that’s so important and totally worth it.”

Also in this episode: A rallying cry for Prebid. The quest for fee transparency.

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