Sprint to the Finish: Tips for Success in a Year With No Roadmap

Post on November 16, 2020 by PubMatic


As 2020 nears its end and Q4 advertising and the programmatic pace picks up, publishers are looking at how to close on a high note by engaging holiday audiences — and reaping ad dollars. PubMatic’s last US PubAcademy, Sprint to the Finish: Tips for Success in an Unprecedented Year in Digital, provides the tools to best prepare for the next few months.

For a recent virtual PubAcademy hosted by Jaan Janes VP, Customer Success, Americas, PubMatic curated a cross-section of the industry leaders to share the tips and tricks that work for their brands. This lineup included Eric Fitzpatrick, VP of Strategy, Glewed TV; Daniel Papalia, VP Programmatic Revenue & Strategy, Dotdash; Kyle Dozeman, CRO, Americas, PubMatic, Jean Fitzpatrick, VP Marketplace Development, Kinesso; and Rick Welch, VP Head of Programmatic Advertising, Flipboard. PubAcademy events have reached thousands of advertising and publishing executives worldwide, across more than 65 events, in dozens of markets since 2014.

During the webinar, Eric Fitzpatrick, VP of Strategy, Glewed TV, discussed how publishers can maintain their audience while meeting the demands of advertising partners. “First, be good to your users, the same users that have been coming all year. Now is not the time to adjust because demand is strong. You don’t want to turn somebody off who might leave and be less likely to come back.” Eric stressed that users will keep coming back if you deliver engaging content, even daily content that links to the previous day’s article. 

Eric was not the only speaker to emphasize user experience with publishers. Daniel Papalia VP, Programmatic Revenue & Strategy, Dotdash, discussed how they acquire publishers to add to their suite of websites. Once Dotdash onboards a new website, they strip the original ads and place them in the best positions for a clean and fast user experience. “We are obsessed with page speed and how quickly ads load. We think that improves ad performance, and we think that improves the user experience as well – they’re not waiting around for their pages to load.” 

Daniel believes onboarding new properties is the key to their success since they then have the infrastructure, the ad server, the production platform, and the CMS in place. 

Jean Fitzpatrick, VP Marketplace Development, Kinesso, joined Kyle Dozeman, CRO, Americas, PubMatic to discuss what Kinesso is observing within the advertiser community and how she believes the next quarter or two will play out. Jean noted that, “ there are some clients that are still going strong that maybe missed a few beats earlier on in the year, but are still spending and connecting with their consumers. We’re seeing clients’ big focus is on figuring out some of the big challenges that have remained within the industry over the last couple of years that we haven’t really solved for.”

Some of the challenges that Jean mentioned were supply path optimization (SPO), transparency, deeper data and insights, and how clients are going to work in the cookie-less space. Many clients are looking at 2020 as a time to troubleshoot these issues as they finalize their 2021 budget. 

Rick Welch, VP Head of Programmatic Advertising, Flipboard, discussed how the company focused on shifting their sales during the pandemic. He noted, “Flipboard has historically done very well with luxury brands, but since disposable income was not as readily available this year, we had to shift our focus. A lot of the revenue coming in for us programmatically has been e-commerce and gaming-oriented, which again is probably no surprise. But as such, we accelerated our focus on our e-commerce product. Obviously, these advertisers are spending a ton more and luckily we were able to take in some of that revenue. ”

Like our other webinar participants, Flipboard also puts a premium on user experience, which they position data collection as being beneficial to enhance. For example, Flipboard collects location data so that they actually tailor experiences to the end user’s town or city, offering localized content and news.

One of the most common bits of advice from our experts was to not change anything that is currently working for partners and users. There has been so much change already this and both parties are looking for stability, so the key is to keep them coming back. For more tips and tricks during Q4, check out our holiday tune-up kit.  If you missed this Virtual PubAcademy, you can watch the replay here.  Visit our website to learn about more upcoming PubAcademy events.