On October 5, 2017, we held our second PubAcademy Japan of the year on the topic of “Transparency in Digital Advertising”. It was my first PubAcademy as the new country manager for PubMatic Japan, after joining the company on October 2, 2017. It was the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to our clients and dive into the concerns of the Japanese digital advertising market.
Digital advertising and transparency
The issue of transparency rose to the forefront of the digital advertising industry in recent months and is a topic I strongly advocate. The rapid evolution of the programmatic landscape led not only to growing opportunities for publishers and buyers, but also created more complexity and confusion about how best to navigate the digital ecosystem. I believe it is essential we are upfront with our clients and partners in addressing our industry’s challenges and educating the market.
I began the day by explaining PubMatic’s “Let’s Be Clear” initiative. PubMatic maintains a longstanding commitment to transparency. We want to be open about how digital ad space is traded and how our own business works. The “Let’s Be Clear” campaign aims to educate the market on what transparency looks like when it comes to inventory quality, viewability and ad quality.
Japanese stakeholders are interested in brand safety and fraud prevention. Yet, regardless of the differences between markets, we believe that the ultimate measure of transparency is control. This level of clarity in our ecosystem will only be achieved when we place control of ad decisioning, quality, user experience and the value exchange back where it belongs: in publishers’ hands.
Our first speaker on the day was Masami Kobayamashi, Associate Director, Platform Solutions APAC at PubMatic. Masami began by asking the audience: “What is a header bidding/wrapper solution?” He then explained the features and monetary opportunities both these products offer, with real-life success stories of clients using PubMatic’s OpenWrap solution.
Harui Imai, Customer Success Manager, Japan at PubMatic went next. Harui presented PubMatic’s OpenWrap offering, its benefits and how it can increase transparency for publishers. Many of the header bidding and wrapper solutions currently in market are reactionary and incomplete. Unlike those offerings, OpenWrap includes the most widely used open-source container script, Prebid.js. This solves the publishers’ need to balance the transparent access to the broadest demand partners and combines it with enterprise management capabilities. Additionally, it offers the dedicated support required to efficiently increase ad revenue.
Our last session was a panel discussion titled, “Current State of Transparency and How to Create Opportunities for More”. Our panelists included Ms. Hiroko Hoshino, Commercial Director, Asia Pacific at Financial Times, and Mr. Tetsuya Shintani, Country Manager at The Trade Desk, Japan and the moderator was Michiteru Hirose, Director, Customer Success at PubMatic. Michiteru opened up the discussion stating that in 2019, it is estimated that eighty percent of programmatic advertisements worldwide will be brand-awareness campaigns as opposed to direct response (Source: IDC and PubMatic Analysis). Hence, there are valid industry concerns with this shift.
Global brand advertisers will focus their attention on Japan with the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Therefore, how can we ensure we reduce advertisers’ anxieties over transparency? The panelists all agreed that to avoid missing these great revenue opportunities, publishers should make viewability measurement a priority. Mr.Shintani explained that The Trade Desk’s clients are refocusing their priorities from retargeting to ensuring higher viewability and brand-safety.
Afterwards, Hirose opened the questions to the audience and asked the publishers in the room if they were currently working with a third party viewability tool. The answer: no. Ms. Hoshino explained that the Financial Times utilize “Cost per Hour” as their measurement and have launched a commercial charter for its advertisers to guarantee online viewability, brand safety and pricing, and to combat ad fraud.
We got very good feedback from the audience that the event was both informative and worthwhile. Especially that publishers, SSPs, DSPs, agencies and advertisers could gather together to discuss the industry. Our primary goal was to bring together decision makers from across the publishing and media buying industries to discuss some of the key issues affecting the digital landscape in an open forum. We covered many topics and the speakers did an outstanding job of sharing their expertise. The first step towards transparency in digital advertising is education!
In conclusion, to learn more about PubMatic’s stance on transparency, check out our “Let’s Be Clear” campaign. To join us for our next PubAcademy, in your region, make sure to check out our upcoming events and schedule a meeting with us. We look forward to partnering with you as we pursue transparency in the industry.