Patrick Dolan, EVP & COO of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), discussed the announcement with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: What triggered the creation of the site? Any anecdotes you can share?
PD: DSP, SSP, DMP, Ad Exchanges - the explosion of new systems, process and products caught most of the community off guard. There was and is a lot of confusion about how data driven advertising works. When you brought up this subject in meetings you could see folks heads nodding but most were too embarrassed or shy to admit that they didn't know what going on. To address the IAB Data Council formed a working group to specifically focus on marketer and agency education. Initially we were thinking we'd create a presentation that any Data Council member could use. What we realized is that the subject matter was so interactive that we had an opportunity to develop a destination that could evolve with the landscape itself and provide a place to learn.
According to the release, the new site is "to be the definitive resource for advertising professionals on how data is used to serve ads to consumers." Don't ad pros already know about how data is used? If not, which ad pros is this for?
We know that many folks who are working within the industry are savvy about ad targeting, but you'd be surprised at how many people don't truly understand exactly what's happening under the hood. They are still confused by all of the acronyms (honestly, who wouldn't be?), and they don't quite understand the differences between pieces of the ecosystem like networks and exchanges. In the last few years alone, the number of targeting companies has exploded. You can tell by any of the landscape charts out there that it is quite hard to see how everyone fits in. For more seasoned marketers, it's even more complicated. Not only do they have to stay on top of the most current tools and tech available, they also have to continue to expand their knowledge and rethink the traditional models of buying they used in their past. If you think about it, there is still a major amount of dollars that we're trying to help people to move online - probably over $30B in 2012 alone. We hope that a resource like this can help to accelerate the learning, strip away any fear, and help marketers to take advantage of what the space has to offer. One anecdote here - A senior marketer at a well-known CPG brand came to us for a bit of education in this space earlier this year. After a briefing using the site as a guide, the marketer thanked us for helping to illuminate how this was all working. We are seeing this same experience with people in the more junior ranks who are just getting up to speed in their roles as well.
Can you talk about how and when the site will be updated? This would seem crucial considering the pace of innovation.
We will be initiating a quarterly review of the site for accuracy within the Data Council, led by the marker and education working group, and making adjustments as needed (on the fly) if they change within the quarter, in order to maintain the most accurate destination available for education purposes.
What do you hope will be the outcome of this site in a year or two?
The site is meant to be definitive resource for education about data driven advertising. We hope to grow interest and visitation of the site, but more importantly, we see this as a resource that the industry can help to contribute to in order to enhance everyone's knowledge of just how important and relevant data is to making web experiences the most robust and interactive that they can be. We expect to enhance the site with multimedia, such as visual examples and interviews with marketers and consumers, to help to illuminate as much as possible the positive experiences associated with advertising online. A community-evolved site is something we feel that the industry can use to show its constant commitment to transparency and education for all relevant businesses within it.
By John Ebbert