Below, Vivek Shah, CEO of Ziff Davis, provides his ideas.
"Publishers need to recognize that their audience data, when properly protected, mined and applied, can translate into a meaningful business.
First, publishers need to be sure that no one is skimming their data and this requires a deep and regular examination of every pixel on every page of every site. You’d be surprised how often seemingly harmless widgets collect all kinds of audience data that are used by third parties, including competitors, to inform ad targeting. The marketplace will continue to extract data without explicit permission until publishers stand up to this common and unsavory practice.
Second, you need to invest in technology that can sort through terabytes of data to find true insights into a person’s intent. Look for repeated actions and signals that truly indicate an interest or likelihood to purchase, not just surface “behaviors.”
Finally, you need to attach large pools of ad inventory – your own as well as from partners – to your data assets so that you can offer targeted advertising at scale. Reach and frequency around high-quality data is essential to making an impact with marketers. In the end, premium publishers should view ad technology as an opportunity, not the threat it is often perceived to be."