Creating a more sustainable future in adtech: insights from Susan Kravitz at SeenThis30 May, 20235 mins
From global warming and economic instability to the shift to privacy-centric advertising, th...
From global warming and economic instability to the shift to privacy-centric advertising, the tech world is transforming before our eyes. So tech leaders need to evolve - not only to future-proof their own businesses, but to create a more sustainable future for the industry.
In our latest Life in Digital episode, we spoke to Susan Kravitz, head of commercial partnerships across the Americas at SeenThis, a company that helps publishers and advertisers stream HD video and images into display to deliver performance, efficiency and sustainability.
In a career spanning nearly 30 years, Susan has worked for a variety of different businesses - a pattern she says has enabled her to stay nimble and receptive to new ideas in the market.
Given the increasing onus on sustainability in advertising, we asked: how can publishers and advertisers make a change for the better?
Sustainability: beyond the buzzword
Susan is no stranger to the jargon that gets thrown about in the tech space when it comes to sustainability - jargon that can often confuse rather than help leaders make smarter decisions.
“I always tell people to step back and take all those words and put them in a drawer,” she says. “If advertisers want to start making a difference they need to keep it simple and ask: what is it that we are trying to do?
“Take a look at the three main greenhouse gas emissions protocols out there. Scope 1 and 2 are all about what you can do for your own business to initiate change, and Scope 3 is all about how you can use media to make a difference. Start from there.”
Though it’s important to think about what you can do as an individual, Susan also believes that businesses should start reframing the way they actually tackle the issue of sustainability in advertising. “It’s not just, ‘what can I do?’. It’s more, ‘what can we do as an industry - together?’”
Action now: paving the way for a sustainable future in tech
With the buzzword defused, there’s still one problem: what can publishers and advertisers start doing right now to make a difference?
“Are you going to look at your supply chain?” says Susan. “Are you going to look at doing offsets? Maybe you decide you want to cut down on business travel and unnecessary meetings. The key is to get started and see what’s working, what’s not, and what’s effective in driving that change.”
The tech itself - such as the SeenThis platform - will also play a key role in helping advertisers and publishers become more sustainable. “The SeenThis platform is built on performance and efficiency, and since it only streams ads in display, it transfers a lot less data - enabling businesses to cut their CO2 consumption significantly.”
Tackling economic instability with openness
The economic climate has been challenging over the past six months - the cost of the living crisis, recovery from the pandemic and elevated inflation have all made it more difficult to do business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep moving forward.
“We’re all in this together - whether it’s PubMatic, Sharethrough, OpenX, Ad Net Zero or Meta, we’re all going through the same thing. The key is to embrace your network, listen, and be open to learning. Hear what your peers are saying. What can you learn from them? Ask yourself what you can do differently. Be humble.”
Collaboration on a global scale
When your business spans multiple regions, you face a whole new set of challenges as a leader - subtle nuances like communication, supply-chain management, and finances all need to be taken into consideration. According to Susan, the key to getting and keeping the ball rolling is collaboration.
“SeenThis has operations spanning across LATAM, EMEA, APAC, and the UK - all very different regions. What’s worked well for us is making sure each department within each of those regions is thriving. Our commercial ops team wouldn’t be successful if we didn’t have a killer strategy or sales or marketing team.”
“Talk to your global partners. Share. Ask for advice. Look at what they’re doing and see what you can learn from it. Of course, there’ll always be differences in markets, but there’ll also be a lot of similarities - and being able to reach out, grow, and optimise based on what your teams are doing will enhance collaboration so much more.”
You can find the full episode and more on our Life in Digital podcast. To find out more about how to drive forward impactful advertising that delivers results and remains sustainable, visit seenthis.co.