Navigating the Publisher Landscape

5 mins

The publishing world has been awash with change, disruption, and development since the get-g...

By Amy Halls

Senior Marketing & Talent Manager

The publishing world has been awash with change, disruption, and development since the get-go, refusing to rest on its laurels or stand still at any time...

Not only is the amount of information and media we consume on the rise, but also the different ways in which we engage with and consume this information means that brands and publishers have to constantly evolve in order to stay one step ahead.

The technology allows for greater measurement of advertising campaigns no matter how large or small, ad formats, creatives, and audience segments, shifting the focus towards brand lift and the intentions of consumers to act.

Listen to the full podcast episode here

With so much great content to come from Ed and Tom’s discussion, we’ve highlighted three separate topics to whet your appetites…

Importance of brand lift measurement in the campaign lifecycle

With the amount of investment in technologies currently, publishers could be forgiven for thinking that they’re doing well when it comes to the performance of their brand campaigns.

The reality is, however, that there’s a disconnect between the investment going into campaigns, and the amount that’s available. It’s a disconnect that the bigger platforms have already figured out, with many of the smaller publishers unable to compete and falling behind in this respect.

illustration of map and telescope

As Tom highlights, the investment is out there and that:

‘fundamentally, if you’re charging a premium for a product, you’ve got to defend that product, you’ve got provide data. That way, the buyers can feel good about their investment, and frankly, invest more’.

Enter more effective brand lift measurements.

The likes of Facebook and YouTube have been providing brand lift measurement, at scale and for a relatively low threshold price for some time, and as such are receiving a torrent of investment.

Where the Brand Metrics team has seen success with their clients is by stripping campaigns down into the most repeatable, comparable and consistent metrics and ensuring they achieve those every time.

In doing so, brands can get better, more valuable insight into the performance of their campaigns in a way they haven’t been able to previously and will be able to scale them in an informed, effective way.

Creating the right model for the future

Whilst the landscape is changing with regard to how brands and publishers can better utilize the data that’s available to them, disruption is also happening across the industry.

Today’s publishers are seeking answers to the questions around making the business model sustainable and creating a platform for them to really thrive in the future.

‘Unfortunately, the big platforms have taken a lot of value out of the middle, so building a business on advertising alone doesn’t work’, Tom believes, and so looking to other areas and diversify revenue streams is key to the future of publishing.

illustration of digital advertising

The likes of subscriptions are proving to be a great opportunity, as is having a genuine eCommerce proposition and all of this is underpinned by the need for greater creativity and having great content at the heart of it.

‘Publishers are the original creators; they have audiences simply because they’re creating amazing content that people connect with.’

So, for publishers, being able to build brilliant, branded content businesses for clients is hugely important. However, as Tom highlights, for publishers have their entire business built around branded content ‘because that ends up being a traffic driving exercise and you can spend a lot of money driving traffic to those articles if you’re not careful.’

In addition, Tom believes there’s a responsibility to introduce regulations and checks across the publisher lifecycle to stem the creation and consumption of damaging, sometimes dangerous, disinformation.

‘Any time you lie online or on social media it tends to get share a lot. There’s a strong case for regulation, and for regulation on the big platforms who could be and should be spending a lot more energy to cut down the sources of disinformation when they seem them.’

The industry’s D&I challenges

Another important challenge, not just for publishers, but for companies in general is around how they address the challenges of improving diversity, inclusion and equality and drive change.

It’s an ongoing topic, and one that Tom says can be linked to metrics and quotas. He believes comes down to us as individuals to act and to elicit the wider changes, ‘you can say to yourself, what did I do today to actually further this cause?’

Naturally, change won’t come around quickly, and as individuals, you don’t have to try and do it all at once.

Tom believes individuals can work themselves up to being committed to making a positive change within their own circles, taking small steps along the way and speaking up for others around them.

d&i illustration

Finding those moments where you can contribute or by changing one’s behaviors, or the language they use is a start and can be incredibly empowering, and it’s something that organizations can measure.

Likewise, as you’d set your quota or targets at the top of a sales funnel, doing the same throughout your internal hiring funnel will see you start to make changes to the make-up of your teams and organization.

‘If you don’t have enough women, or if you don’t have enough people of colour in your interview process, well you’re not going to hire them!’

For more information on Brand Metrics and the work they’re doing to present the metrics and campaign insights around brand lift that companies truly value, make sure you check out their website:

Listen to the full episode via our Life in Digital Podcast page. 

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