Top 5 key findings from the AOP Autumn Conference

The AOP Autumn Conference took place yesterday, where the great and the good of the online publishing industry gathered, Grant Allaway, group managing director at Ad2one, gives his five key findings from the event.

Grant Allaway: group managing director at Ad2one
Grant Allaway: group managing director at Ad2one

1. Premium inventory is vital to publishers and agencies

Premium inventory is becoming more vital to brands when it comes to hitting your key audience using programmatic. Rather than going out far and wide, premium programmatic is important for publishers and agencies who need to know that their ads will appear in a safe and relevant environment.

We face two big challenges at the moment in the programmatic space – firstly, not many people understand the exact definition, and secondly, although it’s gradually changing, there is still a lack of trust in the industry. With this in mind, it’s important to understand and recognise the potential that premium inventory can deliver to publishers.

We will always need to be able to measure the success of campaigns in some way of course, but it’s hard to develop an all encompassing method when the tech industry is changing at such a fast rate!

2. ‘The third-party cookie might be dead, but the first-party cookie is alive and kicking’

As Nick King, director Platform Solutions, EMEA, Yahoo said on a cross-platform advertising session, the first-party cookie is still going strong.

Companies have learnt to be smarter with how they use their data to target audiences and with the help of programmatic, it can only improve. There are great opportunities that can arise from harvesting first-party data correctly which can inform product development, the designs of packaging and the content your website hosts.

3. The next two years will see a significant change in data protection

Over the next two years, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be implemented within the European Union. The current data protection law does not consider important aspects such as globalisation and technological developments (including social media and cloud computing), so we need to be ready for the changes that will occur to the digital advertising world.

4. Multi-platform experiences are just as important as content

Consumer expectations are high. Audiences want to be part of a seamless transition from each device they use when connecting with a brand. If their experience isn’t slick, fast and functional, they’ll go elsewhere. Brands need to create content that suits the consumer right there at that moment, taking into account both where they are and what device they are using, in order to achieve successful engagement.

5. Measurement is important, but it will probably always be a bit behind

Measurement creates endless debates in the media industry and it seems it is always one step behind the new innovative ideas it seeks to measure. We don’t have to see this as a problem though. The important thing is that we keep moving forward with new ideas and embracing the technology and information we have around us to keep growing and enhancing everything we do. We will always need to be able to measure the success of campaigns in some way of course, but it’s hard to develop an all encompassing method when the tech industry is changing at such a fast rate!


As ever in publishing, we all share the same challenges, but are excited about the shared opportunities too. The publishers that will succeed will be the ones that remain true to their values and use digital advertising in the most premium way possible and this will only be done through the right combination of talent and technology.

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