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Maximize ad targeting with supply-side advertising

Published: August 22, 2023 by Experian Marketing Services

The shift toward supply-side advertising

Ongoing signal loss is driving marketers, agencies, and platforms to turn to supply-side advertising. By using first-party data from publishers and platforms, supply-side advertising has the potential to deliver high-quality audience and context for more effective ad targeting.


The supply-side refers to the publishers and platforms that sell advertising inventory. These companies have access to first-party data about their users, which can be used to target ads more effectively. By tapping into supply-side advertising, you can overcome the challenges of signal loss and target ads more effectively.


To shed light on this topic, we hosted a panel discussion at Cannes, featuring industry leaders from Audigent, Captify, Newsweek, Pubmatic, Truthset, and Experian.

Watch the recording of our Cannes panel, "Data on the sell-side"

In this blog post, we’ll explore how partnerships between supply-side channels and publishers are working to enhance advertising opportunities while balancing the need for transparency and control in programmatic ad buying.

Shift toward supply-side advertising

Traditionally, the demand-side dominated the programmatic media buying chain due to an abundance of supply. However, with the emergence of finite data and its interpretation, collaboration between supply-side technology companies and publishers is required to redefine these economics.

It’s no longer sufficient for the demand-side to blindly negotiate prices based on limited knowledge. Marketers can still define their target audience, but effective communication is key. This presents an opportunity for premium journalistic outlets to guide the industry’s understanding of how data from the supply-side impacts media buying economics in the future.

“Supply-side technology partnerships with publishers are now in a position to shape the economics of programmatic media buying as there is a finite amount of data. It’s crucial for supply-side technology companies to collaborate with publishers to shape these new economics. This presents an opportunity for premium journalistic outlets to provide guidance on how data from the supply-side can affect the future of media buying.”

matthew papa, svp, business & corporate development, captify

Democratizing data from the supply-side

Cookies haven’t brought significant benefits to premium publishers. They mainly serve to retarget users from sites like The Wall Street Journal to advertising sites. This approach primarily serves the purpose of generating revenue.

The elimination of third-party cookies presents an opportunity for premium publishers to shift this dynamic. By using their knowledge of first-party audiences, and using identifiers like Experian’s LUID, publishers can own and understand their audience data, which can then be modeled.

Here’s how publishers can win

Establishing a connection with consumers and emphasizing the value exchange is essential to building trust. Determining what incentives and benefits consumers find meaningful will be crucial in gaining their opt-in.

With consumers

The Apple tracking transparency initiative, specifically the deprecation of IDFA signals, had significant implications for mobile app developers. Overnight, opt-in rates plummeted, causing a drastic decline in iOS ad monetization. To combat this, developers focused on demonstrating the value exchange to consumers—better ad experiences and personalized content.

By articulating the benefits over a couple of years, opt-in rates increased from 10-15% to 30-40%. The key takeaway is the need to effectively communicate the value exchange to consumers.

With partners

Trust plays a crucial role in planning your first-party data strategy. Publishers, advertisers, and data partners highly value their proprietary data. However, there are concerns about how it’s used, mishandled, or leaked in the ecosystem. Building trust between partners is essential. It’s important to work with trustworthy partners who are agnostic, committed to innovative solutions, and globally oriented. These partners can help navigate the complexities of laws and regulations. Choosing the right partners is crucial in a world where first-party data is a key asset.

“Power is shifting toward brands that have strong relationships with customers and possess first-party data. As the ownership of customer data becomes more important, it is crucial to establish a first-party data strategy to better serve customers and adapt to changing market dynamics.”

chip russo, president, truthset

Balance probabilistic and deterministic data

Focus on building trust with consumers and collaborating with reliable companies to share data. However, it’s important to remember that achieving a 100% opt-in rate is unlikely.

The cookie, which has become omnipresent, requires us to shift our strategic thinking. We need to consider both deterministic and probabilistic approaches instead of viewing them as mutually exclusive. The landscape will be fragmented, with some consumers opting in and others not.

“Probabilistic and predictive audience data holds immense potential. With the power of AI, we can expect enhanced performance and efficacy in media campaigns. At Audigent, we firmly believe that this data will outperform deterministic data, making it an integral part of our strategy.”

drew stein, ceo, audigent

Premium content

Trust plays a crucial role in leading to premium content. By placing trust in the best media brands, data, and technology partners, we can expect to see improvements in media, journalism, and advertising. This shift may have a direct impact on the long tail of free natural resources, making it more challenging for them to thrive. However, this change is ultimately beneficial since it promotes higher-quality media experiences overall.

“The homepage surface is making a comeback in the publishing industry, proving its value in establishing a direct connection with readers. While we acknowledge the importance of technology partnerships for addressability and identity, our core competency as a publisher remains outstanding journalism that captures and engages great audiences.”

kevin gentzel, cco, newsweek

Watch our Cannes panel for more on supply-side advertising

Cannes Lions 2023 panelists: Data on the sell-side

We hosted a panel in Cannes that covered supply-side advertising. Check out the full recording below to hear what leaders from Audigent, Captify, Newsweek, Pubmatic, Truthset, and Experian had to say.

Check out more Cannes content:

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