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Build Back Better: MediaMath’s Zawadzki On The New, ‘Enterprise-Open’ Ad Infrastructure

What happens when consumers, regulators and service providers rip up the fabric of ad targeting practices that have prevailed for the last two decades?

“Profound change,” according to GroupM North America CEO Kirk McDonald.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, McDonald interviews MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki on how the entire advertising industry can reboot itself for a new era.

From ‘hack’ to patchwork

Both McDonald and Zawadzki agreed cookies, the third-party usage of which is being deprecated, are a “20-year-old hack” on top of rudimentary browser technology, and are ill-suited to modern demands.

“If you thought that either last click or post-click post view was the right basis by which to manage a $500 billion industry on our way to a trillion dollars… is it going to work by asking people to touch their TV?,” Zawadzki said. “Highly unlikely.”

“We’re in a situation where we want to recreate addressability as defined by the humans behind the screens and speakers, which is good. But the way that we’re going to have to do it – we’ll have to become enterprise-open. It’ll have to be a portfolio of solutions.

“Those things will need to be selected, stitched in scale – it’s going to be deterministic solutions, probabilistic solutions, open solutions, proprietary solutions. You’re going to have to put these things together in a way that allows for orchestration across set screens and speakers.”

‘Go far, together’

Zawadzki said the new-look industry organization demands a more consensual, all-hands approach to redefinition. Previously, he suggested, self-interest ruled.

“People (have been) operating in silos in isolation… optimising for publisher yields, optimising for advertiser performance, optimising for intermediary profit growth,” he said.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“You can’t solve the industry challenges in a silo.”

‘Look in the mirror’

Global Forum on Responsible Media – Watch the Program on Demand

Ultimately, the significant disruption happening in the ad industry can be beneficial, the MediaMath CEO said.

“It is a requirement that the industry reorganise itself around a new set of principles and work backwards from what it should look like and what it needs to look like.”

And GroupM CEO McDonald agreed. “Profound times require profound change,” he said.

“Profound change does have us have to sort of look in the mirror.”

This video is part of the Global Forum on Responsible Media produced by Beet.TV, GroupM with the 4A’s. The entire Forum can be watched on-demand here, and all videos from this project can be found here.