As the largest conference for the future of digital advertising, d3con focuses on the cookieless future, new targeting and advertising approaches and the global issue of transparency. But what is behind it and what does a modern advertising business look like?

The cookie calypse, brand safety and data protection in general were among the most discussed topics of this year d3con. At the anniversary edition of the world’s largest programmatic advertising conference, numerous industry experts came together to discuss current trending topics as well as the development of the entire digital advertising world in the near future.

The d3con had its tenth anniversary this year, © d3con

In particular, there was always a topic that had been the central buzzword in online for years Marketing belongs: transparency. Already with the d3con 2018 this buzzword was very popular. A lot has happened since then: Google has it End of support for third party cookies announced at Chrome, the e-privacy has been further developed, Apple has the advertising world through the radical app Tracking Transparency changed and technological as well as data protection-oriented progress set the market participants: inside new limits and at the same time provide them with new potential. Nevertheless, the question of transparency remains at the center of most discussions: what is it actually, how is it in the Online Marketing forced and who is responsible for it?

Various insights into transparency: the advertising market is not much further ahead in 2021 either

On the panel on the subject “Transparency in programmatic advertising – 4 sides of the same coin” Arianna Zappala (EMP Merchandising), Sabine Schmidt (Webedia), Zoja Paskaljevic (SELECTWORK) and Marcel Heuer (EMX Digital) discussed the various facets of transparency under the moderation of Christoph Berg (MINT Square). Marcel Heuer from EMX Digital explains a first understanding of the term to OnlineMarketing.de:

Although transparency should emanate from the entire supply chain, a great responsibility rests with the SSPs, as there is a lack of transparency in the programmatic area once an auction takes place. Transparency underlines the efficiency of the SSPs and their publisher relationships. Transparency helps our partners review the supply chain and see where the real efficiencies are and what the most effective executions are.

Already had around two years ago Christoph Berg by MINT Square in our series of articles on transparency in programmatic advertising explains what transparency is for him and how this should be achieved:

Transparency, however, is also the traceability of processes and content. However, traceability always goes hand in hand with a certain (specialist) knowledge, especially in the advertising industry. Anyone who has not been part of the game for years and knows the interactions, anglicisms and technical terms of our complex industry inside out, cannot do anything with so many key figures, cost items or KPIs. Transparency must therefore apply in general and apply, but if necessary it must also be adapted to the respective recipient in order not to overwhelm.

Accordingly, users must also be informed as well as possible within the framework of data protection regulations in order to make conscious decisions about Tracking To be able to meet opt-ins. But also for advertisers and brands in general, it is important to familiarize themselves with the technical requirements in the programmatic advertising environment in order to be able to take advantage of transparency offers at all.

Know your tech, know your integrations,

stressed Sabine Schmidtwho would like standardized briefings for customers. EMX Digital offers support in such endeavors, as Marcel Heuer explains. In order to make transparent where the components of the used advertising euro are used in detail, EMX Digital is developing a Exchange BI. This is a log-level data dashboard that can disclose price information and transaction data. This should give customers more security when planning their advertising.

The transparency panel at d3con in 2021, © d3con

“Transparency alone does not help”?

Im Programmatic Advertising transparency on a technical level – know-how on DSPs and SSPs or insights on log level data – can be achieved better than in other digital business areas. That emphasizes Zoja Paskaljevic, who also explains that transparency as an end in itself does not bring much:

I have no transparency on Google, Facebook or Amazon. But at Programmatic I have it. But transparency alone is of no use.

Because transparency must also be used across the industry and be traceable. The big question remains: What is the personal responsibility of the individual players in the market? Who is in the lead when it comes to transparency? This question arose years ago and it still doesn’t really seem to be able to be answered. Agencies, Advertiser, Adtechs, Publishers and Co. continue to demand more transparency from each other in the market. At the same time, some solutions are offered, but sometimes there is still a gap between credible transparency and lip service efforts.

But what solutions are there at the moment? As with the search for the best alternative to third party cookies, the advertising industry is looking for unity when it comes to transparency. Many companies such as EMX Digital already offer helpful individual solutions. Depending on the advertising goal, advertiser, adtech or publisher relationship, the need for transparency and control can vary. Therefore, industry-wide approaches – like the Code of Conduct des BVDW – a guiding star for different players. A really transparent industry would probably need even more openness from everyone involved – and above all open communication.

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