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  • Writer's pictureRedBud

2019: Not perfect. But better.


RedBud 2019

I came to the realisation this year that I didn’t want to make any New Year resolutions.

Every year, I make these bold proclamations that I am going to completely overhaul something in my life and become a perfect human citizen!! However, it never works out like that for me. I am a creature of habit and a complete overhaul is not feasible or actually what I need. It's why I and probably most people out there normally fail their resolutions by mid Jan and resort back to what they know.

I wanted to take a different tactic this time around and I remembered something from last year that really resonated with me. It was something that Barack Obama said in his first speech back from his political hiatus. He talked about the importance of always striving for improvement. The below is not verbatim, but abridged for the context of this article:

Better is good, That’s the history of progress. Not perfect, better.

Those words really hit home to me. In so much of what we do there is a demand for immediate results, particularly with resolutions. Why overhaul everything at once and likely fall down, when I can work on small improvements bit by bit which will give me a more realistic chance of hitting my objectives.

Not perfect. Better. Much better.

Our industry is typical of this. It feels like every week that there is a new solution, new acronym, new press release proclaiming that everyone should change the way they are working for the shiniest new toy out of the box. Whilst innovation drives our industry, change for the sake of it causes more confusion and doesn’t get to the root cause of many of our industries challenges.

2018 Twitter action had people clamouring for “blockchain” to be the cure-all for any programmatic woes - instead of trying to improve, to get better, there is a desire for large scale change. These immediate calls for new technologies to save us all (with a very small number of people who have a genuine understanding of how this will work in practice across our industry) cause more confusion than anything else.

Blockchain might (or may well not) be the future, but while striving to understand how future tech could work, we should not lose focus on getting the very best of what we currently have. Are we striving for perfection before working how to get better?

Looking inward.

Transparency in online advertising has now shifted from the pages of trade press, moving swiftly to the national papers as data scandals are increasingly leaked on some of the largest players of our time. GDPR made TV news headlines and has heightened consumer awareness of what is truly happening behind closed doors.

Now, more than ever, it is paramount that publishers start to understand what is truly happening on the backend of their sites.

The ramifications are loss of revenue or a potential fine, neither of which is palatable.

During RedBud’s short existence, we are starting to see some really interesting insights. The market is not perfect (which we all know), and there is a vast swathe of partners who are working to make things better and create a strong ecosystem.

Yet, more worryingly, there is still a number of areas in which publishers are getting punished, through no fault of their own. A couple of examples include:

  • Legacy tags timing out or causing massive redirects; who in turn cause latency

  • Pixel piggybacking causing data to potentially leak to questionable partners

  • Masked/Hidden URLs

  • Cookies dropped by vendors that don’t have a presence in the EU and don’t comply with GDPR

By shining a light on these practices and helping publishers get full transparency on the behaviour of vendors within their ecosystems, we can start to make things better, all the while aiming for perfection.

Looking forward

I remain, as always hugely positive about the future of our industry. There are challenges of course and recent news of redundancies at a number of businesses is awful to hear (we certainly empathise with them having been there ourselves a few months ago).

The issue of transparency is one that everyone discusses constantly in our industry and there is a lot being done in this space to make things better. At Redbud, we want to help create a better future for all our partners. Giving true clarity to help determine better strategies that deliver better outcomes.

We want to help shine a light on what is happening, give Publishers true transparency into what is happening and help push with that goal to perfection.

If you want to know more about how we are doing this, please visit our site or get in touch.

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