At Placements.io, we’re proud of the many integrations we offer our clients to connect their advertising ecosystem. I sat down with one of our partners, James Curran, Co-Founder & CPO of STAQ to learn more about STAQ, discuss the STAQ / Placements.io integration, and see what James thinks are some important upcoming trends in digital advertising.
What is STAQ? How does it help publishers?
“STAQ is an automated reporting and data unification platform. We automate the collection of reporting and business information from all of the different platforms inside your ad tech stack (pun intended), like your exchanges, third party ad servers, verification partners, agency’s ad servers, order management systems (like Placements.io), and CRM systems, such as Salesforce.com. We then unify all the data and serve it in a dashboard or use it to fill data warehouses, enabling our clients to make faster, better decisions on data-driven insights for improved business outcomes.”
How is STAQ different from other solutions on the market?
“STAQ is unique because it is is an all-in-one ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) solution for collecting, unifying, and activating reporting data from platforms specifically in the ad tech market. Other solutions may have the integrations and visualization, but force all clients into one structured view of the data, limiting the ability to transform the data into how they need to see it. When a publisher automates the collection and transformation of their reporting to highlight their KPIs, insights for increasing revenue constantly boil to the top and they are able to see trends in their business that they could never get before.”
Can you tell me more about STAQ’s new Industry Benchmarking data normalization reporting feature and how that’s affecting publishers?
“We have all these fabulous publishers that use our product and they’ve always asked how they were performing against the industry averages. Since we have the data to calculate those averages, we unified data across publishers who wanted to participate, cleansed and normalized it, and gave access to the aggregated data sets to participating clients. For example, our client could see what their CPM is on 300×250 ads vs. the rest of the industry. Another example is if a client had a spike over Black Friday and Cyber Monday in mobile, they can see if this was unique to them from some positive change they made, or something that happened across the entire industry. It’s a spectacular data set for publishers with almost a billion dollars in annual revenue in it. It eliminates all the mystery publishers may have with their performance.”
What does STAQ have planned for the future?
“We’re currently working on setting up a system where clients can create an alert on any of the insights in their reporting. For example, send me an alert if my avg. CPM reaches $1, my campaign hits a delivery goal, or this piece of content reached an impression goal. There are an infinite amount of insights to be alerted on. We’ll also be continuing to add to our data Industry Benchmarking feature, such as advertiser spend data. We’re excited to dig deeper into all the data we have and provide even more to our clients.”
Tell me about the STAQ / Placements.io integration.
“What’s great about the STAQ / Placements.io integration is we can take all the reporting data we collect, unify it, and then push it into Placements.io. The integration not only helps operations teams get daily pacing reporting against the contracted amount in Placements.io, but it also enables publishers to automate all their billing without the end of month runaround. It eliminates downloading excel sheets from all your different partners and the data entry work to put it into Placements.io. You can just review all the stats and schedule all the invoices to automatically send out. If a Placements.io client is using third party billing, STAQ data is used to calculate the Placements.io OSI (On Schedule Indicator) feature. The STAQ data in the OSI feature then helps Placements.io users pace their campaigns and reduce over-delivery, which has huge cost savings to publishers.”
In your opinion, what are some of the most important current trends in the digital advertising landscape to pay attention to?
“There are a couple important trends. Video is going to continue to change and evolve over the next couple years to look a lot more like digital. Streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu, and Roku are pushing the television advertising industry to be more like digital. A recent Variety article reinforces this idea by explaining how TV networks are beginning to stray away from traditional ratings measurement methods, such as Nielsen, and looking for new ways to measure audiences in the new multi-platform media landscape. I also predict that Netflix will need to bring advertising into the mix at some point, in order to keep up with the costs of generating the content they’re providing now.
The other trend has to do with programmatic. There was a time where everyone was guessing what the percentage of programmatic business to direct would be for the overall market for digital media, and the consensus was it wouldn’t ever pass 40% programmatic. Back in the days of the waterfall, the ad networks were put at the bottom and captured what we all called “remnant” inventory. Today, it’s flipped and buyers are even able get first look programmatically, which was something that was held for direct-only buys. Of course, programmatic will never be 100% for all publishers, but I think it will increase a bit more before it stops. And I also believe publishers will need to continue working with multiple exchanges in order to capture all of the demand out there. There are still the same amount of line items, the buy just happens differently.”
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