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IAB's Rothenberg poses six key questions

News, 13 February 2015

PHOENIX, AZ: Digital marketers must address six key questions to ensure the industry continues to enhance its status and position, Randall Rothenberg, president/ceo of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), has argued.

Rothenberg discussed this topic at the organisation's 2015 Annual Leadership Meeting. (For more, including how the IAB is tackling the main challenges facing the industry, read Warc's exclusive report: IAB's Rothenberg poses six key questions for digital marketers.)

In assessing the possible future landscape for digital media, he pointed to the "six questions that every member of our senior staff gets asked every day of the week".

The first involves making viewable impressions a "new currency", thus increasing accountability and building greater confidence among client-side marketers.

A second concern is whether native advertising – a format in its infancy, and still prompting some ethical worries – will be a "fad or fixture". How brands activate these ads could well play a central role in shaping the answer.

On a similar theme, it is important for brands and agencies to "tame the wild west of mobile" if they are to derive the maximum benefit from rising consumer usage of these wireless devices, Rothenberg asserted.

Programmatic ads, another hot topic across the industry, must also be made to "work for everybody" – a shift that will begin with marketers assuming control of this area, rather than leaving it with engineers and tech teams.

A related obstacle is to "eliminate fraudulent advertising traffic" – a matter where the IAB is taking a leadership position.

The final question aired by Rothenberg demands closing the "skills gap" and boosting diversity in digital marketing, two essential tasks as brands and agencies seek to accurately represent the audiences they serve.

Outlining these tasks added some rich context to Rothenberg's suggestion that fuelling further growth is not a sufficient tactic on its own terms.

"Growth is no longer our primary challenge," he informed the IAB assembly. "As an industry, we have reached an inflection point.

"The more pressing opportunity – and challenge – for so many of our members and partners is realising the benefits of the growth that is happening in their own companies."

Data sourced from Warc