There’s an endless debate over why brand dollars aren’t flocking to the online space at the same rate as consumers are shifting their eyes and dollars to digital content and commerce. Some blame the unworkable array of point solutions in ad tech, making the handling of big data for targeting, measurement and the verification of inventory daunting and expensive. Others blame the quality of inventory creative and the uncertainty of the verification industry, which often simply looks at a publisher’s aggregate audience without examining deeper variables, such as whether a website is a match for content quality, relevance and consistency. Few are talking about the receptivity of a consumer in the context of a web environment, according to Andrew Lerner, a 20-year publishing veteran and CEO of startup Trust Metrics. Lerner cites as an example a goth site targeting young women that was hosting a name-brand bleach ad that was repeatedly served to an adult male. Those missteps don’t have to happen, Lerner believes, if brands begin to look at the big picture on ad spend.
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