What is a tech stack test for digital marketing

Adtech the top marketer at a glance: More diversity in the stack

Almost three years ago ADZINE analyzed and mapped the adtech landscape of German digital marketers for the first time. The discussion about the walled gardens of GAFA was just as topical then as it is today. Nevertheless, there is a clear development in the adtech stacks of the German top marketers. While Google's adtech offer was still the clear top dog in 2017, marketers today rely on a more diversified stack of their own, local and US technologies - not least because new tech solutions such as header bidding have now become established.

The stack in transition (ad server)

Ströer, BurdaForward, G&J eMS ... they all relied on the Google Adserver in 2017. As a sales platform (SSP), some of them were already using other providers, but at least they were also connected to the Google AdExchange (now Google Ad Manager). A lot has happened in the German marketing landscape since then. Media Impact's move from Google to Appnexus (now Xandr) was just the beginning.

The best example of the development away from the dependence on large US providers towards their own technology solutions is probably Germany's largest digital marketer Ströer. After the takeover of Interactive Media and OMS in 2015 and 2016, the Adtech Stack had to be standardized. Google Doubleclick for Publisher was the solution of choice at the time, but the marketing giant has changed since then. Although the Google Ad Manager is still used as an ad server today, it is only in second place.

With “Ströer Core”, Ströer is now relying on an in-house adtech solution. The marketer also provides the supply side platform (SSP) itself. With the majority takeover of the marketing technology from Yieldlove in October 2017, Ströer also made header bidding possible across its entire portfolio and is therefore currently connected to 20 exchanges.
Like Media Impact in 2017, BurdaForward, another top marketer from Google, has switched to Xandr's ad server. However, the Mountain View company is still in the marketer's tech stack as the demand source. Ebay, Iq Digital and SevenOne Media continue to rely on the Google ad server.

Sales channels are becoming more versatile (SSP)

The use of supply-side platforms has also changed in the past three years - but mainly with regard to the number of connected SSPs. As early as 2017, several sales platforms were often in use at the same time, but by using header bidding, German marketers have opened up to an even larger number of SSPs. For example, the Ad Alliance, consisting of IP Deutschland, Smartclip, G&J eMS and Spiegel Media, decided on a multi-SPP strategy for Display consisting of Yieldlab, Google Ad Manager, Xandr, OpenX, Improve Digital and EMX. The Smartclip-SSP SmartX is used for video. In the ad server area, however, the marketing association has not yet found a harmonized solution, so the Google Ad Manager is used for the display and SmartX as the ad server for the video.

Still represented in almost every German adtech stack: Yieldlab. The SSP from the Virtual Minds Group, which is now under the umbrella of ProSiebenSat.1, is connected to almost every top German marketer - be it as a primary SSP or as a supplement for special formats. Scout24 and Ebay are the exception. They mainly rely on US platforms like Xandr, Oath, OpenX and Index Exchange.

Is independence from Google becoming more important?

Despite the diversification of the Adtech stacks, the Walled Garden Google remains an important tech partner for the marketers. In order to monetize their websites in the best possible way, marketers often become dependent on the walled gardens. The US giants' often invoked data sovereignty can only be used behind their closed walls. Those who renounce have to know how to help themselves differently and, in case of doubt, are less in demand.

Abdelkader Barjiji

For Abdelkader Barjiji, SVP Product Management Digital & Data at Ströer, “independence within the framework of the tech stack used is rather a necessity in order to achieve maximum revenue for publishers and ensure the greatest possible planning security.” The marketer with the greatest reach has therefore started this early on to rearrange its adtech setup so that the inventory types are monetized as best as possible on the basis of both internal and external technical systems. Barjiji says: “We can react flexibly to changes in individual service providers at any time and use alternative monetization options if necessary. Because our tests regularly show that by combining several service providers eTKP uplifts of over 30 percent are possible. By operating our own technology (header bidding, SSP, DMP and DSP), we also benefit because we are able to implement necessary offers on our own systems at any time without having to wait for service providers and their roadmaps. "

Smaller marketers rely on Google

Smaller marketers don't enjoy the luxury of developing or buying their own adtech stack. So they experimented early on with multi-SSP approaches to maximize their revenue. However, walled gardens like Google are a necessary component of a successful marketing strategy, as Hannes Modes, CTO of Quarter Media, explains: “The data sovereignty of the walled gardens is currently undisputed. Our core business, however, is to generate the best possible advertising revenue for websites. That is why we are pursuing the approach of connecting walled gardens such as Google, Facebook or Amazon in the best possible way. ”But here, too, efforts are being sought and supported to create a counterpoint to the US platforms:“ At the same time, we are also open to independent solutions such as login alliances. It is important for the industry, especially with regard to data sovereignty and data transparency, to compete with walled gardens and to develop its own solutions. "

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