Supply-Side Spotlight: Equativ

In this edition of Supply-Side Spotlight, we're chatting with Matt O'Reilly, Senior Director, Platform Partnerships at Equativ. We're covering a slew of topics, including supply chain transparency, the hot topic of curation, the future of addressability, and much more. 





1.) Hi Matt, and thanks for taking the time to take part in this Q&A. Perhaps the best place to start is with a quick summary of Equativ’s role in the digital advertising ecosystem? 

Equativ offers a comprehensive suite of brand and privacy-safe solutions to serve the interests of both advertisers and publishers.Picture1-1 

For publishers, we offer tools and services to help optimize revenue, including ad serving, yield management, and programmatic advertising. For advertisers, we provide a digital marketplace to connect with target audiences across various channels, including connected TV, video, display, audio, and more.  
 2.) The wider industry has seen a lot of change recently, especially around the role of the SSP and how supply path optimization fits in. How is Equativ navigating this change to deliver value to activation teams? 

We strive to make programmatic advertising more transparent and more efficient and we offer three distinct SPO pathways for buyers:  

  1. A Cost-Efficient Path: To address complexities within supply chains, we emphasize direct relationships to empower buyers in understanding intermediary fees. We ensure a direct and streamlined path to publisher inventory through initiatives like emphasizing high-quality inventory, adherence to industry standards like ads.txt and sellers.json, investment in automation technology, and tailored solutions for DSPs.

  2. A Sustainable Path: While the adtech industry accounts for 4% of the world’s GHG emissions, we’re seeing expressed desire for more sustainable campaigns. Recognizing the industry's impact on global emissions, we actively minimize less valuable auctions, reducing carbon footprint while maintaining campaign performance.

  3. An Addressability Path: With evolving user data regulations and changes like third-party cookie deprecation, we prioritize effective audience targeting with a focus on respecting user privacy. We enhance addressability through first-party insights and cookieless solutions, ensuring efficient ad spends while safeguarding user privacy.

Our commitment to adapting SPO within the shifting SSP landscape allows us to provide activation teams with tailored solutions that optimize efficiency, sustainability, and audience targeting while navigating these industry-wide changes effectively. 

3.) Curation has become a hot topic in programmatic circles, especially now that the buy side is increasingly looking for transparency and efficiency. For those new to the concept, what does curation look like for Equativ?  
Our approach to curation is centered on facilitating meaningful connections between publishers, data owners, and media buyers to revolutionize supply strategies, activate proprietary data, and drive superior outcomes while preserving existing workflows. Equativ Buyer Connect, our curated marketplace platform, was developed to bring flexibility and simplicity to the process of curating cross-publisher inventory. 

Designed to be both intuitive and robust, our platform is self-serve and seamlessly blends first and third-party data with inventory insights, leveraging our extensive reach and SSP capabilities to craft personalized media products tailored to specific needs. It provides direct access to demand, enabling effortless generation of multi-publisher deal IDs. This streamlined process saves all stakeholders time and resources while fostering enhanced creativity, adaptability, and visibility at scale. 
4.) It’s clear that data is becoming an even more valuable commodity for advertisers and publishers alike. How does Equativ Buyer Connect and your curation solution enable buyers and sellers to activate first-party or third-party segments?  
As cookie deprecation gets nearer, we’re seeing a growing number of publishers leverage the value of their unique, first-party datasets to their advantage. Our Equativ Buyer Connect platform empowers publishers to bring their first-party data into the UI and leverage it how they see fit—including packaging it in deals for buyers featuring their own inventory, as well as a method of audience extension on third-party publisher inventory.  
In addition, it offers intuitive and secure methods for activating these segments, ensuring advertisers or curators can leverage these unique datasets for precise audience targeting. Retailers, especially, can run audience extension campaigns based on their first-party data. Our curation platform also provides access to diverse third-party data segments through our strategic partnerships.  

By leveraging Equativ's Buyer Connect and curation solution, buyers and sellers can seamlessly activate both first-party and third-party segments. This capability empowers advertisers to precisely target audiences based on a comprehensive range of data, ensuring more effective and efficient ad campaigns while fostering a thriving and dynamic adtech marketplace. 

5.) We can’t talk about data without addressing the elephant in the room: The deprecation of third-party cookies. What is Equativ’s strategy for 2024 and the cookieless future?  

We believe in a proactive approach to adapting to the cookieless future. As a result, our strategy revolves around investing in alternative solutions to enable targeting at scale and fortifying our tools and methodologies to provide advertisers with robust, privacy-compliant solutions.  
We are continuously optimizing our support for alternative user identifiers and are introducing new activation data points, such as IP addresses and CTV content identifiers. We are working to significantly enhance our first-party data onboarding and activation capabilities, leveraging tools like data clean rooms, user graphs, and real-time data synchronization. And, we are further developing our proprietary media-planning assets, focusing on contextual segmentation, performance targeting, and content metadata taxonomy normalization. 

6.) Sustainability is another keen focus of the digital advertising industry, with players across the ecosystem becoming more aware of the CO2 emissions from digital campaigns. What measures has Equativ put in place to help your partners plan more sustainable campaigns? 

We believe in exploring all methods for improving our environmental impact and have implemented internal and external strategies focused on reducing our carbon footprint and contributing to building a more sustainable industry.  
Last year, we partnered with BL evolution, a leader in CSR consulting, to design a calculation methodology to help our partners measure and reduce the carbon impact of their campaigns via our programmatic solutions by selecting less energy-consuming delivery methods. More recently, we announced a partnership with Greenbids, an advanced optimization engine that powers sustainable ad operations using AI. By providing access to granular data from our SSP, we have enabled Greenbids to build smart budding models that fuel streamlined and sustainable media buying that is already showing strong results in early trials, including a 40% decline in gCO2PM (grams of CO2 equivalent per thousand impressions). This has also had an impact on SPO, as over 80% of our current supply chain counts only two nodes or fewer, enabling efficiency while reducing energy consumption.  
We’ve also published a comprehensive guide outlining best practices for creating more sustainable campaigns, key strategies for effecting tangible change, and a case study highlighting the fact that we helped a key client reduce their ad emissions by 64%.

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