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Dilem Güler, Business Development Director, Bonnier News was one of the speakers at our Automation Summit in Stockholm. We caught up to get her views on what GDPR means for publishers, and the growing importance of programmatic guaranteed.

Can you tell us a little about your role at Bonnier?

As Business Development Director, my role spans five of the biggest newspapers in Sweden. And my main areas of responsibility are tech, ad tech, ad ops. In total, I manage a team of about 30, with around half of those in ad ops.

What’s your take on GDPR?

Personally, I don’t see GDPR as a threat, or even necessarily a bad thing at all.

Of course, many are feeling the pain right now – and there’s still a lot more to do, and no doubt more to happen. But long-term, it’s a positive - I think it’s actually really exciting for us as publishers.

We’re talking about a new landscape where 3rd party data vendors’ role is changed completely – companies who up to this point have played a huge part in programmatic. And my hope is that means fewer problems with latency, or banner blindness, which I think over-retargeting has played a big part in.

I might even go so far as saying we won’t see a bigger change again in all our working lives.

Overall, I think we’ll see a healthier, more transparent market if everyone actually puts the work in – and that’s not a given of course, some corners of the market have been exceedingly quiet lately.

Does GDPR mean contextual targeting becomes more important for publishers?

Contextual targeting has always been important to us, with or without GDPR. But clearly you don’t want to go back 20 years – where the only way of personalising campaigns is by your site or section vertical.

What I believe we will start to see are smarter solutions combining a broader range of tactics – not just behavioural data. In other words, with the benefits of targeting, but not necessarily down to an individual level.

What is your view on header bidding and programmatic guaranteed right now?

For us right now, header bidding is not really strategic. It’s mainly just about adding more demand sources. But it’s the best solution we have to do that right now, at least until server-to-server gets wider adoption.

Whereas, programmatic guaranteed absolutely is more strategically important longer-term.

And there is definitely growing interest in programmatic guaranteed on the buy side. Currently it makes up about 10% of our programmatic sales, but that has really sprung up over the past couple of months.

The thing is, agencies all have programmatic targets for 2020, and programmatic guaranteed is an effective way to get spend over faster, and scale it measurably over time.

The tech still needs to advance, so once all DSPs are fully integrated, it’s going to be really interesting.

Looking ahead, what are the most important upcoming developments, or things publishers should be focusing on?

Understandably, most of the industry’s focus right now is on GDPR. But ePrivacy is likely to affect us more. And we still don’t yet know exactly what cookie consent will look like under ePrivacy. It could be at browser level, which puts even more power in the hands of the big tech firms.