Despite the consolidation that ad tech and the PR agencies that serve it have seen in recent years, the space remains extremely crowded. You can see this by taking a quick look at the evolution of the Lumascape; every year it grows. There are now thousands of companies that specialize in digital advertising, creating fierce competition for partners and vendors. It’s dominated by giants — Amazon, Facebook, and Google — who gobble up most of the dollars, but there are smaller companies that provide niche solutions. Many focus on specific areas like channels or identity. To stand out from the crowd, those companies need to put their best foot forward with the right ad tech PR. We recommend the following tactics to help ad tech businesses differentiate themselves from competitors.
Offer a distinct point of view on hot-button issues
Nothing gets more attention than a contrarian viewpoint on a hot topic in the news. PR should monitor accepted points of view is for relevant topics and check to see if any members of the senior team feel differently. Note that the POV needs to be authentic, however; a quick take for the sake of being contrarian won’t work if it isn’t thoughtful and sincere. A POV offers currency for proactive pitching as well as content development. If your company is willing to say what others won’t, you have found a megaphone.
Share relevant and timely data
Just as with targeted advertising, data is the holy grail in ad tech PR. Reporters love data and prospective clients are won by seeing interesting data pulls in the trade and business press. Additionally, pulling data internally can be a great way to keep the company involved in the news and add value to those who report on the current news cycles.
Build strong reporter relationships
There isn’t an infinite list of reporters covering ad tech. Ad tech PR isn’t like consumer PR where you could be hitting up different people every day, and it’s impossible to keep track of changes without a deep database. We’re talking to the same 20 to 30 people every day. It is very much worth a company’s time to build relationships with reporters. This includes giving them commentary that may not be directly tied to your business, letting them pick your brain and even allowing off-the-record conversations to give background. These relationship-building moments are key to telling your story.
Clients need to speak
Many reporters aren’t willing to write a story about a technology provider without an advertiser or publisher willing to speak about the value proposition. It makes sense. They want to see third-party validation to understand just how valuable the technology is to the industry. Vendors that set up programs with their clients encouraging them to participate in media opportunities earn greater share of voice and more placements in higher-tier publications.
Think outside the B2B box
PR doesn’t just need to be pitching over email. We should get creative with tactics. When it was announced that Chrome would phase out cookies, we had a client send a mailer to key ad tech reporters with actual edible cookies and an explainer on their view on the move, which was distinct and interesting. That mailer helped differentiate their offering and build relationships with reporters well into the future.
Have any other tips for breaking through the noise? Reach out and let me know.