Sheryl Goldstein is Executive Vice President and Chief Industry Growth Officer at the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau), an organization whose original mission — to reduce friction between digital ad buyers and sellers by promulgating standards — has expanded on a number of important fronts. Today, the IAB conducts research, legislative outreach, fields a large number of working groups and topic-specific boards, and hosts an annual event called ALM (Annual Leadership Meeting) that brings together reps from brands, publishers, platforms, and adtech vendors to discuss pressing industry issues in order to find workable solutions.
Sheryl and I have known each other for a long time; in fact, we were friends even before the IAB was formed in 1996. Of course, the digital marketing ecosystem has changed massively in the past 28 years, and so has the IAB’s original mission, which has expanded to include a wide range of working groups and initiatives, including those concerning industry diversity and regulatory issues.
I wanted to catch up with Sheryl to get her POV on where the IAB — and the adtech industry — is going these days. She notes that the IAB is particularly focused on educating legislators in the U.S. about the inadequacies of today’s patchwork of state-by-state privacy regulations. With respect to encouraging more diversity in the digital ad space, she observes that both agencies and brands have recently accelerated their efforts but that much work needs to be done in this area. She also notes that while encouraging diversity and other requirements such as carbon-neutrality is important, there can be unintended negative consequences for small players who may not have the resources necessary to successfully meet the many new requirements now finding their way into RFIs.
We discuss current IAB working groups, including a new one, “Retail Media,” formed to address issues concerning a new generation of retailers who are beginning to behave more like publishers than regular merchants. Our conversation then turns to how brands should (and should not) respond to negative changes in the macroeconomic environment, as many believe will happen in 2023. Finally, we discuss what Sheryl is excited about for the industry in 2023.
P.S. If you are interested in a great in-person networking and learning event, check out the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting, happening in January 2023 in Florida at Marco Island.