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Q&A with Alex Gardner, Chief Revenue Officer at Index Exchange

Written by Rebecca Rozakis 10/9/2020July 12th, 2021

It’s no surprise that the demand landscape will be different in 4Q’20, but what should we expect? We spoke with Alex Gardner, Chief Revenue Officer at Index Exchange to get his take on the upcoming and unprecedented fourth quarter.


1. What does 4Q look like for you and your team? How is it different from the rest of the year?

2020 has been a challenging year, no doubt, but I think Q4 will surprise us (in a good way). I’m feeling very optimistic. As an industry, we had an incredible end to the summer and Q3 — ad spend has been outperforming our expectations, which is remarkable. That said, we mustn’t be naive to the possibility of a relapse, but even with that looming threat, marketers have demonstrated their resilience and ability to adapt quickly. I expect to see the full strength of their wallets in the all important fourth.

If this momentum keeps up — particularly in categories like CPG, retail, and even auto (which has been picking up of late) — this year’s Cyber Monday could be one of the biggest we’ve seen.

Again, this year hasn’t been short of its challenges — the second quarter was particularly tough for the industry at large. But we expect (and hope) the growth we saw in Q3 will carry into Q4, especially as we move into the holiday season.


2. How will the demand landscape be different this year vs last year? Will timing, budgets, etc be impacted due to COVID in any way?

Media buying and creative strategies have had to completely shift in the COVID world — messages that resonated last year aren’t necessarily resonating anymore, and both publishers and advertisers are aware of that fact.

Beyond messaging, though, marketers have had to retool their budgets and campaign timing to match consumers’ new habits. It took some time to adjust, but I think marketers are prepared now. Expect a meaningful push, more so than ever before, from all forms of ecommerce ad spend in pursuit of capturing as many consumers as possible.


3. What advice do you have for publishers to prepare their video business for the coming quarter?

Focus on quality. As omnichannel capabilities increase, so do the opportunities for publishers to drive economies of scale — boosting cost savings and driving efficiencies across touchpoints. As you scale, though, I’d say stay laser-focused on quality assurance. From our end, we’ve built an omnichannel strategy that places both quality and trust at the forefront.

Additionally, buyers will do what they can to ensure quality and that will largely manifest in deals corresponding to curated supply. The key for publishers will be to devise strategies that alleviate the added cost and burden typically associated with deals. They should consider how best to work with their platform partners in an effort to address this challenge and secure budget!

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