For years the digital media industry has been plagued by the ironic amount of paper pushing and inefficiency that should not exist in a “digital” industry. From the RFP process, to planning, to billing reconciliation, we have had an exhorbinant amount of high labor/low value work being handled by highly paid staff who we would all love to see spending their time on more strategic and valuable tasks.
The IAB has finally stepped in and just announced their proposed solution – the “E-Business Interactive Standards“, in beta (additionally the IAB released other guidelines today including guidelines for serving into AJAX).
Admittedly creating a universal standard is a tough nut to crack, and surprisingly nobody has stepped up to the plate with universal tools to solve this fundamental time suck of connecting buyers and sellers of digital media electronically, I am not sure if the IAB issuing a set of guidelines and XML code is the solution, but it’s a damn good start. The tools that do exist to connect buyers and sellers are fragmented proprietary integrations into existing tools like ad servers and do not provide a universal method that makes buyers or sellers feel any efficiency. I know firsthand that agencies aren’t big fans and I’ve heard many publishers grumbling over the fact that the tools actually take longer than the manual option.
A standard must emerge. There is too much inefficiency in the paper pushing process – too much time is wasted, too many mistakes slip through the cracks. This will be an area that I will focus on covering throughout 2009. Stay tuned.