Partnership” is a great word — and in the land of digital there are hundreds of them. But why does it seem that digital advertising partners really mean partnership when all too often people think they mean supplier or vendor?

As a publisher, you probably have a proud brand heritage, possibly built over hundreds of years. And you are right to be proud.

However, the landscape has changed, especially the advertising business.

There is a great opportunity in fostering partnerships instead of maintaining strict vendor-supplier relationships.
There is a great opportunity in fostering partnerships instead of maintaining strict vendor-supplier relationships.

The lines between customer and supplier have become blurred. Direct sales aside, the way in which ad demand can be delivered to your Web sites has changed so much that the people who place advertising with you treat you as the customer. What’s all that about?

The question is do they need you more than you need them, and will you get more from them by shouting or working hard with them? There is nothing wrong with a bit of pressure, of course, but how do you treat them in return?

You’re probably aware of the owned, earned, and paid media concept. This, simply put, means that you require your customers to put in some effort too, to maximise their investment with you, so that you can get them to invest again, thus creating a partnership with them.

It would be a little crazy if you didn’t do the same with your own partners, wouldn’t it?

In the third-party ad demand space there is increasing competition and innovation — along with an increase in demand. When considering whom you are going to work with, you really will get more from them by working in a partnership.

Do as good a job as possible to make their business a success, and you will benefit, too.

The new digital age will be built on partnerships and plumbing — a symbiotic existence. There’s no room for arrogance here.