Selling Jelly Belly, Programmatically

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BeansSan Francisco-based agency Nice Advertising services small-to-midsize CPG brands like Jelly Belly, Sunsweet and Crystal Geyser.

The independent agency is creating a programmatic buying outfit in-house, partnering with TubeMogul as its dedicated video demand-side platform.

The growth in programmatic spend is most striking. Since the agency’s Director of media and analytics Eliot Kent-Uritam joined Nice one year ago, the percent of client media spend appropriated to programmatic buying has gone from barely a blip on the radar to the double digits.

“For a programmatic unit, you can certainly inform what’s working and what’s not from a targeting standpoint,” Kent-Uritam said. “Admittedly, we’re on the smaller side (the agency manages media spend in the $10 to $100 million range). One of our advantages is being nimble and being fluid as far as how the money gets spent. We don’t want to run a separate profit center and call it a trading desk.”

Instead, Nice is deploying what’s termed as a “private” trading desk for client Jelly Belly, where the advertiser, agency and DSP strike a deal directly to pass on cost savings to the client by promising performance and transparency.

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PubChecker’s Certification-Centric Ad Fraud Solution

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fraudThis is the fourth in a series of interviews with vendors combating the problem of ad fraud. Other companies participating in this series include White Ops, DoubleVerify, Moat,Telemetry, Asia RTB and Integral Ad Science. Read previous interviews with ForensiqIntegral Ad Science and Videology.

 To combat ad fraud, many in the industry have been looking to technology that detects bots and other types of fraudulent traffic. But PubChecker founder Chris Mejia sees a better way: “Preventing ad fraud is not a technology problem. It’s a business rules problem.”

Code that identifies and shuts down fraudulent traffic creates “a game of whack-a-mole,” Mejia described. “It’s so easy to come back as another entity. Until you raise the gates on getting access, that’s going to continue to be a problem.”

His solution is PubChecker. Publishers that want to be verified through PubChecker pass a set of hurdles that are easy for legitimate publishers to jump over but very hard for bad actors to fake. The end goal is to enable programmatic buyers to transact on these verified impressions programmatically.

As founder, he is now in the early stages of signing up publishers and creating relationships with agencies, exchanges, and ad networks.

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Merkle: “Addressability Is The Future of CRM”

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DavidWilliamsMerkleMerkle’s been busy.

Since 2011, the privately held CRM and database marketing agency has been on an acquisition roll: Brilig (data exchange); 5th Finger (responsive design); Social Amp (social commerce); IMPAQT (search engine marketing); New Control (digital and direct marketing agency services); and, most recently in July, RKG (search).

It’s all part of what Merkle CEO David Williams called a plan to create “one fully integrated company.”

Merkle’s client roster currently includes big names across a variety of verticals: Geico and Travelers in insurance, Dell and Google in tech, The Office Depot and Urban Outfitters in the retail space and Chase and Visa in financial services.

But it’s not about being everything to everyone, Williams said – it’s about doing certain things well, like creating a nexus between data and digital. For an agency that went from managing about $20 million in media four years ago to a projected $650 million run rate today, the watchword is addressability, what Merkle CMO Craig Dempster described at the time of the RKG acquisition as “the ability to execute digital communications to the individual at a level of scale.”

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Will 2015 Will Be The Year Of Private Marketplaces?

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barry-lowenthal“Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Barry Lowenthal, president at The Media Kitchen.

A couple of years ago we started exploring using private marketplaces. But we weren’t successful at getting wide adoption, within the agency or from publishers. But that’s all changed and 2015 is shaping up to be the breakthrough year.

It made sense that private marketplaces would an important part of the programmatic ecosystem. We tried to shift significant budgets to programmatic channels starting in 2011 but couldn’t buy enough inventory and wound up spending more money buying site direct than in programmatic channels simply due to inventory scarcity.

That dynamic made no sense, because it was more efficient to buy media programmatically through DSPs and much easier for publishers to sell media programmatically through SSPs. But buyers and sellers weren’t connecting mostly because sellers were worried about cost per mille (CPM) deflation.

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Everyone Has A Monetization Platform For Publishers

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Receive The Sell Sider in your inbox twice a week by signing up for the email here, and selecting The Publisher Newsletter. 

The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Michael Persaud, director of programmatic advertising at Wenner Media.

The publisher-facing ad technology ecosystem continues to evolve. Spend a few months out of the loop and you'll return to a new world.

When given the responsibility of managing all "secondary" revenue sources, my team inadvertently was given the keys to the kingdom. We had to vet all new media platforms, SSPs, DSPs, DMPs, exchanges, networks and ad tech in-betweeners.

Once the word was out, we became the “go-to” contacts and were hit with a barrage of emails about new “game-changing” products. It started with a few pitches a week. Then it turned into a flood.

Out of necessity, we quickly became adept at evaluating platforms and answering some key questions. Where do you start? How do you evaluate the merits of cold-calling vendors? How do you test them?

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Instagram's Brand Tools; Soundcloud's Foray Into Ads

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Heoffre's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.

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It’s finally happened: Instagram has made generally available a set of tools for brands. Read the blog. What’s in the offering? An account insights dashboard that shows impressions, reach and engagement; an ads insights dashboard that shows how paid media campaigns are performing, with the usual KPIs depicting impressions, reach and frequency; and an ad staging interface through which marketing teams can develop and preview creative. The Instagram blog post says the tools will provide “a real-time campaign summary and data showing how their target audience is responding to each of their sponsored photos. Also, brand marketers will be able to better understand the best time of day to post a photo or video.” Read the rest of this entry »


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Brands Need Better Metrics If SnapChat Expects Them To Spend Big

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SnapChatIt’s a bit of a three-way Catch-22: SnapChat needs to monetize, advertisers need to see solid engagement metrics and ROI and SnapChat users need to feel like they’re not being blasted by irrelevant advertising.

Therein lies the rub for several of the agencies AdExchanger spoke with following The Wall Street Journal’s report on a new feature dubbed SnapChat Discovery that aims to enable brands and publishers to share ads and other media content with SnapChat users. Discovery will reportedly be available in November.

There’s not too much information about how exactly Discovery will work – SnapChat declined to comment – but it appears like it’ll function similarly to how users currently engage with the platform. Discovery will ostensibly enable users to watch videos, read articles and view advertisements by holding a finger down on the screen. Noah Mallin, social media practice lead at MEC, theorized that content might ostensibly be quarantined into a separate stream along the lines of what Twitter does with its Discover feature.

And that’s all well and good – but what about the metrics?

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Facebook And Google Dominate App Usage – Does Anyone Else Stand A Chance?

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phoneloveNo one would disagree that smartphone users are spending a ton of time in apps, and here are some more numbers to prove it.

A report released Thursday by comScore found that apps now account for more than 50% of all digital media time spent, though it’s interesting to note that mobile growth isn’t vampirically sucking the life out of traditional web usage, which actually grew 1% between June 2013 and June 2014.

Not only are users spending more time that ever in mobile apps, they’re spending more time than ever in particular apps. According to comScore, users spend 42% of their in-app time in their single most-used app, whatever that may be – although it’s not too difficult to figure out what those apps most likely are.

The comScore study noted that the various offerings from Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay account for the top nine out of 10 most-used apps. Facebook tops the list as the app with both the largest audience and the biggest share of time spent.

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NFL’s Mobile Chief Moves To Tremor To Lead SSP Roll-Out

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ManishThe National Football League’s (NFL) GM of mobile, Manish Jha, has leapt to Tremor Video to spearhead sell-side relationships in his new role as president of publisher platforms.

“Tremor has been working with the NFL for some time now and we were really able to manage our direct sales business and network relationship in a way that (reduced) channel conflict,” Jha said of his decision to move to the video vendor. Tremor also has premium publisher relationships with Viacom and NBC Local.

“[Another] piece was the evolution… of video content consumption on all kinds of devices and Tremor’s focus on programmatic,” attracting agency trading desks and advertisers, he added.

Tremor, which began as a video ad network, has steadily morphed into a buyers’ and sellers’ marketplace. The company rolled out demand-side platform (DSP) VideoHub Connect last fall as an extension of its VideoHub analytics product and this spring launched all-screen campaign optimization that 56 advertisers have adopted. Tremor also revealed plans for a supply-side platform (SSP) to help premium publishers monetize content.

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