Conversion Data: A Key To Cutting Waste

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iandavidson“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 Ian Davidson, senior director of platform demand at OpenX.

If we want the best-case scenario for programmatic media buying, we can't hesitate addressing the challenges inherent to the ecosystem.

One of the key challenges: waste.

Waste works against value. It works against conversions. And if we want to eliminate it, we have to ask ourselves some tough questions.

Now, we might address fraud or viewability, but another significant way of thinking about waste in programmatic is to approach the parts of the process that our industry has traditionally feared changing.

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Connected TV: What Publishers Need To Know

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

Today’s column is written by Joydeep Gangopadhyay, solutions architecture at LiveRail, a Facebook company.

In our cross-screen universe, digital omnivores – also known as cross-platform consumers – love to watch and share videos, using a variety of connected devices to do so. But we aren’t just talking about short videos of funny cat tricks or game-winning touchdown passes. Nearly half of consumers view full-length movies and TV shows over the Internet daily, and more than a third do so weekly.

When considering what channel will help drive success for brand advertisers and enable a high-quality, engaging user experience, connected TV devices provide the ideal medium for video ads. While adoption of Internet-enabled TVs among consumers was slower than first anticipated by industry analysts, their popularity has significantly climbed over the past several years. Today, 63% of US households own an Internet-ready TV and, by 2020, one in four TVs worldwide is expected to be a connected TV. These TVs, along with over-the-top (OTT) content, offer consumers new mediums with which to view online video content.

From a content perspective, publishers need to ask themselves what their users want to watch on their connected TV devices. Because consumers typically use these devices in the comfort of their own homes, they expect a high-quality experience with “TV-like” episodic content. Users also usually spend more time using a specific app than they would on their mobile device.

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Apple's Data Perspective; Meager TV Ad Spend Growth

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

Does Apple Care?

CEO Tim Cook draws a hard line between Apple’s mission and other companies that plumb for data. In a TV interview with Charlie Rose, he said, “Our business is not based on having information about you. You’re not our product. Our products are these, and this watch, and Macs and so forth. And so we run a very different company.” Insert frowny face for any marketer hoping to leverage Apple Pay transaction data for attribution modeling. Read more via Re/code and watch the clip.

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Adobe's Strong Q3: Marketing Cloud Wins, Uptick in 'Large' Deals

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AdobeQ3Adobe's fiscal Q3 was relatively strong as the company reported $290 million in revenue for its Adobe Marketing Cloud portfolio of products, up from the $254.9 million recorded in Q3 last year. Adobe Systems' total revenue was $1 billion in the quarter.

Overall, Adobe Marketing Cloud cited strong customer adoption in the third quarter, counting British Sky, Ford Motor Co., H&M, the US Department of Treasury and Adidas among key client wins.

"It really is in our best interest to manage and deliver the entire customer platform," said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Systems CEO, during the company's Q3 earnings call.

Although he cited Adobe Campaign (formerly Neolane, the cross-channel campaign tool it bought about a year ago) and Adobe Experience Manager as key drivers for the overall marketing portfolio, "we're seeing an increase in multiyear deployments as well as [selling] more solutions within existing customers," which is leading to increased "stickiness" around the entire cloud portfolio.

Narayen said a combination of factors contributed to the traction this quarter, including an increase in size and volume of transactions, international expansion, growth in partner business, as well as a shift in perpetual to term-based contracts, which indicate larger, multiyear agreements. Read the rest of this entry »


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Digital Stars Rise At Publicis Groupe, VivaKi Bifurcated

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stephan-rishadThe first half of 2014 was sobering, to put it mildly, for Publicis Groupe and its CEO, Maurice Levy.

In the wake of the holding company's failed megamerger with Omnicom Group and its weak second-quarter earnings report, Levy needs to show digital strength. Some structural changes announced Tuesday may help it do that.

Among the key changes: VivaKi has formalized a divided structure with two CEOs, digital agency Rosetta has been absorbed into the Razorfish brand and Rishad Tobaccowala, who once led strategy for VivaKi, has ascended to become chief strategy officer of the global Publicis organization. (Press release)

And Maurice Levy will postpone retirement until 2017, at which point he will be 75 years old.

Below is a rundown of the most important changes pertaining to data-driven media.

VivaKi In Two Pieces

VivaKi now has two divisions, with two CEOs. VivaKi Exchange reports to Simon Pardon and focuses on media trading, negotiation and execution. This arm is dedicated to leveraging the media investment clout spread across all of Publicis' media agencies to get favorable rates and placements.

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Twitter Rolls Out Lookalike Audiences, New Mobile Ad IDs, Targeting By Phone Number

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twitter-crm-usethisTwitter’s Tailored Audiences just got a little more more tailored.

Advertisers can now augment their customer data using mobile advertising IDs and mobile phone numbers as a way to reach existing customers and increase audience size. In essence, the move is an extension of Twitter’s Tailored Audiences for CRM retargeting, which allows advertisers to use hashed non-PII email address to retarget existing customers.

Twitter also rolled out the ability to target lookalike audiences, a function that seems pretty similar to Facebook’s tool of the same name. Twitter’s lookalike modeling uses a proprietary algorithm that examines modeled users looking for similarities related to behaviors, interests, location, demographic attributes and engagement patterns.

Twitter described its enhanced offerings in a blog post on Tuesday as “part of improved targeting options to help advertisers reach additional users similar to their existing audiences.”

Tailored Audiences, Twitter’s seeming answer to the Facebook Exchange (FBX), officially launched back in December after running retargeting and database matching tests in July. Twitter has appeared to follow Facebook’s lead with a number of its recent roll-outs, including site retargeting, CRM targeting and now retargeting via lookalike audiences. (Facebook also makes it possible to target users by phone numbers through Custom Audiences.)

At the time of the original launch of Tailored Audiences, Alex Andreyev, director of omnichannel marketing at Neo@Ogilvy, referred to Twitter’s Tailored Audiences as “following in the footsteps of Facebook’s audience-buying strategies. They’re taking user cookie behavior (first- and third-party) to power retargeting and audience profile opportunities within their native ad units, similar to what Facebook did with FBX.”

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Microsoft Tops Up Exchange With App And Phone Inventory

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MicrosoftDuring a presentation at the AppNexus annual Summit last November, Microsoft’s Esco Strong made a promise to beef up its exchange inventory.

As of Tuesday, Strong, director of programmatic managements, said that promise had been fulfilled in the form of new mobile inventory being made available in the Microsoft Advertising Exchange (MAX).

Advertisers in the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the UK can now bid on Windows Phone and Windows 8 in-app ads. MAX, which is powered by AppNexus, is live in 37 different geographic markets, a number that nearly doubled in the last 12 months.

Strong demurred when asked how much volume the new inventory added into the exchange, saying only that it represents “a significant increase in our supply.” MAX’s supply footprint took a hit when Microsoft replaced Hotmail with Outlook.com last year, but it’s been working to get the numbers back up. With the addition of phone and app inventory, as well as new supply from Outlook and Skype, Strong said MAX is back.

It’s an important move for Microsoft in its bid to remain a relevant player. According to July numbers from comScore, Microsoft's smartphone marketshare in the US is at just 3.6%.

“This is a business that is largely driven by scale and the need to be able to realize campaign goals at scale,” Strong said. “Not only will the new offering round out advertisers’ cross-screen inventory, but it also represents an overall bump in volume.”

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CPG For The Programmatic Win In Q2

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CPGspendLast quarter, not a single CPG broke into the top 25 list of brands spending on programmatic desktop display.

This quarter, according to Casale Media’s Index report for Q2, two made it into the top 10. Kellogg’s and Mondelēz took the sixth and eighth spots, respectively. (Data for the report was pulled from Casale's Index Exchange SSP.)

It’s a trend that’s not relegated to display. As AdExchanger reported at the end of August, mobile CPG spend was also up in Q2 across multiple exchanges.

“About 90% of what we do today is still display, but the increase of CPG mobile spend is indicative of the cross-screen trend,” said Andrew Casale, VP of strategy at Casale Media. “The rise in CPG spend is happening everywhere.”

CPG was the second-biggest sector in terms of programmatic spend in Q2 at 14%, behind retail at 26% and financial at 12%. Casale Media came to its findings by indexing all of its impressions for the second quarter, roughly 300 billion across 50,000 brands.

Casale also noted that more brands appear to be willing to get down and dirty with programmatic, bypassing agencies, trading desks and other managed service providers. The share of spend coming from the marketer community increased from 11% in Q4 2013 to 12% last quarter.

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The Google Effect: What Will Be The Ultimate Cost?

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reneehill“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 Renee Hill, president and co-CEO at Eyereturn Marketing.

The WSJ recently examined Google’s seemingly under-the-radar transition from search information conduit 10 years ago to full-fledged content- and commerce-driven destination today.

Pre-IPO, Google was a successful tool to push online users to brand sites, but now, more than ever, this search engine keeps those same users on its own sites by offering content that is at least as good – if not better – than what advertisers’ paid search results provide.

For example, if you search for Tesla’s stock symbol, TSLA, Google presents the share price directly in the search results. Immediately beneath the chart, the first link leads to Google Finance, where all of the stocks statistics are presented, in addition to a summary of all relevant business news concerning the stock. Historically, the user would have ended up on a business news site, such as Stockhouse or Financial Post, but with Google’s interception, this user will likely find out what they were after and remain on Google.

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