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Marketing Mixed Opinions On The Future Of Attribution

IndustryPreview2015The attribution space heated up this year. First Google snapped up Adometry, then AOL grabbed Convertro. Not to be left out, Rakuten bought DC Storm.

Everybody wants a solution to the attribution problem – but attribution is more than just another shiny object.

“The marketer’s world has never been more fragmented – from channels to possibilities within channels,” said Anush Prabhu, chief channel planning and investment office at Deutsch NY.

“Data is the new integration,” he said.

What key factors will drive change in the marketing attribution space in the coming year?

To answer that, AdExchanger reached out to three speakers at the upcoming Industry Preview 2015 conference. The three will participate in a panel discussion called "The Colliding Worlds of Attribution and Marketing Mix Modeling."


MediaMath’s Adroit To Super-Charge Data Co-Op Via Acquisition Of Analytics Company Arcametrics

AdroitBuysArcametricsWhat’s better than first-party shopper data? First-party shopper data paired with predictive analytics.

That’s the thinking behind Adroit Digital’s acquisition of Arcametrics, a small North Carolina-based company whose technology uses predictive modeling to create lookalike audiences based on high-quality customers.

Adroit declined to share details of the deal, including price, although company president Jacob Ross said current Arcametrics employees will join the Adroit team in “various technology roles.” Adroit plans to assimilate the Arcametrics brand into its own.

After being acquired by DSP MediaMath back in 2010, Adroit (known at the time as Adroit Interactive) was relaunched in 2013 as Adroit Digital based on the Advertising Decisioning Solutions (ADS) technology MediaMath had previously bought from Akamai. The result was a shared data co-op that Ross refers to as “Adroit’s crown jewel.”

Dubbed the Data Collective, Adroit’s shared data co-op is comprised of about 400 million customer profiles and tracks roughly 100 million unique purchasers each month, including transactional data related to in-market consumer behavior such as browsing, adding items to a cart and actual purchases. That data is then shared in an open model among 250 large-scale e-commerce marketers.

And that, Ross said, is where Arcametrics comes in.


Consolidating In-Store: Brickstream Acquires NOMi For Offline Analytics

NomiBrickShortly after NOMi – a company that bills itself as the Omniture of the brick and mortar store – acquired cross-device startup Media Armor, NOMi itself has been acquired by in-store analytics competitor Brickstream.

Apple delivered a major blow to a core part of NOMi’s business when it revealed this summer that it would begin randomizing Media Access Control (MAC) addresses for mobile operating system iOS8. This basically meant any WiFi-based tracker that relied on the MAC address to identify recurring visits in-store now had a scramble of digits to show for it.

Although this was a boon for consumer privacy, it left some, like NOMi, in an operational tangle.

Re-code reported in August that NOMi, which previously deployed video in addition to WiFi-based tracking methods, would ramp up its investment in the former and in beacon-based technology. Consequently, because WiFi installations were more labor intensive than iBeacons, there were subsequent staff cuts at the company, which Re-code pinned around 20 out of a 60-person total.

With NOMi halting WiFi sensor installations, it unsurprisingly saw “bluetooth and beacons increase in adoption,” CEO Marc Ferrentino told AdExchanger. “We saw the customer [cared less about the method of detection] than they did about getting the value and information they need for a better customer experience. … The Brickstream deal makes a lot of sense for us” looking long term.


Nielsen And Adobe Ink A Deal In The Name Of Cross-Platform Measurement

NielsenDCRNielsen and Adobe revealed a partnership Tuesday designed to combine Nielsen’s digital audience measurement products with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime, the company’s platform for online TV delivery and monetization, making both available to joint Nielsen/Adobe clients through Adobe Marketing Cloud.

The result is Digital Content Ratings (DCR), a cross-platform census-based metric that aims to do for digital media what Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) does for advertising initiatives or what its TV ratings do for broadcast TV.

To that end, DCR looks at digital media consumption across online TV, video, games, audio or text via all the digital content usual suspects – desktop, mobile, game consoles or over-the-top (OTT) boxes, like Roku, Apple TV or Google TV.

Joint Adobe/Nielsen clients ESPN, Sony Pictures, Turner Broadcasting, Univision and Viacom are taking part in the DCR beta test. Nielsen and Adobe expect to make the product generally available in 2015, although which quarter remains to be seen, Ashley Still, Adobe’s senior director of product management, told AdExchanger.


Socialbakers CEO Discusses Social Analytics And In-Feed Native Measurement

SBPlenty of companies offer social analytics, but the industry seems to lack a unified definition of what constitutes social native marketing and how best to measure sponsored content on social channels.

And according to analytics company Socialbaker's CEO and co-founder, Jan Rezab, all content is going to move to social channels one way or another.

In June, Socialbakers acquired Chicago-based startup EdgeRank Checker to help the company hone its native ad metrics and help define standardization for social measurement.

Most recently, the company unwrapped a platform for tracking and ranking brands that produce the most consistently engaging content for their audiences. Socialbakers debuted the platform, dubbed Smart Storytellers, at Social Media Week in London late last month.

Socialbakers mines data from a number of social networks to offers marketers competitively comparative intel.

“We do math around publically and privately available data and visualize it in the best possible way across multiple networks,” explained Rezab.

With 300-plus employees, Socialbakers has more than doubled in size in the past year. The company is headquartered in Prague and operates 13 offices in 11 countries. Since its launch in 2009, Socialbakers has racked up more than 2,500 clients across verticals, among them Louis Vuitton and Nestle. To date, the company has raised $34 million in total funding.

Rezab spoke to AdExchanger about best practices for monitoring and measuring data from increasing social interactions.

ADEXCHANGER: What differentiates Socialbakers from other analytics companies?

JAN REZAB: Social analytics is a fascinatingly crowded space, but not if you differentiate between two types of companies. We should subtract data agencies that take data analysis from a company like us, interpret it and call it social media analytics. That is technically a social analytics service, but that sector is a service built on top of our data.

Social listening companies also aren’t exactly social analytics companies. Google Analytics is a form of social listening, for example, but it doesn’t offer intel from other channels or competitors. You’d have to look at someone like comScore on top of Google Analytics in order to add on market research, and you’d still need media monitoring. Socialbakers does all the monitoring, listening and analytics in one place.


Programmatic I/O: Cross-Screen Measurement Is About Revenue – And Collaboration

crossdeviceRather than an isolated channel, programmatic is a means to an end – and it all starts with measurement between devices and across channels.

And from measurement comes revenue.

“The whole cross-device measurement question is about understanding the broader marketing goal, but we also all know that if it’s not measured, it’s not valued,” said Carat Global Chief Digital Officer Anthony Rhind during a panel session on the subject at the Programmatic I/O conference in New York City on Wednesday.

“Cracking the cross-channel piece is about getting revenue growth for the programmatic component of our industry.”

Much of the cross-channel measurement question also revolves around figuring out how to create a bridge between online engagement and offline activity. The impetus for establishing that connection comes from both the buy side and the sell side, said David Wong, VP of product at Nielsen.

“Naturally advertisers want to understand how investment online impacts offline sales, but the sell side also wants to understand how their inventory influences offline behavior,” Wong said. “For example, we’ve done work with CBS to see how their content relates to offline sales.”


Pinterest Adds Better Measures For Its Future Advertisers

pinterest-dashboardPinterest has the best data among the social platforms that have yet to embrace ads in a big way.

It's often said the company, like Google, is inherently intent-based, exposing potential future purchases each time a user "pins" the wrap skirt or maple countertop her heart desires.

Today Pinterest is creating more granularity around user interactions with the rollout of new reporting capabilities showing pins, repins, shares and other interactions with a business's presence on the service.

The offering is the company's first global product rollout for advertisers (Promoted Pins, its paid media product, is still in a limited beta test), and is available in 31 languages to all marketers that convert to a business account. The point is to help business users, "partners" in Pinterest's parlance, identify what's resonating and use that information to support marketing initiatives.

Data available through the new interface include total reach for a business account's pins, broken down by gender, device type, country or metro area when applicable. Aggregate actions such as total repins, clicks and shares are available, as is repin data for individual pins.

Over time Pinterest says it will offer more data on specific pins, and on interactions with the "pin it" buttons companies host on their own websites. It's easy to see the implication for ads when the analytics dashboard can show reach and performance of organic vs. paid pins.


Entrenched Among Mobile Exchanges, Metamarkets Sets Its Sights On Agency Trading Desks

metamarketsMetamarkets founder and CEO Mike Driscoll is wary of describing his company’s technology as a “Bloomberg Terminal” for online advertising. Though it’s a shorthand used by Khosla Ventures, a Metamarkets investor, Driscoll steps cautiously around it.

“It’s not our place to analogize our products and services,” he said. “It’s a seductive metaphor, but it was Ari Paparo [a Google, Nielsen and AppNexus alum] that said analogies from the financial markets to the media markets can be dangerous.”

Driscoll described Metamarkets, which through four rounds of funding has netted $28.5 million, according to CrunchBase, as a SaaS analytics platform designed to help a range of companies make sense of media transactions. Its biggest customers have been mobile exchanges and supply-side platforms.

Last week, AdFin – which like Metamarkets bills itself as an analytics and business intelligence (BI) tool for online media – described its aspiration to create a data pool enabling views of a broader market. This isn’t Metamarkets’ value proposition, however.

“There’s no pooling of data that occurs at Metamarkets,” Driscoll said. “The exchanges that work with us provide us with real-time feeds teed off directly from their systems.” Essentially, clients provide Metamarkets the data, and Metamarkets processes it in real time.

“The market we serve most effectively have been the SSPs and exchanges, particularly the mobile guys,” Driscoll added, ticking off Chartboost, Millennial Media, Inneractive, Yahoo’s Flurry, Twitter’s MoPub and Smaato as the company’s “most active and healthy commercial relationships.”


Adobe’s 'Project Iceberg' Looks Beneath The Surface Of Attribution

scharf-attributionAdobe has tweaked its approach to attribution, removing out-of-view ads from its attribution model in an effort dubbed “Project Iceberg.”

The project has allowed the company to analyze the viewability of sequences of ads served to individual users, as part of its larger evaluation of how well those ads drove subscriptions for its Creative Cloud product suite.

Ad inventory attribution is what Matt Scharf, manager of display operations and analytics within Adobe's global marketing organization, has called “the forgotten side of viewability.” Scharf has said attribution platforms need to exclude out-of-view ads so that marketers can target higher-quality inventory, and that’s what this project has done.

"Attribution models aren't ingesting viewability data so they cannot exclude the events that are not in view," he wrote in an AdExchanger column published in March.

To solve this problem, Adobe began working with two of its ad tech vendors – MarketShare and DoubleVerify – to plug viewability data directly into its attribution models and exclude out-of-view ads. MarketShare provides a multitouch attribution platform and DoubleVerify is a viewability management vendor.

“This project was about measuring viewability at the cookie and impression level and excluding those (out-of-view) touches from our attribution,” Scharf said.


Analytics Firm AdFin Changes Leadership

Jeanne Houweling, CEO, AdFinAdFin co-founder Jeanne Houweling has moved on from her position as the digital advertising analytics firm's CEO for “personal reasons,” a move confirmed by company co-founder and CTO Milosz Tansky.

Tansky, who’s operating as interim CEO, said Houweling will continue her involvement with AdFin on the advisory board.

“Outside of that we're just as focused on our mission as before,” Tansky said. “We will have some exciting news to share soon but we're not ready to make any announcements yet.”

AdFin’s mission is to provide what Houweling called a “Bloomberg terminal for digital media.” In other words, AdFin provides an analytics platform, and not a marketplace, that both the buy side and sell side can tap to optimize their purchasing or pricing decisions.

The platform is designed to collect analytics from clients’ first-party data and mash it together with data from third-party sources including demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs), agency trading desks, exchanges and publishers.

By combining these data sources, AdFin creates an index and licenses it to clients as an analytics tool.