RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Data-Driven Thinking’ Category


It’s Time To Move Beyond Viewability: Better Metrics Await

chris-stark-2"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 Chris Stark, senior vice president of product marketing at Grapeshot.

There’s a fair amount of debate regarding display and video viewability standards now being transacted in the marketplace and it’s not surprising that as an industry we are not seeing the forest for the trees.

In order to better benchmark ad effectiveness, there is a desire for broad agreement on the degree of exposure a digital ad gets on a given screen. The real debate is as much about the methods by which exposure is measured and certified as it is about the threshold itself. Surrounding the issue is a general wariness that the current “standard” may gain irreversible traction because it facilitates ad buying today, despite its potential flaws.

While the debate is a valid one, I’m hopeful that the discourse will not get stuck on the narrow scope of viewability standards. We need to get back to asking what ad tech can offer brands to make metrics more relevant and useful.

(more…)


Programmatic: A Rising Tide

picard-datadriven"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 Eric Picard, CEO at Rare Crowds.

While we’ve been sitting in the progressively warmer water of the “programmatic kettle” without noticing the heat, the world has changed. The incremental changes have been small, but they have been happening constantly and quickly. Taken together, these changes are significant.

The term programmatic has gone mainstream in the last year – at least in the ad industry. Chances are, if you mention to anyone in our space that you work in programmatic, you won’t have to explain what that means anymore. This is true even if you’re talking to a typically “out of touch” executive, because every major company in our space is not only engaging in programmatic, it’s a significant portion of their spending or revenue. They’re likely either hiring or have just hired an executive to manage it, and may have already had turnover in their executive roles in programmatic.

Publishers are finally facing the reality that this isn’t a fad and they’re not treating it like a bad thing anymore. They’re not only selling “just some” of their inventory on programmatic and they don’t just see it as a source of revenue from remnant inventory.

(more…)


Yahoo Profited Handsomely From Alibaba. Now What?

benkartzmanddt"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 Ben Kartzman, CEO at Spongecell.

Yahoo’s share of Alibaba has been something of a life preserver for the company. With Alibaba’s recent IPO, Yahoo now has a giant piggy bank on its hands. Even after selling about $9.5 billion worth of Alibaba shares in the IPO, Yahoo’s remaining stake in the Chinese company, along with its stake in Yahoo Japan, is worth an estimated $45 billion – more than Yahoo’s entire market capitalization.

To put that into perspective, a company could buy Yahoo, sell its Asian assets and essentially walk away with the company’s core business for free. Clearly, investors don’t think Yahoo’s core business is working, so what’s next? How can it use its stock holdings to become an advertising powerhouse?

Key In On Video

Video is what brand advertisers want. While display remains a potent tool for mid- and lower-funnel campaigns, video is unparalleled for upper-funnel initiatives. Yahoo’s competitors have taken notice. Witness AOL’s purchase of video ad server Adap.tv for $405 million. That company has been a revenue boon, allowing AOL to capitalize on the shift of budgets from display, and increasingly from television, to online video advertising, especially programmatic online video advertising. Yahoo could go a similar route, but it would be more prudent for the company to focus on growing its audience, because with eyes come dollars.

(more…)


Is It Time To Kill The Banner Ad?

marcusprattupdated"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 Marcus Pratt, vice president of insights and technology at Mediasmith.

Measured in digital years, the banner ad may be approaching old age. Is it time for retirement?

Wired placed the first banner ad in October 1994, so the banner is now approaching its 20th birthday. A lot has changed since then when the web was still a novelty, Internet penetration was low and those who could get online were lucky to do so at a blazing 56k, tying up a phone line for the privilege. Now the US Internet population approaches 90%, high-speed access can be found in any Starbucks and banner ads are routinely served at 30,000 feet.

Despite the massive growth of digital media, the banner ad itself still looks strikingly similar to the early versions of the '90s. To be fair, animations have (mostly) evolved past the Geocities era, a host of rich media executions provide multiple engagement options and banners sometimes expand beyond their borders.

But RTB media, which represents the fastest growth within display, consists almost entirely of what the industry has deemed “standard banners.” These standard banners can be static or animated, and are typically Flash or image files. At their core these standard banners bear striking similarity to their ancestors: a rectangular shape separated from the page “content” while bearing little relevance to the rest of the page.

The banner has grown up since ’94, but it may not have evolved enough to stay relevant on today’s web. Over the years, many have questioned whether the death of the banner ad was imminent, yet the banner has continued to flourish. The banner ad faces several key threats in 2014.

(more…)


Today’s Predictive Algorithms Are Still Better Than Humans

jeremystanley“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 Jeremy Stanley, chief data scientist at Sailthru.

Predicting the future is not easy.

Yet predictive algorithms are commonly criticized because they fail to perfectly foresee very rare events. That is because rare events are just that: uncommon and subtle. Asking a predictive algorithm to perfectly identify the 1% of consumers who will purchase a specific product is a wildly unrealistic expectation.

Keep in mind that, even with all the big data available today, these solutions are trying to predict human behavior. Humans are complicated, and there are billions of us all behaving in increasingly interconnected ways. Despite what Hollywood might lead you to believe, setting the expectation that an algorithm can predict our future behavior with anything near complete certainty is a fool’s errand.

So rather than looking to predictive algorithms to make definitive predictions, we should instead ask how much better is an algorithm at identifying these rare events than random guessing alone?

(more…)


DMPs Could Become The Fall Guy For A Flawed Ad Tech Marketplace

john-lee"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 John Lee, executive vice president at Merkle.

Challenged by an already short digital marketer attention span, the data-management platform (DMP) is already running the risk of going from today’s front-page news to the “Where are they now?” column all too quickly.

It’s not because there isn’t a lot of value to be had for marketers interested in maximizing their digital media and site personalization dollars. Today, advertisers can onboard valuable first-party segments and develop flexible online models and audiences that can be reached across multiple platforms. The audience creation, campaign management, syndication and analytic insight functionalities are very powerful and are driving measurable lift for some data-driven marketers.

In spite of this, several risk factors obscure the value and contribute to the potential premature demise of this once promising star.

(more…)


Focus On Relevancy, Not Reach

nicole-monteleone"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 Nicole Monteleone, director of analytics, modeling and business intelligence at Eyeview.

All brands with the basics of a modern marketing plan know an audience that “works” for them.

It’s usually not hard to identify the demographics for this group, which can be as simple as ESPN knowing that male sports fans will click sponsored social content to read the latest on Johnny Manziel. Engaging with the audience you’ve always known is usually a simple, logical process that delivers a better-than-average return on advertising spend relative to any other group a brand marketer targets.

The modern connected world has been great at delivering new channels through which brands can reach their bread-and-butter target group and attempt to expand their audiences. But with new ad technologies and channels seeming to appear overnight, the advertising industry’s “reach” is starting to exceed its grasp. We have more tools than ever before, but we aren’t sure how to use them in the most effective ways.

The most common missed opportunity of modern advertising isn’t neglecting a popular new channel – it’s identifying the obvious core audience that “works” for a brand and stopping there. While targeting broadly relevant demographics like male sports fans will generate positive results for ESPN, this approach is no longer the most cost-effective or smartest way to conduct a campaign. Relevancy, not reach, is the next frontier of advertising. The successful pioneers of this new frontier will be the brands that are willing to challenge their basic assumptions about audiences and targeting.

(more…)


Should Publishers Choose Mobile Apps Or Mobile Web?

michael-katz-2“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 Michael Katz, CEO and co-founder at mParticle.

Although media consumption has shifted to mobile and mobile apps, publisher dollars haven’t followed at the same pace, according to a recent comScore study. As a result, some have suggested that publishers abandon mobile app development in favor of building for the mobile web.

This type of thinking is not only built on faulty logic, it misses the big picture. The reality is that apps can unlock new and valuable data-driven opportunities for publishers and marketers.

Choosing whether to build a mobile website or a native app is a question that every media and commerce organization must ask itself as it readies for the future. But native apps and mobile web are two completely different consumer experiences. As such, they should be viewed as complementary, rather than competitive.

(more…)


It's Too Soon To Write The Mobile App’s Obituary

nishat-dunnhumby-usethis"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 Nishat Mehta, executive vice president of global partnerships at dunnhumby.

Mobile phone owners are using fewer apps, Deloitte recently reported, and 90% have never bought an app or other smartphone content. That has some industry observers concerned.

But that isn’t the whole story. Smartphone ownership continues to grow, and users are spending more of their digital time on mobile, especially in apps. How to explain these separate, seemingly contradictory trends?

In short, the mobile app economy is maturing. Rather than fearing that the app economy is on life support, or headed that way, it seems logical that people are spending more time on mobile apps but focusing on ones that come preloaded on their phones, plus a chosen few, indispensible apps.

(more…)


Are You Using Attention Metrics To Gauge Success?

justin-choi"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 Justin Choi, CEO at Nativo.

Online advertising grew up on a foundation of interruption. Audiences sought interesting, relevant content, and advertisers competed with editorial for their attention. Marketers then evaluated the success of their interruption by measuring clicks.

Nearly 20 years later, the industry agrees that click-based measurement is severely flawed. The correlation between clicks and conversion is virtually nonexistent. Yet, most media planners still rely on traffic and clicks as go-to indicators of campaign success.

As a result, today’s Internet has become an interruption arms race. The average user is served 1,707 different banner advertisements per month. In a high-content world where consumers have great control over how they consume media, and can easily avoid display ads by ad blocking or trained blindness, the interruption arms race is one that advertisers cannot win.

(more…)