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What’s Behind The Rise in Self-Serve Programmatic?

andrewcasale"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 Andrew Casale, vice president of strategy at Casale Media Inc.

One of programmatic’s key promises has always been that it would disrupt the ad networks’ lock on inventory supply in the market. Through programmatic, advertisers gain the opportunity to take full control over a scaled buy, and to conduct it on their own terms and with their own data.

But to date, a disproportionate share of spending in the programmatic market has come from ad networks, regardless of the fact that the industry laid the groundwork years ago. It’s a reality that was highlighted at the recent OMMA RTB conference by Jay Seideman, Microsoft’s senior director of US targeting and exchange.

What happened to the disruptive promise of programmatic? I tasked one of our RTB marketplace analysts to find out. Checking Seideman’s observation against our exchange’s buyer-level data, what we found both validated his comments and revealed a surprising silver lining.

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The Difference Between Programmatic RTB And Direct

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.

I had the great fortune to moderate a panel called “Programmatic Guaranteed” at AdExchanger’s recent Programmatic.io conference in San Francisco. The prep conversations for this panel, the conversation on stage and the conversations with audience members afterward were very compelling.

Clearly the market wants to figure this out, and the promise of programmatic means different things to different people. This is a complex space that needs more information and definition, which we’ll do today.

As an industry we have two primary “stacks” of technology that drive advertising between the buyer, seller and consumer. One is what I’ll call the “direct” stack, and the other is the real-time bidding (RTB) stack.

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Match Rates Are A Red Herring

tomphillips"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 Tom Phillips, CEO at Dstillery.

We hear a lot about device match rates these days. Maybe too much. It started a few years ago, when the advertising industry decided it needed to find all those great retargeting candidates on their mobile devices.

You see, consumers still booked travel, researched car purchases, signed up for cell phone plans, credit cards and insurance, and bought all kinds of stuff on their laptops and in browsers, contributing to the rich array of cookie-enabled intelligence that has been a boon to marketers of all stripes.

But for the ad tech industry – and its clients among digital ad agencies – there was an alarming trend. Consumers still “converted” the way they always had, but they were communicating, searching, browsing and playing games in a whole new way: on their smartphones and tablets, divorced from all that conversion activity. This threatened the virtuous circle of advertising campaigns tying to measurable customer acquisition.

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A Sound Check For Digital Attribution

marcrossen“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 Marc Rossen, senior director of digital attribution at MarketShare.

I am an audiophile. I enjoy music, especially the quality of music.

As an audiophile, I have come to appreciate the importance of nuance in an ecosystem that can best replicate reality. As I write this, I’m listening to a Studio Master recording of Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue.” It was transferred from the original analog tapes to a 24bit/192Khz digital audio AIFF format. It’s being played through my solid-state MacBookPro via USB to an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC), which is sent to a headphone amp and then to my Sennheiser open-back cans.

You probably think I’m nuts. I may be a little nerdy, but if you were in my office right now, you’d feel like you were at Columbia Studios, circa 1959. It is reality replicated as best as I can afford.

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Mobile: Still A Pain Point For The Buy Side

christopherhansen"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 Christopher Hansen, president at Netmining.

The industry initially treated mobile like a silo in the rush to get ads onto devices. Marketers, eager to leverage these new devices, pushed agencies to quickly develop mobile strategies to plug in next to display, search and video. That was the wrong way to address mobile.

Mobile is not a silo or singular tactic, but a distribution channel that can unify an entire marketing plan. Advertisers that treat mobile as a discreet media tactic miss out on the opportunity to thoughtfully work the connection between online and offline activity, tracking and optimizing those consumer pathways.

This is hardly revolutionary thinking, yet under the pressure of industry misperception and an oversimplified mobile marketer perspective, mobile still flummoxes agencies. They don’t have any idea how to get their ads onto a smartphone screen, let alone strategically execute mobile within a broader cross-channel mix. Mobile is painful for them, and therefore, the entire buy side.

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Native Programmatic Will Scale When Everyone Loosens Up

gilesgoodwin“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 Giles Goodwin, co-founder and president of product and technology at Flite.

Display advertising had almost been written off when native advertising made its mark against a backdrop of controversy.

While commentators wrangled over how wide a church-state gap was necessary between advertiser and editorial to skirt ethical issues, both advertisers and publishers assiduously collaborated on native campaigns for one simple reason: They work. By creating advertising that suits the consumption patterns, functionality, topical focus and format of its context, advertisers gave users substantial reason to engage.

Native advertising has grown by leaps and bounds, but why hasn’t it knocked out the lowly banner? It has not reached scale, whereas banner advertising, whether direct or via RTB, enjoys almost limitless application and scope. Programmatic has only reduced friction and enhanced targeting. Native ads might be worth caring about, but the lack of scalability has rendered them a niche player.

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Who Should Own Customer Data?

brooksbellData-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 Brooks Bell, founder and CEO of Brooks Bell Inc.

Businesses capture mountains of data and increasingly use it to make smarter decisions. Customer data has become a valuable asset for many businesses by helping to increase competitiveness in crowded markets. But this data requires management to be effective, and organizations must be vigilant to ensure sensitive information remains secure and private.

Managing data and keeping it secure is a monumental task, one that demands a broad set of competencies. Where, then, does this responsibility fall within an organization? Who owns customer data?

At first glance, data seems to fall firmly within the domain of IT departments, where the knowledge necessary to capture data from websites, create and manage databases and perform complex analytics typically resides. But placing customer data completely under the jurisdiction of IT creates a few problems, too. Frequently, crowded development and maintenance schedules slow the responsiveness of IT departments, making flexible use of data difficult. In addition, marketing, merchandising and other strategies are not always communicated to IT, opening a possibility for misalignment of efforts.

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My Customer, My Friend

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.

Consumers further consolidated the number of retailers they invested in last year, shopping at fewer stores than in the past, according to a study from PwC [PDF].

This finding surprised many observers because of the proliferation of online retailers in the past decade. Because we often overthink and complicate these types of issues, this news will likely create all sorts of reactions about the need for omnichannel thinking, real-time mobile interactions, location-based services, and anything with the word “social” in it.

I may be oversimplifying this, but while we can pursue numerous paths to address this trend, the best reaction to this is may be to review the lessons we learned from the way we make friends.

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Facebook And Twitter Will Dominate Display Ads in Two Years (Or Less)

bobbuch“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 Bob Buch, CEO at SocialWire.

Off-network ads from Twitter and Facebook are poised to transform the display ad industry and disrupt many exchanges that have dominated the display market for nearly a decade.

Facebook recently announced a test of off-network ads on mobile, and Twitter’s purchase of MoPub sends a strong signal about its intent to take Twitter ads off-network. In turn, the Open Web is forming its own battle lines, with Oracle’s purchase of Blue Kai, Rocketfuel going public and Turn preparing for its IPO.

Why Social Networks Will Best The Open Web

The Open Web fights with aircraft carriers and drones while social uses rifles, but the battle will increasingly be fought on terrain where social has the advantage: mobile. The Open Web uses cookie-based technologies and real-time bidding (RTB), which is far more advanced than the technology used by Facebook and Twitter for advertising on their networks. But when the battle is being fought on mobile, where cookies don’t work, advanced targeting is rendered almost useless.

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The Forgotten Side Of Viewability

mattscharfupdated“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 Matt Scharf, manager of display media operations and analytics at Adobe.

The topic of viewability has infiltrated our lives. Viewability vendors flood the marketplace as marketers take steps to measure their campaigns. If you're one of them, you're headed in the right direction, but you’ve only just scratched the surface because measuring viewability is just the bare minimum.

Viewability poses two problems to marketers. They’re both equally important but only one gets discussed. Meanwhile, the other smolders behind the scenes, dragging down the efficiency of your media.

The one you’re probably aware of because every one talks about it is the inventory quality problem. Simply put, marketers waste budget by paying for out-of-view impressions when they shouldn't. This will take a long time to solve. The industry needs to figure out the economics of moving away from the standard CPM buying model and replacing it with vCPM, where only “viewed” impressions are paid for. And once that happens – if it ever does – you will have waited a long time to solve only half the problem.

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