RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Digital Marketing’ Category


How Good Is Google At Digital Marketing?

HolesWhile Google has gotten really good at display – more than $4 billion in display ad revenue good – how about the rest of Google’s digital marketing stack?

Like enterprise platform players Oracle, IBM, Adobe and Salesforce.com, Google’s ad and marketing tech offering is a sum of many acquired parts.

Google followed its $3.1 billion acquisition of ad server DoubleClick in 2007 with two key ingredients that would pad out its exchange: Invite Media on the buy side and Admeld on the sell side. Then there was mobile ad network AdMob, enterprise social marketing with Wildfire Interactive, creative with Teracent, online ad fraud detection via Spider.io and Adometry for marketing attribution.

By no means is the list exhaustive when one considers the rest of Google’s mix, like the billion-dollar-plus Product Listing ads (PLAs) business, Google Tag Manager and, of course, its near-ubiquitous Google Analytics business.

But as programmatic media and marketing technology continue to merge, will Google get into the enterprise racket – a world characterized by databases and customer relationships?

“Google is reliant on the journey of the cookie,” said one source who asked to remain anonymous due to their company’s relationship with Google. “They don’t dig in to the CRM when that consumer goes from a cookie stored in a browser session to lead-info that’s transferred to a company. There is a big hole and a gap there with the customer acquisition charter.”

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Experian Marketing Services Jumps Into The Clouds

MattSeeleyExperian Marketing Services is getting in the Marketing Cloud game. Or, at least the Marketing Suite game. The company will roll out an end-to-end marketing platform designed to tackle marketer pain points around multi-device identity linkage, cross-channel campaign management and business intelligence. Experian Marketing Services will announce this development during its annual Client Services Summit in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Although this unifies acquired assets like Conversen and AdTruth – Experian Marketing Services group president Matt Seeley said individual point solutions such as Email Insights or campaign management are still available as standalone tools.

“Over the last year, we’ve been doing a lot to try to bring all of those elements together,” Seeley said. “Some are newer, such as the ability to do email validation, but some are older like the ability to use referential data to increase the accuracy of your record before it gets into any kind of data repository.”

AdExchanger: Is this Experian’s entry into the Marketing Cloud space?

MATT SEELEY: Sort of, yes. The word “cloud” might be the most overused vernacular ever. I always think about how we view what’s needed in the marketplace and as we launch our Marketing Suite, the easiest way to explain it is we find there’s vast amounts of information out there and everybody’s been very channel-focused for many years. There’s not enough persistency in saying, “Can I, with very real clarity, say this is [the same person] cross-channel.”

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Data-Driven Marketers Are Farmers

MarketersDataAn underlying sentiment among the marketers at the Oracle Marketing Cloud Interact show in San Francisco this week was how to move away from “channel optimization” to maximizing customer lifecycle value.

Many agreed change management is essential to avoid thinking of channels in isolation – from search to social to display.

“When I think about what marketing used to be, it was like being a movie producer (making executive decisions) and now it’s like being a farmer," Luanne Calvert, VP and CMO of airline Virgin America said. "We have to plant seeds – conversations between our guests and our brands” to nurture the individual at every stage of the lifecycle.

Orchestrating data throughout the purchase funnel is a familiar challenge to Shannon Smith, VP of loyalty and retention marketing at J. Crew. In her previous role as a senior marketer with Sephora, Smith deployed customer analytics and developed the brand’s loyalty program Beauty Insider. Before Beauty Insider, Sephora had virtually no customer database.

“The loyalty program was designed to be a customer data capture tool, which would help us understand who a high value customer was, decipher different tiers and segment based off that,” Smith said in a Thursday session.

Except it wasn’t enough to construct a massive customer warehouse that consisted primarily of offline transactional data and purchase history. Sephora needed more insight into behavioral data to distinguish loyal from disloyal customers.

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In The World Cup (And Any Other Big Event), Actionable Data Requires Constant Calibration

programmticforthewinIf you want user consumption and engagement data, look no further than the World Cup. You’ve got tweets, likes, shares, traffic, comments — take your pick.

Mobile traffic spiked significantly in Q2 2014, according to a report from mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks, with football-related sites and apps seeing particularly high levels of engagement in certain countries. At 35.6 million, the number of tweets around the July 8 Brazil vs. Germany game, in which the host country was eviscerated by its German rival, trumped the number of tweets around the entire Super Bowl by more than 10 million.

Tantalizing. But media buyers that want to capitalize on this flurry of activity requires a lot of oversight on a bevy of technological tools and platforms, said Jon Hook, head of mobile at media agency MediaCom.

“To capitalize on this data, brands and agencies require smart data solutions that can tie together multiple data points in a transparent way; a platform that can connect online cookie data with device IDs and ingest other data points across social, brand CRM data, household demographic data, etcetera,” Hook said. “With adaptive platforms underpinning and informing our buying decisions we’re in a position to get creative around live events and deliver value for our brands."

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Checking In On Adobe's Neolane Acquisition, One Year Later

StephanDietrichWhen Adobe Systems acquired French cross-channel campaign management company Neolane last summer for $600 million, it gained the ability to manage customer data at scale.

Stephan Dietrich, cofounder of Neolane and now VP Americas for Adobe Campaign, one of six products that comprise the Adobe Marketing Cloud stack, said one of the drivers for joining Adobe was the creative value proposition it presented. As marketing has moved from manual spreadsheets to a “NASDAQ trading floor” of real-time bidded media, one of the most critical components of real-time campaign delivery is ensuring digital assets are actually accessible.

Dietrich spoke with AdExchanger about why Neolane sold to Adobe and what its integration status is.

AdExchanger: One year later, what were the benefits of being part of Adobe's cloud vs. going it alone as a standalone point solution?

STEPHAN DIETRICH: Adobe quickly understood that within their Marketing Cloud, there was a need to have a system of engagement. You had a relationship marketing platform that was able to do email marketing, direct mail, inbound/outbound channels and a way to manage direct relationships with identified profiles. They presented the vision they had from the Creative Cloud to the Marketing Cloud to bring the right and left brain together all the way from Photoshop to delivering all the offers in real time, whether it’s a display ad, an experience on the website or a mobile tablet, or an email or direct mail piece.

(We were not willing to sell the company) in 2012 because we were making $60 million in revenue, growing at 45% a year. When we saw the vision of Adobe, we were blown away.

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Will Click-Fueled Content Marketing Crash?

PeymanAs the line between standard banner ads and content recommendations blurs, the need for quality control will proliferate, experts say.

While companies use content as a branding tool, Sacha Xavier, partner and media and innovation director at Neo@Ogilvy questioned whether banners idly generating impressions drive any value. “While these ads have high click rates, are they really producing anything or just running up your impression tab?” Xavier recently asked.

InPowered, an extension of NetShelter (acquired by Ziff Davis in May 2013), sought to turn articles on publisher sites into self-serve native ads in 2012. This came before the seeming heyday of venture capital infusions in the content marketing and native ads niche market.

Peyman Nilforoush, cofounder and CEO of inPowered, spoke to AdExchanger about content quality and the coming consolidation in native advertising solutions.

Talk about the transition from NetShelter to now.

PEYMAN NILFOROUSH: We sold NetShelter to Ziff Davis last summer and it was such a strategic thing for us because NetShelter’s whole mission was bringing trusted content to people. We became a category leader because of that. Ziff Davis bought us because they wanted to be the largest network in tech.

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Adobe Earnings: Cites 'Accelerated Adoption' Of Marketing Cloud

AdobeQ2Adobe Systems' fiscal Q2 numbers are in – quarterly revenue for the Adobe Marketing Cloud suite was $283 million, a 23% increase year-over-year. Adobe expressed strength in its outlook for Marketing Cloud, targeting 20% year-over-year future revenue growth.

Adobe's total fiscal second quarter earnings were strong, coming in at $1.07 billion with non-GAAP earnings at 37 cents per share, slightly up from fiscal year 2013 when total quarterly revenue just broke $1 billion.

The company cited an uptick in Adobe Marketing Cloud bookings in Q2 with Adobe Experience Manager (Web content and digital asset management) leading the pack with regard to product adoption.

"Every enterprise is faced with the task of re-platforming their Web infrastructure to create personalized experiences [as well as creating] a first-class mobile experience," said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe Systems, on the earnings call. "Marketing Cloud integration with Creative Cloud and DPS (Digital Publishing Suite) allows us to target… the C-suite with mission-critical solutions.

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The Spirits Of Digital Advertising

dm2The liquor industry's self-regulated restrictions, such as its Global Marketing Code, seek to reduce underage exposure to alcohol advertisements. This restriction poses challenges for alcohol brands that want to promote on digital messaging platforms like social media.

“Regulations vary greatly across the globe,” said Jason Loehr, VP and director of global media and digital marketing for Brown-Forman, whose brands include Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort. “The most important consideration anywhere is that we are engaging with consumers who are of legal drinking age. This is especially true in social media where a two-way dialogue occurs with the friends and followers of our brands.”

These regulations limit the extent to which the alcohol industry participates in digital marketing and advertising activities. For instance, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study released in March examining the alcohol industry’s advertising practices reported that of the 14 companies (representing 1,679 alcohol brands) it examined, all “stated that they do not use third-party advertising networks for online behavioral advertising on their websites or sponsored pages on social media.”

In many cases, alcohol companies have to rely on self-reported data, using mechanisms such as age gates designed to bar underage users from accessing alcohol-related content online. When a consumer enters a birth date on a branded webpage, indicating legal drinking age, the site cookies the user’s browser.

Even here, alcohol companies seem to impose their own restrictions. The companies in the FTC report claimed cookies “are not used for the delivery of future advertising and are not provided to unrelated third parties. The companies also report that they do not engage in further tracking of consumers who fail the age gate.”

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Audience Square: How French Premium Publishers Collaborate On Ad Tech

AudiencesqPremium publishers are generally territorial. The idea of Hearst, Conde Nast and The New York Times offering a unified solution for media buying is a pipe dream. But French premium publishers operate in the spirit of greater cooperation.

In December 2012, Le Monde, Les Echos, Prisma Média, M6, L'Express and Libération created a subsidiary called Audience Square. The Audience Square media-buying platform helps manage inventory across digital platforms and is built from AppNexus technology (in fact, it’s AppNexus’ first major European client).

Publishers “had the feeling that programmatic and RTB would take a big part of the advertising world," said CEO Alexis Marcombe. "Instead of being dependent on other technologies or directly on other ad networks, they preferred to launch and manage their own company.”

As digital markets have matured, so has Audience Square’s role. Marcombe pointed out that though Audience Square originated as a manager of ad inventory, it has become a major ad tech center for the six publishers that fund the project as well as its shareholders, who include Express Roularta, NextRadioTV, Nouvel Observateur, Le Point, CCM Benchmark and RTL Net.

Case in point: Audience Square launched a mobile RTB platform in early May. The platform automates bidding across apps and the mobile Web. The company says its mobile offerings reach nearly 14 million mobile users each month.

The upshot is that publishers invested in Audience Square have direct access to technologies that can help them build their digital advertising initiatives.

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SeeWhy SAP Hopes For An Open Marketing Tech Ecosystem

SAPcloudGerman enterprise software giant SAP’s intention to acquire Boston-based behavioral marketing startup SeeWhy sheds light on the former’s future in the marketing tech landscape. As per SAP’s plans, SeeWhy will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of SAP; the initial integration point will be SAP’s commerce platform hybris.

“SeeWhy and other investments we’re making are a way for us to really support omnichannel, cross-touch point engagements,” said Brian Walker, chief strategy officer for hybris. “That is really what is at the core of what SeeWhy offers – the ability to process a lot of different information, synthesize it, understand it, normalize it and turn it into an action, like right promotion, product, etc.”

SeeWhy is built on in-memory technology, a more fluid way of tapping data, said Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer for SeeWhy. Siddarth Taparia, senior director at SAP, told AdExchanger in-memory stores entire databases in the RAM, enabling quicker access than if it were stored in a hard disk.

SeeWhy pipes intent data from an array of online sources, data providers and Web analytics companies to trigger targeted campaigns through the SeeWhy CORE platform.

“The net impact of that is it’s designed to listen to individual customer signals and then drive an appropriate response in an automated fashion,” Nicholls said. “It’s very different than the way you’d traditionally have content being recommended or generated – relying on historical data. It’s much more dynamic and responsive to spikes in social media or things trending now.”

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