RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Marketer’s Note’ Category


Marketers Should Attack DMP Adoption in Three Phases

"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Lizzie Komar, Associate Analyst, AdExchanger Research.  

Over the past few years, we’ve seen both marketer excitement over, and actual investment in, DMPs grow significantly. Heralded as a “true audience intelligence engine,” the DMPs foundational role is to collect, manage, and activate data that marketers can use to build targetable user profiles and audience segments. But the reality is it’s not plug and play technology: DMPs require strategic focus, data savvy, and operational heavy lifting.

Next week, AdExchanger Research will release a new research report, “Attack Data Management Platform Adoption in Three Phases,” which presents data management platform (DMP) best practices for marketers across three necessary phases of the DMP journey – 1) requirements gathering, 2) vendor selection and 3) deployment.

After speaking to vendors and marketers alike, we found that actively addressing a handful of commonly encountered problems during each phase of rollout will maximize DMP value.  This comment from a VP of marketing at a leading women’s retailer sums it up nicely: “Marketers using a DMP today should think of it as a tool to make existing marketing programs smarter. Expecting out of the box full cross-channel relevance is unrealistic; but over time, if adoption is strategic, the organization is aligned, and the industry keeps moving in the direction it’s headed, [the promise] will become a reality.”

(more…)


The 'In-House' Trend: Can It Last?

joannaoconnelrevised"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.  

In a recent interview with CMO Today, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of holding company WPP Group, called the “in house” trend (i.e. marketers moving media buying – driven by the rise programmatic – out of agencies’ hands and inside the walls of marketing organizations), “a temporary phenomenon”, noting, “Our view is after a year or two it will change. I question whether [clients] will be able to apply technology successfully.”

It makes me think of two questions I raised at the end of the recently released research report on this subject, which I share here because they are apropos to Sir Martin’s argument:

What is one’s definition of effective? There is general agreement among marketers choosing the “In-House” path that they can do great work themselves, but a counter-argument that any programmatic shop (or holding company trading desk) would make, which is, frankly, compelling, is, “Can a small, lean group of marketers who are not steeped in programmatic really do better than what we could if given the chance?” Is there a performance trade-off to having one supply manager negotiating rates versus a whole team, or one platform expert versus a whole host of experts, regardless of money saved through fees not paid out? Asks one director of advertising and online marketing at a leading catalog and e-commerce retailer whose organization is currently migrating to a more complete in-house model, “How do you know for sure you can do it better? You don’t. And the arrogance of thinking you can do it better can be risky.”

(more…)


Agency Roles Are Changing As Brands Rewrite The Media Playbook

joannaoconnelrevised"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.  

This week I released my new research report, The “6-5-3” Framework: How to Pick the Right Programmatic Media Management Model, and presented it at yesterday’s Programmatic I/O conference in NYC. I wanted to use a few column inches to share, in brief, what this report is all about.

I’ll start by explaining why I undertook this research in the first place. In the face of the rapidly rising tide of programmatic, the last year has seen a lot of public discussion on the “in-house” question. Namely, are marketers really considering, or actually taking, media management in-house and, if so, why? Like any good researcher would, I set out to find the answer. Twenty-plus interviews (with marketers, agencies and technology companies alike) later, a story began to emerge: Yes, many marketers are rethinking the role of their agencies for media management, and yes, many are thinking long and hard about where media management should in fact live, but to simply note that “all marketers are taking media in-house” is simply not true.

Reality is, as always, so much more complex.

(more…)


Answering A Squirrelly Question: 'What Is PII?'

"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Lizzie Komar, Associate Analyst, AdExchanger Research.  

I am thrilled to announce that AdExchanger Research’s report, “Define PII Today to Prepare for the Privacy Demands of the Future,” is available for purchase on our siteas of Wednesday.

This was easily one of the most elusive research projects I’ve worked on as an analyst. And this is why: Defining PII is nearly impossible. When we began discussing the research, Joanna and I hoped this report would live as a reference point for marketers who needed a cut-and-dry definition of PII. How naive we were. Given the complexity of marketing today (thanks to consumers’ uber connectivity, their expectations from us and the proliferation of connected devices), defining something so amorphous and so subject to change quickly revealed itself as overly reductive. Thus, the report transformed into much more.

(more…)


The Client-Agency Balancing Act: Efficiency Without Constraint

joannaoconnelrevised"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.  

Agencies are walking a tightrope. On the one hand, they are asked to be innovative and strategic thinkers and lead their clients toward brilliant marketing solutions; on the other, they are told to be lean, streamlined machines, delivering results cheaper, faster.

I was reminded of this recently while speaking with a global account director from one of the leading holding company shops for my upcoming report, “When and How to Take Programmatic Media Management In-House."

He said:

“Nearly all of the RFPs we are going through are procurement-driven. We end up competing on fees, and guaranteed savings from negotiations, and signing up for a customer relationship where there are high expectations and very lean fees."

(more…)


Why I’m Finally Paying Real Attention to Rocket Fuel

joannaoconnelrevised"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.  

I don’t think I am alone in saying that the digital marketing ecosystem has always had mixed feelings about Rocket Fuel.

From a performance standpoint, I’ve heard buyers (whether marketers or agencies) say it’s always been a solid, often great, player. And that matters. A lot. It brings buyers back time and again. From a business model standpoint, however, it’s faced more suspicion and criticism.  As its programmatic media brethren – MediaMath, Turn and the like – have increasingly weaned themselves off of “managed service” deals - programs run, for all intents and purposes, as black box ad network campaigns of old – Rocket Fuel has continued to operate primarily as a managed service company. So while it’s often referred to in the industry as a demand-side platform (DSP), I’ve always argued that this is wrong – a platform that isn’t accessible to the end user for direct management of campaigns is not a true DSP (something I formalized through the DSP Wave several years back, while still an analyst at Forrester). And I’ve not been alone in this sentiment. Calls by agencies and, more importantly, marketers for “transparency” and “control” in their media management get louder by the day.

(more…)


Defining PII: A Moving Target

lizziekomar"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Lizzie Komar, Associate Analyst, AdExchanger Research.  

Over the past few weeks, I began conducting research for my upcoming report,  “Defining PII,” a title that is proving overly simplistic, perhaps, as PII (or personally identifiable information) is a complex and unwieldy concept, for the definition of PII is ever-evolving in the face of new technologies and consumer data streams.

It’s impossible to research PII without immersing oneself completely in the study of “privacy.” Even more evolutionary and contextually dependent is the idea of privacy, that which gives us control over what information we share and with whom we share it. And in today’s world of uber-connectivity, privacy has never been more important.

I spoke to a privacy product manager at a large technology company who viewed privacy not only as a competitive advantage, but as the competitive advantage for marketers.“ He said:

“The companies that win in the long term will be the ones that consumers trust the most with their personal information, and as privacy is the basis of trust, determining what privacy means to consumers and adhering to that in all practices, products, and communications is of tantamount importance.”

(more…)


Garbage In, Garbage Out: Why Smart Trafficking Matters So Much

joannaoconnelrevised"Marketer's Note" is a weekly column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.  

Last week, I had a wonderful conversation with an interactive lead at an independent agency as part of my ongoing “When and How to Take Programmatic In-House” research (for which I’ll be presenting the findings at our September Programmatic I/O conference), which reminded me of the hugely important, but wildly undervalued, importance of well organized operational efforts in effective media programs.

What do I mean by that?  Well in this instance, I’m talking specifically about naming conventions in campaign and placement set-up.  What this agency executive told me was:

“Analytics and operations are inevitably tied together. The operations side of it is super important: what you traffic in is what you get out. You must be really methodical in how you traffic things – you’ve got to be able to codify it in some way shape or form – which publisher, what placement, which audiences. We have an ability to meta-organize the data because of the way we have folks setting things up.”

(more…)


Time To Grow

joannaoconnelrevised"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.

So many fascinating questions, trends and technologies to research, so little time!

Thankfully, I’ve now got some help. I’m pleased to announce that Lizzie Komar has joined the AdExchanger Research team as Associate Analyst.

Lizzie was most recently with Forrester Research, serving Marketing Leadership Professionals and focusing on best practices in search and email marketing. She also has research experience in digital media buying, advanced digital measurement, agencies, mobile advertising, and social marketing.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled to have her on board.

(more…)


Let’s Not Lose Sight Of The Real Power Of Programmatic

joannaoconnelrevised"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.

Call me naïve but I believe in the open exchange model. I always have. Something about the battle of wits it promises always spoke to me: The buyer who actively seeks out data, and who knows how to make sense of it, will make the smartest real-time bidding decisions – whether it’s bid/no bid or a really smart pricing decision – that add up, impression by impression, to the most optimal media spend, beating out its competitors in the process. In this model you don’t have to be the biggest agency or marketer to succeed; you simply have to be really hands-on and smart. Whoever is smartest with data wins.

I’ve keenly watched, therefore, the evolution of direct programmatic deals over the last several years, with a tinge of sadness, I admit. Sadness, because these deals are not so much about intelligence driving competitive advantage as they are about buying clout ruling the day, i.e., the biggest buyers can bully sellers on price because they control big piles of money – programmatic, then, just serves as the transactional mechanism. In this model, the bigger you are, the “better” you’ll do.

I’d argue though that simply getting the best rates isn’t enough. That’s media buying circa 2002. We’re smarter than that now, and we should act that way. I don’t dispute that there are many, many large buyers who are also smart – they are bringing proprietary data (or data models) to bear on those direct deals to help them make the most intelligent decisions possible. But I would bet you there are plenty of big buyers who are still primarily focused on price – on banging programmatic sellers down on rate and calling it a win.

(more…)