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What If Online Doesn't Work For Branding?

On The EcosystemJerry Neumann is a partner in Neu Venture Capital, a New York City-based seed-stage investor group with investments in 33Across, Metamarkets, PerformLine, The Trade Desk,, Media Armor, and Yieldbot among others.

Jokes all start with one of a few stock set-ups. "A man walked into a bar." But the punchlines are all different. VC pitches are the opposite: the set-ups are all different, but the punchlines are all the same.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. "We enable the half of advertising that is not yet online: brand advertising!" Been hearing that one for more than ten years now. It permeates the hopes and dreams of every adtech entrepreneur and investor. And still no one has cracked the code.

My friend Tim Hanlon got together with Tim Chang a few weeks ago on AdExchanger to offer some reasons why this might be. Worth your time, but here's the tl;dr:

  • No standards or consistent measures of “success” other than outdated or inadequate metrics like CPM and CTR;
  • Limited real-time intelligence;
  • Unsuitable display ad formats; and
  • Lack of creativity in formats.

The prize is huge. As Tim and Tim point out, two-thirds of advertising spending is brand advertising, but online only one quarter is. In fact, if brand advertising dollars moved online in the same proportion that sales advertising has, it would almost exactly close the famous gap between time spent online and ad dollars spent online. The $50 billion gap that Mary Meeker mentions is exactly equal to the missing brand spend.


The Digital Advertising Ecosystem Needs More People Says Angel Investor Neumann

On The EcosystemAd tech angel investor (33Across, Flurry, Magnetic, Metamarkets, PerformLine, The Trade Desk,, and Yieldbot among others) Jerry Neumann recently spoke to about his views of the digital advertising ecosystem today.

Click below or keep scrolling to read his answers...  What is missing in the digital ad ecosystem today?

JN: The thing that's missing right now is people. There's been so much innovation over the past few years that we have all this advanced technology, we have all this data, we have all these algorithms, but we have very few people who know how to use them. Some technology companies are becoming managed services companies because the only people who really know how to use the technology are inside of the companies who are building it.

There are not enough talented people in the ecosystem for all the agencies, for all the marketers. And I think that leads to sub-standard results.

We need a few hundred more ad tech experts, dispersed around the industry. If some big company in the space got acquired and a bunch of those people spread out to the far reaches of the marketing world bringing all their knowledge with them, the technologies and the processes would all of a sudden get more traction because they would be in the hands of the people who really know how to make them hum.