Beset By Data, Nissan Demands More Integration At The Agency Level

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roel-de-vriesMarketing is more than ever a science, but that doesn't mean it should become less of an art, according to Nissan's marketing chief.

"It's the era of big data. To the most detailed level we can check who's buying what and where and when, as well as people's behaviors and actions," the automaker's global head of marketing, Roel de Vries, told an audience at the Association of National Advertisers' Masters of Marketing conference on Thursday.

But de Vries said he believes the ready availability of so much data has been at least partly negative. "Over the last 10 years we started communicating so many messages by so many channels using so many agencies that I believe the impact of what we do has been minimized," he said.

It's the marketer's job, de Vries said, to prevent the surfeit of data from clouding the brand message. There's no question that leveraging customer analytics drives business growth.

"But it wasn't the data that achieved this," he said. "What will make our brands stand out is the clarity and consistency" of the creative.

Nissan sells 5.2 million cars each year, and people shop for a car on average only once every six years, de Vries said. As a result, "We spend a lot of money on the 0.01 people who are about to buy a car."

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DoubleClick Bid Manager Volume Doubled In Past Year, Google Q3 Revenue Up 20%

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google Q3Google’s Q3 revenue rose 20% year over year to $16.52 billion, though it continued to see click volume rise (17% YoY) and cost per clicks fall (2% YoY).

Google sites comprised about two-thirds of revenue, for a total of $11.25 billion. Partner sites contributed $3.43 billion, or about 20%.

Google’s O&O paid clicks (which include YouTube's TrueView products and ads on its Maps and Finance pages) increased 24% year over year, while paid clicks within its network increased just 2%.

The numbers disappointed Wall Street, which expected slightly higher earnings per share. In after-hours trading, the stock price fell 2%.

During the earnings call, CFO Patrick Pichette introduced Omid Kordestani as the permanent chief business officer. Kordestani had served as interim CBO after Nikesh Arora left the role last quarter for a position at SoftBank Corp.

Kordestani joined Google in 1999 and built the business side. He left in 2009, but served as an adviser to CEO Larry Page before stepping into the role of CBO.

Kordestani pointed out the growth in Google's programmatic platforms, with impression volume on DoubleClick Bid Manager, the DSP formed from the acquisition of Invite Media, doubling in the past year.

On the publisher side, Kordestani said the number of private exchanges doubled from the previous year as publishers turned to private exchanges to generate revenue from premium ad space. Google signed publishers FOX TV and Edmunds this quarter, Kordestani said. Read the rest of this entry »


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Programmatic: Great For Direct Response, Bad For Branding

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lawrence-herman"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 Lawrence Herman, CEO at BlueLink Marketing.

It seems over the past year we’ve heard a number of creative agencies tout programmatic ad buying as the perfect answer to a company’s branding needs, enabling them to save money, create transparency and reach consumers with their message.

But frankly, I have never quite understood this line of reasoning.

Programmatic advertising is still a relatively young market and there are currently no statistics on how much of it is dedicated to direct-response advertising vs. branding.

But whether or not programmatic for branding is more dream than reality, I think advertisers are better off investing their time and effort into programmatic for direct-response advertising and not for branding. Here’s why.

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Marketing Automation For Mobile Apps: Salesforce.com’s Next Main Squeeze

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LazerowBesides its analytics announcement, Salesforce.com turned up the volume on mobility and its future in the wearables market during the Dreamforce conference.

As if on cue, rapper Will.i.am paraded onstage Wednesday evening with a group of engineers where he revealed “PULS,” a smart wrist band he developed via fashion and technology firm i.am+, a business he runs in between tours. (Salesforce Ventures is an investor in i.am+, a spokesman says.)

What does this have to do with Salesforce.com from a business standpoint? Very little, though it underscores the CRM giant’s focus on mobile development. The company rolled out “mobile-first” platform Salesforce1 last year and followed it up this year with app developer tool Salesforce1 Lightning.

Michael Lazerow, chief strategy officer for the Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, said the company builds in an “API-first” manner, and that many platforms were subsequently rewritten to account for this mobile shift.

He spoke with AdExchanger about the company’s mobile efforts, the recent rebrand of the Marketing Cloud, and the integration status of various Marketing Cloud components.

AdExchanger: First, why did you lose the ExactTarget name?

MIKE LAZEROW: It was strategic. We came to a realization that we had spent two years replatforming a social product. It’s always been doing well, but it wasn’t one product.

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Alliance Data Systems Anticipates Conversant Will Increase Revenue To $6.6B

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ads alliance dataAlliance Data Systems (ADS) reported Q3 2014 revenue of $1.3 billion, a 20% YoY change, mostly driven by the company’s private-label credit card services division, which saw 17% YoY revenue growth to $622 million.

ADS has steadily increased its outlook with each earnings call, and it did so again in its Q3, raising its core earnings per share (EPS) guidance by $.05 from Q2 2014.

ADS made a splash in the ad tech world when it agreed to acquire Conversant for $2.3 billion on behalf of its marketing data subsidiary Epsilon. Once the deal finalizes – ADS anticipates it’ll close by Jan. 1 – company President and CEO Ed Heffernan said he anticipates ADS revenue will increase 25% to $6.6 billion, raising core EPS to roughly $14.80 to $15, a 20% increase.

Heffernan emphasized this figure was just “a stake in the ground” and that ADS will refine the number.

Heffernan also noted growth in ADS’ other business units, including 52% YoY revenue growth to $324 million for airline loyalty program provider LoyaltyOne and 6% YoY revenue growth to $378 million for Epsilon. Read the rest of this entry »


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Socialbakers CEO Discusses Social Analytics And In-Feed Native Measurement

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SBPlenty of companies offer social analytics, but the industry seems to lack a unified definition of what constitutes social native marketing and how best to measure sponsored content on social channels.

And according to analytics company Socialbaker's CEO and co-founder, Jan Rezab, all content is going to move to social channels one way or another.

In June, Socialbakers acquired Chicago-based startup EdgeRank Checker to help the company hone its native ad metrics and help define standardization for social measurement.

Most recently, the company unwrapped a platform for tracking and ranking brands that produce the most consistently engaging content for their audiences. Socialbakers debuted the platform, dubbed Smart Storytellers, at Social Media Week in London late last month.

Socialbakers mines data from a number of social networks to offers marketers competitively comparative intel.

“We do math around publically and privately available data and visualize it in the best possible way across multiple networks,” explained Rezab.

With 300-plus employees, Socialbakers has more than doubled in size in the past year. The company is headquartered in Prague and operates 13 offices in 11 countries. Since its launch in 2009, Socialbakers has racked up more than 2,500 clients across verticals, among them Louis Vuitton and Nestle. To date, the company has raised $34 million in total funding.

Rezab spoke to AdExchanger about best practices for monitoring and measuring data from increasing social interactions.

ADEXCHANGER: What differentiates Socialbakers from other analytics companies?

JAN REZAB: Social analytics is a fascinatingly crowded space, but not if you differentiate between two types of companies. We should subtract data agencies that take data analysis from a company like us, interpret it and call it social media analytics. That is technically a social analytics service, but that sector is a service built on top of our data.

Social listening companies also aren’t exactly social analytics companies. Google Analytics is a form of social listening, for example, but it doesn’t offer intel from other channels or competitors. You’d have to look at someone like comScore on top of Google Analytics in order to add on market research, and you’d still need media monitoring. Socialbakers does all the monitoring, listening and analytics in one place.

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Sticky Puts The ‘Eye’ In DIY With New Automated Eye-Tracking Tool

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StickyWhen it comes to online viewability, there should be more than meets the eye.

That’s the philosophy at Sticky, an eye-tracking tech company launching a DIY version of its online research product, Autogazer, on Thursday. The tool is designed to enable users – primarily agencies, brands and publishers – to run unlimited tracking studies for a set monthly fee.

A single eye-tracking study can often cost in the neighborhood of $50,000 or more, but the Autogazer price tag comes in at roughly one-twentieth that cost.

It would be easy to confuse Sticky for a viewability solution provider, but it’s not exactly that, said Sticky President and CRO Ephraim “Jeff” Bander.

“Viewability is great, it’s a good step, but it’s only a step,” Bander told AdExchanger.

That’s because there’s a nuance between the potential to be seen and actually being seen – and as the IAB standards stand right now, there isn’t much room for nuance between the two. If 50% of an ad’s pixels are in view for one second, that’s counted as a viewable ad. Up that to two seconds and the same goes for in-browser video.

But considering that more than half of ads, about 54%, are not considered viewable, according to data from comScore, that leaves a somewhat diminished landscape from the get-go.

Sticky aims to move beyond viewability with what it’s calling the “SEEN” metric, a data point that calibrates which ads consumers are focusing on and paying attention to with the actual eyeballs in their actual heads. (Speaking of actual eyeballs, the interactive nature of the Sticky tech means that its clients never run into bot-related issues while running test campaigns.)

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Marketers Should Attack DMP Adoption in Three Phases

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"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.”

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Facebook And Google Are Bringing Walled Gardens Back

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timmayerupdated“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 Tim Mayer, chief marketing officer at Trueffect.

Facebook’s ad platform, Atlas, recently relaunched with an entirely rewritten ad server platform, a newly redesigned user interface and the ability to target and measure advertising across devices using the Facebook identity, even for channels beyond Facebook.

The news raises several interesting questions for the industry: How will this impact the ad tech industry overall? Will this new capability drive advertisers to migrate to Facebook from DoubleClick, which has long been considered market leader in the space, or is the market shifting? Should advertisers look beyond these two solutions?

Atlas Goals

In order to understand Atlas’ impact, it’s important to first understand the goal of the platform. With the Facebook identity being the central element in ad measurement and targeting, Atlas solves the “cookie proliferation” issue, which causes huge gaps in ad measurement. This in turn leads advertisers to optimize their campaigns based upon metrics that are magnitudes away from reality.

So what’s behind the issues with cookie proliferation? For one, many platforms and browsers, such as iOS and Safari, do not accept third-party cookies, and security programs typically delete them every seven days on average. And we can all relate to one of the most important issues cookie proliferation raises: people using multiple devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops, with each device being viewed as belonging to a different user in measurement and targeting.

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Meredith Goes Native; What Yahoo Needs

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adoptingnativeHere's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Meredith Adopts Native

Battling falling CPMs and banner blindness, Meredith Corp. is the latest publisher to hop on the native ad bandwagon. The first glimpse of sponsored content will surface later this month via FitnessMagazine.com, which relaunches Wednesday. According to Meredith SVP and Chief Digital Officer Andy Wilson, the publisher’s writers could get a crack at producing branded content. “We’re continuing to look at what involvement we have from the editorial side,” Wilson said. “We’re keeping an open mind.” Meredith will roll out the native spots across its top 10 sites, including Better Homes and Gardens, Allrecipes.com and Parents. The publication has yet to name participating advertisers. Digiday has more.

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