What Programmatic Advertising Could Learn From Tinder

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johnsnyderddtData-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 John Snyder, CEO at Grapeshot.

At the risk of sounding arch or flippant, I declare that the programmatic media community should start copying Tinder.

Yes, that Tinder. The online dating community has captured the imagination of lovelorn smartphone users everywhere. People love its simplicity and appreciate how the technology behind it presents potential new romantic partners based on an algorithm of mutual interests gathered primarily from Facebook profiles.

This form of automated discovery has been lacking in programmatic digital advertising. Traders from both buy and sell sides need better deal-discovery mechanisms than currently exist so they can get beyond the limited circle of traders they already know and with whom they already trade.

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The Publisher’s Guide To Domain Spoofing

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andrewcasaleupdatedThe Sell Sider” is a column written for the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Andrew Casale, vice president of strategy at Index Exchange, by Casale Media.

Commonly and with little difficulty, bad actors are defrauding the digital marketplace. They’re playing tricks to make exchanges think they’re selling inventory from reputable, premium publishers – often at bargain basement rates – when in fact the domain name offering the inventory provides only junk, creating problems for everyone in the business.

We’re not talking about bot fraud here. It’s called domain spoofing. The underlying impressions and users are real. The issue involves taking an undervalued asset – a leaderboard on a torrent site, for example – and masquerading it as a premium asset, such as that same leaderboard appearing on a first-tier news site.

When this topic comes up, discussion normally focuses on how domain spoofing harms the buy side. It inundates programmatic buys with junk inventory, throws off KPIs, violates the implied security of whitelists and effectively steals budgets from marketers. But in reality, the process damages digital publishers similarly.

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Google May Get A Buy Button; Dentsu Buys Rockett Interactive

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Google Seeks Fulfillment

Google is talking with retail partners about a “buy” button and a two-day shipping option for products sold through its shopping platform, the WSJ reports. “Amazon is increasingly running away with online retail in North America, which poses a huge problem for Google,” said Bessemer Venture Partners e-commerce investor Jeremy Levine. “Google has to get in front of this and create a reasonable alternative.” Pair with AdExchanger’s coverage of buy-button mania. E-tail competition heats up!

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IAB: 100% Viewability Just Isn't Possible Yet

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viewability“I don’t care if only a small portion of my ad is actually seen,” said no advertiser ever. But 100% viewability is still a work in progress.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) issued a report Tuesday in which it emphatically stated that 100% viewability simply “isn’t possible,” setting 70% as a more realistic threshold, at least for now.

It seems that the IAB is looking to mitigate some of the industry pushback it’s been getting from advertisers and agencies who are less than pleased with the way viewability has been shaking out. In the words of IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg, “it’s time to set the record straight about what is technically and commercially feasible.”

The paper calls for a reality check. The Media Ratings Council lifted its advisory against trading on viewable impressions back in March – 50% in-view for one second for display, two continuous seconds for video.

However, advertisers have been clamoring for more. One such advertiser – one of the biggest in the world – is CPG giant of giants Unilever, which, along with its agency Mindshare/GroupM, has said that ad campaigns shouldn’t be counted unless they deliver 100% viewability.

“There was a tremendous amount of excitement and positive anticipation about the standard and the MRC accreditation about a year ago, but perhaps the expectations were overly optimistic,” said Forrester senior analyst Susan Bidel. “But I’m not going to say that the IAB was premature. They did it in the best manner they could at the time.”

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How Facebook's Security Team Is Calming Marketers' First-Party Data Fears

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facebook-cso-cioThe second coming of Facebook's Atlas ad server was probably the biggest ad-tech development of 2014. Marketers could for the first time upload their first-party data for accurate measurement, de-duplication, and targeting across devices. Other platforms will follow (read: Google), but Facebook broke the tape.

The "people-based" marketing opportunity will not fully materialize, however, until companies – many of which are just starting to get comfortable with letting the marketing team touch customer records – are sure that data will not be mishandled.

Facebook is working hard to calm those fears. In a recent conversation with AdExchanger, Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan and Chief Information Officer Tim Campos talk about how Facebook is working to win over skeptics.

AdExchanger: What created this situation where Facebook had to protect the first-party data of its advertisers?

JOE SULLIVAN: Advertisers used to just come to Facebook and say, "I want to target…" and they would identify some characteristics. When most of us think about Internet advertising, we think it's like that still. You show up and you say, "I want to target white guys in California who drive Porsches with this advertisement for cigars," and you get that audience, but most of the time now advertisers already have a list of customers and they want to engage those people specifically, or a subset of them. Our more advanced advertising tools allow them to do that.

With custom audiences, they can bring their customer list to Facebook, but they don't want to leave their customer list with Facebook and they don't want us or their competitors to benefit from it. Over the last couple of years, as these products have evolved, there's been a lot of scrutiny by us and by our partners on how we make this work securely and in a privacy-sensitive way.

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Cuisinart Blends Static Videos With Calls To Action To Cook Up Engagement

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CuisinartWhile views and completion rates are the most common video success metrics, there’s no way to guarantee a human audience.

A recent study by the Association of National Advertisers found 23% of video impressions are probably bogus. Thus, marketers are clamoring for engagement-based metrics, which is why kitchen appliances brand Cuisinart is installing calls to action in video placements.

Many brands still have a difficult time aligning their video strategy with the proper success metrics, said Jonathan Stefansky, CEO at interactive video platform Viewbix, which is working with Cuisinart.

“Brands usually say they want to drive people in-store or drive more app downloads, but when we ask how they use video to support it, they usually just say ‘pre-roll,’” said Stefansky. “There’s really no alignment between the content and the actions they want to drive.”

Cuisinart has video assets between 15 seconds to 2.5 minutes, mainly drawing from TV ad creative, said Stephen Plotsker, chief operating officer for Cuisinart’s agency, BPS Digital Media.

BPS used Viewbix to add rich media and interactive elements directly within the video container. For Cuisinart, this entailed calls to action designed to increase conversions in other channels.

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InMobi Broadens Its Borders By Adding App Audience Buying To Exchange

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InMobiappbuying

As smartphone penetration increases, especially in Asia, advertisers are looking to tap into global app audiences – and InMobi is looking to get ahead of the trend.

The mobile ad network said Tuesday that advertisers and agencies will be able to buy mobile app segments in 36 countries via programmatic-direct deals on the InMobi Exchange. InMobi teamed up with Rubicon Project back in May to create the exchange, which focuses primarily on native mobile in-stream and banner ads.

“In simplistic terms, InMobi acts as the uber-publisher and Rubicon provides leading ad automation tools for buyers,” said Anne Frisbie, InMobi’s GM and VP of global alliances.

InMobi, which claims to have access to audience data for more than 870 million monthly unique users, will also make certain third-party segments available for direct automated buys, including from Experian in the UK and BlueKai and location data provider Factual in the US.

The partnership with Factual and other location players lets InMobi offer a variety of geotargeting features, segmenting by ZIP code, city, state, physical points of interest (see: hotels, parks, coffee shops) and what Frisbie referred to as “geo-derived behavioral segments,” such as moviegoers or frequent travelers.

It’s all about making the mobile ecosystem a friendlier place to buy programmatically, she said.

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How Do You Measure The Quality Of Digital Ads?

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rancohenupdateddtData-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 Ran Cohen, vice president of programmatic strategy at Undertone.

As more ad spending follows consumers to digital channels, those channels are being monitored and reviewed more closely than ever. Advertisers recognize not only the opportunity but also the complexity of online advertising. Unlike the traditional TV model, where specific spots are selected, digital advertisers are often unsure of precisely when and where to find their ads. This creates a strong need for measurement and reporting, but what exactly should buyers measure?

The most important thing to monitor is the value of the campaign to the brand. In reality, the value includes the short- and long-term revenue impact. In practice, this type of measurement isn’t easy to come by so proxies are created.

For a long time the leading proxy was the click-through rate (CTR), but marketers increasingly realize that this is a weak proxy for two main reasons. Many studies, for example, show a low, or sometimes negative, correlation between CTR and brand metrics, such as brand recall, brand favorability and purchase intent. Also, various players have learned to game the system with fraudulent clicks.

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Vice To Go On Deal Spree; GroupM Takes Steps Toward Programmatic TV

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viceroundupWhat Vice’s $500M Will Buy

Speaking to the Financial Times, Vice chief Shane Smith said his company is gearing up for a “deal spree” in 2015, in the wake of its $500 million monster round led by A&E Networks. “Theoretically, if we’re doing $1bn of top line revenue and thirty to thirty five per cent margins … what media offering has there been like that in the last decade?” he said. Vice recently beefed up its senior management team, bringing James Schwab on board as co-president to manage mergers and acquisitions of content, technology and distribution companies. “We would be stupid not to think about an IPO,” added Smith. Read more.

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CPG Data Specialist Dunnhumby Sees A Future Forging New Currency

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LungHuangDunnhumby, British grocery giant Tesco’s data science subsidiary, sits at the intersection of online and offline retail data. It mashes up CRM files and loyalty card information, which brands can use to prove sales uplift.

Tesco isn’t the only retail outlet to supply this service. Walmart, for instance, turns in-store and online transaction data into useful intel for its own suppliers, as in, what channel or message moved product in which store.

But will Dunnhumby remain part of Tesco? Reuters reported in early October that the data insights unit might be for sale.

To this point, however, Dunnhumby itself has been acquisitive on the shopper marketing front. It acquired digital retargeter Sociomantic for about $200 million last April and previously purchased both word-of-mouth marketing firm BzzAgent and advanced analytics shop Standard Analytics.

Lung Huang, the company’s VP of digital advertising and global partnerships, spoke with AdExchanger about the company’s focus in the wake of the Sociomantic acquisition.

AdExchanger: When you’re selling Dunnhumby’s services, who do you talk to?

LUNG HUANG: We’re definitely a buy-side business because we serve two major client bases: the retailers as well as the brands. When I say brands, it’s primarily CPGs that sell within our stores. From a retail standpoint, whenever we build an engagement, we typically [work with the largest] grocers, which is our heritage, but we do consumer markets and others.

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