Data-Driven Marketers Are Farmers

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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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IPG Q2: Digital Spend Exceeds Network Spend For The First Time

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IPGInterpublic Group (IPG) on Friday reported Q2 revenue increased 5.4% YoY to reach $1.85 billion.

IPG reported a 4.7% increase in organic growth, with organic growth in global markets exceeding that in the US. Net income hit $103.7 million, a notable increase from $86.1 million a year ago. According to the company, the quality of its agency offerings coupled with strength in high-growth regions to fuel performance in 2014's second quarter.

“Interestingly, this is the first time that digital has exceeded network spend," holding company CEO Michael Roth noted. "We forecast it to overtake all broadcast spend in the next couple years and obviously programmatic buying has something to do with that.”

Programmatic will continue to be an important part of how the company will approach buying, Roth said, particularly on the digital side.

“The efficiencies of automation and programmatic buying are here to stay,” he said during Friday morning’s earnings call. Whether this will translate into public or private exchanges remains to be seen, but he added, “It’s all about data and being responsive to reaching consumers in a more efficient way. We have to be able to invest in that, and we are.”

Programmatic helped fuel IPG’s growth and margins, he said, because it pulled the holding company up the value chain in how it’s able to advise clients.

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Video Ad DSP TubeMogul Makes NASDAQ Debut

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Tube

Updated with comments from Brett Wilson, TubeMogul's CEO

Video demand-side platform (DSP) TubeMogul ($TUBE) made its NASDAQ debut Friday. While its share price was projected at only the $7 to $8 range  below previous predictions of $10 to $11  within only an hour of trading, TubeMogul's share price increased to $9.84.

At the top of the hour, the company broke the $10 mark, with price per share climbing as high as $10.78, a 30% increase from early projections.

It remains to be seen how TubeMogul will perform compared to previous video ad platform IPOs. Initially, it seemed like TubeMogul, aspiring to raise $93 million by selling some 7.2 million shares, would barely break the $50 million mark as a result of its lesser share price.

According to one investment source, "major Internet media companies owning 'ad tech stacks' (including supply-side platforms like what Facebook bought with LiveRail and exchanges), at a minimum ties up large chunks of inventory from the top five (AOL, Yahoo, Facebook, MSN, YouTube), making it more difficult for the independent players."

The source described a "rush for exits by VCs." Although ad-tech valuations remain rich and appetite by investors and buyers is still high, "that can change so quickly and VCs aren't taking chances."

"TubeMogul  is rather differentiated in the market, I'd say, with the fast growth of ... a self-serve platform revenue model," commented Sorosh Tavakoli, founder and CEO of sell-side video ads platform Videoplaza. "This business is highly scalable and very much in line with where the market is going."

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For Social Media Leads, Automation Begets Automation

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automationThe proliferation of customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and marketing automation platforms has allowed business-to-business (B2B) marketers to focus higher up the sales funnel and seek out vendors to automate lead gathering.

At the same time, the growth of social media has provided a wealth of data on potential customers. It’s led some marketers to look toward automating their outreach in social media as well as use newly available data to beef up their existing lead lists.

“The kinds of things we’ve automated – with marketing automation platforms like Eloqua and Marketo – are the process of engaging with prospects,” said Lori Wizdo, marketing analyst at Forrester, referring to automating activities such as email campaigns and website behavior tracking. “But I can only engage in a relevant way if I have good insight into potential buyers. There is a lot of digital information available out there but it isn’t easy for marketers to harvest it.”

That available digital information is becoming more useful as CRM tools have become capable of handling it. It’s led to what Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher calls the “third generation of CRM,” where a company like his is able to automate what is being gathered at the top of the sales funnel.

“The first generation was about putting data into databases, and the second generation was about building automation platforms [like Salesforce or Marketo],” Bewsher said. The focus for Leadspace is to use public and proprietary social data to layer on top of a client’s existing sales platforms and find new potential clients, or add color to existing ones.
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Apple’s New Push To Randomize MAC Addresses: What’s The Impact On Ad Tech?

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devinguan“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 Devin Guan, vice president of engineering at Drawbridge.

In the weeks since Apple previewed iOS 8 in June, there has been a lot of talk in the digital advertising industry regarding one ostensibly small change that Apple announced. Beginning with iOS 8, slated for release this fall, Apple will randomize MAC addresses when scanning for Wi-Fi networks. Naturally, there are a lot of questions about what a MAC address is, and what this means for our industry.

MAC addresses are used as reliable ways to identify devices by many ad tech vendors. Some even leverage MAC addresses to match devices and establish cross-device identity. The initial concern was that without reliable MAC address information, can there be reliable cross-device information?

Though some ad tech vendors may face growing pains as they react to this shift, overall Apple’s decision will be a good change for the industry, as it gives users more control by removing a deterministic feature that some ad tech vendors rely on to establish cross-device identity.

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Facebook Tests A Buy Button; Time's Native Team

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

Buying Ad Button

Facebook is testing a new buy button that will appear on in-feed ads and is being trialed by a handful of SMBs in the US. The feature lets users purchase products without ever leaving Facebook. According to a Facebook blog post, the buy button was designed with with privacy and security in mind. "None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases." Learn more.

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Nikesh Arora Out At Google

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Nikesh Arora, GoogleNikesh Arora, Google’s SVP and chief business officer, will be leaving the company after a decade, according to the company's earnings press release.

He'll join Japanese telecommunications and internet company SoftBank, where he'll be vice chairman of SoftBank Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media.

Omid Kordestani, a senior adviser to the CEO and one of Google's founders, will be the interim leader of Google's business organization.

Arora tweeted shortly after the announcement, "Thank you googlers for your support and love in the last 10 years. Will miss all of you. Looking forward to the next adventure." He was married in recent days to Ayesha Thapar, CEO of Indian City Properties, at an extravagant multiday ceremony in Italy, as reported by India West.

Arora ran Google's Europe operations from 2004 to 2007, when he added the Middle East and Africa regions. Starting in 2009 he assumed global responsibility for sales, and took charge of all commercial operations as of 2011.
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Another Chapter For Triggit, As Facebook-Only DSP Pivots To Native

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zach-triggit-fundingTriggit, known to many as the "Facebook-only" retargeting firm, is taking on native ads outside the Facebook platform.

The company is courting publishers with the promise to support their native advertising formats and bring the kind of in-stream ad experiences it has run in Facebook's news feed over the past year to a wider range of supply sources. Its pitch to those publishers, according to CEO Zach Coelius: "We can fill your remnant inventory at very high CPMs  $5 to $10 CPMs  and hit your revenue targets."

"Remnant" and "native" are not frequently found in the same sentence, but that may change as every publisher – from news organization to gaming app developers – climbs aboard the native gravy train and native advertising becomes a commodity.

After two years positioning around retargeting campaigns on Facebook and one year buying ad space in the Facebook news feed, Coelius said, "We wanted more inventory. So we're going to big publishers, saying we'd love to do news feed-type ads."

He says Triggit is ready to power hundreds or even thousands of distinct native formats of the sort that have proven effective for Facebook. But he declined to name publishers or advertisers involved in the test.

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Oracle’s Kevin Akeroyd: Without Data, You're Chasing Unicorns

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oracleKevin Akeroyd, SVP and GM of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, warned a crowd of 1,500 marketers Wednesday to “beware false marketing clouds.”

All jokes aside, Akeroyd did not mince words about competitors’ perceived strengths at the Oracle Marketing Cloud Interact 2014 event in San Francisco.

“It’s not just web analytics and it’s not going to come from cutting a list from a data warehouse,” he said. “It’s certainly not sales force automation.” Akeroyd’s statement was simple: Oracle will supply your marketing, media, audience-based and customer data needs.

It’s a bold statement, considering Akeroyd acknowledged in an interview earlier that day that “two years ago, when you picked up the phone and said, ‘I’m going to go get me some Marketing Cloud,' Oracle was not necessarily the name that would come to mind.”

Oracle’s top inhibitor, Akeroyd said, are perceptions around Oracle’s level of openness. “People give us credit for acquiring best-of-breed brands, but they’re not so sure what Oracle will do with them,” he explained. “Which is why we’re trying to overcome that perception.”

Oracle has busily integrated the many marketing systems and technologies it acquired in the last year, including data-services company and data-management platform BlueKai, content-marketing company Compendium and cross-channel campaign tool Responsys.

One key area of integration for the Oracle Marketing Cloud is mobile, particularly Push IO, an enterprise mobile services and push notification provider Oracle acquired through its Responsys buy.

“It’s a channel and another data point where the marketer can send tailored messages in-app,” Akeroyd explained. “If I stitch BlueKai into that, it will tell the marketer Kevin doesn’t open emails anymore, but is consistently on mobile. The more you tie in, the more value there is to the consumer.”

Akeroyd separately spoke with reporters and answered a few questions for AdExchanger.

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