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AppNexus Will Throttle Payments For Fraudulent Ads, Starting In Q2 2015

appnexus-fraudLast month AdExchanger reported on plans by AppNexus to roll out a "Certified Supply" stamp of approval for demonstrably valid impressions, and thereby cut off the flow of spend to impressions that are fraudulent, nonviewable or otherwise undesirable.

The certified program came amid growing industry concerns about the persistence of fraud in the AppNexus supply.

On Wednesday at AppNexus' New York summit, CEO Brian O'Kelley detailed how the program will work and named partners and fraud vendors that will collectively create a definition of fraud that can be applied across all its supply – and then enforce that definition.

The Certified program will use AppNexus' own fraud-detection technology in concert with two third-party ad verification vendors: DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science. Beginning in the second quarter of 2015, when AppNexus or its buy-side partners use either vendor to ferret out fraudulent or invalid impressions, the buyer will not pay for that supply and the seller will not receive payment for it. (AppNexus left the door open to accepting other anti-fraud firms in the future.)

What's more, AppNexus has secured buy-in from a handful of key partners on the sell side, including its two most prominent "frenemies," PubMatic and Rubicon Project. Whenever a bid passes through AppNexus to one of its publisher customers, the two SSP platforms have agreed not to receive payment on that customer's behalf.

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Q3: Criteo Celebrates First IPO Birthday With Record Revenue, Client Growth

criteoIt’s been one year since Criteo went public and the overall growth experienced by the company last quarter is holding steady.

The French retargeting firm announced a 71.9% year-over-year uptick in revenue in Q3 2014 to roughly $243 million. (Full earnings release.)

Part of that sustained growth is thanks to Criteo’s expanding client base, which increased by 450 during the third quarter to 6,581. Key customer wins in the Americas include Travelocity and Carrentals.com. Criteo also added new relationships to its publisher base, bringing the total to more than 8,000 direct publisher relationships.

Although Criteo saw marked YoY growth in global revenue – 51% in EMEA and 70% in the Asia-Pacific region – growth in the Americas was particularly explosive, up 97% in Q3 2014 versus Q3 2013 to nearly $29 million. Criteo CEO and co-founder Jean-Baptiste Rudelle attributes the increase, at least in part, to continued roll-outs of new tech and products, as well as Criteo’s “obsession with performance.”

“At the end of the day, clients are not looking for 50 different solutions,” Rudelle told AdExchanger about an hour before the company’s Q3 earnings call Tuesday. “They want one mobile turnkey solution.”

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AOL’s Cross-Device Solution Aims To Cure The Advertiser’s Attribution Headache

AOLcross-device(2)If an advertiser runs a mobile campaign, but the targeted consumer doesn’t convert on her mobile device, that doesn’t mean the campaign failed.

Chad Gallagher, director of mobile at AOL Platforms, has been trying to convince brands of this for quite some time, and it’s one reason that AOL introduced One, a platform that incorporates device-linking and geo-targeting capabilities through AOL's video platform Adapt.TV and its ad management platform AdLearn Open Platform (AOP). That's live right now. Starting in February 2015, AOL will integrate Adapt.TV and AOP with attribution through Convertro.

Cross-device advertising couldn't be hotter right now, as evidenced by Facebook's rerelease of Atlas in September, a platform that leverages logged in user data to support persistent tracking. With One, AOL is beefing itself up to be a cross-device contender on the people-based advertising circuit. 

AOL first gave a hint about what it was planning back in March when it rebranded AOL Networks as AOL Platforms and rolled out a variety of programmatic capabilities through its Adapt.TV and AOP. That was the first step towards bringing One to market.

“Today we have AOP and Adapt.TV and Convertro, the attribution company we acquired about six months ago,” Gallagher told AdExchanger. “What we’ll be releasing in Q1 is the next step – a single platform where you can run campaigns in AOP and Adapt.TV and use Convertro across everything to help you understand your marketing. That’s what One is all about.”

AOL’s One will use a combination of deterministic and statistical models to reach consumers with what it claims to be a 93% match rate. Deterministic data will come courtesy of users who log directly into AOL sites like AOL Mail or The Huffington Post, as well as via third-party publishers that pass along logins from opted-in users.

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Q3: Neustar’s Marketing Services Rockets Ahead – Just Not Fast Enough

neustar q3If Neustar were only a marketing services provider – that is, if it weren't at risk of losing a contract that brought in 49% of its 2013 revenue – then the company would be on solid ground.

Its Q3 revenue increased 7% YoY to $243.9 million and its marketing services division – an area of growing investment for the company – popped at 21% YoY to $37.5 million.

Q3 highlights for Neustar’s marketing services unit include Facebook’s September relaunch of the Atlas ad server, which uses Neustar’s Measurement Insights platform – “the only one of its kind to be integrated,” said Neustar CEO Lisa Hook during the earnings call.

Neustar also partnered with three mobile ad tech companies in September – Adelphic, NinthDecimal, and Voltari – which Hook said provides Neustar with “a comprehensive look at mobile consumers.”

Finally, Neustar partnered with comScore to give its marketing stack PlatformOne the ability to determine how long audiences engaged with ads and whether those ads were viewable.

Thus far, Neustar’s business as an end-to-end marketing services provider seems to be in good shape, with growth coming “across the board,” according to CFO Paul Lalljie.
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Facebook's Q3: Sustaining Ad Revenue Growth, And Seizing On Ad Tech

facebook-earnings-q3-2014Facebook's Q3 ad revenue grew 64% in the third quarter, beating Wall Street expectations during a period when the company rapidly pressed its advantage in advertising technology.

Between July 1 and September 30, Facebook announced plans to acquire video sell-side platform LiveRail, ramped up volume on its Facebook Audience Network,  and rolled out a cross-device identity solution baked into its rebuilt Atlas ad server.

None of those investments, with the possible exception of FAN, had a major impact on Facebook's revenue during the period. Similarly, Facebook has yet to scale auto-play video ads in the News Feed. So it would seem the company has considerable room to run from an ad revenue standpoint.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg emphasized that Facebook is playing a long game in ad tech.

"We recognize that by staffing engineers in these strategic ad tech areas, we forego shorter term product improvements which would generate revenue more quickly. We believe this is the right decision,' she said.

Sandberg said the company's interest in ad tech was driven by a need for better tools in mobile.
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Adobe Injects ‘Real Time’ Into Real-Time Email Remarketing

kerry reilly adobeAbout a year after Adobe nixed CPM-based email pricing models in favor of customer profile fees, Adobe Campaign (formerly Neolane) has rolled out email remarketing designed to predictively recover lost revenue from abandoned shopping carts.

Email remarketing is Campaign’s first integration with Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture and SiteCatalyst) and builds on its first point of entry into Adobe Marketing Cloud – Adobe Experience Manager.

About 120 clients use both Analytics and Campaign, which drove the decision to connect the two.

“We see a lot of replatforming, where companies with legacy ESP [email service provider] and CRM and campaign-management systems all sit in siloed databases and there’s data synchronization issues,” said Kerry Reilly, a director of product marketing for Adobe Campaign. Adobe’s goal is to connect anonymous data from acquisition marketing with CRM data about known users.

Other marketing clouds share this goal. Salesforce.com is trying something similar by integrating ExactTarget and a new Web analytics tool. (See AdExchanger coverage of Adobe and Salesforce.com’s Marketing Cloud suites.)

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Teradata’s Integrated Marketing Cloud: Not Totally Integrated, But Still A Strong Performer

TeradataIntegratedMarketingCloudWhat do you think of when you hear the words “marketing cloud?” Most likely, your mind conjures up Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle. Maybe even IBM.

Then there’s Teradata.

As noted in the first Forrester Wave evaluating enterprise marketing software suites (aka marketing clouds) released Tuesday, Teradata is more often recognized for its data warehousing solutions.

Over the years, Teradata acquired a handful of companies to build its Integrated Marketing Cloud, including campaign management from Aprimo and email marketing from the German company eCircle.

It more recently bought digital creative agency Ozone Online and several social media monitoring services from Argyle Social with an eye on enabling “personalized messaging and centralized data in one place across platforms,” said Darryl McDonald, president of Teradata Marketing Applications, speaking on stage at the company’s 2014 Partners conference in Nashville this week.

“The goal,” he said, “is to bring together marketing strategy with the process automation and applications” required to integrate customer data and online activity for better return on investment. “That’s what the Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud is all about.”

Of course, that’s what every marketing cloud ostensibly is all about. 

So, how is Teradata marketing cloud different and, more to the point, what’s in there, exactly?

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Facebook Reorgs PMD Program, Adding Agencies And More Partner Categories

bye-bye-badgesFacebook is unraveling its preferred marketing developer (PMD) program, its platform for organizing and referring key partners to prospective advertisers. In its place will be a new classification system, called simply Facebook Marketing Partners (FMP, for the acronym-addicted), with no badges but with a list of nine "specialties" – including ad tech, content marketing, and data providers – designed to highlight specific competencies.

Among the most significant changes: Facebook will dump its strategic marketing partner (sPMD) designation, at one time a recognition of all-around mastery of Facebook's toolset for marketers, as well as an unspoken "pat on the back" for vendors driving significant spend to the Facebook platform.

But over time the sPMD badge became an "opaque signal," in Facebook's words. It came to signify that a partner is "good," without answering "what at?" Companies currently basking in the sPMD spotlight will be relocated to other specialty buckets.

"We felt like the 'S' had served a tremendous purpose for a while," said Blake Chandlee, VP global partnerships at Facebook. "The message was, these people are good at what they do. We could add a whole bunch of people, but then it destroys the original intent, which was to help clients understand who can help them with specific needs."

In the end, getting to "specific needs" required a system of nine specializations. They are: (more…)


Startup Lytics Raises $7M, Wants To Help You Build Your Own Marketing Cloud

james mcdermott lyticsThe value of a marketing cloud, as Forrester Research pointed out Tuesday, is in the level of its integration.

But Portland, Oregon-based startup Lytics takes the position that whatever level of integration the big-name marketing suites offer simply isn’t enough. The company, which started in 2012, made its “marketing activation platform” generally available on Wednesday and revealed $7 million in Series A funding led by Comcast Ventures, bringing its total to $9.2 million.

Lytics provides the glue that lets marketers link their disparate technologies. Its value proposition is that it enables companies to build their own clouds out of various point solutions, merging data from systems likes email, social media, web and point-of-sale quickly and easily.

It accomplishes this heady task via 80 connectors that link to parts of the marketing ecosystem, as well as through API connections, said company CEO and co-founder James McDermott.

“Fundamentally our platform was designed to integrate with different marketing execution tools,” he said.

Lytics’ self-serve platform consists of data-management tools (it’s not a DMP, McDermott insisted) and has a layer of analytics designed to make predictions, such as which customers might churn, and suggestions, such as how and where a company should message those churn risks.

Lytics has 15 beta clients including Intel, Condé Nast and DirecTV.
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Forrester: Adobe Marketing Cloud Makes Big Waves, SAS Is 'Best-Kept Secret'

cory munchbach forresterForrester Research crowned Adobe Marketing Cloud in its first-ever ranking of enterprise marketing software suites – informally called “marketing clouds.”

The report, compiled by analysts Cory Munchbach and Rusty Warner and released Tuesday, encompassed eight vendors (Adobe, Salesforce.com, SAS, Teradata, IBM, Oracle, SAP and Marketo). Munchbach and Warner interviewed three clients from each vendor and tallied 53 client responses to an online survey. The solutions were evaluated in Q2 2014.

Adobe’s top positioning had to do with the strength of its core offering and its product strategy. Salesforce.com was slightly weaker in its offering and strategy, but was still in the top “leader” category, according to Forrester.

IBM and, surprisingly, Oracle and SAS Institute were solidly in the second-tier “strong performers” category.

Independent marketing automation provider Marketo and data analytics company Teradata, which has what it calls an “integrated marketing cloud,” hovered between “strong performers” and the third-tier “contenders” categories.

And SAP, which has the hybris commerce suite and struck a deal in March to resell Adobe Marketing Cloud, had a better product offering than Marketo, but its strategy placed it solidly in the “contender” category.
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