RSS FeedArchive for the ‘The Sell Sider’ Category


Bulletin: Consumer Marketing Is Out, Customer Marketing Is In

jeremysteinbergThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jeremy Steinberg, senior vice president of digital ad sales for The Weather Company.

After attending my very first ANA Masters of Marketing conference, I will never be the same.

OK, maybe that is a tad dramatic, but what I saw and heard firsthand has shocked and inspired me. The increasing acceleration of technological change has turned the whole notion of consumer marketing in the digital age on its head. This is creating profound implications for marketers and the media companies that support them.

Over two days, I watched and heard the world’s top marketers tell very similar stories. Consumers are growing more powerful and independent, with expectations of the companies that produce and sell them products rising by the minute. This change forces marketers to turn their focus away from consumers in aggregate to the individual customer.

(more…)


The Next Era In Media: Getting Personal

spanfeller-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today's column is written by Jim Spanfeller, CEO at Spanfeller Media Group.

About a year ago, I predicted the consolidation of ad tech and its move away from the main stage of the digital ecosystem. With all due notation of the great early days of the Rocket Fuel IPO, most of my musings turned out to be correct.

Sure, the middlemen have provided some value, but nowhere near enough to generate the large percentage of dollars they need to be profitable and support their many offerings, many of which are incredibly similar in nature and promise.

For some, this era has been a bother. For others, it has been incredibly financially rewarding. And for the industry, it has taken longer than it should have, but has indeed added value to the ecosystem.

(more…)


It’s Time To Get Serious About Measurement

spanfeller-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.

Today's column is written by Jim Spanfeller, CEO at Spanfeller Media Group.

Amazingly, the Internet -- the most trackable medium ever due to its two-way and one-to-one connections -- has always faced huge issues surrounding measurement. There are many good reasons for this, as well as a number of really bad reasons. Regardless, now is the time to fix it.

To its great credit, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an organization I once chaired but have been somewhat critical of lately, has been doing great work in this area, in both pushing forward new ideas and getting support from many areas of the ecosystem. Its Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative is good and smart, but it’s simply taking too long to put in place.

This is no one’s fault since the Internet is complex and it takes time to create form and substance out of chaos. Viewable impressions, online gross rating points and some agreement on just what “engagement” means can and will have huge implications on the overall amount of advertising dollars spent in the digital world.

(more…)


Content Or Data: Which Is The Better Proxy For Ad Targeting?

spanfeller-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.

Today's column is written by Jim Spanfeller, CEO at Spanfeller Media Group,

Many argue in this age of deep and big data that content is not nearly as good of a proxy for ad targeting as data. Having both aligned, they’ll say, is of course the best possible solution.

I wholly agree with this second point but want to push back a bit on the first. In my mind, content is the best proxy for what is really important: an advertisement’s ability to have the utmost impact for selling a product or service.

At the end of the day, both content and big data are proxies. They are proxies used to find consumers who are most likely to react favorably to a message and, most importantly, take action as a result.

(more…)


The Digital Shift In Video: Making The Most Of An Imperfect Storm

steinberg-twc-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jeremy Steinberg, senior vice president of digital ad sales for The Weather Company.

You know a big storm is brewing, but you’re not quite sure from which direction it will come or how it will impact you. This situation, to me, is a suitable analogy for the future of video.

Already, video dollars are quickly shifting to digital. Look no further than this year’s TV upfronts: Volume is down across the board. In the meantime, demand is way up in digital (based on just about every third-party research study, and confirmed anecdotally). But while there’s no doubt some of that TV money is going digital, it’s unclear where in digital it is going. If you’re like most digital-ad publishers, you’re not yet sure how you’re going to net out when all is said and done.

Why all the uncertainty? First of all, there’s a complete lack of consistency in what marketers want when it comes to digital video. They want Online Campaign Ratings and Validated Campaign Essentials guarantees, which are great because they bring TV metrics to the digital realm. But marketers are all over the map in terms of which measurement platform they’re choosing, and media companies haven’t yet come to an agreement about whether those competing metrics are even the correct currencies to trade in. And the list of inconsistent needs and desires is seemingly endless: dismissible ads, competitive separation guarantees, appropriate billable-impression definitions, annual CPM commitments, opt-out-of programming, fluidity of pricing and fourth-party inventory tracking.

(more…)


At What Price Safety? At What Price Targeted Advertising?

spanfeller-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jim Spanfeller, CEO of Spanfeller Media Group, a new-age media company.

As the news about the U.S. government’s Prism program attracts full-blown global attention, raising questions about our privacy and our safety, I think it’s a good time to re-examine the ongoing debate around third-party tracking cookies and their value to end users.

I’ve long said that the answer to the online advertiser tracking debate (like many other things in ad tech) hinges on transparency. The population is generally smart enough to decide what is appropriate and what is not. When faced with clear choices, they will almost always let you know what they really want and what they think is right.

In the case of PRISM, of course, transparency is a far more complex issue. The government would have us believe that it needs to keep these programs secret so that our adversaries cannot take countermeasures to overcome these “safeguards.”

(more…)


Location Is The New Cookie; Here’s How To Get A Bite

steinberg-twc-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jeremy Steinberg, Senior Vice President of Digital Ad Sales for The Weather Company.

One of the most important tasks I have in my role as the head of a digital ad sales team is increasing mobile revenue. How can I do this? My plan is to use location as the new cookie.

Location data is relevant to a moment. It’s personal, but not too personal – a privacy-friendly alternative to the cookie. Location is digital but bridges the real world. It’s specific and reliable; there are 44,000 ZIP codes in the United States. And location encompasses both where you are now and where you’re going later.

Location is also one of the few targetable attributes on a phone. If you want to provide a marketer with a solution to reach all your consumers across all your platforms, you need location data. Not much else works.

But location in and of itself is not enough. Here’s what else you need to take your mobile business to the next level:

(more…)


The Key To Web Traffic? It’s The Content, Stupid!

spanfeller-sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jim Spanfeller, CEO, Spanfeller Media Group, a new age media company.

There have been some recent musings on BuzzFeed about what would happen to publisher traffic if Facebook went the way of MySpace. Unlikely as this is in the near term (a fact that the folks at BuzzFeed readily admit), the question does prompt some basic but important answers.

To give the fine people at BuzzFeed their proper due, their primary argument is that Google’s position as the dominant traffic driver on the Internet has slowly but surely given way to Facebook (although some would say these trends have been overstated due to “dark” Google). But now Facebook is seeing some declining numbers in both users and time spent, begging the question “What happens if Facebook becomes less of a traffic engine for content sites?”

Well, in the aggregate...nothing. These sites facilitate for what people want to do in the first place. One might even argue that, on balance, their efforts to help with content discovery are at the core of their value to end-users. In the case of Google, of course, this is without question.

(more…)


Firefox Cookie-Block Is The First Step Toward A Better Tomorrow

sell-siderThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jim Spanfeller, CEO, Spanfeller Media Group, a new age media company.

Mozilla recently announced that the next version of Firefox, one of the most popular web browsers in the world, would come with a default setting that would not allow third-party tracking cookies to be installed on users’ machines.

This is the first major step down a road to a better tomorrow for business online, to an age where consumer privacy and corporate transparency is respected and practiced.  By doing what we say and saying what we do - by doing unto others what we want done to us - we will enter into a more trusted ecosystem. Business, information exchange, spontaneous discovery and overall satisfaction will thrive in ways that have become increasingly difficult due to black hat activities perpetrated partly in the name of advertising efficiencies.

The IAB has jumped to protect the currently crippled state of the industry by protesting Mozilla’s move.  As a one-time chairman of the organization, this saddens me to no end.  I feel this way for several reasons.

(more…)


The Myth of Unlimited Inventory

sell-sider

The Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell-side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Jim Spanfeller, CEO, Spanfeller Media Group, a new age media company.

It has often been said that due to nearly "unlimited inventory", pricing on digital advertising will continue to decline.  This is a thought that has been taken as gospel for some time now, but in the light of day is, in fact, simply not true.

How so? Well let's look at this from both ends of the telescope. The first is the belief that an overwhelming abundance of impressions results directly in lower CPMs; the second is the reality of those impressions in the first place.

Is the apparently unlimited amount of available banner inventory at the root of the continuing downturn in average online CPMs? I would tell you no. In just about every other medium out there (with the possible exception of Network Television) there is available inventory well beyond what the demand curve calls for. One can always add another form to the folio in a magazine or newspaper, there are more than enough available placements in radio, and spot, fringe and cable television rarely sell out.

So the implied supply and demand curve logic might be true for widgets, but has never been true for media. Media costs have always been the result of ongoing negotiations between buyer and seller. Of late, and especially true in the digital world, the buyer has been doing a much better job of negotiating than the seller.

(more…)