Brand Marketers Invade Silicon Valley; Akamai, Audience Buying And Next Big Thing; On Facebook Dominating Display

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Brand Marketer Invasion

Ad Age’s Michael Learmonth reveals that brand marketers such as Unilever are invading Silicon Valley to keep track of the latest and greatest from technology companies that will impact their digital marketing mix. Unilever CMO Keith Weed tells Ad Age, “What I want to make sure is we are ahead of the consumer rather than being in a position that we are behind the consumer. This is a very different type of marketing. We have scale coming into digital now and the whole advent of mobile.” Read more.

Akamai And Audience Buying

Akamai’s co-founder and chief scientist, Tom Leighton, does a Q&A with the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog and in answer to a question on what will be “the next big thing,” Leighton says – audience buying! According to Leighton,”Today you can be watching baseball, and there will be an ad on the backstop behind the players tailored to your state or area. But eventually, we could put a car you designed there, or something specific to you. It becomes very relevant advertising.” Read more.

Retargeting As Scam

Kevin Lee questions whether retargeting is “A Scam or ROI Harvester” in his regular ClickZ column. (Nice link bait! Got me.) Lee writes about the rich inventory available for retargeting through Google’s AdX and Right Media for ad networks and DSPs. But, he isn’t satisfied adding, “What bothers me, however, is the fact that there’s a huge opportunity for non-seasoned marketers to get caught in a situation where they dramatically overpay for the retargeted inventory, all the while thinking they’re getting a great deal.” Read more.

Dixon On Display And Facebook

Hunch CEO and angel investor Chris Dixon says that Facebook is moving full-tilt into the “intender” market with “taste” data (a.k.a. the Like button) which will end up giving Facebook the opportunity to win the display advertising war. He writes, “Publishers who adopt Facebook’s Like feature may get more traffic and perhaps a better user experience as a result. But they should hope the intent generation ad market doesn’t end up like the intent harvesting ad market – with one dominant player commanding the lion’s share of the profits.” Read more. And, read a rebuttal on Jonathan Mendez’ blog here.

Facebook Aspirations

In Sunday’s New York Times, Facebook’s over-arching strategy is the subject with Susan Herring, a professor at Indiana University, seeing the Facebook mononlith on the move: “What the statistics point to is a rise in Facebook, a decline in blogging, and before that, a decline in personal Web pages. The trend is clear, she said — Facebook is displacing these other forms of online publication.” Read more.

Publishers Add Foursquare

The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal have all added Foursquare functionality in the past few months as the publishers hope to catch the “check-in” wave that’s been building for the location-based service. Regarding how uses Foursquare, “Beyond breaking news, the company is also using Foursquare to post about five items per day from its new Greater New York section, and may also expand to other cities,” writes Mediaweek’s Mike Shields. Read more.

CPC Momentum Check For April

Siddharth Shah, Director of Business Analytics at Efficient Frontier, says that EF research from April shows CPCs in Travel have increased 24% YoY with other sectors such as Automotive and Finance showing 10+% increases in the year. Finance was flat year-over-year but up 12% from the previous month. See the chart.

Flurry On Privacy

Mobile analytics and ad monetization firm, Flurry, says it’s taking the initiative on establishing a privacy policy that “seeks to increase consumer privacy standards in mobile application data collection and targeting.” Read more about Flurry’s “Privacy First Initiative (PFI)” on the Flurry website (PDF).

New Seed Fund

Mass High Tech Business’s Galen Moore says that a mix of former and current associates and partners from VC firms Spark Capital and Venrock Capital are partnering on a new seed fund . All that is known on the investment focus is that it’s “early stage.” I guess that’s why it’s a seed fund. Read more.

Landing Page Medicine

Forbes’ David Carr looks at the importance of effective landing page and offers an example of what a difference a change makes: “a directory of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, simply changing the color of the text on an inquiry page resulted in a 6% improvement in the number of people who submitted the form.” Carr notes that SiteSpect, Omniture Test & Target, Amadesa, Performable and Conversion Multiplier are solutions to help the marketer with their landing pages. Read more.

WPP Expanding Digitally, Globally

In South America, WPP Group is expanding its digital footprint at the company bought two brazilian, digital agencies according to Zach Rodgers of ClickZ. Read more. The companies have combined revenues of just north of $5 million according to Rodgers.

Adify Cozies With NetSeer

Vertical ad network provider, Adify, is licensing NetSeer’s Contextual Services in order to open up additional targeting options in the “mid-tail” – a.k.a. companies bubbling beneath the comScore 500 list. Is Adify looking to buy through exchanges? Read more in MediaPost.

Adding To The Platform

Aggregate Knowledge announced the addition of “six core capabilities of dynamic creative to its real-time Discovery Platform.” Among the new features is a “rules-based content selection ad solution that optimizes and integrates – in real time – messages, images, offers, and calls to action with machine learning.” Read more.

Hulu Ads

Mediaweek’s Mike Shieds says that Hulu has released a tool which will allow marketers to customize their message according to the audience by using “Ad Tailor” which literally asks the end user, “Is this ad relevant to you?” Read a bit more.

Targeting Elections

Writers on the Rapleaf blog see “Three Digital Technologies That Will Change the 2010 Election.” One is something they call “Influencer Identification (+ Word of Mouth Marketing)” where the big mouths of social media are identified to propagate a message. Read about the other two technologies here. Hint: might be audience buying. Might be.

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