Huffington Spearheads Aol Innovation Efforts; European RTB Market; Incubation Nation

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Huffington Ascending Aol

The New York Times’ Brian Stetler says that Huffington Post growth is changing the strategy and direct report structure of the company as it looks to return to startup mentality according to Huff Po’s Arianna Huffington. The Times’s Stetler writes, “The revamping, she said, is intended to help The Huffington Post ‘maintain the innovative spirit of a start-up.’ Technology, business development, marketing and communications units that were woven into AOL last year will begin to report to her. The advertising sales unit will remain inside AOL ‘at the moment,’ she said.” Huff Po is and was a data-driven ad business with heavy reliance on ad networks, exchanges, SSPs and so on in addition to custom/integrated sales. It will be interesting to see her “take” on ad tech strategy if she is let loose even further. Read it.

Scanning Euro Audience Buying

London-based trading desk Infectious Media has put together a “European RTB Insights Report.” In a case study on what the company calls “borderless targeting”, Infectious discusses how optimization played out with display bought via real-time bidding across countries. A sample using CPA goals from the company’s own campaign data: “By day 8 all regions had begun to be optimised, with Scandinavia showing the strongest performance followed by the Mediterranean region, and then Germany and the Netherlands.” Get it here (lower right of home page – pay with some PII, too.).

Ad Network Legacy

RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal takes the podium at Ad Age and weaves his company’s belief in the importance of the social web to advertising. In particular, the former Blue Lithium CEO observes the evolution of the ad network: “So why will legacy ad networks die? Can’t they just adapt? The analogy that comes to mind is the mechanic who attempts to fix a plane that’s already in flight. Legacy ad networks have already taken off and, unfortunately for them, it is incredibly difficult to change their business model mid-flight to adapt to the demands of the Intelligent Web. They will need to develop entirely new products to exist in the Intelligent Web’s highly social and real-time environment.” Fly or die. Read more.

Updating Local Targeting

New enhancements to the Google Display Network are published on the Inside AdWords blog. Location-based targeting gets some re-working among other features: “Now, both the location extracted from the content of the page and the likely physical location can be used, making advanced location targeting applicable for the Display Network for the first time. The default setting is to show to people ‘in’ or ‘viewing pages about’ your targeted location, but you can edit this option at any time.” There’s also an update to a limited, search retargeting capability for location. Read more.

Retargeting The Cart Owner

From the blog, music for the ears of retargeter lovers as’s Fiona Swerdlow covers new research from SeeWhy on the eCommerce cart: “On average, 8% of customers return to a site to buy if the company does no remarketing. With a remarketing program in place, however, that average jumps to 26%. Yet – incredibly – just 37% of the retailers do ‘something’ as follow up to a customer visit (though usually something like asking customers to sign up for a newsletter). Only 12% did some cart remarketing of any kind, and even fewer truly personalized that follow up.” Read it.

An Agency Grows In Lagos

On Digiday, Jack Marshall pinpoints a trend among digital agencies to open up offices in countries considered irrelevant from an ad or marketing spend perspective. Matt Cronin of agency Web Liquid tells Marshall about his new Lagos, Nigeria office, “It’s such an under-served market. Everyone looks at places like Brazil and China, but Nigeria is a great investment opportunity. It has a huge population, a growing economy, and their adoption of new technologies has been extremely fast. It has a huge population, a growing economy, and their adoption of new technologies has been extremely fast.” Read it.

Tips For The Seller

On the Upstream Group blog, Doug Weaver delivers more sage tips to the seller crowd. Weaver writes, “I encourage every digital sales person to begin proactively negotiating the nature and measurement of campaign outcomes at the very earliest stages of the sales discussion. If you wait for the RFP (never a good idea, by the way) to tell you what’s being measured and how, you’re already screwed.” Read it.

I, Incubate

CPX has caught the incubation bug, too. At nearly the same time as yesterday’s announcement of AppNexus Accelerate startup incubator program, CPX Founder and CEO Mike Seiman said in a release, “Many brilliant entrepreneurs in need of initial funding and support don’t require – or want – the involvement and oversight of typical VCs. If we can help by providing the limited capital and overhead they need and offering our unique expertise along the way, then we think there are significant synergies to explore.” Read about the incubator’s focus on yield. And, see more on CPX site.

Universal Binary

On the Online Publishers Association blog, the OPA’s chief Pam Horan talks online publishing with CEO Avi Steinlauf. He explains to Horan the benefits of a “Universal Binary” in the mobile space – do you know what it is?…. Steinlauf says, “An iOS Universal Binary simplifies life for mobile users. In our case, users only need to download one app from and once that happens the site shows up on all their Apple iOS devices. The App is responsive to the platform it runs on, which means that the iPad App has a specific user interface taking advantage of the large screen while on the iPhone and iPod Touch it adapts to a smaller footprint.” Read it.

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