More Money For Mobile; Marketers Are VC?; Yahoo! And Its Display Future

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More Money For Mobile

Mobile ad technology company Media Armor says that it has raised $1.5 million in a series A round of funding led by Geoff Judge of iNovia Capital and Ian Sigalow of Greycroft Partners. On the company blog, co-founder Elizabeth Zalman adds some ideas on differentiation for her company saying, “Media Armor is the first in mobile to offer view-through, quantitative test-and-control, and ID-level decisioning based upon a brand’s own data set.” Yes, there’s targeting in mobile. Read more. And, read the SEC filing about the investment.

Agencies In Transition

In India’s Best Media Info, Havas Digital coCEO Anthony Rhind is interviewed and he discussed the reasons for the launch of agency brands under the Havas Digital umbrella: “Firstly, we might have a client relationship and we might have the opportunity to work with a client that is a competitor. So, the only way to work is when both the clients are happy – with two different setups. That’s one of the reasons for brand proliferation in our agency structure. The second is to enable the development of new capabilities. The best way to accelerate development is to set up a separate organisational structure, give it autonomy, fund it and allow it to grow.” Read more. – Interesting interview which touches on the agency conundrum of needs: need to service clients any way they please; need to keep up with digital; need to compete with emerging, tech-focused agencies; and need to overcome the traditional agencies’ cultural inertia.

Big Big Data

Apparently inspired by a new report titled “Big Data, Big Impact: New Possibilities for International Development” issued at the World Economic Forum last month, The New York Times’ Steve Lohr pens a feature piece on the world’s exploding data streams. Bravely, Lohr offers a definition which reads, in part, “There is a lot more data, all the time, growing at 50 percent a year, or more than doubling every two years, estimates IDC, a technology research firm. It’s not just more streams of data, but entirely new ones…” It’s big, dammit! Read it. Over on Ad Age, big data is creating opportunity (and complication) for CMOs as Macy’s chief marketer Martine Reardon and Acxiom CMO Tim Suther offer their respective stories in the search for better communication – and selling – with consumers. Read it.

Yahoo! And Display

On Marketing Land, Greg Sterling comments on a recent report that claims Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson may want to move away from “current services” (i.e. display, says Sterling) and move toward new lines of revenue. He writes, “While it’s smart to ‘diversify’ revenue and perhaps to develop more commission or fee-based income sources it would be a mistake to neglect Yahoo’s core display ad business. Yahoo cannot simply hope that its ad business can run on autopilot. If neglected, revenue will decline and that decline will accelerate as marketers shift their attentions (and money) to other places and platforms such as Google’s Display Network and Facebook.” Read more. A tell-tale sign could be whether Yahoo! makes another display ad tech-related acquisition this year. Yahoo! has always been a buyer historically. In the near term, the company remains focused on improving personalization of its content for users writes Ad Age’s Jason Del Rey. That’s only good for ads, potentially.

Marketer As VC

On Digiday, Brian Morrissey interviews Joseph Jaffe about his latest agency creation called “Evol8tion” which is “solely dedicated to connecting startups and brands. In Jaffe’s view, the divide between Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley is as wide as ever.” In some ways, it appears Jaffe is facilitating a model where brands would take over the funding reigns for startups – to a degree – from the venture capital community. He tells Morrissey, “We believe every viable startup has a brand soulmate. We’re not saying they’re all are viable. We bet a majority are viable for a particular category or brand.” Read more.

Privacy Score

The New York Times’ Tanzina Vega looks at a new tool for online privacy from Privacy Choice, which is creating something akin to a credit score for websites. Privacy Choice’s Jim Brock says in a statement, “For the first time, Web publishers and their users have a way to easily compare privacy practices across the Web. This transparency not only allows people to make smarter decisions about their own data, it also will spur more protective privacy practices by sites and tracking companies, which is long overdue.” Read more. And, visit the Privacy Choice website to see it in action.

Device ID Strategy

On Friday, news broke that Google will expand beyond the mobile device to home entertainment systems – at least for starters. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Google’s entertainment device (…) is expected to be unveiled later this year (…). It’s unclear which retailers would sell the entertainment device, which would stream music from Google’s online music-storage service and pipe it wirelessly to Google-designed speakers or other Web-connected devices in people’s homes, according to these people” Read it. And, read about new construction plans in Mountain View from the SJ Mercury News. Whether it’s an Android mobile phone or a new whizbang home audio/video system or a something else, everything emits data streams which can optimize the company’s ad and commerce future. And Google needs to combat the developing walled garden, device ID strategy from Apple. By the way, you know Apple has $90 billion in the bank, right? They do.

Online Spender Intender

“Holy audience-based buying, Batman!” New research shows that, for certain verticals, the biggest spenders online may be a much older demographic than one might guess. From MediaPost: “According to a shopper behavior study conducted by the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, 52% of shoppers ages 50-54 are purchasing health and beauty products online, while 29% have bought food and beverage products online — more than any other age group.” Read more.

But Wait. There’s More!

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