Social Data And Ad Networks In Focus; Deep Packet Inspection Is Back!; Demand-Side Platform Brouhaha

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Social Data Miners

AdWeek’s Brian Morrissey looks at the social media data space – and companies such as Media6Degrees, Rapleaf and 33across – and whether the bread crumbs that users leave behind are valuable targeting parameters. ShareThis CEO Tim Schigel says in the piece that social data is better suited for brand awareness marketers rather than DR marketers as Morrissey writes, “While current Web-targeting methods are geared to direct response, social characteristics are more suited for awareness and consideration—the critical backbone of brand advertising budgets locked up in TV.” Read more.

Deep Packet Returns

The Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series continued last week with a look at the use of deep packet inspection (similar to NebuAd) technology as “Kindsight and Phorm systems study people’s behavior and interests based on the websites they visit to show them relevant ads. (…) Unlike web-based tracking methods, which generally create a single behavioral profile no matter how many people share a computer, Kindsight can ‘generate multiple characters per human.'” Read more.

Google, Publicis And DSP Momentum

TechCrunch’s Erick Schoenfeld looks at the rising ad spend flowing through agency trading desks and pokes around to see if there are possible rebates being offered by Google that might raise anti-trust concerns. Publicis and Google spokespeople both deny it and there appears to be little evidence, actually none, as building a trading desk does not constitute a kickback – just a strategic business move as Google gives away products in order to win the display game. This is similar to maneuvers with free tools like Google Analytics and AdWords today. Yet, there is an interesting stat in the piece as Schoenfeld writes, “One thing that is certain is that the DSPs (demand-side platforms) are driving growth for Google. One source, who is an employee of Publicis and requested anonymity to protect his job, estimates that in 2010 Publicis will run $1 billion in advertising through Google, a figure (VivaKi SVP Kurt) Unkel does not dispute.” That’s a lotta business – how much is DoubleClick Ad Exchange business though? I’ll guess $100 million-ish in data-driven display ad dollars, which are flowing through VivaKi Nerve Center DSP of choice, Invite Media, in 2011 given the Google predictions of the past and back-of-the-envelope calculations. And within that $100 million, potentially some of that spend is being sprayed through other supply sources such as Right Media Exchange and yield optimizers/aggregators (AdMeld, PubMatic and Rubicon Project). Read the TechCrunch article. And, read a summary which includes the ad network point-of-view from Adotas’ Gavin Dunaway.

Pre-Roll Ain’t So Bad

With an opinion piece on The Business Insider, BBE’s Matt Wasserlauf takes a break from integrating his video ad network into Specific Media to say that pre-roll advertising is effective no matter what some may think. Still, Wasserlauf writes, “Granted, the ad business can’t continue to snare eyeballs by simply running pre-roll that duplicates TV spots, which does nothing to engage online viewers. But there are plenty of signs that markets are developing shorter, interactive, and original online video ads.” Read more.

DSP Looking Back

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Armstrong attends the recent Founder Factory event which celebrates the startup life in the Philadelphia area. Among the attendees was Invite Media CEO Nat Turner who provided a keynote address and said that there’s no better place to start a company than while you’re still in college. Among the anecdotes Turner shared, “[He] told the Founder Factory audience that he and Weinberg once wasted a week in Menlo Park, Calif., trying to meet with the storied venture capital firms that line Sand Hill Road.” Read more.

Living In The Bosom

The ad technology frenzy is featured in an article on Crain’s New York as AdSafe, AdMeld, eXelate and Tremor Media take a bow among others. Referring to the recent investment by Time Warner Investments in NYC-based AdMeld, Crain’s Judith Messina writes that it “underscores the strength of a relatively new category of tech company: Online ad ‘enablers’ in New York are growing rapidly, attracting customers and investor dollars. Many attribute their success to being in the bosom of the advertising and publishing world.” Read it.

Display Creative Is Crap

iCrossing exec Dax Hamman isn’t too happy with recent creative efforts in the display advertising world as he writes on his personal blog, “Media plans are finally evolving with techniques like site and search retargeting that allow us to talk to the individuals with intent rather than shouting at the crowd, but the creative is not keeping up. We still are forcing the user to click to the destination chosen by the brand or to take no action at all.” Read his suggestions.

Display Heat In New Zealand

The Interactive Advertising Bureau in New Zealand has released its 3rd quarter 2010 survey on digital ad spend and, like most other places in the world, display continues to grow strongly. Bill Mace of New Zealand’s Business Day writes on Q3s numbers: “Search and directory was up 16.4 per cent over the second quarter but display advertising showed a 24 per cent increase over the same period in 2009.” Read about more display heat.

The Gold Standard Tarnished

If you haven’t read this NY Times article yet, kick back with your cup of coffee or tea and have a look at a guy who openly encourages people to write bad things about him. It helps his search ranking, after all. This is not what Google had in mind when it comes to the art and science of search engine optimization (SEO). Read it. Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan writes, “Certainly the story illustrates the fallacy of Google’s ‘gold standard’ search results.” Read his take.

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