Glam Extending Reach With Ning; MRAID Standardizing Mobile; Retargeter AdRoll Gets $$$

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Ning Gets Glammed

Almost a year after women’s lifestyle blog network Glam Media bought white label social network tool Ning, the two are fully integrating. Techcrunch’s Anthony Ha reports that the benefits will be immediately felt by the social net communities created with Ning, as they’ll be able to take advantage of Glam’s ad network. Those sites previously had to handle ad serving on their own. Ads on Ning sites will now be powered by Glam Social, which has been around for two years and was intended to help broaden Glam’s reach to individuals’ sites in addition to larger and mid-size publishers. Glam claims that Ning is getting 50 million uniques a month as the service is used to create 2,000 new social nets every 30 days. In addition to expanding its overall ad reach, the new social nets could also help produce a more comprehensive vertical ad strategy. Read the release, too.

Twitter, The Anti-Facebook

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tends to define his company against the Facebook grain. He tells the LA Times Twitter will use its significant cash reserves to power its platform and biz goals. “We are going to remain private as long as we want,” he says. “I like being private for all sorts of reasons.” Read it. Meanwhile Gerry Shih asks in a Reuters analysis, “Is Twitter building [an] ad business at expense of innovation?” The question is motivated by stricter guidelines placed on developers and other parties, including LinkedIn. “Greater control makes it easier for Twitter to sell advertising against its content — the media industry’s traditional proposition.” Read more. Finally, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka shares a Twitter sales deck geared to one client who shall remain nameless. The important takeaway here is that Twitter sales remain high-touch and low-targeting. For instance a vaunted feature called “enhanced interest” targeting has yet to launch. See the slides.

Mobile Ads More Portable

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has spent a lot more time trying to streamline the ad units for mobile advertising for several years now, and the latest effort represents a worthwhile step toward its ultimate goal: making the often smaller screens for mobile devices a more attractive platform for premium brand advertising. “The Mobile Rich-media Ad Interface Definitions,” or MRAID 2.0, as the new standards are called, are aimed at helping agencies run creative across apps from different publishers, rather than needing to re-write the programming behind their ad creative several times for a single campaign — a major hurdle for marketers, who are reluctant to spend more time and money on mobile, which still needs to prove its scalability. Read the release.

Retargeting Funds

Proving that retargeting remains a compelling business to be in, ad retargeter AdRoll, which serves the long and mid-tail with its cross-exchange, self-serve retargeting tech, announced that it has picked up $15 million in new funding (that’s $19 million total in fundraising says Crunchbase). According to the release, “AdRoll will grow the team into their 24,000 square-foot downtown San Francisco headquarters and open new domestic and international offices.” Read more.

Make Measurement

Nielsen wants to establish more thought leadership in measurement and has established the new Nielsen Innovation Lab. MediaPost’s Joe Mandese quotes Nielsen exec Scott McKinley that “the ultimate goal would be to achieve Madison Avenue’s long-term ‘holy grail‘ of ‘understanding the true value’ of advertising, including how it impacts the short- and long-term perceptions and behaviors of consumers.” Read more.

OOH Addressability

From the out-of-home channel, Verifone will provide a payment for taxi systems in Washington, D.C… AND they’ll get to advertise and provide content to taxi passengers. Syncing ads with payment system data and a location overlay would seem to be pretty powerful. Read the release.

Algorithmic Attribution

That’s because it’s hard, says Brad Terrell writing for ClickZ. Among the obstacles to doing it the correct way are complex tech requirements, talent scarcity, and moving KPI targets. Oh yeah, and missing data. “It’s difficult to get the marketing data required for attribution out of the social media, search properties, and digital devices that consume much of our attention, and this creates significant blind spots for attribution analysis.” Read it.

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