TRAFFIQ’s Picard Engages RareCrowds; Gamifying The Skip; Bizo Gets $10 Million

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TRAFFIQ’s Chief Product Officer Eric Picard has taken the reigns on a new company as TRAFFIQ will segment its digital advertising workflow business led by Lori Goldberg and spin out an emerging opportunity that Picard sees around brand media buying execution at-scale. The new company is called RareCrowds, as Picard explains, “We’re helping media buyers very efficiently make use of ad exchanges and other ‘programmatic’ inventory sources to buy media for brand advertisers on the basis of targeted reach. This is how almost all dollars are spent offline, and how the majority of dollars are spent on online display. It’s about reaching audiences that are a good match for the brand’s goals, in an extremely automated way. Our offering is a self-service media buying tool designed for professional media buyers, and is a very complementary offering to DSPs and the trading desk practices within the holding companies…” See the site.

Real-Time Streaming

Dr. Robert Plant (no, not that Robert Plant) from the University of Miami trumpets the beneficial uses of data in real-time in an op-ed of sorts in the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Plant notes the origins of real-time data’s benefits – streaming stock quotes, “Streaming already has transformed the financial-services industry. It is hard to imagine that investors once made trading decisions based on price data that was delayed 20 minutes. But streaming is starting to reshape, or has the potential to reshape, a host of other industries, as well. Here’s a closer look.” Read examples (subscription) – however obtuse, nearly all have implications for ads.

Leaving The Trough

Venture capital guy Doug Pepper provides a graphic or two on tech products that hit the hype cycle, then fall into a trough and, finally, power up toward “sustainability.” Pepper writes, “For entrepreneurs and investors the most exciting element of the Market Curve is that, once the trough ends, strong technology markets ultimately prove more valuable than anyone imagined even during the Hype Cycle.” Where do the DSP/SSP/Exchange models fall? From here, they’re coming out of the trough. Not a bad trough, either. Read about the lifecycle of tech markets.

Gamifying The Skip

Following the footsteps of Publicis VivaKi’s The Pool initiative, Google and Solve Media among others, video ad network and exchange SpotXchange is bringing its own brand of skippable video ads. Called “Skip It” – SpotXchange “takes the cake” with the most intuitive brand name and and adds a gaming element that requires user sign up to skip ads. The SkipIt blog explains, “…you can earn tons of free skips. For each friend you refer that also signs up and funds their account with $10, you earn another 5 free skips. Plus, for every dollar you put in your SkipIt account, you earn 1 free skip. So $10 = 10 free skips. Then you can start skipping video ads to your heart’s content.” Visit the publisher sign-up –

My Name’s ROI – Capital R-O-I

Hey analytics lovers, the Nielsen Wire blog offers thoughts from a recent marketing effectiveness whitepaper on what metrics brand marketers should consider when determining ROI. Once such metric: “Price Premium: 21 percent of advertised brands in our study did not command a price premium over their nearest non-advertised competitor. This could possibly be a result of excessive promotions, ineffective advertising messages, inadequate product features, etc.” Read more. And, download the study (sign-up required).

The Privacy Icon

ClickZ’s Kate Kaye reports that just as the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Managing Director, Peter Kosmala, has left his position to take a new role at the 4As (LinkedIn), the privacy icon which the DAA oversees is under scrutiny. Kaye writes, “Research published today from Carnegie Mellon University suggests the DAA’s AdChoices icon was not recognizable to web users when a study was conducted last year. In its small ‘Smart, Useful, Scary, Creepy: Perceptions of Online Behavioral Advertising’ study conducted in August 2011, Carnegie Mellon found that around half of users surveyed – 25 of 48 – had never seen the ad icon when showed it in context.” Either 23 of the 48 users need to subscribe to the AdExchanger newsletter, or the DAA and its supporting bodies need to continue raising awareness. Read more. And, download the study (PDF).

Give Me Data

B2B data company Bizo, a 2008 ZoomInfo spinoff, has recorded its second or third round of funding – depending on how you’re counting (Crunchbase) – inclusive of a new $10 million round led by Crosslink Capital. Interesting to see a targeting-data-centric company receive investment after a lull in that sector of the funding marketplace (eXelate, BlueKai last raised in 2010; DataLogix in 2009, for example). Read more.

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