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Seth Ulinski

Member since December 2012 Contact Seth

Seth leads Ad Tech coverage within the Digital practice at Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR). Prior to TBR, Seth founded AdTech Advisory LLC, a consultancy serving digital marketers, ad agencies, and ad tech vendors.

Articles by Seth All articles by Seth

  • Yahoo - The Oakland Raiders Of Digital Advertising in Real-Time Daily on 10/21/2014

    With the NFL season in full swing, I started thinking about ways I could compare/contrast the worlds of digital advertising and football. It occurred to me how many similarities there are between the Oakland Raiders and Yahoo. Before calling for a "quick kick" and treating this like a 3rd and miles to go situation, consider the following:

  • Ad Tech: Below-The-Radar $15B Market Goes Prime-Time in Programmatic Insider on 09/03/2014

    Multiple reports indicate the global digital advertising market is on pace to exceed $120 billion in 2014, growing roughly 16% year-to-year. While this is a great topline industry number, I have not seen many reports of revenue captured by advertising technology (ad tech) platforms. Typically estimates aggregate keyword search, digital media, and technology into a single number.

  • GroupM's Strategy To Abandon RTB Is Safe, But Is It Sound? in Real-Time Daily on 07/10/2014

    There's been significant discussion around GroupM's decision to forego open ad exchanges, opting instead for deal IDs and private marketplace deals with "premium" publishers. A couple of key reasons/concerns for going the direct route include viewability and the presence of bots. These two separate types of plaques are having a negative impact on the ad exchange business -- no question about that -- however, there are solutions in the market to mitigate the percentage of "bad" campaign impressions in open ad exchanges. As many know, the IAB has already gone through the painstaking process of defining viewability as well as approving auditors via the 3MS initiative.

  • Taking Programmatic In-House: The Impact For Marketers in Real-Time Daily on 06/17/2014

    It's no secret that global brands are opting to bring programmatic media buying in-house. The list of companies doing this includes Fortune 500 companies such as P&G, Unilever, and Netflix. In addition to the immediate impact on the client-agency-vendor ecosystem, there are some equally interesting developments taking place on the larger technology landscape. Here are a few of the risks that marketers must consider when they take programmatic media-buying in-house.

  • Ad Tech Remarketing Specialists: Acquisitions In Review (Where's Oracle?) in Real-Time Daily on 06/16/2014

    During the current quarter, display re-marketing specialists have been getting snatched up at warp speed. In Q2 alone, a total of three of these companies have been acquired. In addition to their function in the ad tech stack, a key theme with each of these specialists is their core vertical: Retail.

  • Programmatic: More Than RTB in Real-Time Daily on 06/03/2014

    During an interview focused on digital video advertising, the WSJ's head of global ad sales made the declaration that the company did not participate in programmatic and they were "fortunate" for being able to stay clear of it. This gave me pause -- even though the comment was likely in reference to real-time bidding (RTB), it was also an indication that the full definition of programmatic still may not be understood, embraced, etc. (slightly troubling if you consider the IAB outlined what constitutes programmatic from a publisher standpoint last September).

  • Silicon Valley And Madison Ave: Bridge Construction Continues in Real-Time Daily on 05/22/2014

    About six months before Oracle acquired BlueKai for $400M, I wrote an article predicting that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software company would make a significant investment in the ad tech space to the tune of $500-750 million. Admittedly I overshot the price tag, but as most can attest, it's still the Wild West from a valuation standpoint in the world of ad tech.

  • Buyers And Sellers: The Benefits Of An Email Diet in Online Publishing Insider on 04/24/2014

    It's no secret that the buy side (marketers, ad agencies, etc) receive a tremendous number of "cold emails" from the sell side (publishers, tech vendors, etc) looking to engage in business. A few digital buyers have told me they will see 50 to 100 on a given day. It has gotten to the point where buy-side players have resorted to working with email addresses that were created specifically to dodge dreaded vendor email solicitations. For example, a digital marketing exec at an automotive brand ditched the corporate nomenclature ( for a combination of initials plus numbers ( Has it really come to this?

  • Native Is Good, Responsive Is Better in Online Publishing Insider on 03/21/2014

    Understanding how to deliver advertising while taking publisher design into consideration is a logical next step for the industry, and will pay dividends for brands, publishers, and consumers.

  • WPP Acquires Crystal Semantics: Hedging Bets Given Demise Of The Cookie, Or Is Content Truly King? in Real-Time Daily on 12/10/2013

    After firsthand experience selling Crystal Semantics' core technology while working with European-based Ad Pepper Media a few years ago, I can say the technology's ability to analyze page-level content was impressive and well-received by a number of agencies and brands. However, its biggest limitation was simple: it required significant scale and a programmatic-buying platform to unlock the full value.

Comments by Seth All comments by Seth

  • Study Finds Only 40% Of Digital Buys Going To Working Media by Joe Mandese (Real-Time Daily on 03/04/2016)

    Randall, great question. I read this as general ad budget allocation, not working media (I'm sure the folks at emarketer would be happy to confirm).

  • Facebook Nixes Demand-Side Platform For Atlas by Gavin O'Malley (Social Media & Marketing Daily on 03/07/2016)

    Interesting development. However as I read it Atlas plugged into only plugged into a single inventory aggregator (operated by Facebook), not all of the other major marketplaces like Rubicon, OpenX, and AdX which carry their own anti-fraud systems. No doubt there are bad actors in the ecosystem, which is why semi-private and programmatic-direct tactics are gaining in popularity...but one inventory pool does not represent the space.

  • Study Finds Only 40% Of Digital Buys Going To Working Media by Joe Mandese (Real-Time Daily on 03/04/2016)

    To an extent, I agree there is still "waste" (again, it's all relative) but keep in mind the industry is still nascent compared to traditional formats such as radio/TV/print. Growth of digital ad spend continues at 15%+ YTY and will accelerate with linear TV viewership transitioning to digital channels. Marketers will ultimately go where there are eyeballs. The advent of ad tech and advanced attribution tools is helping some organizations in N. America and W. Europe shift the marketing function from a cost center to a profit center.

  • Study Finds Only 40% Of Digital Buys Going To Working Media by Joe Mandese (Real-Time Daily on 03/04/2016)

    Cliff -- While there is room for tech rationalization in some cases, I think it ultimately boils down to ROAS/ROI. In addition to marketing platforms and enterprise tech co.'s we are seeing publishers and agencies acquire ad tech because there is value and they are looking to capture more of the digital ad value chain. Many strategies are now data-driven and/or audience-based with the media viewed as 2ndary.

  • Why Ad Tech Should Worry About The Rise Of Marketing Tech by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 01/14/2016)

    Great points and conversation! It's worth noting that the enterprise marketing cloud vendors (e.g. Adobe, Oracle, SAP) have *signficantly* greater resources versus ad tech pure-plays which are in many cases still chasing profitability. Also, Verizon or Facebook carry unique capabilities and data sets which will allow them to compete for slices of the martech business opportunity. It will be fascinating to see how these stakeholders continue to adjust go-to-market strategies and attempt to disrupt what is already a highly dynamic landscape. 

  • 4 Predictions For 2016: Accordant's Art Muldoon & Matt Greitzer On Programmatic Going X-Channel by Tobi Elkin (RTBlog on 12/07/2015)

    Point no. 4 is really critical for the continued growth of digital advertising in general, espeically given pain points such as viewability, bots, etc. -- intelligent marketing attribution will enable the marketing function to shift from a cost center to a profit center long-term. From my seat, these tools are a logical extension of a DMP.

  • Defining Probabilistic Data, And Using Embedded Marketing Management by Cory Treffiletti (Online Spin on 12/02/2015)

    Cory, great example of the benefits organizations can realize when breaking down the 'people silos' en route to (hopefully) breaking down the proverbial tech silos. While a lot of vendors push their respective solution as optimal, I agree that in many cases a combination of proxies (e.g. cookies, IDs) and people (subscribers, etc) makes sense. The challenge then comes in getting internal resources aligned like you cited above, then have them work in concert with vendors on opposing sides of the probabilistic/deterministic fence - which may or may not be easier said than done.

  • The Rise Of Audience-Powered DSPs by Brian Nadres (Programmatic Insider on 11/23/2015)

    Brian, excellent read. I think Twitter is another 'audience-powered' DSP worth noting given its mobile DNA and acquisition of MoPub. It will be interesting to see if LinkedIn makes moves to extend monetization opportunities beyond its walls with a highly valuable b2b audience.

  • Finding The Right Partners To Help Weather The Storm by Cory Treffiletti (Online Spin on 09/30/2015)

    Great points, Cory.  The ability to analyze a partner's business model is increasingly important.  In some cases, information is available via 10Qs/10Ks.  However privately held companies may not share certain data (for a variety of reasons).  Delivery models (e.g. SaaS, PaaS, Managed Services), rates and fee structures, as well as analysis of related areas may be best served by working with an analyst firm that specializes in vendor business analysis; vendor benchmarks provide a taxonomy so key players within a segment can be compared across a variety of business metrics -- which is what we do here at Technology Business, Research, Inc. (TBR).

  • AOL Acquires Millennial Media, Boosts Mobile Audience Reach by Joe Mandese (Mobile Marketing Daily on 09/03/2015)

    Integration of AOL and MM platforms will require significant resource allocation --  MM was just getting its ad tech stack in order (incl. DSP, Adexchange/SSP, and DMP) while transitioning from its legacy adnet model to a programmatic, SaaS-led model.  Lots of upside for a relatively small investment by Verizon/AOL.

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