• Programmatic Direct: Not Just For The Big Guys
    Publishers give up millions of dollars in high-CPM, incremental revenue because they often turn down small to mid-sized buyers. They simply don't have enough resources or time to close deals with all the buyers who want their inventory. At the same time, buyers are tired of spending time and wasting money trying to make deals through an endless stream of back-and-forth emails with publishers. There is a better way. Programmatic direct, or "automated guaranteed," as the Interactive Advertising Bureau calls it, is not just a solution for large agencies, trading desks and big brand marketers. It can also work for ...
  • Smartphones, Mad Men, And The Decline Of Social Media
    Michael Ginsberg, the character in "Mad Men," has always been a loose cannon, and the fictional ad agency's purchase of an IBM 360 mainframe computer caused him to pull his own trigger. "The computer makes you do things," he claimed. He sought relief from the internal psychotic pressure created by the presence of this computer by cutting off his right nipple and handing it to his boss in a gift box.
  • In Native Advertising, Deception Is A Dangerous Game
    In a recent column here, I exhorted marketers to take control of the sales conversion path in their native advertising programs. I emphasized in that piece the vital importance of not ceding complete control and responsibility to publishers. In this companion piece, I want to tackle another storm cloud hovering over the native advertising space, one that if not dispersed, could rain all over the current parade of passion and dollars into the sector. Simply put, this column is all about the perils of deception.
  • Nothing In Life Is Guaranteed -- Except Media
    The current programmatic market is large and still growing rapidly, even after five years of impressive gains. It has largely been built off non-guaranteed or "remnant" inventory that publishers have put into real-time marketplaces, where buyers can use data to bid on what they want, and buy as much or as little inventory as they need at any time. It's a real marketplace, with shifts in demand and supply happening all the time. This model has worked great for the buy side and many tech vendors, while many publishers would argue that this new innovation has been neutral if not ...
  • The Sounds Of Settling
    When a house gets older, it starts to make noises. Those creaks and crackles are not the sounds of ghosts; they are the sounds of a house settling. I am hearing those same sounds in the online ad world. A press release here, a news report there, and comments heard in the course of business, all start to add up. It has been 20 years since we sold our first banner and we're starting to settle as an industry. For all the talk about how much has changed in online over this time, the reality is, so much more has ...
  • Publishers: Five Tips To Keep Zombie Bots At Bay
    Whether you're in advertising or publishing, scale is the Holy Grail. In a digital environment, dollars and cents really mean clicks and impressions, or traffic to your site. But traffic quality is quietly being degraded and devalued -- by zombies. That's right. "The Walking Dead" isn't just a TV show; we're living it every day. According to security firm Solve Media, just under 30% of all global display ad traffic is driven and maintained by bot networks.
  • Buyers And Sellers: The Benefits Of An Email Diet
    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 (first.last@company.com) for a combination of initials plus numbers (abc007@company.com. Has it really ...
  • Is Online Advertising Really A $42.8B Industry?
    Last week's press release from the IAB, in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, stated that total U.S. online advertising spending in 2013 was $42.8 billion. "More than TV for the first time," shouted the headlines. Let's pull the curtains open on this smoke-and-mirrors total spending show, and see what we really have.
  • Brands, Not Publishers, Should Control Native Ad Conversion Path
    Two themes dominate the online advertising conversation in 2014: native advertising and the emergence of the visual Web. Native advertising has seen marketers scramble to develop go-to-market strategies that best maximize their content assets. With the visual Web -- an evolution driven by an emphasis on visually driven web content -- marketers are turning their attention to platforms like Instagram. While one can debate the relative benefits of a text-driven or image-centric approach to sponsored content, there is one tactic that no one really discusses that the industry should address: Who should control the native ad conversion path -- brands ...
  • Apps Optimize Mobile Delivery Of News
    Language is dynamic; it's change pushed and pulled through the technology of each era. The history of news media is riddled with these shifts. So why, then, have news outlets been so slow adapting their content to devices like the iPad on which I'm writing this piece?
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