• 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?
  • Yahoo Has Become A Litter Box For Online Advertising
    I feel like the woman in that Esurance commercial. Not the one posting pictures from her vacation on the living room "wall" -- the other one; the one who gets "unfriended" and then exasperatingly shares, "That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works." Venture-capital-fueled ad tech companies have convinced traditional publishing companies with rich and successful histories of selling advertising, that they no longer know how selling advertising works. The ad tech collective calling card reads, "This new way is way better than your old way." Better for whom?
  • Native Is Good, Responsive Is Better
    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.
  • Is 'Trusted Seller' An Oxymoron?
    A former media buyer recently quoted in a previous column said that 95% of ad sellers aren't trusted. As someone who has been on every side of advertising, I'm forced to disagree: that 95% seems low. Trust isn't eroding, as the article purports. It may have never been present at all.
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