We left the recent Mobile Media Upfront with the impression that buyers are be locked in a time warp re RTB. We heard quotes from panelists like "We are dipping our toe in the mobile RTB water," and "We are not there yet in terms of RTB" -- and no one raised an eyebrow. I find it surprising and a little careless that our industry is moving so casually toward a better way of buying and selling media while openly confessing the sluggish adoption rate.
Native advertising has become the darling of the premium publisher. The Atlantic, Conde Nast and Hearst are among those that have taken brand content and fitted it neatly and appropriately within their own editorial content, in a way that makes it clear that the content is advertorial in nature, yet still ensuring it receives due attention. The resulting native ads are, very effective, if my experience is an indication. But how scalable are they?
RTB has one thing to thank for its explosive growth: site retargeting. Exchanges have allowed site retargeting access to a large percentage of the Internet, meaning that if someone visits your site you can target them again, because you will see them again on an exchange due to the massive amount of liquidity. Although site retargeting will continue to grow, will RTB continue to grow? And how will advertisers and publishers be affected?
If nothing else, Yahoo's acquisition of Tumblr puts a spotlight directly on the importance of content. Content has always been a website's most valuable asset, but now it's a brand advertiser's most valuable asset, too. (Unless you've been hiding in linear media, you've probably noticed the content and native advertising trends that have swept the industry in recent years.)
A few years ago, only the most sophisticated companies in the industry even knew what real-time bidding was. Now, there are demand-side platforms that cater specifically to mom and pop small businesses. With all of the clutter that our industry collectively puts out, it's important for a company of any size to know what to look for when evaluating potential bidder platforms.
The original Atlantic Monthly was founded in 1857 and staffed by the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Not the least auspicious beginnings. Today, the publication lives in print, in live events and online, living up to its mission to produce great journalism that can change the world. This week, I interviewed M. Scott Havens, The Atlantic's president for the last seven months. And you thought your job was demanding.
If anyone is still skeptical about the rise of real-time bidding (RTB), the recently released Retargeting Barometer should give them pause. For the second straight year, the survey of marketers and agencies found that the online advertising industry is embracing real-time bidding with open arms, using it not just to increase conversions from existing customers but also for brand awareness and acquiring customers.
The ad industry has lately cast its site on the topic of viewability and trying to give buyers some assurance that their ads are indeed seen by a living, breathing human. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks viewability is a bad idea, but current expectations exceed reality. The pendulum was swung so far that buyers only want viewable inventory, which is an incredibly limiting strategy. Before we enter a brave viewable world, the industry needs to understand how to use viewability to buy media in the current market.
Our British counterparts have always been a step ahead of us when it comes to the cutting edge - in music, in fashion and now in technology, too. It seems the Brits have essentially bypassed the laptop and gone straight to the more portable tablet. While the U.S. and U.K. are parallel on mobile phone usage, the Brits surpass us in tablet use, according to a study published in The Guardian. One would hope that the Brits would be equally bullish on programmatic -- and according to both IDC and AdMonsters, they're getting there.
Many moons ago, a forward-thinking businessman went to the upfronts seeking advertisers for a 24-hour cable sports network. He was laughed out of the building. Years later, another innovator attempted to lure advertisers to an all-music network, and met the same response. Not long after, when "I Want My MTV," became an iconic tagline and when ESPN had deals with the NCAA and NFL, no one was laughing. It became clear that niche content had a place in broadcast, and that brand advertisers would flock to passion-based programming.