• 'The Flash Boys' Guide To Programmatic Deal-Making
    In our ongoing push to improve the collective understanding of our industry, the financial markets are a cousin of sorts where we can draw useful similarities. Michael Lewis's book "The Flash Boys" can provide the latest signpost forward. The book centers on the complicated web of relationships in financial trading - a system in which investors didn't know where their orders were placed, or the mechanics of their ultimate executions. In our world of exchange-traded media, we also struggle with complexity. Buyers and sellers would argue that a sense of fair pricing is lost in the chain of intermediaries and ...
  • Programmatic Media Can Transform Local Marketing
    Brick-and-mortar retailers, franchises, dealer associations and many other national marketers with localized marketing needs struggle with digital media - display and video in particular - because the trafficking and analytics challenges of managing hundreds, if not thousands, of small campaigns are too daunting to tackle. The emergence of programmatic technology platforms changes all of that. Programmatic creates operational efficiencies for local marketing organizations by automating thousands of individual efforts, allow companies to manage planning, campaign deployment, reporting and optimization centrally from a single platform, and tailored to meet market-specific needs.
  • Why It's Time to Step On The Scale
    Although we're only in Q2 of 2015, we're already seeing a trend take shape that will impact our industry like never before: scale. While much of our industry's recent history was built on the back of data, we're now seeing that it's not enough to have data unless you have data at scale. Those companies that don't have data at scale won't be able to reach new and existing customers in an effective manner. Here are a few topics marketers, publishers and agencies alike should consider as they begin to evaluate the world of scalable data:
  • Ad Tech M&A: A Win-Win For Advertisers
    Twitter's acquisition of TellApart reignited what's become a familiar narrative within the ad tech industry over the past year or so. It goes something like this: Twitter, Facebook and Google, in an attempt to create the most comprehensive marketing stacks possible, are scooping up tech providers and in some cases, restricting third-party access to their networks. This creates the impression of a "walled garden" model in which a few big players are perceived to control the vast majority of the digital marketing ecosystem, while small players are either squeezed out or bought up, thus stifling innovation. But this story isn't ...
  • Current Viewability Standards Are Useless
    As publishers and advertisers scramble to improve the performance of digital advertising, much discussion is centering around the problem of viewability. It is my opinion that a major problem with impression-based performance metrics lies in the way that viewability is defined. I can see that for anyone steeped in the digital advertising ecosystem - from demand to supply and everyone in between - a viewability criterion of 50% of the ad visible for one second might make sense.
  • No, Programmatic Isn't Killing The Creative
    Richard III has been painted throughout history as a scheming, murderous wretch who backstabbed and connived his way to the English throne before dying in battle. After his remains were laid to rest in a manner befitting an English king, there was backlash from those who didn't believe Richard deserved such treatment. Programmatic advertising and real-time ad buying are facing a similar backlash. Publishers see data-driven approaches to digital marketing as attempts to replace humans with machines. Marketers, particularly on the creative end, say these approaches force out creative content in the name of efficiency.
  • The View From Here
    Is there a more debated topic in advertising today than viewability? It reached a fever pitch at the recent IAB Leadership Forum, leading to even more heightened concerns for advertisers and publishers. But what's fueling this hysteria? And why now? Do we have a crisis on our hands? I think not. But it is indicative of how much our ad-tech capabilities have leapt forward and how quickly our business practices (both buy- and sell-side) need to catch up.
  • Operationalizing Programmatic: Three Challenge Areas
    For digital publishers today, the benefits of programmatic are clearer than ever. Not only does it provide the chance to monetize all inventory, it also provides the insight necessary to understand what kind of yield the open market can produce. In turn, this informs pricing strategies for all ad products sold. That's why the overwhelming majority of publishers have embraced programmatic. But they're still struggling with programmatic's basics. Here are the three areas where challenges are most common.
  • Transparency Acid Test Ratio
    Transparency in the programmatic world is a game of smoke and mirrors. Don't look over here where I am doing something you may not like, but please look over here away from the main goal. This happens in too many programmatic dealings, particularly in the buy-side managed service offering. What's nice about this subject is that most players have come forward at one time or another claiming more transparency is better than less. What's even nicer is having a fair way to understand transparency and judge it on a case by case basis. This why the Transparency Acid Test is ...
  • Will Viewability Measurement Become The Next Click-Through Rate?
    The industry is completely focused on viewability right now. You can't go a day without reading an article about the topic. While measuring whether an ad is in view is certainly critical, as an industry we need to avoid turning viewability into the next click-through rate. We need to all understand that, like a click, an ad that is confirmed to be in the viewing window of a user's screen is just a rough proxy for success. In fact, it is just the starting point. Having your ad in view will be "table stakes" in the near future. So don't ...
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