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Seth Ulinski

Member since December 2012Contact Seth

Seth leads Ad Tech and MarTech 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 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 (first.last@company.com) for a combination of initials plus numbers (abc007@company.com. Has it really come to this?

  • Native Is Good, Responsive Is Better in 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

  • Digital Media-Buying Approaching 'Peak Duopoly:' Analyst Cites Amazon, Oath As Potential Relief by Joe Mandese (MediaDailyNews on 07/11/2017)

    I would add AT&T and Comcast to the mix as formidable contenders- while their digital platforms do not yet have the scale of the aforementioned heavyweights, pairing their respective cable/IPTV suscriber bases with mobile audiences gives them some unique cross-screen capabilities which will appeal to omnichannel advertisers (moreso AT&T as Comcast's Xfinity Mobile just rolled out). Assuming AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner is approved, it will have a massive library of original content- if mobile and video are where the puck is headed, AT&T AdWorks will be well-positioned. Comcast's recently launched Advanced Advertising Group will be leading the charge with assets such as FreeWheel and VisibleWorld.

  • Is Programmatic Self-Serve REALLY Self Service? by Amanda Bleich (Real-Time Daily on 04/11/2017)

    I think we'll see less reliance on managed services as platforms mature and vendors ramp certification programs. TubeMogul (Adobe), MediaMath and DataXu have each made investments to increase education and promote "power users." The agency piece is interesting- do they teach clients the ways of programmatic and risk losing that client to an in-house model? Enterprise IT services firms like Accenture and PwC are comfortable enabling clients on platforms as it is part of larger digital transformation projects- which may or may not include managed services. Traditional media agencies will likely prefer to keep programmatic know-how closer to the vest.

  • Who Wins In An Ad-Free Video World? I'd Bet On Amazon by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 01/19/2017)

    Great piece, Dave. As you know, the ad-supported model is in jeopardy due to a variety of factors in the digital realm. It will be really interesting to see if Amazon embraces product placement or other avenues to maximize video revenue opportunities. The industry is ripe for new business models.How about Netflix as a formidable competitor? I wouldn't count them out based on the quality/quantity of content they are producing, coupled with a loyal/growing subcriber base. Akin to Google, Amazon's heavyweight status across so many business areas (e.g. cloud, ecomm, ads, logistics) could make Netflix a white knight as legacy TV players evaluate alliances (read: here at Netflix we do no evil, we chill). Of course Alexa will probably have something to say about this...

  • Gary Vaynerchuk Says The Entire Digital Ad Space Is 'Broken' by Tobi Elkin (RTBlog on 01/19/2017)

    The convergence of marketing and sales fuctions via technology is in the works- as stated above, attribution is key. I think it will take a forward-thinking CEO (or empowered CMO) to set new KPIs to "fix" today's broken advertising/marketing models. The legacy agency business model will be forced to adjust- IT consultancies like Accenture with outcome-based models (e.g. sales) are helping fuel this transition. 

  • 'Transparency' Voted 2016's Word Of The Year by Joe Mandese (MediaDailyNews on 12/12/2016)

    I'd argue that education is paramount. A contract can provide transparency, but clients still need to understand moving pieces within a contract and the business impact. Clear definitions around principal and agent are critical as agencies mash up services and platforms. In this vein, agency holding co's represent a labyrinth of pure-play services firms and hybrid "platforms" that combine marketing services with (sometimes) proprietary technology. The latter shifts an agency to vendor status, clients need to invest time and resources to be educated here. Despite the smoke/fire from recent industry reports, many brands I speak with are still behind the curve. 

  • WPP To Investors: Ad World Is Flat, Horizontal Too by Joe Mandese (MediaDailyNews on 12/02/2016)

    WPP is hands down making the most interesting moves when it comes to investment in technology- the challenge/opportunity becomes whether or not they are acting as an agency or principal. Clients have a difficult time as is with the moving pieces around ad tech which are infused into digital advertising campaigns. The role of platforms is huge- WPP is taking a page from IBM's playbook as an IT solutions firm and enterprise technolgy vendor...however in WPP's case the lines between the two camps are still fuzzy. 

  • Liodice Kicks ANA Show Off On Foreboding Note: Cites 'Sluggish' Sales, Brands In 'Decline' by Joe Mandese (Marketing Daily on 10/20/2016)

    Large brands continue to rely on large agency partners, while smaller brands typically partner with independent shops. The latter may be benefitting from more of a 'co-manage/co-innovate' mindset w/ their clients vs. 'outsource/outcome' mentality of big brands. Shifting focus from procurement strategies to new business models and higher-value engagements will help the big brands reclaim share.

  • Wild Card In Agency/Client Relationship: Trust by Steve McClellan (MAD on 08/26/2016)

    Trust issues will vary by client/agency and addressed by ongoing audits (painful/expensive). However, the bigger takeaway is adoption of new business models (also painful/expensive but better long-term).

  • The End Of Advertising, As We Know It by Gary Milner (MediaDailyNews on 07/23/2016)

    Great read, Gary! I believe there is a massive education process underway as brands get up to speed on nuances of programmatic media and also re-evaluate agency business practices (thank you, ANA). Greater transparency and control should deliver new levels of business intelligence for marketing depts, which should lead to improved attribution models and ROAS. CEOs should be on board here, as you point out - as maintaining the status quo puts an organization at risk long-term. However, implementing technology is the easy part - changing internal business processes and corporate culture remains the bigger challenge.

  • Can the New Advertising Currency 'Time-Spent' Change Ad Tech? by Maciej Zawadziński (Real-Time Daily on 07/14/2016)

    Great piece, Maciej. A new currency is needed, you bring up some valid points that would indeed put digital more in-line with TV (assuming the commentary above is focused on where the puck is headed, which is video). Advanced multi-touch marketing attribution vendors which can address bots/fraud will be in high demand.

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