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Ted Mcconnell

Member since April 2005Contact Ted

  • VP, Integrated Media Rocket Fuel
  • Cincinnati Ohio
  • 45206 USA

Long time at P&G running Digital Marketing Innovation. 5 Years consulting in the online Ecosystem, mainly measurement related. Now VP Integrated media at Rocket Fuel.

Articles by Ted All articles by Ted

  • Am I Your Surrogate Mother? in Media Insider on 11/02/2017

    In advertising, we discover data, nurture it, harvest it, organize it, analyze it, and sell it. Still, there's a nagging question: Are we baking a marvelous cake with not-so-marvelous ingredients? Maybe the backlash against digital targeting is not because targeting is a bad idea, but because it has been badly executed by the industry.

  • Intelligence Will Only Get You So Far: Artificial, Real Or Otherwise in Media Insider on 10/05/2017

    The simple fact is that the tasks we do every day will not be replaced by AI for a long time. It's almost 2018, 50 years after "2001" the movie was released, and we still have nothing even close to HAL -- who, by the way, was dealing with a simple problem space. The dystopian world predicted by the pundits won't happen until an AI can fix a leaking toilet at 524 73rd St. Brooklyn, N.Y., right now. Until then, a plumber will make more money than a strategy consultant, and probably should. If you are a normal person, this will seem obvious to you. But why, then, other than tabloid motivations, does AI get so much press?

  • What You Don't Hear Is What Gets You in Media Insider on 09/07/2017

    When I was growing up in the '60s in Botswana and South Africa, there was a bit of conventional wisdom among those who ventured into the vastness of the Kalahari Desert. It was: Leave the motor running. This was not to minimize the time to flee danger, but as a sort of protocol to inform animals that you were not sneaking up on them. Predators weaponize silence. You seem less like a predator if you broadcast your position. Advertisers have something important to learn from elephants. That is, if a silent enemy is the basis for your fear, the solution is to improve your hearing.

  • The Standard Identity Framework in Media Insider on 08/03/2017

    Recently, a consortium of ecosystem players announced something so sensible it's amazing it wasn't done sooner: a standard, anonymous way to understand peopleby transcending media channels and publishers with respect to identity. The opportunity is for any media company to be able to see a unique consumer as one (anonymous) identity rather than many, without using the expensive and unreliable tricks required to do that today.

  • The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Content in Media Insider on 07/06/2017

    In a recent column, Barbara Lippert commented that Hulu advertisers should be careful about advertising adjacencies in "The Handmaid's Tale." That's a delicate way to couch a phenomenon more akin to bludgeoning. Not naming names, the variety of big companies advertising on the show was impressive. It was Super Bowl-like, with beautifully produced spots in every case. Here's some of what happens in the first couple of episodes: The government murders a man without a trial. Pregnant women are forced to carry out a brutal execution, on-camera. A woman has her eye pulled out of her head for being rude to an instructor. And I'm just getting started. How about a 7Up now?

  • Data, Art, Engineering in Media Insider on 06/01/2017

    Data technology, like rising water, has flooded online advertising -- but many can't swim. It's time to get serious, folks - because now, data is not just bits or attributes, it's the bread and butter, and the story.

  • Data Diversity Training in Online Spin on 05/04/2017

    In the past month, I've heard lots of complaining about data. I've been guilty of it myself, and (gulp) will be now. I recently saw something that said that if you don't have first-party data, you are nowhere, a loser in the great data race. That is simply not true. Second- and third-party data can be great, and first- party data can be garbage.

  • Getting Next To Adjacency in Online Spin on 04/06/2017

    This week the news has been filled with indignation from the buy side, and low-key defensiveness from the sell side regarding an issue we all know well: adjacency. The apparent outrage by advertisers is puzzling, though. What? You didn't know? Nobody saw this coming? Or was it FOFO: Fear of Finding Out? Maybe it was simply that there is a new kind of bad thing: hate speech. Maybe brands, under pressure, just need to lop off the low-yield contexts, and this is just a good excuse. Maybe the romance of the open Web is withering under fire from fraudsters and terrorists and fake news. Welcome to the combat zone.

  • Build A Wall -- For The Third Garden in Online Spin on 03/16/2017

    Two walled gardens own 82% of the online advertising business. There is Facebook: like Gramercy Park, locked up tight, but contextually one-dimensional. There's Google: like the Bronx Zoo, with a small fence around the whole thing, and lots of little cages holding species as diverse as search, ad serving, and video publishing. Publishers will further suffer at the hands of the duopoly unless they ban together behind a wall. That's governance. It's a viable strategy for a thousand Davids facing two Goliaths. Some blame programmatic technology for the problems of Internet advertising, but Facebook and Google use all the same basic technology. The difference is, they have a wall. Here is how we might build one for the Third Garden.

  • Bubble Trouble in Online Spin on 02/16/2017

    15 years ago, the Pew Research Center opined that there was no evidence of "information bubbles." We had asked because we suspected that the human proclivity to select self-validating conversations would find fertile ground in (then-nascent) social media.15 years on, the information bubble concept has found popular appeal as "echo chambers." The idea is that as people define the filters on their communications using online channels, they inevitably filter out points of view they might disagree with. This includes who we "friend" or follow. The result, for each individual, is the illusion that society generally agrees with his or her worldview.

Comments by Ted All comments by Ted

  • Unpacking Omar Sheikh's $100B Call On Future Of Data-Targeted TV Ads by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 05/11/2017)

    Nice Dave. And its not only not implausable, it seems likely, but the sensability does not take 400 pages. All you have to do for an incremental 100 billion is roughly double the current average cpm. How could targeting do that? Its not complicated. If you halve out-of-target impressions at the same cpm, you double the roi. But then, of course, you have more impressions than you can sell, all things being equal. However, targeting allows smaller buyers to buy just what they need, so you make up the difference with fill rate. Think about a Walmart. There are 10's of thousands of Brands. Only a small portion can afford to advertise on TV ... because most brands know that their target is a person, not a demographic. Enabling all Brands to pay only for access to their target, and no others, will bring them to the TV media marketplace. As you know, that's exactly what happened with digital. Data can halve waste, double ROI, and enable access to media for those who did not previously find it productive. It might come at the expense of digital to some extent. In any case, its no stretch to think that TV can double their cpm by introducing radical quality improvements. Even today, in addressable TV, pinpoint targeting gets triple the cpm, and advertisers happily pay. Why? I guess it works. 

  • Advertising's Top Model by Ted McConnell (Online Spin on 02/02/2017)

    Ed. Yes. The difference between commercial and program ratings maps to the difference between advertising exposure and vehicle exposure, as you know. There are of course dozens of measures at each layer, but the model itself (and I suspect you personally knew some of the people who developed it) provides a basic framework that transcends all the complexity we are now dealing with. With all the measurement gaffes that have made the news, I thought our readers might appreciate solid ground in the swamp of spin.

  • Meddling With Models by Ted McConnell (Online Spin on 12/29/2016)

    From Wikipedia A statistical model is a class of mathematical model, which embodies a set of assumptions concerning the generation of some sample data, and similar data from a larger population. A statistical model represents, often in considerably idealized form, the data-generating process. So ... I'd say, by this definition, yes, Nielsen ratings are a model. 

  • Addressable TV: If It's So Smart, Why Isn't It Rich? by Ted McConnell (Online Spin on 12/01/2016)

    A couple of slight adjustments here, responding both to Ed and David, and Thank you both very much for your kind comments. Dish, and I assume AT&T, offer like 50 demo targeting variables (which are as accurate as axciom or experion HH information ... so now you can distinguish easily between different sorts of 18 to 49 year olds (Income, Ethnicity, Kids, geo, etc.).  They also offer (and I assume AT&T has this as well) program type propensity targeting. So, people in the top decile for "News", for example, for about 30 program types.  Typical inventory is last minute of every half hour, so, 4 30 second spots per hour. Across 50 million HH, that would be 200 million impressions per hour ... many billions per day, which is nothing to sneeze at.  The surrogate for viewing is more than just the set being on ... it includes any STB operation as evidence of a person in the room, and the reach is not counted unless such evidence exists. (Ask Rentrak). Probably as accurate as depending on someone pressing a button on a Nielsen box, or self reporting in a diary ... and the sample sizes are huge, close to 1/3rd of all sets for Satellite, and census for at least some Cable addressble like CableVision. To David's question,  there are some pretty good tricks. Here is one. If you have a TV campaign targeted to programs (as a surrogate for demo), just buy the demo you want across the addressable network, but only target program propensities that are not covered by the network buy. So, you will get everyone you want except the ones likely to have watched the Network TV you bought. In effect, optimizing cost per reach point. Another trick is to use it like Digital. Just take all the email names of your converters, hand them to you supplier, and they will develop a privacy compliant custom segment of STB-ID's which can be trafficked. That datset can also be modeled out for reach extention. I would expect any of the Addressable suppliers can do this stuff. There is a lot more cool wonky stuff having to do with integration with Digital campaigns, and the media suppliers are quite famliar with it. 

  • Confessions Of An Ad Blocker by Ted McConnell (Online Spin on 10/27/2016)

    Thanks Ed. But I did say "bombastic". :). Regarding the plug that will refrain from blocking if you pay. That's pure thug. Did you hear about Ad Nauseum? They have a plug that will click on every ad with the intention of confusing optimization and creating bad data. That's more like vandalism. Niether one of those however refute the idea of a democracy of computers. Open systems, like democracy, suffer some consiquences to support freedom. Without police, though, its anarchy. All it says to me is that its still the wild west. There's no Sheriff. Rules, and rule of law, make a free system, safe for honest citizens. 

  • The Data Quality Imperative by Ted McConnell (Online Spin on 10/13/2016)

    Amen. + "Provenence" ... beautiful word choice. :). t.  

  • The Most Important Book I Read This Summer by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 09/09/2016)

    Wow. Eloquent, and timely. 

  • Programmatic TV Ad Buying Will Never Work by Ari Rosenberg (Publishing Insider on 09/08/2016)

    Ari, I must respectfully disagree with a lot of this, although the point of view is not uncommon. Programmatic did not drive prices down. Publishers creating inventory from thin air did that.  In fact, publishers support audience targeting by retargeting their own audiences, right?  Audience targeting does not demean content. It just gets advertisers what they wanted in the first place. Content had been a surrogate for audience since the beginning. Look at the flow of a media plan from advertiser to media. It starts with audience, and great content gets more audience but not necessarily aligned to every advertiser's needs. Does context help. Yes. Tons. That's why Brands want both. Auctions only drive prices down when the buyers can't inspect the goods. If they can,  the prices go up if the goods are good. Clicks were indeed the definition of "works" for direct sellers, but they never were for Brands. I have Brand after Brand tell me they don't care about clicks. In the early days, clicks were so irrevalent that the agency would not even code a click tag in the ad! And true, clicks are great for DR, but remember that the in the total world of retail, only 6-9% is online. The other trillion is driven by the top of the funnel. There was never any idea that clicks drive commerce. There were just publishers who wanted to serve the campaign objectives of their DR focused customers, which is fine.  Having created an exchange for linear TV, I can tell you that programmatic TV advertising can work for seller and buyer for the simple reason that it creates a transparant distribution channel for a high quality medium. I would predict that programmatic would work better for TV than online precisely because oversupply is not a problem. Precision matching of audience with need is a killer strategy.PTV is in fact a lot about workflow and (you did not mention) access to the medium. Broader access to the medium creates fill rate, which drives prices up because media value goes up when niche audiences can meet niche products. How many customers does Google have? So, yes. PTV will take some time, but only because of the natural vaguries of Broadcast communications. But, soon, data will prevail. We will be able to evaluate spots, and pay a fair price for them. Remember that buying groups are complicit with all this. Maybe they should buy the best spot, not the cheapest. Its up to us to be able to show what's good. Shame on us if we can't. 

  • Targeting In The Cross-Hairs by Ted McConnell (Online Spin on 07/08/2016)

    Ed, Thanks you for your comments here, and other columns in Media Post. The audience here is perhaps not aware of your long standing thought leadership in our field. The way I read your resume, you were deep into the subject of audience planning before most of us knew what planning was! I hope the readers here do (and will continue to) take special notice of your commentary. 

  • Can Media Owners And Sellers Become Agencies, Before Agencies Become Media Owners And Sellers? by Dave Morgan (Online Spin on 03/03/2016)

    From an advertiser perspective, its bad news when the referee decides to play quarterback. This invites the sort of conflict that got agencies into trouble in the first place. When one media choice yields higher margin for the decision maker than another, how can an advertiser trust that the right decision has been made? 

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