The current debate surrounding programmatic media-buying is a familiar - if dystopian - topic, straight out of science fiction. Think of Stanley Kubrik's classic "2001: A Space Odyssey," where HAL 9000, the ship's computer, kills most of the crew because of design "imperfections." Fortunately, experience tells a different, more positive, story.
In past entries for this column, I've met with professionals from all corners of the digital ecosystem to discuss the impact of a rich-media exchange. Most have been overwhelmingly in favor of the idea, although some have expressed concerns or reservations. Sean Cullinane of Digital Trends, for example, was not in favor of the exchange, firmly believing that programmatic is not an option for his publication. Rather, his team focuses on creating unique, "never-been-done-before" native experiences for advertisers. To get another perspective, this week I spoke with Mark Howard, senior vice president, digital advertising strategy, at Forbes Media.
Change for the sake of change is never a good a thing, but change for the sake of progress is a necessity. Mobile RTB is not just change for the sake of change - it offers immediate value to advertisers and consumers. As with many new technologies, there is fear of the unknown, and incumbent industry players will inevitably paint a bleak picture of a future without their (antiquated) technology.
Whether an ad is in view or not has become a hot topic over the last 18 months, and rightfully so. There is no reason why advertisers should pay for ads that are not seen. However, there are two parts to this debate: one is viewability, and the second is fraud. While we should worry about both, advertisers and agencies have begun to realize that viewability is actually far less worrying, and more manageable, than fraudulent activity. Since I've been advised not to use the "F" word by my legal team, I'm going to refer to it as "suspicious traffic" …
Shenan Reed is founder and chief media officer of CREATETHE Group's Morpheus Media, a full-service interactive agency that works with many luxury clients. I thought her perspective on a rich-media ad marketplace would be valuable.
Private exchanges are the real-time bidding equivalent of a gated community. They are walled gardens of inventory that allow publishers to decide who exactly gets into the auction. The idea of private exchanges makes sense; it gives comfort to publishers and helps them bring high quality inventory into the world of "programmatic" buying. With tighter controls, publishers can ensure that their programmatic sales do not conflict with their direct field sales efforts. We welcome the addition of better inventory -- but the current incarnation of private exchanges is failing.
Mozilla jolted the digital media industry recently by announcing that Firefox 22 will ship with the default set to not accept third-party cookies. This has major ramifications for everyone in the industry, including advertisers, agencies and publishers. It seems as if there are three possible outcomes to Mozilla'a move:
Over a decade ago, someone had the brilliant idea to take housing mortgages and slice them up in different ways. They were bundled, and then sold as investments to Wall Street. So instead of just equity and stocks, investors could own little collateralized pieces of people's mortgages, and then ride the wave of that era's bourgeoning real estate appreciation.
Marketers have long sought the ability to deliver messages specifically tailored to individual consumers. The idea of sending the right message at the right time to the right consumer is a marketer's silver bullet-a way to achieve more efficient ad buys and loftier conversion ratios. Over the years, the industry has taken a few baby steps toward this elusive goal. Now, thanks to real-time creative technology (RTC), we're closer than ever to achieving what had once been thought impossible. RTC is creative that is able to automatically and instantaneously customize itself to a specific consumer, using information like the consumer's …