Coming of age, as I did, in the early 1970s, Bruce Lee became one of my personal heroes -- for many reasons -- but until recently, none of them had to do with the way I think about the media marketplace. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Bruce Lee and how he might have approached real-time media-buying.
According to the IAB UK, with research conducted by strategy consultancy MTM, 28% of all UK display advertising spend went through programmatic channels in 2013. Programmatic direct accounted for 15% of total spend, while programatic exchanges (RTB) accounted for another 13%.
Let me first apologize for beating the drum of viewability once again this week. I don't want to tap the well dry, but I felt it was important to come back to the subject after a conversation I had with Kevin Lenane, founder and CEO of Veenome. There's been some confusion about the MRC's video viewability standards, but the MRC affirmed that the standard is 50% of the video player being in-view for at least two consecutive seconds while the video ad is playing. However, the guidelines do come with some disclaimers.
Is "context" -- the content of an ad in relation to the content of the Web site it's placed on -- a lost art when it comes to programmatic buying, or, more specifically, audience-buying? A new report from Millward Brown Digital, a company that specializes in helping Web publishers grow their brand image, suggests that programmatic advertisers sometimes "ignore" place, or context. Of course, these findings might help Millward Brown Digital, but the buy-side's behavior suggests the company has a point.
Ad fraud is a big problem in digital advertising, but the optimist will say, "Hey, at least they are working on it." That's more or less what Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group, wrote in a recent report. We've heard that fraud is a series of battles in a never-ending war; that it can be abated but not vanquished. The next battle is on the horizon, and it centers around viewability.
It's been a little over a week since we launched the RTB 500 and I apologize for not weighing in on it again sooner, but this little ad festival over in Cannes, France, more or less got in the way. I thought about writing about some of what people were saying over there about programmatic marketplaces, technology, data and RTB (mostly, it wasn't good), but I figured I should come back to the RTB 500, because it's the first chance I've had since the launch. So here are a couple of things. First, the reaction to it has been overwhelmingly …
Or media and attribution. Or maybe even measurement and accountability. Pick any of those, and that's what "M&A" could have recently stood for in the ad tech world. There were three acquisitions in May alone that centered around attribution, with the two biggest being Google's purchase of Adometry and AOL's of Convertro. The third was Rakuten Marketing's acquisition of DC Storm. Three times qualifies as a trend, but why now?
Automation and "real-time" marketing are seeping into every corner of the ad market, from online display all the way to TV and out-of-home. Fliphound, a Wichita, KS.-based software provider for digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertisers, was founded just under one year ago to allow digital billboard owners to sell their outdoor inventory online. Anywhere between 70-80% of digital billboards are filled up, and Fliphound wanted to help owners sell the other 20-30%. That same issue -- a need to monetize remnant inventory -- is what gave rise to real-time bidding (RTB) in online display advertising.
Marketers taking programmatic ad technologies in-house has been a growing trend and a topic of interest around the industry. It is not the predominant buying method -- recent reports peg 11% of all programmatic spend as coming from in-house buyers -- and it may not be the most sustainable method for everyone, but it's clear that some marketers are at least exploring it as a possibility.
Brands have been playing with "real-time marketing" via Twitter during big events for some time now, but rarely does chatter about their efforts escape the advertising world. So when a brand's tweet becomes news outside of the Madison Ave. bubble, you know it has done something different. In Delta's case, "something different" was nothing good.