What Does the Future Look Like for Programmatic Ads?

August 10, 2018 — by MediaMath0


This interview with MediaMath Managing Director, International, Dave Reed originally appears on TechHQ. Read the full article here. 

As marketers globally are looking to deliver more consumer-first, relevant and meaningful marketing experiences, data-driven marketing (using programmatic technology) has risen in prominence.

According to eMarketer’s programmatic forecast, more than US$65 billion will be spent on programmatic digital display advertising by 2020. This significant momentum is due to the technology’s rich audience-targeting abilities, benefiting businesses of all sizes.

In an exclusive interview with TechHQ, MediaMath’s Managing Director – International, Dave Reed explains the opportunity that programmatic ads offer to businesses and the how AI and other emerging technologies can transform the industry.

As consumers become better connected, the volume of available audience data swells at a phenomenal rate.

Businesses, including small to medium-sized ones, now realize that they are sitting on a wealth of insights and the potential to unlock and generate more value from their marketing efforts.

Just because a business is small does not mean they are not collecting a large amount of data through their customer relationship management (CRM), website interactions, emails and more.

By activating consumer insights through programmatic ads, businesses will be able to understand who their best customers are, what their paths to purchase look like and what messages are most relevant to these customers along the way.

This way, they are offered a holistic view of their audiences and will be able to effectively engage the customer with the relevant content, at the right time.

“AI’s impact on programmatic will be huge. It will change how we analyze and act upon data, it will change jobs, and it will change how we talk to consumers,” exclaimed Reed.

According to Constellation Research, by 2025, businesses across all sectors will spend more than US$100 billion per year on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, a huge leap from a mere $2 billion in 2015.

AI and machine learning are fundamental to programmatic and have been central to MediaMath’s own offerings since inception.

In fact, AI will soon move from being a “nice-to-have” capability to a “have-to-have” one for making sense of the vast amount of data being generated across touchpoints and extracting actionable insights from it quicker than any human could.

But it’s not just AI that will transform programmatic ads. The industry itself is rapidly evolving, and experimenting with new and engaging media formats and technologies.


Podcast Alert–The Battle for the Future: Transatlantic Values and Technological Progress

August 8, 2018 — by MediaMath0


With the promise of widespread adoption of technologies like artificial intelligence just around the corner, how do we ensure they are implemented and considered with ethics and consumer respect and rights in mind?

Daniel Sepulveda, our VP of Government Relations, recently spoke on the “Out of Order” podcast by the German Marshall Fund, a nonpartisan policy institute devoted to strengthening transatlantic relations, on the current state of technological progress, who is ahead and where and how the transatlantic community can promote design and control of new technological developments. Listen to the podcast directly below.


Interact 2018: Video Interview with Wil Schobeiri, Chief Technology Officer, MediaMath

August 3, 2018 — by MediaMath0


Held in Milan, Italy on May 23rd and 24th, IAB Europe’s annual conference Interact included conversations about the GDPR, which went into effect a day later on May 25th. While at the event, our Chief Technology Officer Wil Schobeiri was interviewed about IAB Europe’s Transparency & Consent Framework, which he played a role in designing as a board member on the IAB Tech Lab. Watch his full interview below. 


More Ads Aren’t the Solution—Better Ads Are

August 2, 2018 — by MediaMath0


Marketing budgets are rising, but 46 percent of marketers say consumers’ intolerance of ads is a key barrier to their success, a new report says.

Dentsu Aegis Network polled 1,000 marketing CMOs in 10 countries for the survey. The findings showed that such execs were planning to counter increasing ad blindness with more ads. We think they should consider making their ads better instead.

Snapshot of CMO thinking in 2018

Sixty percent of marketers expect budgets to rise. Some 43 percent plan for increases of 5 percent or more. Those in the auto, financial services and tech industries feel the most confident.

Budgets in those industries increase some in spite of—or maybe because—of consumers’ increasing ad intolerance. The report cited the “creeping realization” that consumers don’t really want to see ads—at least, not in their traditional form.

This realization is fueling a desire to personalize ads. Some 29 percent cited “the ability to use data to reach real people rather than proxies or customer segments” as their biggest opportunity. Marketers also saw opportunities with artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Our take

For us at MediaMath, this latest research confirms that our assumptions about the market have been correct. We strongly believe that:

  • AI is more than just the latest hot industry trend. It’s a means to perform calculations using huge amounts of data that lets marketers target ads better. AI can take into account consumer emotions and a deep analysis of content to improve messaging.
  • Blockchain will bring more accountability and transparency to digital marketing, and we are stoked about our work with Underscore CLT on this front.
  • Personalization is the key to challenging ad intolerance. But in a multi-channel world, personalization requires a consistent identity solution. We are leading the charge with open identity.
  • A “consumer-first” approach will change how consumers view advertising. Giving consumers transparency into how their data is used will give them control over the ads they see. More relevant ads equal a better experience.

This is an exciting time for our industry. Technologies that can greatly improve consumers’ ad experiences are within our grasp. The improvement in that experience will be a net positive for marketers and consumers.


California’s Privacy Law a Commendable Step Toward National Standard

July 24, 2018 — by MediaMath0


This byline originally appeared on The Hill and was co-authored by Danny Sepulveda, VP of Government Relations for MediaMath, and Dipayan Ghosh, a fellow at the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School who served as technology and economic policy advisor in the Obama White House, and until recently worked on privacy and public policy at Facebook.

California has passed a baseline consumer privacy law called the California Consumer Privacy Act — the first ever to make it into statute in any American state. The politics triggering this development were intriguing: a real estate developer seized on the public sentiments induced by the Cambridge Analytica incident and took on Silicon Valley’s titans, funding a $3 million campaign for a ballot initiative to legislate sweeping new privacy reforms.

Boxed in by the popularity of the initiative, internet-based and internet-dependent companies – which are most affected by privacy legislation because their business models are premised on access to personal data — were forced to accept the reality that some form of privacy legislation would pass. Thereafter, California lawmakers worked feverishly to construct a bill that could be more workable for businesses than the ballot initiative but which would still protect individual privacy. The law was negotiated, written, and passed in a previously unimaginable period of just seven days.

It is frustrating that such an important law was developed in such a short period of time; situations like these can result in unintended consequences, loopholes, or lax protections for consumers. It will have implications for all Americans; most companies would rather adopt the most protective standard rather than create one system for Californians and a separate one for everyone else. Congress can and should build on it in a thoughtful way at the federal level.

The promise of the internet and the digital economy is its power to democratize commerce and discourse. That power, however, is largely dependent on the ability to provide internet-based services in exchange for targeted advertising. That’s what makes these services free and widely used. But this model necessitates corporate access to people’s information. What the California law gets right is that this access should be transparent and consistent with a consumer’s preferences and permission; that establishes a dynamic that forces companies to be explicit in the exchange of value with the consumer.

Key provisions in the California bill that represent progress include, first, its stipulation that everyone should have the right to know who is collecting and using their information and for what specific purpose. It also affords people the right to object to the sale or distribution of their information. Third, residents will have the right to object to any specific party’s stewardship of their data as it travels through the digital ecosystem. And lastly, residents will have the right to demand access to information that commercial actors hold on them — and demand its deletion if they wish.

It is also critical to note that the California law recognizes that nothing is free. Ad-supported commercial service providers have rights too, including the right to monetize the provision of those of services. If a consumer is going to exercise his or her right to deny that monetization through interest-based advertising, that decision should not be penalized but neither should it be rewarded. The California law posits that a service provider cannot deny a service on the basis of a consent choice – but that it can also make up the monetization lost through some other form of compensation. This is a key recognition in the law that deserves further analysis on how best to execute on the principle in question.

But Congress needs to act because the California law does not incorporate some key ideas that have been presented in prior deliberations. For example, the OECD privacy principles and prior efforts at legislation in the United States, including the bipartisan Kerry-McCain Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 and the Obama administration’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, are all useful guides for constructing new law and building on the California benchmark.

Valuable provisions from the previous efforts cited are that federal legislation should focus on encouraging privacy by design and sound data management practices without favoring one kind of data collector over another. And legislation should not imply that the exchange of data is inherently bad; it is not.

Instead, privacy is about offering the individual greater control and transparency into corporate practice. A legislative framework that encapsulates these ideas can help us retain what is good about the data-driven economy and simultaneously rein in malicious actors. And lastly, to preserve implementation flexibility and innovation, new law should establish a framework to enable self-regulatory programs certified by federal regulators to police corporate activities in accordance with legislated principles and requirements.

The goal should be to focus on outcomes rather than process and ensure that the consumer’s interests are placed at the center of the digital ecosystem. The California initiative spurred the California law and hopefully, the California law can spur us to transparent, inclusive and deliberate action at the federal level.


Brands Moving Money In Response To Trust Crisis: eMarketer’s Ramsey

July 9, 2018 — by MediaMath0 interviewed Geoff Ramsey, chairman of marketing analysis company eMarketer, for our series on consumer-first marketing. An excerpt and the video are below. To see more in the series, visit this page

The last year has seen a perfect storm hit the marketing industry—brand safety concerns, agency strife, GDPR and Facebook’s data scandal.

In response, the industry is seeing a big movement of money, from platforms now deemed undesirable to alternative channels brands find more appealing.

So says Geoff Ramsey, chairman of marketing analysis company eMarketer.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Ramsey opines on some of the challenges which have kicked up in digital advertising—and charts how brands are changing strategy in response.

Eighty-three percent of display ads are bought programmatically today,” Ramsey says. “It gets you scale, it helps you do audience-based targeting. At the same time, brands end up seeing their ads in all kinds of unsavory places.

“What’s happening within programmatic is that marketers are saying, ‘No, we want to put more of our money in direct buys as opposed to real-time bidding’. They are starting to invest on websites where they know that it’s going to be a savory environment. Marketers are slowly, but surely, putting their money where their mouth is.”


GDPR Was Just The Start: MediaMath’s Rothkopf

June 26, 2018 — by MediaMath0

GettyImages-870253988.jpg interviewed MediaMath’s media and growth channels GM Lewis Rothkopf at Cannes last week. An excerpt is below. To watch the rest of our series on consumer-first marketing, visit this page

Once month after Europe’s new privacy legislation came into effect, the world did not cease to exist—but a good proportion of ad inventory did.

Still, one ad-tech exec believes consumers have every right to expect a rebalancing of their relationship with publishers and advertisers, which the new GDPR law sought to usher in.

“We’ve seen a decrease in available inventory in the European Economic Area since the 25th. But we are not having challenges executing,” says MediaMath’s media and growth channels GM Lewis Rothkopf, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

Rothkpof said MediaMath, which offers a demand-side ad-buying platform and a data-management platform, its supply partners and marketers had prepared for GDPR, which he expects to be replicated in other parts of the world.

But, despite the challenge, Rothkopf doesn’t have a problem with the movement that GDPR represents.

“Consumers deserve a better deal online,” he adds. “The value exchange that we are asking of consumers in exchange for their time and attentiveness needs to be far more in their favor.”


IBM’s Bitterman Tells Facebook Backlash Won’t Change Consumer Behavior

June 21, 2018 — by MediaMath0


Has the Cambridge/Analytica scandal started mass-shifting consumers away from social media sites as they rise up to demand better, more transparent advertising experiences?

No, according to Jordan Bitterman, VP of Digital at IBM, who spoke to for our video series on creating a consumer-first ecosystem.

“We maybe need to demand things differently, but consumers aren’t going to band together and do that,” he said. “Maybe they’ll use some platforms a little bit less than they were before, but ultimately it’s probably not going to have a huge material change to the industry.”

You can watch the full interview with Bitterman below and the rest of our series here.


Ad ID Joins DigiTrust (Not the Other Way Around!) Brings the Industry Closer to Neutrality and Independence

June 20, 2018 — by John Slocum0


Everything comes full circle. Overalls are back in fashion for our kids two decades after we donned them in homeroom. The movie It was just remade last year. Even Zima, which went off the market 10 years ago, has made a comeback. And so, it comes to pass that even in the Era of Industry Identity Consortiums, we’ve found ourselves back where we started with the news that Ad ID—a consortium that advocated standardizing on vendor-owned domains—is now promoting an independent device namespace. Ad ID has joined DigiTrust, a neutral, non-profit, industry-wide collaboration of ad tech platforms and premium publishers utilizing a standardized user token to improve the consumer online experience.

When we first helped found Ad ID some 13 months ago, this is what we envisioned—a common namespace that didn’t rely on any one vendor’s technology, and that could be broadly adopted by the industry without reservation. We believe that the Ad ID Consortium coming back to an independent namespace by joining DigiTrust is the right move for the former, and further validates the shared vision of a neutral governance model, managed by the trusted industry trade organization, IAB Tech Lab.

From whence it came

MediaMath helped found the Ad ID (then Open Ad ID) Consortium with LiveRamp in the spring of 2017. In the fall of 2017, we decided to leave that group when the effort veered in a direction incompatible with broad adoption. We then joined the DigiTrust consortium in March of this year because we believe it presents a neutral, independent governance model for building a common ID for the Web that was then, and continues to be, broadly adopted. Think IDFA for the Web. DigiTrust was acquired by IAB Tech Lab in April 2018, and now operates as a service from IAB Tech Lab.

Why did these individual consortiums coalesce in the first place? Because, as it stands today, trying to deliver consumers personalized digital content and advertising over the Web, across many different devices, makes for a crappy end-user experience.

Each company collaborating to deliver messages to consumers assigns its own proprietary, cookie-based user token, which its partners can’t read. That means that to work together in real-time, each company must maintain elaborate systems and processes to synchronize the different tokens used by each of its partners, for each consumer, on each web browser, in every connected device. The conventional process to update those systems and synchronize tokens with each other is called “pixel syncing” (or “cookie syncing”), and because it’s so widely deployed across so many companies, it can result in more than 100 third-party requests on a given webpage. This slows down the Web experience publishers offer their consumer audiences and is costly for third-party companies to maintain.

The DigiTrust service and technology solution works to solve this problem by creating a pseudonymous user token that is stored within a conventional cookie that may be read and propagated by DigiTrust members. With a standardized token provided to and used by all parties, pixel syncs are rendered obsolete. Hundreds of billions of unnecessary, daily, third-party pixel sync requests will eventually be removed from webpages, improving the Web experience for consumers while publishers and their partners continue to work together to deliver consumers rich, personalized content and advertising.

Why DigiTrust could never combine with Ad ID

The two consortiums are not “joining forces.” Ad ID is joining DigiTrust, now IAB Tech Lab, as a regular member, signing the regular DigiTrust member agreement, with no special rights or privileges. DigiTrust could not join Ad ID without a member vote and restructuring from the neutral, non-profit entity that is now actually part of IAB Tech Lab, because Ad ID supports a few specific, for-profit entities. The suggestion that DigiTrust could join Ad ID violates the very terms that make DigiTrust the right approach to building a common ID for the Web, supported by so many across the industry and more each day.

We believe Ad ID joining DigiTrust confirms the market’s need for a neutral, independent, device-level identifier that will help us put consumers first by delivering better internet experiences. MediaMath committed to these principles before even founding Ad ID, and we believe we’re seeing the industry embrace the same, enabling global scale and proprietary value-add. We welcome new members to DigiTrust, along with further validation on principles of neutrality and independence from which marketers, publishers, tech companies and consumers stand to benefit.