MediaMath: On Track for Compliance with the New GDPR Law in Europe

September 8, 2017 — by Alice Lincoln1


On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect in the European Union. The GDPR was created to strengthen consumer privacy protections and contains a number of important requirements for businesses that collect and process data about EU and EEA consumers.

MediaMath has a long history of compliance with European data protection standards and is actively preparing to be compliant with the GDPR when it comes into force. Our Data Policy & Governance and Legal teams are working with external counsel, industry groups and other companies to assess the GDPR’s requirements and design the right mix of administrative and technical solutions to support our clients. We have also taken on an industry leadership role as chair of the IAB Europe Working Group on Consent, to bring together advertisers, publishers and technology providers to develop effective compliance solutions for the entire digital marketing industry. In addition, we have designed, built and deployed our products and services to help businesses comply with applicable European regulations while achieving true business outcomes.

MediaMath supports the fundamental aims of the GDPR and is committed to working with regulators and self-regulatory organizations to meet the GDPR’s requirements.  We will help marketers continue to deliver customer-centric, relevant and meaningful marketing experiences across channels, formats and devices, in ways that protect consumers’ personal data.

MediaMath encourages its clients to start planning for the GDPR as soon as possible. If you have questions about MediaMath’s approach to GDPR compliance, please refer to the Knowledge Base or ask your MediaMath account manager to share your questions with our Data Policy & Governance team.

Certified industry organizations, codes and frameworks of which MediaMath is a part:

  • EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shields
  • European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) and its counterparts in the US (DAA) and Canada (DAAC)
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, the US and the UK, and serves on the IAB UK Board of Directors
  • Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW)
  • Direct Marketing Association in the UK and US
  • Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)
  • Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG)


Which is More Important for Data: Quality or Quantity? How About Both?

August 23, 2017 — by Stephen Fugedy0


The backlash against big data has been going on for a few years now, not because of any inherent problems with big data, but rather because the industry has over-promised its benefits.

When businesses tried to use big data, they often found that it was too unwieldy, too unstructured and too, well, big to be useful. But let’s not get carried away. There is still gold in them thar hills. And the alternative, “smart data” isn’t really a thing. The reality is that useful data is both big and smart.

The challenge with big data

Having huge amounts of information about a huge group is not going to get you very far. For instance, many marketers will buy third-party data targeting a huge demo, like 18-34. According to Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) & comScore VCE campaign norms (2015), often the accuracy for age and gender data hovers around 45%, which means that you’re more likely to guess right on a coin flip.

The problem with such targeting is an old one in the computer industry — garbage in, garbage out. If you start with compromised data, you can’t make up for it with algorithmic wizardry.

Getting smart

Almost two years ago, MediaMath launched a proprietary data asset. During that time, we’ve found that even though we have a huge amount of data, not all of it is valuable. Instead, by singling out the most important attributes, we can increasingly provide greater value to our clients from both a performance and scale perspective.

What we’ve discovered is that the signal-to-noise ratio for data is high. Being able to bring something impactful out of the data is very valuable. For example, we learned early on that our standard audiences should only include users based on observed activities. That way, when advertisers target our audiences, they know they’re targeting a user that has taken a desired action that aligns with the marketer’s targeting goals.

How to best use data

For marketers, not all data is created equal. For instance, first-party data is often the most useful. Such data, gleaned from company websites and emails with customers, is based on existing customers who have opted in to have a relationship with your brand.

If you are already a big brand, then you can have a lot of success remarketing to such customers, but if you’re not then first-party data will only take you so far and you have to combine first-party data and third-party data.

To successfully combine the two though, marketers need to be sure that the data is accurate and that the model used to link the two produces accurate results as well.

Often, that’s not the case, which is why marketers complain that their data isn’t working. But blaming data in that case is like blaming the weather because your thermometer isn’t working. So for marketers, the solution to big data woes is to get better data and better models. Usually they’ll find that the problem isn’t that their data is too big but that their methods of harnessing it aren’t smart enough.


Marketing Wiki: Tab Distraction

August 8, 2017 — by Laura Carrier0


Quick: How many tabs do you have open on your browser right now? OK, you can stop counting. It’s a lot, right? So how did this happen? If you’re on the web all day, it’s not surprising that you keep opening new tabs. Often when you click on a link, it launches another tab. It’s not unusual to have a dozen or more tabs open at one time. While this probably ranks low on the list of modern white-collar workplace annoyances (well below, say, dodgy Wi-Fi or slow trail mix refills), it rises to the level of minor annoyance for marketers because it makes attribution more difficult.

  • What is tab distraction?

Let’s say you’re in Chrome and have a bunch of tabs open. One is open to J. Crew’s website because you’re about to buy a short-sleeve shirt in Japanese indigo chambray. But the other tabs are markers of various ways you’ve wasted the day so far, including Reddit, TMZ and Facebook. So let’s say right before you decide to checkout at J.Crew, you go to Facebook, which has a J. Crew retargeting ad waiting for you (as would Reddit, TMZ and many of your other open tabs). Then you go back to continue completing your purchase of that short-sleeve shirt in Japanese indigo chambray on J. Crew. Even though it didn’t help make the sale in this case, Facebook will get credit for this sale on last-touch attribution models.

  • Why is this a big deal?

Last-touch attribution may be an inaccurate way of giving marketing credit for purchases or other desired actions (some compare it to making the team that scores last the winner of a basketball game), but it’s still standard practice for many companies. Tab distraction adds to the issue of giving too much credit to the last ad seen before conversion which in this common example didn’t even help make the sale and under-credits all of the marketing that actually did influence the customer’s behavior. That attribution not only impacts measurement of the efficacy of the set of marketing that led to this conversion, but also affects future spending because the marketer thinks “Facebook led to this sale, so I’ll spend my money there.”

  • What can be done?

An industry shift towards multi-touch attribution helps mitigate the impact of this issue, and is one of the most significant steps that marketers can take to ensure that they are understanding the effect their marketing is having on their customers’ behaviors. Consumers’ continuing exodus to mobile is also making tab distraction less of an issue.


In-house, agency or consultancy?

August 7, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


This article originally appears on The Drum.

In the year since the last ATS Singapore, a lot has happened in the adtech industry: transparency issues rage, with complexity and issues like viewability and fraud taking centre stage, header bidding has also started to be adopted in Asia Pacific as publishers arm themselves against the duopoly.

As with many conferences about the digital advertising sector, the tone of the conversation had flip flopped between accusations against bad behaviours, calls to arms to work more collaboratively with creatives and the occasional Devil’s Advocate asking whether anyone really cares? Perhaps it is all just industry hot air?

While the tone and opinions bounced around, one key theme persisted: complexity. Grounded in the call from P&G’s Marc Pritchard for better scrutiny on the transparency of media, much of the conversation looked at who is best placed to manage the complexity that will inevitably still exist. Can the agencies regain trust? Will brands take this in-house? What about newcomers to this, such as the consultancies?

Senior professionals from brands, agencies, suppliers and publishers offered their thoughts on what the industry needs to do, particularly in Asia Pacific. The Drum selected some of the key points from across the day on this ongoing global debate.

Marcus Cho, regional multiscreen performance and precision marketing, Asia Pacific at Johnson & Johnson

Cho came from the point of view that FMCG brands did want to see more consolidation and convergence in the programmatic space, particularly around data and agency structures. This was largely driven by the imperative, shared by many brands, to build a single customer view.

“We want to see harder metrics, we want to look at how we measure the sales, use ecommerce data or transaction and credit card transaction data. From what we have seen, those who are providing soft metrics will face a midlife crisis in programmatic,” he said.

“We work closely with trading desks and AORs but we do see convergence and our point of view is in full stack solutions that run through agency partners and partners such as Google and Oracle etc. Once we plug in analytics, we want to see more, a single point of view on marketing and operations. The need state is to see end-to-end analytics through single view on programmatic and operations,” he added.

On the point of using consultancies, Cho stated his confidence in agencies as experts in media but said big companies may still turn to traditional consultancies for bigger picture strategies.

Sanchit Sanga, chief digital officer, APAC and MENA at Mindshare

Sanga’s reaction to the threat of consultancies was to state his confidence in media expertise, arguing that consultancy firms couldn’t provide the insight that agencies could.

He also addressed the topic of agency transparency, referring to GroupM’s recent launch of Mplatform, an adtech platform that promises to answer the client need for a single customer view by using an open universal ID.

“We are big believers at Mindshare and Groupm, that through Mplatform the disclosure and transparency issue gets sorted pretty quickly. You can see it even in the open desks we run for Unilever and HSBC which are 100% transparent; we do believe the future is revealing all costs to clients,” he said.

On the topic of consolidation, Sanga’s key concern lay with the duopoly of Google and Facebook. “in terms of the consolidation of technology, we don’t see walled gardens as anything but a threat to democratic technology. I don’t think all marketers are savvy enough to understand they are playing into hands of two companies who are not revealing the single source of truth,” he said.

Matt Harty, senior vice president, Asia Pacific at The Trade Desk

Harty took on the question of in-housing and whether brands were going direct to adtech partners like The Trade Desk.

“The more sophisticated marketers are wanting to take control. The most sophisticated clients want to take more control and want to be able to see inside of the tools,” he said.

However, he warned: “It is a mistake for people to not take the servicing that the agency has to offer. We have been down this road before; search gives us that lesson and shows us where to go. We had search specialists, then in-house popped up and now it sits in agency again. There just isn’t the amount of talent that can be dispersed.”

Harty argued that if each fortune 500 business across Asia Pacific wanted an in-house programmatic person, the talent wouldn’t be there. “You would be frankly hard pressed have 100 people across APAC that can independently run campaigns.”

“Agencies needed to be centres of excellence but it shouldn’t discourage us for allowing the client to be more empowered than ever before,” he added.

Rahul Vasudev, managing director, APAC at MediaMath

In terms of the duopoly, moderator Wendy Hogan, marketing transformation and strategy director at Oracle asked whether any players in Asia Pacific were attempting to educate the market, as Google and Facebook are. Google itself is almost at the end of the first year of a large-scale training programme for programmatic in Singapore, created in conjunction with the Singapore government.

“Through our training we have trained 10,000 people globally. We get them to focus on outcomes and not get confused by the plethora of terms and technology. The handshakes that take place to enable great marketing should be invisible,” he said.

Prashant Kumar, senior partner at Entropia

Kumar shared a stage with Sukesh Singh, vice president, APAC at Adform to discuss full stack solutions and shared an example of how Entropia was helping Tesco in Malaysia with a digital transformation roadmap.

He commented: “The single biggest challenge is complexity and some in the industry seem to have a vested interest in keeping complexity alive.”

Much like Vasudev’s point of view, he said the market should be helping to reduce complexity for the brand, which would allow them to focus on real business outcomes, not the technology and terms.

He also added that complexity was not just about losing money to margins and ad tech costs: “At the early stage, if the client is bogged down by operational issues and the agency teams are bogged down, you lose sight of larger strategic picture. Complexity is not just about operational cost, it is about what being bogged down by complexity and chaos does to creating the future; you lose sight of insights and ideas. Each time a marketer tries to do agency work, they do less of a marketer’s work.”


Three Major Omnichannel Challenges Today

August 4, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


This article originally appears in DMN News.

Omnichannel has been top-of-mind for marketers since the advent of digital media, and it’s hard to argue with the progress businesses have made in omnichannel marketing over the last decade or so.

Indeed, the industry has come a long way from extolling the benefits of omnichannel to today’s world, where businesses not only understand the benefits of omnichannel marketing, but are increasingly facing pressure from customers and partners to be omnichannel as a standard.

“Today, omnichannel marketing across all addressable channels and inventory, coupled with identity resolution and machine-powered optimization are table stakes for all media buyers and as a result, enriches the consumer experience,” says Dan Rosenberg, chief strategy officer at MediaMath. Not only does omnichannel execution allow you to manage the frequency of ads… but by adopting a more audience-based approach, marketers will be able to consolidate as many addressable channels as possible to enable one-to-one storytelling and messaging, no matter where a customer is connected.”

There are a few key areas of contention that continue to challenge omnichannel marketing as a concept, and marketers will likely grapple with these for the next few years.

Managing the customer journey

The customer journey is extremely difficult to track these days. It’s harder than ever for marketers to distil the customer journey down into the neat funnels that were once standard to the marketing process. Still, marketers are going to have to figure out how to engage customers across disparate channels as best they can.

“Managing consumer data across channels is a challenge with teams that are historically silo’ed and not incentivized to share data. Marketers need to understand the 360-degree customer journey, so that a marketer can address a given consumer’s concern in the moment,” Rosenberg says.


As is the case for practically all digital media, privacy and data ownership will continue to be big concerns for brands doing omnichannel marketing, particularly because of the multiple channels and touchpoints involved.

“As part of privacy, marketers should be good stewards of consumer data, and not advertising too aggressively or invasively with the use of frequency caps. Using frequency caps across channels curb the number of times a consumer sees advertisements from a given marketer on any device,” Rosenberg says.


Similar to privacy, marketers doing omnichannel have a vested interest in the advertising industry’s battles with fraud.

“Fraud has been a longstanding issue within advertising where marketers are realizing that fraud is susceptible across all channels including fake bot data, fake social media profiles and not just an ad tech,” Rosenberg says.

There’s little in the way of best practice here, as these are issues that affect all of marketing, not just omnichannel, and the progression of technology advances and exacerbates problems like privacy and tracking the customer journey.

In the end though, omnichannel is well worth the effort.


Focus Your Brand Marketing on Problem-Solving, Not Demographics

July 31, 2017 — by Parker Noren0


This post originally appeared on MarTech Advisor

Marketers and the digital ecosystem have fine-tuned activation methods that best leverage digital platforms and programmatic technology for direct-response campaigns (i.e., those focused on driving immediate ROI as the primary goal). At the same time, they’ve largely replicated what worked in linear channels, like TV, for branding campaigns. This approach commonly includes focusing activation on maximizing reach against a demographic, executing an unsophisticated supply strategy and failing to leverage measurement against real marketer outcomes to adjust in-flight.

It’s time to move past an approach for branding campaigns that in many cases embrace the lowest common denominator – a holdover from a time when the limitations of traditional channel targeting and execution constrained such campaigns. Every shopper has a problem. The purpose of our branding campaigns is to demonstrate how we solve that problem – reaching consumers who are likely to experience it and maximizing internalization of the message via tactical execution. We will better accomplish this by fully embracing the technological capabilities of programmatic for branding campaigns.

Overhauling Approach to Audience Targeting
The most notable example of replicating practices of traditional branding campaigns in digital is buying audiences and measuring success based on demographics. In traditional channels, this focus was rooted more in history than utility—demographics were the universal mechanism for buying media.

The emphasis on demographics is misplaced. When trying to build perceptions, marketers should target consumers who have a struggle that their product can uniquely solve. That is rarely something bound by demographics. Instead of aligning targeting to the constraints of linear buying, marketers should leverage the full suite of programmatic targeting capabilities to reach consumers likely to experience the struggle they solve for. This includes understanding of consumer interests, where they’ve been, who they are and what they’ve previously browsed/purchased.

Developing a Strong Supply Strategy
There is a belief that branding equals video in digital. As a result, many campaigns are executed in channel silos. For all campaign types, supply selection should be driven by the alignment between inventory type characteristics and the requirements of the brand-consumer interaction.

In most cases, this means video has a primary role in branding campaign execution because of its characteristics as a supply source. Video provides the opportunity to story tell and dramatize the brand’s solution to a consumer frustration or struggle. However, other inventory still has a role under a sophisticated supply strategy. For example, display inventory can play a vital role in fighting message recall decay when sequenced off a video touchpoint.

Better Measurement for In-Flight Optimization

What a marketer selects as the measurement criteria for a campaign has a profound effect on how the campaign is optimized. Common branding campaign measurement has no relationship to the marketer’s strategic intent, including click, completion and demographic metrics. Especially in the case of brand-building campaigns, interim reads from brand-lift research should be the primary criteria by which the campaign manager makes decisions and a marketer judges success. Those audiences and tactic structures that are producing the biggest perception change should prompt bigger bets over time. Percent on demographic target as a success criteria, meanwhile, should be used sparingly or relegated to the past.


Programmatic Untangled: The Importance of Data Governance in Programmatic

July 27, 2017 — by Michelle Said0


This month’s Programmatic Untangled features Alice Lincoln, MediaMath’s VP of Data Policy and Governance, who sits down to discuss the way data is used in programmatic advertising. As our lives become increasingly embedded in the online experience, many consumers are becoming more and more wary about the way their data is collected and utilized online. However, as Alice notes, a little education can make a big impact on the way advertisers and consumers interact with one another.

Listen now to hear Alice discuss topics such as:

  • The educational gaps between marketers and consumers regarding data policy and governance
  • The choices consumers have about the data that is collected and how it is used
  • The benefits of data usage in ad tech for both advertisers and consumers
  • The future of data governance

Click here to begin listening.


Here are the Four Metrics Every Marketer Should Demand from Facebook and Other Walled Gardens

July 19, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


This article originally appears in The Drum

Last month, Facebook announced additional metrics to give advertisers more insight into consumer behavior, including how many visitors come to their websites after clicking on ads and whether those individuals are new or returning visitors.

Together, these metrics “help advertisers get a better sense of whether Facebook advertising is having an impact on the business”, said Shane Murphy, vice president of marketing at prospecting and retargeting platform AdRoll, adding it is “certainly relatively small steps toward a true view for the marketers on which ads are having more impact”.

Murphy also said the new metrics are a more impactful measure than what existed before, but not quite as much as a metric that could, say, report down to the customers who actually convert. However, he also said he thinks Facebook is likely working on something like that and noted the platform is positioning this as a journey in which it releases more reporting capabilities “about every month or so”.

Sara Skrmetti, senior director of social at programmatic company MediaMath, agreed this is a step in the right direction for Facebook, but – no surprises here – the platform has “a way to go to satisfy the desire for transparency”.

It’s the latest chapter in Facebook’s data reporting saga after news broke the once omnipotent walled garden had misreported some figures and it has since taken steps to be more transparent. But it’s a delicate balance for these platforms with treasure troves of customer data.
In other words, as marketers have put more pressure on Facebook to enhance its reporting capabilities, insiders say the new measures demonstrate Facebook is taking them seriously. But that’s not to say this marks the beginning of the end of walled gardens.

“The data is what is valuable for Facebook,” Murphy said. “We’ll probably get to a point where the walls are lower – or perforated – but I would be surprised if [we got a] world where [that data was widely available] because it is their IP.”

According to Scott Linzer, vice president of owned media at digital marketing agency iCrossing, walled gardens have always been a perplexing agency challenge because they “have to take Facebook’s data as a source of truth”. Now, however, Facebook is evolving to allow marketers to get a better understanding of that data and to provide more transparency, but it still has a way to go and Linzer said he hopes Facebook will continue down this path.

“I think walled gardens have the propensity to continue to scale back or whatever the phrase is because the reality is in order to buy media, you need the most accurate complete picture to understand behavior,” Linzer said. “If we don’t or if we have gaps, we’re not really servicing the clients correctly and don’t have the full picture we need. I think as we sit here in 2017, it is very important for vendors and agencies to be proactive and understand their data needs to accomplish goals for their clients.”

And as the balance of power between Facebook and advertisers shifts more in favor of the latter, here are the four demands marketers should make in order to glean as much insight as possible:

1. More third party verification.

According to Mike Kisseberth, chief revenue officer at digital publishing and marketplace platform Purch, the key phrase is third party verification. In other words, it’s not that these new metrics aren’t interesting measures marketers will like, but these marketers are still stuck having to simply trust Facebook. Third party verification, on the other hand, would enable marketers to take the data more seriously.
“Third party verification is important because it allows you to trust the numbers there,” Kisseberth said. “As marketers, the responsibility is ultimately on you to know if [ad dollars] are contributing to the revenue of the business…I think there’s a balance point – third party verification is something marketers want, but they also…[need] to figure out if the money they’re spending is actually contributing to sales. You have a third party measuring whether it’s viewable, but did it actually drive performance at a level that is justified given the spend?”

Speaking of which…

2. More insight into customer spend.

Not surprisingly, Murphy agreed marketers want to see ROI.
“Being able to properly track each ad unit to [put a] value [on] customer spending is critical,” he said. “That’s where you get better at going all the way down to the point of tracking how much each customer is spending, [which allows you] to optimize a campaign based on that.”

This is something AdRoll enables its clients to see and Murphy said it would be valuable to Facebook’s advertisers to have more insight there as well.

3. A more complete audience view.

Linzer said the big mystery is just how big an audience is within Facebook – and how many impressions ads will serve.

“They tend to be very frontline metrics in the Facebook ecosystem,” he added.
And that’s why other metrics, such as videos served or shares of video, would help advertisers get a more complete picture of what their audiences look like and what they are doing.

4. More customization options.

Per Skrmetti, a valuable addition would be the ability to customize data in ways that are relevant to a given brand and/or marketer.

“A lot of our advertisers will work with our data directly in a raw format to get the insights they want…a lot of…our enterprise clients will manipulate their own data for their own insights and I think that’s the holy grail of this – the closer Facebook can get to that without overstepping privacy, the better,” Skrmetti said. “[This is probably] on the roadmap for [Facebook], but, at end of the day, the closer they can get to data that is manipulatable, the better off they’ll be and the more trust they’ll have.”


The Power Of Agency-Tech Company Relationships: A MediaMath Case Study

July 11, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


This article originally appears on

Recently, MediaMath, partnered with digital agency PMG to help a global beauty brand address struggles they were experiencing when trying to connect with customers, in real-time.

The brand wanted to deliver its ads to high-affinity audiences in ways that were optimized and personalized. By working together, PMG was able to construct audience profiles in a way that would allow them to target new and dynamic users. The company collected past data into a centralized platform to create current audience profiles built on the history of the customer’s actions. The result was improved ROAS and proof that marketers can improve the user experience of online advertising for greater efficiency for brands.

This represents the potential future of relationships between agencies and tech providers. Lead by CEO Joe Zawadzki (pictured top left), MediaMath believes that by customizing approaches and developing a strategy, a partnership leads to better results for all involved. Agencies must embrace ad technology to stay ahead of their competitors, and by partnering with ad tech providers on a strategic level they can make sure to meet the goals of the brands they are working with. Download the case study, A Triumvirate Approach to Helping a Global Beauty Brand Target New and Dynamic Users in Real-Time.

Adotas explored to subject in a Q&A with Chris Keenan, Director Product Management at MediaMath (pictured left).

Q: This PMG case study, mentions that marketers struggle to connect with customers “due to audience pools that are incomplete, inaccurate, and siloed from activation.” Why does this happen and why is it so commonplace?

A: Incomplete and inaccurate audiences that are siloed from activation are the primary drivers for marketers moving to platforms that have tightly integrated demand side and data management platforms.

We have found that when pushing audience segments from standalone DMPs to DSPs for activation, there is a 10-20% loss in reach due to the cookie sync required. This is particularly troubling when marketers have a granular, niche segmentation strategy. Losing any portion of your low-recency, high-frequency, high-value users results in lower campaign performance.

In addition, cookie-less identity resolution has become a “must-have” as mobile is exploding and the cookie is going away. Three years ago, you could reach 75% of a user with desktop cookies alone. Today, that number is less than 40%. For mobile, you will miss 80% of available RTB impressions without a cookie-less identifier.

A common complaint I hear from friends when I tell them I work in the online advertising industry is “Why am I followed around the internet with ads for a product I purchased days ago?” Another complaint I hear when speaking with marketers is that frequency caps set at the audience level are not respected. This happens when DMPs only update their segments in batch, as opposed to real-time. DMPs that evaluate segment membership in real-time will immediately remove the user who just converted or the user who just received their 8th impression. Not only does real-time segment evaluation drive performance, it also leads to a more positive user experience.

Q: Can you talk more about the pixel resolution/limitations of this client and why they prevented audience targeting?

A: Like many online retailers entering the holiday season, the client had entered a ‘code freeze’ period where they were not able to make any modifications to their existing or place new tags onsite. Code freezes are enforced as a precaution against changes having unintended, negative consequences during historically busy periods that could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue in a very short amount of time.

Fortunately, the client already had global footer and conversion tags placed. From these tags, we were able to ingest standard retail variables, such as Product SKU, Product Brand, Product Price, Search Phrase, Cart Value, and Order Value. These variables, in conjunction with Page URL, were used to develop a granular audience profiling strategy.

Q: How are sophisticated agencies and brands utilizing data to drive campaign performance?

A: Everyone has heard the phrase ‘the right message, to the right person, at the right time’ before, but how do marketers position themselves to deliver on that principle? I have been fortunate to speak with our clients around the globe and here are two common themes amongst the most sophisticated marketers:

• Eliminate latency
DMPs need to have an incredibly tight feedback loop with their DSP counterparts to remove latency between the two platforms. The propensity for users to convert is highest within a few hours, but if your DMP is only syncing your audiences to your DSP once every 8 hours, or worse, once a day, you are losing the opportunity to reach your audience during the most optimal time. Then, once those users have converted, you will still be wasting your media budget on those users until the next time your segments are re-synced.

By eliminating this latency, tightly integrated DMPs can reach the user with a message for complementary product offers instead of wasting the impression with a creative for the product they just purchased. It also allows for capabilities like accurate global frequency capping and sequential messaging.

• Act quickly and decisively
Today, many marketers are waiting for campaigns to run for at least a few days before looking at any analytics regarding the audiences they are targeting. By storing the raw event, impression and click level data, modern DMPs will be able to tell you how your newly created audiences would have performed against prior campaigns, without spending any media dollars against those audiences. If there is not enough 1st party data available, smart marketers generate similar performance reports to determine which 3rd party audiences will help them accomplish their reach goals in a performant manner. These tactics allows marketers to test their hypotheses without burning through their media budgets; further improving their ROAS.

Another benefit of working with a DMP that stores data at the raw event level allows marketers to define an audience segment that is fully populated and ready for activation immediately. The days of creating a segment, waiting for the audience to populate before activating it in a campaign are over. This is particularly valuable unplanned budget is made available and needs to be spent against while still meeting high performance goals. It also means that you can redefine your segment definition on-the-fly while your campaign is still in-flight with your latest learnings/needs (e.g. drive additional reach vs. improve performance) without having to start from scratch.

Q: Beyond Adaptive Segments, what other tech innovations would you recommend marketers and publishers use to accomplish their goals?

A: One innovation that has had implications for both marketers and publishers, and become a hot topic within the last year, is header bidding. For those not familiar, header bidding allows publishers to run a unified auction across their demand partners (e.g. direct sold vs. RTB) for each impression and the highest bid wins. Header bidding provides a level playing field opposed to the legacy, waterfall method where demand sources would be ranked in priority order and only get the opportunity to win the impression if the partners above them passed on that impression first. This means that the publisher’s ad server would serve the $5 CPM direct sold campaign even when there was an RTB partner willing to pay $15 CPM for that same impression.

Q: What does this mean for publishers and advertisers?

A: For publishers, the primary benefit is an increase in revenue due to the increased the “true value” of each impression being recognized. Publishers commonly report a 30%+ increase in revenue after implementing header bidding. This increase in publisher revenue translates into higher media costs for advertisers. However, advertisers now have access to premium, first look inventory allowing them to scale their campaigns in ways that would not be possible in the waterfall world. While media cost is certainly a metric that marketers should pay attention to, they should ultimately be focused on outcome oriented metrics such as CPA and ROAS. Header bidding has the potential to create a win-win for publishers and marketers alike and is an innovation that I’ll be closely.


Mobile ROI and Cross-Device Advertising Done Right

May 11, 2017 — by Floriana Nicastro0


Many advertisers see mobile as a black hole. Consumers spend 65% of their time on mobile devices but much of that time seems un-monetizable. While there’s proof that such advertising works, for many that proof isn’t as compelling as on desktop.

As a result, the industry is observing a massive $22 billion gap between user time spent and advertising spend on mobile.

Breaking news! Mobile is actually the primary vehicle to influence consumer purchases. You’re just not able to see it.

When you’re navigating through desktop, mobile and tablets, you’re not only surfing through different devices but also different environments using different user identification methodologies. Building the bridge between all those worlds has been a challenge for the last five years. Only a few actors of the market have managed to gather cross-device data at scale with accuracy to have an accurate user view.

The good news is that measurement is improving and advertisers have more insights today to better understand their customer path to conversion and how mobile is impacting their business. Consider these steps to help build successful planning:

  • Understand how your customer is interacting with your brand

While having a complete view of user cross-device activity may be challenging, such activity is a good indicator of determining: Which device has your customer used when first interacting with your brand? How many of your website visitors are coming from desktop and how many are coming from mobile/tablet? Which device does your customer use when converting?

  • Build a unique online identity

Since consumers split their time between mobile, desktop and TV, knowing the consumer’s cross-device identity allows for a stronger consistency in advertiser messaging along the customer journey and better accuracy in advertising performance view. A cross-device solution is vital but it’s important to get it right.

The ad tech industry has developed a few solutions, especially in the past year. I believe the most accurate method to determine cross-device identity is to gather deterministic data. Deterministic data affords 100 percent accuracy and when there’s scale, it offers a robust cross-device solution because deterministic data includes a user ID, or a login. The user will be logging in across their devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) and across the environments they are surfing in (website, app).

The second method for establishing cross-device identity is to use the proprietaries of the device itself to determine user identification. Advanced algorithms will use this data to determine the probability of two devices owned by the same person. Probabilistic data can be based on user agent, font, networks, IP address and browser, among other factors. The accuracy of identification cross-device has shown some limits when it comes to gathering probabilistic data at a large scale.

  • Think further and build the bridge to offline

In the last year, unified identification has become even more important for brick-and-mortar businesses, since they want to understand the impact of their online advertising over their in-store revenues.

Again, when impact of mobile in-store is easy to understand, using observed behavior such as ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline), it’s a real challenge for advertisers to attach their mobile advertising investment to in-store revenue to determine real ROI.

Today advertisers have three solutions to unify online and offline activity by finding common ground to user identification:

In-Store Traffic

Location data allows advertisers to improve their advertising relevance according to where the user is, where they’ve been and when, all based on smartphone data.

In-store traffic lift allows advertisers to estimate the incremental lift online advertising brings to their in-store traffic by overlapping the user ID of the customers reached through the campaign and customers who have been in-store.


Coupons can provide unique IDs that can be used to link online ID and offline conversion. By using coupons, the user will generate an ID where advertisers can link to a cookie ID/device ID. When converting in-store, the coupon ID used for the purchase will be stored and then mapped to online IDs to attribute the conversion to your campaign.

CRM data onboarding

CRM data mapping provides highly valuable information to in-store user conversion. By being able to bridge CRM data through third-party ID mapping, for instance, using a loyalty card as common ground for internal mapping, an advertiser can then easily calculate the overall ROI from its advertising activity.