Econsultancy and MediaMath Examine Consumer-First Marketing in 2018 and Beyond

September 10, 2018 — by MediaMath0


You don’t have to be a CMO to know that there’s a disconnect between the vision of what marketing is capable of and its current reality. As a consumer, the gap is evident as well.

Consumers are barraged by increasingly annoying, intrusive, irrelevant or over-bearing ads. There is a growing concern that their attention and personal data are being exploited by bad actors, while they are given little or no say in the matter. Meanwhile, the proliferation of media touchpoints means marketers are being forced to manage increasing complexity in their marketing activities, yet continue to have limited tools to efficiently execute and measure its impact. The result is an alarming level of distrust and tension in the industry, massive waste of time and resources and a general stifling of innovation.

The problems are clear, but fortunately, the solutions are near at hand. That being said, making the vision a reality is not easy.

Our research with Econsultancy finally quantifies this disconnect. Their survey of more than 400 marketers from around the world shows how the industry is recognizing a consumer-first approach to marketing, but still struggles to execute it.

For instance, 92% of respondents agree that integrated tech and data allow for seamless, effective advertising, yet 63% of advertisers and 96% of agencies believe that their adtech and martech are insufficiently integrated. And that’s just one of the interesting facts we discovered that quantify the disconnect.

Dream vs Reality: The State of Consumer-First and Omnichannel Marketing

Download this report to learn:

  • What is keeping marketers from doing omnichannel right
  • The impact of GDPR on marketing efforts
  • The one capability most marketers want in the next five years



100 Days Later: Why GDPR Has Been Good for Google and Facebook Most of All

September 7, 2018 — by Dave Reed0


This post originally appeared as a byline in Campaign.

It has been more than three months since companies operating in the EU implemented the regulatory framework with the aim of stamping out opaque and irresponsible handling of consumers’ personal data.

So how is Europe’s €8bn programmatic advertising and marketing sector doing post GDPR?

Overall, it’s clear the buying and selling of digital advertising has already become a lot more ordered and transparent, with far greater respect towards consumers, which is years overdue, GDPR is a much-needed force for good. Across the whole sector – brands, agencies, media owners – GDPR has forced innumerable conversations about how to protect consumer privacy and personal data.

Thousands upon thousands of man hours have been expended on preparing for and executing this at large companies Europe wide and beyond. What’s emerging very clearly is a digital industry that’s sleeker and more responsible, but also as powerful as ever in its ability to build meaningful connections with consumers.

But if the picture is generally positive for brands, things are more nuanced for the publishers. Larger publishers tend to have the resources to shoulder the regulatory burden and establish reputations for GDPR compliancy quickly. However, some have struggled to get the right consents from consumers or have hit technical issues, impacting businesses that are already under pressure.

Many have begun to consider becoming part of a pooled identity framework owned and responsibly operated by an independent third party. Deterministic people-matching, to identify individuals across devices, can help ensure that publishers can capture marketer budgets in the manner in which those marketers wish those budgets be spent.

Across the sector, the larger players – including agencies – have been at an advantage, as they’ve got the resources to vet their data, identify and eject risky partners and potentially fight investigations and fines if it comes to that. Some entities providing audiences, faced with having to strip out consumer data that is now heavily regulated, for instance health, ethnicity, politics or location, have suffered or even stopped doing business in Europe.

All this has, of course, been pretty good for the two behemoths of the sector – Google and Facebook, both of which have alternative means to obtain consumer consent. Indeed, Google’s strong recent results are thought to reflect a shift in spend towards companies with large amounts of first-party data.

What’s good for Google and Facebook – who are often both partners and competitors to other players in our highly complex industry – isn’t necessarily beneficial for everyone else, though.

In response to GDPR, Google and Facebook have raised the walls around their ecosystems, with Google, for instance, restricting the use of its identity system to external partners. This means forcing advertisers to be more fragmented across platforms, tools and inventory sources, making advertising more expensive for buyers and more annoying for consumers.

Google has indicated that it will, but does not yet support, the Internet Advertising Bureau Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework, meaning that, at least for now, already embattled publishers need to deal with both Google’s own rules as well as the emerging cross-industry standard.

Fortunately, alternative solutions are emerging that meet or exceed legacy capabilities while also recognising and respecting consumers and their wishes. Indeed, the true north for the industry is the promise of buying tools that are inclusive of all media and data whether that resides in open or “closed” environments.

So, there are challenges with the GDPR – it’s consumed vast amounts of management time and made it difficult for smaller players to keep pace. Of course, if you get the GDPR wrong, there could be a fine of €20m or 4% of global revenues.

That said, we are still in an uncomfortable and uncertain period as there is no body of precedent for how it will be investigated or enforced yet.

In a final analysis, whatever the transitional inconvenience, the challenges of the GDPR are easily outweighed by the benefits. We are building a more transparent industry shorn of dubious practices. We are connecting with consumers – whose trust we all ultimately depend on – in a more honest and, therefore, meaningful way.

And we are embedding standards that will enable our industry to develop and continue to grow steadily and sustainably.


GDPR Impact on Programmatic Trading Blog Series: GDPR Three Months On

August 24, 2018 — by MediaMath0


Daniel Sepulveda, our vp of government relations, contributed to the latest edition of the IAB EU blog series on the GDPR. Read his section below and the full post here

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  has elevated the importance globally of data protection and forced new public and private efforts to rise to the challenge.

At MediaMath, we have worked feverishly to get GDPR compliance right by: consulting with legal counsel, partners, providers and others; ensuring compliance of technology products and services used; and holding discussions and working groups with consumers, policymakers, marketers, publishers and technology companies.  Elsewhere, in companies as large as IBM to companies our size, and small and medium-sized start-ups engaging Europeans online, multiple millions of dollars and Euros and thousands of manhours are going into doing right by the consumer as directed in the GDPR. Marketers are mostly continuing their campaigns (including those traded via programmatic technologies) as they were designed prior to GDPR implementation.  There was an initial dip in supply that is beginning to return to where it was before.

The industry has heard the message from European citizens and their regulators that we should focus on consumer protection in the digital age by putting consumers in charge of their experiences and identity.

It’s early days and we don’t consider the work done, but there is reason to celebrate and embrace the work and cooperation taking place both within and across stakeholders in industry, civil society and government to rise to the GDPR challenge.

What we are witnessing in Europe is an evolving model for achieving public interest ends that combines self-regulatory work like the construction of the IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) with public-private cooperation and conversations through multi-stakeholder forums like the German Marshall Fund and the World Economic Forum with an open and inclusive approach on the part of regulators to interpreting and implementing the GDPR.  These are positive developments. It is important for suppliers like Google in particular to integrate into the IAB Europe Framework to give the market greater certainty and sense of joint problem-solving.

Within these developments, we believe that the importance of the IAB Europe’s Framework cannot be overemphasised.  It offers a good faith effort on the part of the industry to respect the GDPR and enable continued digital growth. By creating a mechanism for website operators to make clear to consumers which other digital actors are involved in the processing of their data and for what purposes, we are making the digital supply chain visible and a matter of choice for consumers.  We hope regulators and thought leaders will recognise and work with us as we iterate on the Framework and urge all actors in the digital economy to support and use the Framework as we continue to endeavour to both comply with the GDPR and hold ongoing global discussions about privacy in the digital age.


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.”