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Media

Debunking Programmatic Supply Strategy Myths

February 8, 2019 — by Travis Barnes0

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There are no excuses to base your supply and media strategy on assumptions about what works best. In the spirit of giving marketers and advertisers greater transparency into how the different modes of programmatic buying actually work, MediaMath has released a whitepaper based on research into our own data that sheds light on how PMPs and Open Auction actually perform according to some of the key metrics about which marketers care. We also approached some of our partners to help us confirm that what we were seeing is true across other aspects of the industry.

It is our hope that marketers can use some of the insights that we’ve gleaned to build better data-driven strategies that will help them accomplish their marketing goals more effectively. Here are a few surprising findings from our research.

The time spent troubleshooting deals impacts advertiser and publisher revenue

Only a third of deals begin spending on the first date they get set up—and more than a third of deals will not start spending before the end of the first business week.

Each day spent troubleshooting PMP deals is a lost opportunity to spend their investment and see a return on advertising. For clients with a fixed period in which to run their campaign and who see a direct ROI from their digital spend, this delay translates to substantial missed revenue opportunities.

PMPs do not always have higher priority than the open auctions

Fully 17.9% of all PMPs had a lower win rate than the open auction, meaning that advertisers are adding workflow difficulty, narrowing their optimization capabilities and taking on the sole accountability for supply chain cleanliness for no discernable benefit and a significant amount of the time.

Advertisers assume the risk (and the cost!) of fraud in PMPs

MediaMath consistently sees higher rates of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT)—instances of fraud, such as bots acting as legitimate users, that require advanced analytics, significant human intervention and other measures to detect and mitigate—on media purchased via PMPs than on our Curated Market offering, which carries a fraud-free guarantee that perpetuates through the supply chain and incentivizes the publisher to keep fraud low. The rates of fraud that we report across PMPs are consistent across the same PMPs on other DSPs.

Download the full paper Supply Chain Excellence: How to Get Results, Avoid Fraud and Boost Your Total Buying to get a deeper dive into these trends and our guidance on how to use them to improve your data strategy.

MediaTrends

2019 Will NOT Be the “Year of DOOH”—But You Can Still Use it in Your Marketing Now. Here’s How.

January 29, 2019 — by Karen Chan0

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We’re almost one full month into the new year, and I’m here to share my thoughts on something: This will NOT be the “Year of DOOH” (like the Years of Mobile, AI and Attribution before it). Yes, the global DOOH market is expected to be worth more than $5 billion by 2022. Yes, DOOH is increasingly going programmatic. As OAAA Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Freitas points out, “In many ways, a screen is a screen, so DOOH fits into the programmatic ecosystem very well. This is an advantage for brands, because linking DOOH with online provides complete exposure within the consideration funnel.”

Yes, brands that start testing DOOH programmatically on a multichannel platform see all their campaigns across all channels in one centralized location, and can leverage the insights from each channel to inform the other. Marketers using DOOH for brand awareness can enlist mobile location partners to pass back mobile device IDs to inform which user to then retarget after seeing their OOH ad.

So, while programmatic DOOH is building scale and functionality, and the industry as a whole is pushing for standards and technical specs, the “new” medium is still very young. But just like a toddling infant, DOOH is finding its footing as the best alternative to reaching audiences without infringing on customer privacy. And while I don’t think DOOH will be the big trend of 2019, there should be nothing stopping marketers from testing and incorporating this medium into their multichannel campaigns.

How to get started

There are three things to consider when getting started with DOOH.

  1. Understand what can be done today: DOOH is different than other digital media in three ways. First, it’s a one-to-many medium, so one DOOH ad will most likely be shown to many people. Second, there’s lack of attribution tied to users who saw the DOOH ad because DOOH runs on non-personal devices—and, therefore, is not linked to a cookie or device ID. Third, as mentioned above, while the IAB, DPAA, OAAA and other trade groups are working on standards for DOOH, the current state of the medium lacks standardization in creative size and length, operational setup, reliance on real-time bidding or caching and more. This should not be a deterrent from trying DOOH—but you need to know what you’re getting (and getting into) upfront with the medium.
  2. Confirm you’re not already using it: Seems crazy you wouldn’t know if you’re running DOOH, right? But some supply partners and demand-side platforms will run DOOH as connected TV because the former runs through a TV or connected device. That’s not CTV because, remember, DOOH is not tied to a personal device or household. So, don’t be fooled!
  3. Check yourself (your creatives and deal types, that is): To really start using DOOH in your campaigns, you’ll need to confirm if you have DOOH creative or if you need to build custom creative. Because of the lack of standardization in the marketplace, each media owner runs DOOH differently and accepts different creative formats. Some media owners will run DOOH as static display banners, while some might need those static images formatted as a non-moving video VAST tag. Some media owners will help in reformatting existing creative for their screens.

It’s important to note that most DOOH campaigns run via private marketplace (PMP) deals instead of on the open auction to ensure approved creative is used and that not just any advertiser can run on a publisher’s screen. Creative must be vetted by each media owner to show adherence to municipal and government signage laws if in public places that not only vary by region and country, but also by specific towns and private venues and landlord regulations. Setup of DOOH campaigns varies by each media owner and SSP as well, so make sure to follow the correct process.

DOOH shouldn’t be daunting to execute with the right expectations, creatives and supply strategy. The right partners will also help you achieve success with the medium across your multichannel campaigns. Clients that partner with MediaMath can rest assured that we will meet their goals for reach and brand awareness while continuing to drive innovation and standards across the DOOH space in addition to other channels and technologies.

MediaPeople

MediaMath’s Floriana Nicastro on Being a Woman in Tech and Where Mobile is Headed in 2019

January 17, 2019 — by Lauren Fritsky0

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The interview originally appears on MarTechSeries.

Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be part of the programmatic industry?

I started in a mobile ad network to drive their first programmatic offering. I was fascinated by the technological exploits around data and measurement, and the early promise of reaching the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. I quickly moved to MediaMath — already pioneering the way — and I have never left! As the mobile channel lead for MediaMath, I’m working with both our product and sales teams to build a strong mobile offering that is aligned with client expectations and market evolution, as well as helping advertisers reach their business outcomes.

As a woman in tech-heavy ecosystem, what message would you give to other women, especially in the Marketing and Sales functions?

Ask for what you need to do your job — from coworkers, from teams, or from your boss. Stand up for yourself and for your team. Don’t let anyone cut you off — your voice is as important as anyone else’s. Don’t underestimate your ability ever. Be bold. Align yourself with strong women who will mentor and guide you. I have had a few mentors at MediaMath who have been instrumental to my growth.

How is your role at MediaMath different from the one you had when you joined the company? How did you prepare for the disruptive tech industry?

Mobile has been evolving so drastically, and MediaMath itself so fast, that my role has changed tremendously. From sales to product, from marketing to partnerships, it is like owning a little business within the business.

You can’t really prepare for disruption; you must learn to embrace and manage chaos. You have to be really agile in the way you operate and simply move forward, assembling every piece of the puzzle one by one — keeping in mind the big picture you have for driving the business forward.

What trends are you seeing in mobile programmatic right now? 

Mobile is not a channel anymore, but it is the channel of the other channels. Mobile is becoming the centerpiece of overall advertising spend, not only to reach where consumers are, but to build the bridge between online and offline (DOOH, TV, audio, desktop, mobile).

Read the rest of the interview here.

Media

Supply Chain Excellence: How to Get Results, Avoid Fraud and Boost Your Total Buying Power

January 15, 2019 — by Julia Welch0

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Right now, marketing isn’t working for a lot of people.

It definitely is not working for marketers who, even now, more than two decades into digital and more than a decade into programmatic, are still left to wonder which half of their ads will work. Not publishers, who are getting squeezed from every direction. Not consumers, who recognize that they are the product.

Legacy infrastructure and legacy processes are part of the problem—the Internet as constructed was never intended to sensibly connect the diverse and complex technologies brought to bear by the myriad, diverse constituents in our industry. Many of the longstanding problems we’ve confronted—fraud, lack of transparency—are a direct result. And consumers have gotten the worst end of the deal, with clunky, irrelevant experiences and mystery surrounding the use of their data.

But there is a way forward that lets marketers maximize their investments without sacrifice and without compromising their values, lets publishers create the content that consumers want and the independent journalism that the world needs and lets consumers defend their right to a free and open Internet. It all starts with recognizing, understanding and respecting the consumer, and then reaching high-value audiences through access to high-quality supply. We’ve focused on the second part of the equation in our whitepaper, in which we share how marketers can make better decisions about their supply strategy, taking a holistic approach to get the outcomes they want and deserve. Our analysis is supported by research from our own demand-side platform.

Supply Chain Excellence: How to Get Results, Avoid Fraud and Boost Your Total Buying Power

Download this report to learn:

  • How a misaligned supply strategy can lead to wasted time and budget, a lack of quality and a higher risk of fraud
  • The ideal scenarios in which to use private marketplaces, preferred deals or programmatic guaranteed
  • Three approaches for effective deal management that maintain the benefits of privilege and keep the true costs of media management low

Today’s media buyers want—and deserve—results. They want promises, and they want to be recognized for their total buying power over time, not just the fleeting auction-of-the moment. We can work together to make that a reality.

DataMediaTrends

The Real State of Consumer-First and Omnichannel Marketing By the Numbers

December 6, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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In September, we released Dream vs. Reality: The Real State of Consumer-First and Omnichannel Marketing, our research in partnership with Econsultancy that assessed the gap between marketers’ desire to deliver compelling, privacy-compliant experiences and what they’re actually doing in practice. Econsultancy surveyed more than 400 global marketers about everything from adtech and martech integration to AI and shared the results in a 36-page report. For anyone who hasn’t read the report or is short on time, we’ve distilled the main highlights into a one-page infographic we’ve released today.

Download the infographic to find out:

  • The gap between how many marketers see the importance of putting the consumer first and how many actually are
  • The benefits integrated tech could bring to marketing
  • The least important benefit of integrated tech, according to respondents

MediaTrends

It Takes a Village to Take Down Ad Fraud Schemes

November 30, 2018 — by Daniel Sepulveda0

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The global internet and the digital economy have created immense opportunity for advertisers and marketers to leverage economies of scale to help fund and fuel the development of digital services on the web and around the world.  We marry buyers of ad space to sellers, with billions of dollars transacted in the process every day.

But along with immense opportunity have come new threats.  In the process of building a global platform for innovation and wealth creation, we have constructed an economic target for criminal enterprises to infiltrate, and they have taken advantage of it.  This week, we saw American law enforcement, in cooperation with the private sector and law enforcement abroad, take the first significant step to signaling that the jig is up.

After two years of investigation, the Department of Justice announced its first significant takedown of two global criminal ad fraud schemes.  Those schemes used servers and malware to violate the security of millions of computers and trick advertisers into buying access to non-existent consumers on fake websites.  In the process, they stole $36 million dollars from legitimate businesses.

Multiple individuals were charged and taken into custody abroad.  Domains and servers were seized.  And those schemes have been shut down.  This is more than good news. It signals the increased maturation of the global digital economy both as a tool for crime and as a focus for law enforcement in its efforts to deter abuse of access to a global, open internet.

As societies and jurisdictions around the world grapple with a borderless internet, accessible to the law-abiding and criminal alike, there are important lessons to take away from this case.

First, a communal interest in eliminating fraud allows for industry cooperation.  MediaMath was just one of a group of about 30 advertising technology companies that worked with the DoJ to help them understand how the programmatic advertising system works and where and how to capture illegal activity.  Ad fraud threatens advertiser trust in the digital economy, in programmatic advertising and in consumer faith in the legitimacy of the system as a whole.  It is in all of our interests to cooperate to end it, because none of us alone can do it.  And none of us want to be part of financing criminal enterprises.

Second, we learned that law enforcement needs private-sector expertise and information to enforce the law.  The expertise of the DoJ and the FBI’s cybersecurity teams is growing exponentially.  But as the operators of the private networks and systems over which fraud is executed, the industry has insight and access to information that law enforcement does not.

And third, we learned that law enforcement has to be able to cooperate across borders to stop crime on a borderless internet.  The internet is global, and cooperation must be global to work. The list of cooperating law enforcement agencies and entities involved in this takedown ranged from Malaysia to the United Kingdom.

We take the global internet for granted.  We shouldn’t.  The only way it will continue to grow and thrive is if we can all trust in its security and governance.  Our industry can and should support funding the development of skills and capacity-building related to cyber security for law enforcement at home and abroad.  We welcome continued cooperation with law enforcement at home and thank them for their service.

Media

It’s Time to Make Noise About Audio-Based Targeting

November 15, 2018 — by Karen Chan0

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How do you reach consumers who are chilling with Netflix and blocking ads on mobile and desktop?

One attractive option is programmatic audio. Even consumers who are expert at tuning out ads elsewhere find that audio advertising is not only unavoidable, but welcome. A 2017 Nielsen survey found that 57 percent of podcast ads outperformed pre-roll video ads.

Overall, marketers spent $1.6 billion on audio ads in 2017, a 39 percent increase from 2016, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. There are many reasons for audio’s growth. In addition to being an effective way to reach otherwise unreachable consumers, many consumers consider audio ads to be less interruptive than other types of advertising. Some even make a point of supporting advertisers who support their favorite podcasts. Audio’s unique ability to reach consumers in a brand-safe and amenable way makes it a solid addition to an omnichannel campaign.

A different type of advertising

While commercial radio advertising revenues fell 2 percent last year, audio-based media is experiencing the same splinterization that has occurred in TV. There are two primary ways of enjoying audio in the digital age—streaming or downloaded audio.

In the case of streaming music on Spotify or Pandora, consumers who hear ads are doing so because they opted not to pay for a premium version of the service. This means that such ads are analogous to opt-in ads, which reward consumers for watching an ad (usually by unlocking a level in a game or receiving tokens). For podcasts, ads are received in a similar fashion; most podcasts are free, and listeners realize that ads support the shows to which they listen.

That may explain why audio ads do so well. An analysis of 36 Spotify campaigns found audio drove a 60 percent lift in ad recall, on average. A recent NPR survey also found that 88 percent of podcast listeners have taken action because of a sponsor announcement.

The big change: programmatic advertising

In the past, programmatic audio has been slow to take off because there wasn’t enough inventory, but that’s changing as platforms like MediaMath aggregate opportunities for digital audio placement. An industry shift from cookies to mobile IDs is also advantageous to digital audio, which is more of a mobile phenomenon than a desktop one.

For advertisers, it’s imperative today to execute omnichannel campaigns. While digital and TV are prime elements, audio is a great platform for reinforcing messages elsewhere. Since the average consumer uses four devices, advertisers need to consider all touchpoints. Now that it is easy to integrate such buys, it’s time to make some noise about digital audio.

MediaPeopleTrends

How Uber Started Making Ads People Love

November 13, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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How does a brand with a large focus on mobile marketing drive transparency and incrementality on what is normally a very fraud-prone channel?

For Uber, it took changing its programmatic operating model to shift what its internal team, agency and tech partner were focused on to drive real outcomes for the brand. During AdWeek New York, Bennett Rosenblatt, programmatic display lead at Uber, sat down with Anna Grodecka-Grad, SVP, global head of professional services at MediaMath, to talk about this transformation in the session “How Uber Disrupted the Traditional Media Buying Model.”

In Uber’s case, the brand decided to transform its operations when it began to hit a saturation point with riders. “We’ve pivoted now to running reengagement as our No. 1 tactic for riders in North America,” said Rosenblatt. “Running static banners, hitting users with 20 or 30 ads a week just is not incremental for us.”

In general, Rosenblatt said the brand was often looking for help in navigating the digital media ecosystem. MediaMath helped fill that void.

“MediaMath began to lean in and run those campaigns on our behalf and began to give us those in-house learnings, telling us what was working and what wasn’t,” said Rosenblatt. “And that was really valuable for us.”

The brand migrated to a strategy of in-game ads aimed at low-frequency riders that are likely to get a response. One unit, for instance, is aimed at San Francisco Uber riders and is a lookbook for the top five restaurants for Uber riders in the city.

“Even though we’re Uber and we have 18,000 employees, we don’t have the resources to go super-deep on every campaign. If you’re working with a partner, you should trust them.”

DataMediaTrends

Dan Rosenberg Talks to TechBytes on Consumer-First Marketing

October 25, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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Last month, we published a report with Econsultancy called “The State of Consumer-First and Omnichannel Marketing” that surveyed more than 400 marketers from around the world on everything from AI to GDPR compliance. A big focus of the report was on how marketers are aspiring to, but falling short of delivering, true consumer-first experiences that both respect privacy and delight with coordinated, cohesive messages across channels and devices. Dan Rosenberg, our chief marketing & strategy officer, recently talked to TechBytes editor Sudipto Ghosh on our research and how marketers can make martech-adtech integration a goal for 2019.

Why did you decide to publish the report “The State of Consumer-First and Omnichannel Marketing?”

We decided to call out our consumer-first philosophy as a market theme at the start of this year as we saw the rise of adblocking, mistrust of advertising and impending GDPR legislation as symptoms that we are not delivering the best advertising experiences to consumers. We believe that consumers can love marketing again, but first we need to understand what is turning them off from the ads they see and figure out how to both respect them with the right approach to identity and data privacy and delight them with personalized experiences coordinated across channels and devices at the right frequency and sequence, accounting for their recent and past behaviors and actions. Our report, in partnership with Econsultancy, examines how global marketers are responding to this dual challenge and opportunity so we can help them identify how to rise to the occasion to put consumers first.

Why should a CMO read the report? How does it help CMOs build or buy a technology stack?

CMOs should first read the report because the respondents that took the survey are their peers — more than half are senior-level marketers from around the world. It’s a true window into how their peers are thinking about marketing best practices, media channels, identity, omnichannel and emerging opportunities such as artificial intelligence.

The report can help them plan key functions by highlighting the gaps in their current technology stack. We consistently found in the results that marketers want to do so much more but are being held back from being able to execute. For instance, the ability to dynamically segment audiences was identified by 67% of respondents as one of the top three capabilities they hope to have over the next five years when it comes to improving the advertising experience for consumers. But they are not actually prioritizing the data quality improvements or technology integration required to enable this capability — reduced data loss and latency ranked lowest in the report when it comes to the perceived benefits of integrated technology. Dynamic segmentation through an integrated platform lets you connect the right message to the right consumer more quickly and seamlessly across touchpoints. In general, any data loss, which can occur when data management is siloed from media buying, decreases the accuracy of audience segments, often resulting in consumers being shown an ad for something obviously irrelevant to them or, on the other extreme, something they already bought — one of the reasons for their frustration with advertising.

What metric should one rely on to decide on the ‘satisfaction level’ of technology for Marketing and Advertising?

Our mission is to empower marketers to delight their customers and drive real business outcomes. The metrics will be different depending on their goals, but we commit to helping marketers identify the true KPIs that will drive true outcomes such as sales.

Read the full interview here.

MediaTrends

Video, Mobile and Native, Oh My! Tips for a Successful Omnichannel Holiday

October 11, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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Written in collaboration with native advertising partner Sharethrough.

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas—at least at some stores. Not content to wait for Halloween, many retailers this year began putting up their holiday decorations before Labor Day. Christmas is closing in on summer!

The data shows they’re on to something. Some 8% of consumers begin making holiday purchases in September (and another 8% before that), according to the National Retail Federation. Even if they’re not yet purchasing, many shoppers are starting to research items in October, often browsing on their mobile devices. Keep reading to understand the top trends helping marketers capitalize on the evolving shopper journey across devices and the funnel to drive the most impact this Q4.

Mobile merry-making                

Not surprisingly, much of the spending we see in MediaMath’s platform is clustered around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and a lot of the action is occurring on mobile devices. According to MediaMath analysis of 2017 holiday campaigns across the globe, desktop and mobile traffic both spiked during those key days, but there were more uniques on mobile. A good strategy then is to go heavy on prospecting tactics on mobile and use desktop for remarketing where consumers are doing more shopping research. November is when both researching and purchasing spike (at 33% and 36%, respectively) according to NRF, but more people research in October (25%) than in December (11%).

When it comes to the type of ads, in-feed native ads should be on every marketer’s wish list. Some 70% of people use their phones to make purchase decisions during the holidays. In-feed native ads drive 29% higher purchase intent than standard banners. One ecommerce retailer saw a 79% jump in conversions with native compared to display strategies with identical targeting.

The good thing about native is it fits anywhere in the funnel and works for brand objectives ranging from raising awareness to driving conversions. Some 39% of consumers will search a brand online if they see it in a native ad headline. Marketers can purchase native directly in MediaMath’s platform workflow leveraging inventory from partners like Sharethrough.

Storytime

Video can help you capture the emotions and attention of your target shoppers early in the awareness phase. You can follow up video branding campaigns with native, display and other formats to bring consumers down the funnel. Ideally, you can seamlessly integrate video creative alongside other ad formats for your holiday campaigns, reaching your audience with multiple ad formats to build brand storytelling and eventually lead consumers down the purchase funnel.

According to the native advertising specialists at Sharethrough, a few best practices for native creative will go a long way toward improving the story that your brand tells consumers. For instance, while you might assume that shorter headlines do better in this environment, headlines need to tell a story. “Thanksgiving Recipes” gets the point across, but is too generic to prompt anyone to click. But “10 Mouth-Watering Recipes That Everyone Will Love” all but dares you not to click.

Thumbnail images should also tell a story. Don’t just show a product—present a slice-of-life moment where the product is being used. For instance, a picture of a virtual reality headset is dull, but an image of someone engaged with the device as friends look on is more engaging. Finally, on a practical level, avoid using text in images because it might get cut off. If you must place text on images, then make sure the text is centered.

Make your list (and check it twice)

Since many consumers begin thinking about their gifts in October, leverage granular targeting based on real-time browsing when possible. It’s important to reach these consumers early because CPMs spike in December, when everyone else is trying to target the same consumers. The messaging a marketer employs to reach these consumers depends on the industry. CPG brands need to reach consumers when they’re in store, while jewelry retailers might use addressable TV to reach their target consumers.

Wrapping up

This holiday season, marketers have an opportunity to use multiple touchpoints to reach consumers before they click “buy.” In addition to mobile, video and in-feed native, marketers can also employ audio and digital-out-of-home ads to influence target consumers on their list. The trick is to get started sooner than the competition when CPMs are lower and consumers are more open to messaging.