Attending Cannes for the First Time During a Season of Change

May 24, 2018 — by Karen Chan0


In just under a month, I’ll descend upon the French Riviera with tens of thousands of other digital marketing professionals, all hoping to be inspired, connect with clients and partners, and network in a gorgeous setting. As the Director of MediaMath’s Emerging Channels, I’m stoked to talk about the innovations unveiling in the industry from both a creative and technical perspective. But if I’m to be honest, I’m also excited to attend Cannes to participate in a dialogue about the challenges that have plagued us these last few years. From women in tech to consumer mistrust of advertising, there has never before been a time when there are huge, thorny issues that we can all come together to help solve, on the ground.

Making marketing people love

First, I’m looking forward to talking to my industry colleagues about how we can make consumers love marketing again, not just by better respecting their privacy and educating on data usage, but also by designing innovative use cases for current and emerging formats.

Formats such as audio and digital out of home (DOOH) can reach consumers in new ways that are more seamless and relevant to their experience. For instance, you can engage with audio when you’re at the gym, on your drive home, or cooking dinner; DOOH, while you’re at a bus shelter, touring Times Square, or the streets of cities like London. These media channels are weaving into the fabric of your life, not the other way around. And the data backs this up. People are 41 percent more receptive to advertising in public places than at home (Tume + IPG Media Lab, 2014). Plus, most DOOH placements have almost zero fraud and 100-percent viewable. I can’t wait to see the different DOOH activations advertisers will reveal at Cannes—everyone ups their game to put ads out in the area.

It’s time to talk

As a woman in tech, I have navigated my fair share of hurdles to get to where I am. I’m encouraged that more women (and men!) are coming together to evolve the dialogue on what it takes to make sure we are represented, promoted and treated fairly in the industry. From MediaMath’s own Women in Tech group to the Time’s Up/Advertising initiative being led by high-level industry executives, we’re starting to tackle these issues. Half of the MediaMathers attending Cannes from our Product team are women—it’s fantastic to have such strong representation to show our efforts to be inclusive and buoy females within our own business.

It’s a sound time, in 2018, to explore how events like Cannes influence the conversations around not just women in the industry, but also issues around transparency, better consumer experiences, and marketing as a force for good. Cannes and other high-visibility, well-attended industry events can be a catalyst for these discussions, and for change. Cannes has lived by a “work hard, play hard” mantra, but this year, the organizers have changed things, from shortening the event to consolidating the award categories, to encourage attendees to take advantage of the actual content in addition to the cocktails and parties.

Our CEO Joe Zawadzki has said in the past that programmatic is in its “gangly adolescent” phase, and it’s clear that events like Cannes are trying to mature along with the industry at large. Now people want to go for meetings and networking, and you must show up with a value-add—whether it’s a brilliant idea, a cutting-edge product, or a strategic partnership proposal. The conversations will evolve, this year and every year after. I’m happy to be a marketer in this season of change to witness the transformation in person.


The Opt-in Video Option for Making Better Mobile Ads

May 15, 2018 — by Floriana Nicastro0


GDPR. Ad blockers. Cambridge Analytica. Consumers have spoken, and their demands are clear: Advertising needs to stop being intrusive and start giving consumers more choice.

Mobile specifically has been suffering from bad advertising creative standards. Ninety percent of users’ time on mobile is spent in-app, yet almost 46 percent of mobile users consider in-app ads to be unacceptable, according to eMarketer. If nearly half of mobile formats are quite unpopular to users, what types of ads should we be making so that we can delight consumers with better experiences?

Opt-in video is slowly emerging as a fan favorite for several reasons. Also known as rewarded video, consumers watch these short video ads in exchange for a reward, such as tokens or unlocking a new level in a game. Mostly used by gaming apps, this format has been evaluated by more than 40 percent of users as the most popular, according to the same eMarketer report. Non-disruptive and non-intrusive, publishers are pursuing opt-in video as the best way to monetize their apps while maintaining a great user experience.

Waves along the programmatic shores

Opt-in video is not new, but it is only now making waves out of ad networks towards the programmatic shores. Historically used by mobile-first clients to drive app performance, this format is now attracting brands that want to boost reach to and engagement with their users. Advertisers are starting to gather all ad network activity under one programmatic platform because it helps:

  • Facilitate the activation.
  • Align their strategy across channels to focus on end users.
  • Provides additional transparency and control.

The underestimation of gaming apps

Traditional advertisers might seem hesitant about the app and gaming environments within which opt-in video is living. These are wrong perceptions the advertising industry needs to address. Here is why and how you should think about incorporating opt-in video into your mobile strategy:

  • Reach your users where they are, not where you want them to be: One-third of the time mobile users spend in-app is on non-monetized apps or in walled garden platforms, and one-third is on entertainment and gaming. Blacklisting gaming apps is saying goodbye to 30 percent of the opportunity to reach your users on their phones. In a mobile-first world, that can be an expensive choice to make.
  • Ask for user choice and they will give it back to you: With completion rates of more than 75 percent, opt-in video is driving some of the best user engagement with brands. Almost 80 percent of mobile app game players confirmed they are open to engage with a video ad for in-game rewards.
  • Control your brand safety and viewability Even if you’re previously considered in-app gaming inventory as not right for your business, opt-in video is proving to be an engaging way to drive outcomes for brands. We highly encourage advertisers to add opt-in video to their strategy and test the impact on their users.

Even if you’ve previously considered in-app gaming inventory as not right for your business, opt-in video is proving to be an engaging way to drive outcomes for brands. We highly encourage advertisers to add opt-in video to their strategy and test the impact on their users.


Marketing Mother’s Day Gifts

May 11, 2018 — by Zachary King0


This post is an excerpt from an article that originally ran on Campaign Asia.

In 2017, shoppers were expected to spend some $23.6 billion to celebrate Mother’s Day—a record high, up 10% from the year before. Closer to home, the spotlight is on the Internet economy, with Singapore’s e-commerce market expected to be worth S$7.5 billion by 2026 . For marketers and retailers, all eyes are on the prize as they look at digital campaigns to capitalise on upcoming celebrations and shopping holidays to drive sales targets.

However, the online playing field is like a busy household, with a lot going on. In this scenario, how can brands tailor their campaigns to cut through the clutter and effectively show their love for mom this Mother’s Day?

Know what she wants

Like the unconditional, all-knowing bond between mother and child, marketers should know their target audience and consumer preferences inside-out.

Building on insights pulled from consumer data, marketers can develop strategies based on predictions and buying behaviours. For example, past transactions and consumer data from the previous year can inform marketers on the types of gifts that are best-selling—be it spa packages, an afternoon lunch at a hotel, make-up products or flowers for mum. If a bouquet of pink carnations (symbolising a mother’s undying love) crossed the highest sales the past year, marketers can then invest more advertising dollars to target those who have shown an interest in purchasing them specifically.

With these insights, marketers can also create segments of Mother’s Day gift buyers, including last-minute shoppers, daughters, sons or husbands. To effectively close the sale, develop messages that speak to these audiences, such as offers including free shipping for last-minute flower deliveries.

Ultimately, knowing what she wants goes a long way in capturing consumer interest and showing Mom we care.


4 Steps for Executing True Omnichannel Experiences in Programmatic

May 10, 2018 — by Emma Williams0


This post originally appears on Martech Advisor.

Years ago, marketers’ media channels were highly specialized and siloed. And there was good reason for that. As new channels emerged, they needed to be tested and have standards and measurement applied to them that often varied from other channels. Plus, specific channels, like video, were often tied to certain types of campaigns, such as branding, which meant they sat in a specific budget. It was hard, back then, to approach programmatic in a way that was full-funnel and across channels.

But that’s all changed in 2018. There’s no longer a need to use disparate point solutions for each of your channels that prevent you from seeing the totality of your marketing investments, audiences or insights, or walled gardens that can’t fully share data or target relevant ads during the full lifecycle of a consumer. We now have consumers engaging with different channels across multiple devices (they can watch that video ad across the display or social, on desktop or mobile). And more importantly, we now have integrated technology that can manage, segment and activate your audiences in media across all channels at your disposal. This provides a more holistic view of your customers, a fluid budget and frequency capping and sequencing to avoid delivering annoying, repetitive, incessant ads. You can meet the audience where they are, interacting with them in the medium and message type that is most engaging to them to deliver true consumer-first experiences that they enjoy and that they have elected to engage with.

But how do you get started if you’ve never run a true omnichannel campaign before? We talk through four key areas and include actionable tips below.

Put Data First

Data is at the core of omnichannel marketing. Marketers use it to inform the customer journey, uncover brand-specific channel and audience insights, develop a more sophisticated and unified view of the consumer and understand how each channel influences the many points along the customer journey.

  • Clearly define and implement internal data ownership to ensure that you know where all your data sources live and which teams are responsible for them.
  • Clean, organize and centralize your first-party data to generate the information you need to determine which customer experiences move the needle most for your brand, at a segment level.
  • Understand where your gaps are so you can layer on second- and third-party data where appropriate, such as for prospecting efforts.

Reassess Your Goals

Clicks and impressions are out. ROAS and ROI are in. Marketers must identify specific business and marketing goals and use these to evaluate success across all channels.

  • Hold working sessions with channel experts, such as sales and the paid media team, to collaboratively define your unifying business goals, benchmarks and assess the impact of each channel.

Consumers expect—and deserve!—consistent, personalized brand experiences. Marketers who have embraced an omnichannel strategy tailor their creative execution and messaging to the individual, not simply to screen sizes or ad formats. It is essential to capture and maintain attention by telling each person a compelling story, and to engage in a meaningful way, at the right time.).

  • Carefully control your messaging and creative across all channels, aligning with your integrated marketing communication strategy: narrative, channel and placement.
  • Remember that the messaging for a new customer versus a lapsed customer, and across- versus an up-sell opportunity, is different.

Activate with Technology

Clean, centralized data. Check. Defined goals. Check. Aligned messaging and creative. Check. What comes next is the technology to execute. Your data management platforms (DMP) and demand-side platforms (DSP) are critical for activating and executing omnichannel strategies in real-time, reaching all desired customers, across devices. Having these technologies integrated with each other helps ensure that audience segments target omnichannel strategies by factors including demographics, exhibited behaviors and interests. Through these platforms, budgets, return on investment, engagement and reach can be maximized.

  • Consider audience overlaps when buying third-party data for “enrich” and prospecting marketing campaigns.
  • Reduce ad wastage by frequency capping.
  • Ensure that DSP and DMP partnerships are compatible and can satisfy any platform integrations required, with little to no data leakage.


Monthly Roundup: Top 5 Most Popular Blog Posts for April

May 4, 2018 — by Lauren Fritsky0


Happy May! What was on the minds (and search history) of our MediaMath blog readers for the month of April? See below for a recap of the most read blog posts for the month.

  1. How Omnichannel Drives Business Results
  2. 18 Programmatic Trends for 2018
  3. Incrementality is the Best Way to Prove Your Advertising is Working. Here’s How to Measure It
  4. IAB Europe’s New GDPR Transparency and Consent Framework – A Unique Opportunity for Publishers
  5. Gathering with Purpose in a Time of Uncertainty: The Network Advertising Initiative 2018 Member Summit


How REA Group Uses Adtech to Deepen Customer Reach, Engagement

April 23, 2018 — by Lauren Fritsky0


Earlier this year, we released a case study on our work with REA Group to increase targeting accuracy and improve audience scale through a DSP+DMP implementation. Last week, interviewed Braden Clarke, who’s head of audience solutions and automated trading at REA Group, about their work with MediaMath. See an excerpt of the coverage below and read the full-length case study here.

REA Group’s Braden Clarke is laser-focused on audience management and automated trading and using the latest adtech and martech solutions to drive brand and direct response outcomes for buyers and sellers alike.

REA Group operates Australia’s property websites and real estate websites in Europe, Asia and the US. Clarke, who’s head of audience solutions and automated trading, is on a mission to deliver better customer experiences by pumping up engagement, and recently deployed MediaMath’s unified platform to enhance audience reach and engagement and deliver better outcomes.

MediaMath provides programmatic marketing technology including data management platforms, omni-channel DSP, audiences, supply and intelligence.

Since joining REA in 2009, Clarke has built out a programmatic operation that spans supply side as a publisher; and demand side as both a brand advertiser and independent trading desk.

Focused on activation of first-party data assets, REA’s Audience Solutions team creates opportunities for brands to reach a targeted, qualified property audience across both the site’s inventory and the broader Web. This includes solutions for REA brands across Australia and Asia, as well as bespoke executions for REA’s advertiser and agency partners.

Clarke said the adoption of the MediaMath solution delivers a couple of primary use cases, all centred around activating the company’s audience data.

It is using a combination of MediaMath DMP and DSP, and also using the Data Mining Console – which is  DMP’s advanced analytics product and part of the DMP that allows for mass audience segment generation.

“The first use case is for our own brand and marketing, the REA brand, to drive both the brand awareness and direct response outcomes for REA’s various product sets. So whether that be residential listings or our home loan products or commercial listings,” he explained. 

The second use case is around the commercialisation of audience insights. “How do we take what we know about property seekers and use those insights to drive value for our customers – whether those be real estate agents, property developers or banks and insurance or other company stakeholders?”

Overall, Clarke said optimising through adtech has resulted in cost efficiency thanks to accessing inventory effectively at great rates and great scale.

“One of the things that’s really important for us is to be really close to our data. The MediaMath platform allows us to integrate really closely with how the decision works and what users we’re going to targeting for advertising so we can onboard the insights that we can drive from our data science behavioural communications team to drive those better outcomes,” he said. 

Read the rest of the article here.


IAB Europe’s New GDPR Transparency and Consent Framework – A Unique Opportunity for Publishers

April 17, 2018 — by Lewis Rothkopf0


The Tech Specs for the Transparency and Consent Framework are now live. We encourage publishers and their advertising partners to implement The Framework.

This post originally appeared on the IAB Europe blog. Read the full post here

MediaMath believes that the GDPR embraces one of our core beliefs: that respecting consumer privacy is a necessity and an opportunity, not an option or burden. Consumers have long been telling us—through opt-outs, ad blocking, and adoption of ad-free subscription services—that they are unhappy with the current state of advertising. This unhappiness stems from the perception that advertising is not balancing its capacity to provide engaging and informative content with the obligation to provide consumers with transparency about, and control over, their digital experience. For these reasons, the GDPR creates a valuable opportunity by encouraging advertisers to form more explicit relationships with consumers and provide advertising that they can feel good about, interact with in more meaningful ways, and trust.

Over the last 12 months, IAB Europe has developed a Transparency & Consent Framework (the Framework) in consultation with stakeholders across the industry which helps website operators become GDPR-ready. The Framework offers publishers new tools to provide transparency into the digital advertising ecosystem on which they rely to help monetise their service. Specifically, consumers are provided with clear information about data use by the publisher and its trusted partners. Another benefit for publishers is that they can collect higher rates from data-based buys, leading to increased revenue.

Additionally, the Framework offers the advertising ecosystem a common language by which to communicate consumer choices around the processing of their data for advertising and other purposes. The Framework is the best mechanism on the table today for advancing the ecosystem in a manner that benefits all stakeholders, including consumers.

Having been through a public consultation period which ended on 8 April, the final version of the Framework is set to launch mid-April 2018. (For more information and resources, visit the dedicated website here.) The registration process is now open for Vendors and Consent Management Providers to apply for approved status in the context of the Framework.


MediaMath Weighs in on eMarketer’s US Native Digital Display Advertising Forecast

April 13, 2018 — by Lauren Fritsky0

In the US, native advertising makes up more than half of all digital display spending, with spend to increase 31 over 2017. Nicole Perrin of eMarketer published her report US Native Digital Display Advertising Forecast this week and included commentary on the native landscape by Lewis Rothkopf, our general manager of media and growth channels. Here is what he had to say.

“It is relatively easy to execute sponsored links in the native programmatic context. It’s relatively easy to cross-pollinate different article pages with other stories you might find interesting,” said Lewis Rothkopf, general manager of media and growth channels at programmatic tech provider MediaMath. “It’s relatively hard to execute native interactive formats across the programmatic supply landscape, but there are companies that are doing it. It just requires quite a bit more innovation in how you take something that is bespoke-feeling and bespoke-looking and be able to address it just like any other addressable media. But there’s no question in my mind that that is where the future is.”


Cision and MediaMath Unite Paid AND Earned Media Through New Partnership

March 7, 2018 — by Greg Williams0


For years, MediaMath has championed the convergence of paid, owned and earned media as the marketer’s holy grail of enabling cohesive communication to consumers through every marketing touchpoint.  The possibility of that convergence lies in the integration of technology and math. While the connection between paid and owned has long been underway, there has been, up until now, a missed opportunity to tie earned media into the equation—not only to drive better marketing results, but also to reach consumers across every channel.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce MediaMath’s partnership with Cision (NYSE: CISN), the world’s leading provider of earned media software for public relations and marketing communications professionals.  Our partnership with Cision is built around the belief that the best way for marketers to engage their customers is through all media channels—paid, owned and earned—in a seamless, cohesive way.  It is this full view of the consumer that is core to our partnership.  Comms professionals who distribute their PR through Cision’s software will now be able to reach those same users through paid media strategies, amplify their earned content and derive insights to both grow those targeted audiences in size and scale and bring ROI accountability to external communications.

The partnership allows marketers to:

  • Optimize digital advertising with earned media audiences: Marketers get access to earned media audience data to inform how they make buying decisions in paid media to deliver relevant, engaging conversations with consumers across all channels, driving desired customer outcomes that lead to improved ROI.
  • Gain insight into omnichannel audience analytics: By bridging earned and paid media, marketers can now connect different marketing channels with attribution systems to effectively measure how consumers are interacting with each touchpoint across a campaign.
  • Amplify earned media with paid media tactics: Communications professionals can extend their earned media efforts with paid media tactics such as amplification of a press release or earned media pickup through paid channels, earned media retargeting or guaranteed news views.

Prior to this partnership, comms professionals were not able to measure and attribute business results for their earned media efforts.  From this day forward, marketers will be empowered to solve this ROI challenge and leverage earned audiences to drive holistic profiles of customers that can be activated in an integrated, omnichannel program.

There will be much more to come in the following months as we scale and innovate further towards the vision of complete addressability to enable marketers to connect with their best customers across all touchpoints.  Stay tuned for more!


How We Can Use the End of Little Things to Maximize Unique Value of Publishers

March 5, 2018 — by Lewis Rothkopf0


Like many throughout the industry, I was disappointed last week to learn of the demise of LittleThings, a great publisher that derived much of its growth from content that its users shared on Facebook. It’s always sad to see people lose their jobs, and for good content to go away. But based on conversations I’ve had with publishers over the last week, this one seemed to hit particularly hard. Perhaps it was because LittleThings, which didn’t take venture funding, had seemed to have cracked the formula for building a sustainable content business that wasn’t overly beholden to the idiosyncrasies of a single distribution platform.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Blaming Facebook for the publisher’s unhappy ending, by the way, isn’t the right answer – after all, it’s their platform, their algorithm, their walled garden. Their rules. Rather than trying to ride the next algorithmic wave (as part of any walled garden), publishers and app developers should instead take steps to maximize their own, unique value:

  • The consumer comes first. Without a meaningful and positive relationship with readers, viewers or listeners, content owners may be able to draft off of distribution platforms’ growth, but the traffic generated will be illusory or, at best, temporary. Monetizing content with advertising should seek to enrich, entertain, educate, inform and excite – never to annoy.
  • Optimize ad environments toward shared outcomes. Just as consumers deserve fair value in exchange for their attention and data, marketers should get a chance to tell their story in high-quality environments, using their own data and their measurement. Sharing information with buyers, like historical performance of the ad unit, or metadata about the user session, will improve valuation decisions and help ensure that each impression opportunity is maximized.
  • Embrace shared identity. As consumers move back-and-forth between different devices more so than ever before, addressing them with relevant and useful marketing messages based upon their position in the purchase funnel has become table-stakes. To do so most effectively, marketers need a signal that informs anonymous, privacy-guarded and deterministic identity. For all but the very largest of publishers, particularly those without user login requirements, building their own identity map may be impractical or even impossible. So shared identity platforms that aren’t owned by any single corporate interest are an ideal way to replicate the walled gardens’ logged-in user advantage.
  • Be paranoid about purchased traffic. Although the industry has made great strides towards the reduction of invalid traffic and counterfeit domains, the problem still exists. We’ve seen that in almost all cases of IVT, the impacted publisher at some point purchased traffic. Thinking about our own business, our zero-tolerance policy on fraud means that we don’t pay for suspicious traffic when we find it and, in severe cases, we discontinue access to the impacted supplier. Publishers should be extremely cautious about buying traffic, and should implement ads.txt if they’ve not already done so.

As we saw with this week’s news, publishers and app developers face a difficult balancing act: growing their audiences without becoming overly-reliant on a distribution platform with its own evolving interests or on purchased traffic that is highly prone to fraud; monetizing their content while protecting their brand and experiences; and competing for advertising dollars with much larger adversaries. By working more collaboratively with the buy side toward shared goals, publishers will be able to stand on their own, and continue to produce the content that consumers love.