Dmexco 2018: An Insider’s Guide

August 21, 2018 — by Viktor Zawadzki0


If this is your first year attending Dmexco, you’re not alone. This year, 40,000 visitors are expected — about 10,000 more than last year. Some 1,000 exhibitors and more than 500 speakers are also going to be there.

Considering its size, the Cologne, Germany-based Dmexco, held on Sept. 12-13, is a logistical challenge. But it’s also an increasingly important industry event. For many, the show is a vehicle for continuing conversations started at Cannes. At Cannes, you might begin making plans, but at Dmexco you make sure that the plans are in motion.

Beyond those discussions, there’s a lot to explore as well. To get the most of out of the show, here are some tips from a veteran attendee:

  • Scope it out beforehand: You can’t just parachute into Dmexco. You need to research beforehand and identify interesting companies that you want to meet and which help company goals and solve your problems. The alternative—ambling around the trade show floor—is a poor substitute. There is little correlation between the impression that a company’s stand makes at the show and the value of the company itself. Guess what, most companies are great at putting the latest buzzwords on their booth—separating the wheat from the chaff is becoming more and more complex over the last years.
  • Schedule smart: Schedule meetings and plan for breaks. If you are at Dmexco to initiate business, use the Dmexco app to navigate as well as schedule meetings. If you don’t schedule, you’re likely to find that everyone who booked a stand already has a full schedule. It will be hard to find the best representative from the company.
  • Brush up on the following topics: Last year, the implementation of the GDPR was a major preoccupation. This year, expect discussions about artificial intelligence, voice, programmatic and, yes, the GDPR again.
  • Be considerate: From an exhibitor’s point of view, trade shows are draining, expensive affairs. Exhibitors are under pressure to make the most of their time and prove ROI. Be conscious of their time and aim for high-quality conversations and interactions.
  • Party—if you want: If you are below 30 (or maybe even 35?) and want to party-hop, then you’ve come to the right place. Most visitors prefer either OM Club, Online Marketing Rockstars or the official Dmexco party.
  • Book your rides in advance: Getting a cab in an acceptable time frame at Dmexco is usually wishful thinking.
  • Book your accommodation far, far in advance: It’s a good idea to book for 2019 as soon as you leave this year’s show.
  • Check out MediaMath’s booth: We’re at Hall 6.1, Aisle D, No: D041!


Connected TV Plays To Upper And Lower Funnel Metrics: MediaMath’s Fisher

July 20, 2018 — by MediaMath0


Mike Fisher joined MediaMath almost a year ago to head up our video and Advanced TV and video efforts. He recently sat down with to talk about the space and what MediaMath is doing to position itself to capitalize on these channels in the years to come. An excerpt from his interview is below.

While connected TV definitely is the “low-hanging fruit for what we’re doing at MediaMath today,” within three to five years all linear impressions will become one-to-one addressable and targetable through the rise of IP video, “so we want to be well positioned to be able to play in that space as well.”

MediaMath doesn’t buy or arbitrage TV inventory. Rather, it sees itself as the connection point between buyers and sellers, according to Fisher.

“We’ve curated our list of supply sources that we do most of our transactions with down to, say, the top twenty percent of supply sources that drive eighty percent of the meaningful impressions that marketers are looking for,” he says.

Those sources include five network groups and three big virtual MVPD services in a fraud-free environment. “We’re never more than one hop away from the end seller,” Fisher adds.

MediaMath’s pitch to traditional TV buyers is one of reach and frequency and how they can shift a portion of their spend “to the same inventory and the same viewer model and the same screen they know how to buy but doing it in a smarter, more measurable way.”

The company tells the same story to digital buyers but with a twist since they already know how to buy audiences, measurable impressions and retargeted campaigns. “For the first time, a digital buyer has the ability to transact on the biggest most trusted screen in the house in a way that they know how to do and in a way that fits into their business model.”


Unlocking the Full Potential of Programmatic via Customized Technology Solutions

July 19, 2018 — by Wade Ware0


To get the best performance from programmatic marketing, it often requires integrating two or more distinct platforms to enable unified campaign execution. Additionally, every company has unique business processes that can make it difficult and costly to adopt off-the-shelf technology into its daily operations. Getting the desired benefit from an enterprise technology platform often requires customized service to ensure the solution meets the unique needs of the business.

Bridging these gaps is why we created MediaMath Technology Solutions, or TechSol, one of the five professional services that we announced in May. TechSol works across three different areas of technical consulting and custom solution development: Business Process Automation, Technology Integration and Product Customization. Business Process Automation solutions help our clients to embed our technology deeply into their existing business processes to minimize repetitive tasks and increase the efficiency of operational teams. Technology Integrations, among other benefits, enable clients to pull together actionable data from across the enterprise to amplify their marketing efforts and drive greater business outcomes. In some situations, TechSol also enables customization of our product suite to solve specific challenges.

Our TechSol consultants are experts in the MediaMath platform who help our clients to maximize their investment in our technology by discovering each client’s unique business objectives, current challenges and criteria for success, while identifying potential solutions before aligning on the best path forward.

A closer look

What does this mean in practice? Consider these client success stories:

  • A concert promoter cuts time to launch a tour by 99 percent: A North American concert promoter wanted to increase ticket sales for nationally promoted tours and also let affiliate tour operators launch promotions for local shows on a self-service basis. In this case, the client needed to enable rapid, automated translation and onboarding of its proprietary media planning template into MediaMath’s demand-side platform to scale up tour promotion launch velocity. The TechSol team worked to do this by reducing the need for manual data entry (which had been executed via an order form). The concert promoter launched 192 new tours in two months, onboarding more than 1,400 new campaigns and $1.7 million in media spending. In the process, it cut the time to launch a tour by 99 percent over the manual process, saving more than 2,550 hours.
  • An online gaming operator cuts campaign optimization time by 60 percent: Similarly, a UK-based online gaming firm wanted to save employee hours by automating a large portion of its standard campaign optimization process. In particular, the client wanted to reduce the time traders spent executing weekly pacing changes. TechSol’s solution let them apply scheduled changes in bulk and provided granular control to adjust multiple pacing levers. After initiating those scheduled changes, the client reduced the time needed for campaign optimizations by 60 percent.
  • A consumer packaged goods company increases audience insights by 20X. A global CPG giant wanted to supplement its first-party data to get a more comprehensive view of its potential audiences. In this case, TechSol integrated the client’s native video supply partner and DMP to activate a proprietary data-sharing agreement. User interaction data sent to MediaMath on bid opportunities from publishers in the partner’s video marketplace were categorized by standard IAB contextual classifications and exposed within the client’s DMP. In just a week, TechSol scaled the volume of data processed through the integration by 20X to over 130 million bid opportunities per day, resulting in over 14 million unique user data points provided to the CPG to power deeper consumer insights.

These are just a few examples. TechSol is working with many other clients to extend MediaMath technology to maximize business impact—the proof is in the results.


Dentsu Aegis Group’s Seiler Ponders Real-Time Creative, Evolving Technologies

July 2, 2018 — by MediaMath0

GettyImages-690224006.jpg interviewed Matt Seiler, president, brand solutions at Dentsu Aegis Network’ at Cannes. An excerpt is below. To watch the rest of our series on consumer-first marketing, visit this page

There was no shortage of talk about data at the recent Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. But beyond the purpose of targeting people who are actually relevant to particular brands, “when you get to the right people, what happens?” asks Dentsu Aegis Network’s Matt Seiler.

In this interview with Beet.TV at the Festival, Seiler talks about the speed needed to deliver creative in real time and the utility of such technologies as artificial intelligence, artificial reality, virtual reality and blockchain.

On the issue of speed, there’s some catch-up needed between desire and reality, according to Seiler.

“Once you’re at the right person, what do you want to say to them and how much can you change that up to ensure that you’re getting the right message to the right person in…real time. And I pause on real time, because I think we as an industry talk about real time as if it were now and it’s way too big a lag,” says Seiler, who is President of Brand Solutions. “So I suspect that the accountability will get to individual behaviors and as close to the time that you wanted to solicit that behavior as possible.”

He believes that artificial intelligence has “been around kind of forever, but calling it AI has changed our perception of it. I think there’s an insecurity around machine learning that makes us think that people are going to become obsolete, and that obviously isn’t the case.”

To Seiler, machines should do things “that people are wasting an awful lot of time doing themselves” so that they are freed up to be much more creative. “It should be much more around the story rather than the technology that’s required in order to develop and or distribute that story,” Seiler says. “AI I think is going to be really helpful and really disruptive at the same time, because there are going to be jobs that are displaced by it, as there should be.”


GDPR Was Just The Start: MediaMath’s Rothkopf

June 26, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Artificial Experiences from Human Intelligence

June 25, 2018 — by Allie Roda0


This article originally appeared in Campaign. Read the full-length article here.

AI improves human marketing decisions and capabilities – it’s “simply software married to math” said MediaMath’s CEO, Joe Zawadzki – but AI can’t succeed without guidance. As much as we are “training AI to think like a human” (so said IBM Watson’s VP offering management and strategy Mark Simpson), it still needs the human touch.

So what are its capabilities – and why are humans still needed?

Ticketmaster’s vice president of direct marketing, Jen Zick, explained that AI is able to digest huge volumes of audience data to help Ticketmaster and introduce true fans to the events that are most likely to interested them. Similarly, Perez Vite from Sony said that it helps “know individual customers more deeply” to deliver the best music to the best people at the best time.

Brands personalising offers based on past behaviours and purchases is one thing – AI is good at segmenting audiences to help brands appear to talk to individuals. But Zick said that marketers should now ask how to introduce disruption to ensure they are truly pleasing, engaging and converting customers. Zawadzki said marketers should think about AI in terms of automating creative, producing countless iterations of a creative idea to have more personal conversations.


How to Get the Most out of Cannes 2018

June 14, 2018 — by Dan Rosenberg0


It’s almost time to head to Cannes Lions, the annual pilgrimage to the French Riviera for a week of deal-making, relationship-building, and (maybe) a little fun.

Although on paper it seems that an event like Cannes could take place anywhere and the lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous caliber of the scenery (and cost to be there!) might make it hard to explain the trip to your CFO (thank you Cannes committee), it is those very factors that actually make it so productive. The high costs ensure that the attendees skew to more senior executives, and the high fixed costs and multi-day minimums make it more likely that those senior execs will stay for a longer stretch. Meanwhile, the beautiful setting and late nights lead to a more relaxed atmosphere that is ideal for building relationships, sharing ideas and plans, and setting partnership agendas that you can check back in on during marketing’s next big European event, Dmexco, in September…and then again a year later back in Cannes!

So, as you make your final preparations, here’s some practical advice to help you make the most of your week—on the personal and business fronts. While I’m far from a Cannes expert (this will be just my fourth trip to Cannes and the eighth for MediaMath), I do have a few observations on how to make the most of your time.

Think Big 

On the business side, my top advice is: think big.  Like I said, this is an opportunity to step away from the day-to-day, engage with senior leaders, and set the course for the coming year. What are your top themes for the year? What’s the five-year plan? Now take it up a notch—and then write it down in simple form. And write down what you can offer to and ask from your top clients and partners, so you’ll be ready to go deep during those great rosé-inspired conversations.

Also think big on your schedule. Don’t make it too jam-packed, because it can take time to get around the Croisette for meetings, BUT do stretch it out. You won’t want to start too early, but don’t be shy about booking meetings right up until 8pm. You might even find yourself booking two dinners—a 9pm and an 11pm (the latter is the normal dinner time in this part of the world anyway).

Hydrate but don’t water down your day 

On the personal side, don’t forget the basics: drink plenty of water (no, rosé doesn’t count), wear comfortable shoes (the Croisette is best navigated on foot), bring a spare phone battery, and don’t forget the sunscreen. It can be tough to get around, so build in some travel time between meetings—and don’t count on getting back to your room/Airbnb during the day. Again, max it out.  Finally, take a few minutes now to actually RSVP to those party invites you’ve been receiving. You might be surprised, but security has gotten serious in the last few years, and if you’re not on the list, it’s tough to get in.

As Karen so aptly wrote in her post, events like Cannes are changing out of necessity given the climate of both advertising and the world. It is not all business and fun. It’s also about having a dialogue that moves the needle on how to get better as an industry, how to treat all populations that both deliver and engage in advertising in a respectful, inclusive way. It’s time to get serious—even in a place like Cannes—and do the good we know we can, as business people, as marketers, as humans. Are you game?


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.