Buying Programmatic Video? Remember 2 Words: Transparency and Control

May 27, 2015 — by Guy Yalif0


MediaMath is committed to creating an open ecosystem for digital marketers which allows them to customize their marketing stacks and drive outcomes against their unique business goals. Our consumers are marketers and advertisers, so in an effort to educate marketers about the most impactful trends, help them navigate the landscape, and share the unique perspectives of our partners, we’ve asked the CMOs and heads of marketing from partner companies to share their thoughts on their particular pocket of the industry.

Guy Yalif, VP Global Marketing, BrightRoll, a MediaMath OPEN partner, shares his thoughts on programmatic video advertising in our “Keep it OPEN” Series.

Programmatic buying is a powerful way to invest in video ads — as long as you have control and transparency into where your campaigns ran and how much you paid. When you’re buying video inventory, you’re usually trying to stir consumer emotion, shift consumer perception, and ultimately drive consumer action. To achieve that, you need more than amazing creative. You need to pair your creative with great science to efficiently put your message in front of the right consumers. That’s what programmatic, if done right, will help you do.

Buying programmatically using a DSP (Demand Side Platform) makes it easier to put your message in front of more of your target audience more efficiently. You can reach your audience wherever they might be consuming media, across publishers and across screens. Because each impression is optimized using all the data you have, programmatic helps make your video investments work harder for you.

For programmatic to deliver your campaign efficiently, you need to know that your technology provider is operating in your best interests. That means that it looks across all publishers, exchanges, and other supply sources, finding inventory that connects to your target audience as efficiently as possible. If it is considering anything other than your goals, your results will suffer.

To that end, your DSP should have no incentives, legal rules, or information that would cause is to act against your best interests. It should optimize to your best outcome, defined as the KPIs you’ve decided are most important. You never lose sight of your campaign results, and your DSP shouldn’t either. The term we use for solutions like this is “media agnostic.”

How can you tell if your programmatic technology platform is media agnostic? Transparency and control.

Anyone who is buying programmatically needs transparency into their video inventory buys and control over those buys. Earlier, I mentioned that one of programmatic’s strengths is the ability to optimize in real time. Without transparency into your results, it’s hard to fully optimize.

If your technology is media agnostic, you’ll know where your ads run and how much you’re paying for them. If you want more or less inventory from a particular publisher, exchange, or supply-side platform — or more or fewer impressions from a particular audience — your programmatic platform should make it easy to do so. You should then see exactly what inventory your message appeared on and how much you paid. Another way to understand if your technology is working in your best interests is to ask about all of the charges, up front and add on, you might pay. Ask yourself: are these charges aligned with your interests?

Ultimately, as a video media buyer, you should test. Did buying through one partner deliver better results than another? Were you able to reach the audience you were looking for? In short, did you achieve your desired results? If so, chances are, your platform is media agnostic and working in solely in your best interests.

Here’s a list of questions to ask about your programmatic video buying platform. These should make it easier to identify whether or not your platform is media agnostic.

● Can I control where my ads appear and which supply sources are used? Can I exclude specific sources?

● Can I see exactly how much I paid for media? Can I see exactly how much I paid in order to run my media, including all ancillary charges?

● Did I see great results on the KPIs that are important to my business?

● Can I see exactly where my ads are playing?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you probably aren’t getting enough of the central benefit of programmatic video — better results with greater cost-efficiency. Programmatic video can’t deliver that powerful advantage without complete transparency and control.


3 Ways to Integrate Video Into Campaigns

February 13, 2015 — by John DeFilippis0


This article originally appeared on iMedia Connection.

With the rapid rise of digital video consumption, marketers have begun taking advantage of its growing popularity to deliver advertising messages to a targetable online audience. According to an August 2014 report from Business Insider, U.S. online video ad revenue will reach nearly $5 billion in 2016, up from $2.8 billion in 2013, representing a three-year compound annual growth rate of 19.5 percent. While video advertising isn’t a new concept, the way tech-savvy viewers consume video is changing. This marked shift from TV to online viewing presents a real opportunity for marketers to incorporate programmatic video into their campaigns.

Video is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and relationships due to its ability to tell rich, compelling stories that deeply resonate with consumers on practical, emotional, and aesthetic levels. It also operates successfully as part of an integrated campaign that combines digital channels, such as display, social media, and mobile, as well as effectively extending the massive reach of TV to an even larger audience to deliver a cohesive brand message across all media channels.

For marketers looking to integrate video into a campaign, there are certain best practices to consider and pitfalls to avoid ensuring that the potentials of this important and constantly evolving channel are realized.

Know your audience
As expected, online audiences differ from TV audiences: With the overall immediacy of web content, these audiences have shorter attention spans. As such, shorter lengths, multichannel formats and interactive elements are often the most successful types of video ads.  Beyond that, it’s also important to dig a little deeper into your audience’s viewing habits — what types of content they watch, where they watch it, and how much time they spend viewing video content, etc. Online data can provide that basic information, including more detailed insights such as audience opinions on  entertainment types and advertising content, a viewer’s sphere of influence and how likely a viewer is to click on and/or make a purchase via a video ad.

Video campaigns should be planned as part of a holistic campaign vision and designed to support other channels to guarantee a seamless storytelling experience across all platforms. While repetition is valuable for building brand awareness, over-saturation is a potential problem with multichannel advertising, meaning frequency caps and sequential targeting should also be implemented across all channels. An ideal multichannel campaign presents a consumer with a balanced mix of formats and diverse yet relevant messages to keep their brand at the forefront of viewers’ minds, without causing viewer fatigue or risking negative brand perception due to irrelevance.

Optimize and attribute video campaign effectiveness
Digital video has been shown to drive high levels of user engagement; Business Insider reports that video ads have an average click-thru rate of 1.84 percent — the highest click-through rate of all digital ad formats. The key to driving that engagement, however, is relevance. Programmatic platforms and DMPs use sophisticated algorithms to measure the impact of these ads using video-specific performance data such as quartile-completion metrics, and automatically redirect media buys to focus on the most successful elements. Video lends itself well to on-the-fly optimization and on modern platforms frequency adjustments, targeting, and even creative can be made in real-time responding to users’ behavior and feedback.

Equally important to optimization is the ability to attribute results to specific channels within a multichannel campaign. It is important for marketers to be able to track and understand the role an online video ad has in the purchase funnel, particularly in the case of higher-funnel video ads that are intended for branding rather than driving direct sales. Marketers should seek out an attribution modelling solution that can track behaviors and events and give weight to the impressions that influenced the eventual conversion. Feeding this modelled data into a decisioning engine is the ultimate goal. This sort of execution enables marketers to reduce and/or eliminate areas of waste and maximize results.

Measure against video-specific benchmarks
Just like any other advertising campaign, video campaigns should have clear goals and measureable KPIs in place to gauge effectiveness and justify the spend. Marketers should be sure to set video-specific objectives such as exposure, engagement, reach, and frequency. No matter what the goal, the most powerful approach to achieve success is to optimize to end goal outcomes, not proxies.

Online video is a unique medium for storytelling and deep multi-sensory consumer engagement and more marketers are realizing its potential for consumer engagement, branding, and direct sales. Integrating digital video into your advertising campaigns is not as daunting a prospect as some might think. However, it is crucial that marketers who want to leverage digital video content understand that digital and TV audiences behave differently and must be engaged accordingly. That understanding will inform not only the campaign, but also the way in which it is measured, and will enable marketers to gain maximum return on this essential channel.


Big Idea Creativity Can Be Enhanced Through Algorithmic Advertising

December 9, 2014 — by Emma Williams0


As one of the fastest growing advertising channels in programmatic, video is the ‘big idea’ medium that engages consumers and encourages brand loyalty through creative personalised messages. A video can capture the emotion of its intended consumer with the right message at the right time, and make that brand more favourable in a moment. Because of this technology companies and publishers alike are looking to invest more in programmatic, specifically programmatic television. Just this week The Wall Street Journal published two stories on programmatic TV: The first focuses on Yahoo’s acquisition of BrightRoll, a video ad exchange. The second story, published today, tells of ESPN’s initial foray into selling ads through programmatic channels.

In a recent video interview with Vincent Flood of VAN, Managing Director of EMEA Dave Reed, shares insight into MediaMath’s video offering and how the ‘emotional connection moment’ can be tied-in seamlessly with advertising on other channels.

Watch the video below:



Have the Best of Both Worlds; TV Metrics & Digital Video Performance

December 3, 2014 — by John DeFilippis0


With programmatic spending growth predicted to remain strong for the next several years, agency and brand marketers alike have the opportunity to engage consumers  in a wide variety of ad formats and channels, programmatically. And video, as a channel, is only on track to grow. Online video ad revenue will reach $5 billion by 2016, and video has the highest click-through rates of all ad formats, according to Business Insider. As a result, marketers are moving spend from TV to digital video, with the “desire to measure the effects of advertising” cited as a top priority by the CEO of Omnicom Group’s media operations, when speaking about his clients, in this interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Marketers who know and rely on TV metrics, like GRP, but want the performance of digital video advertising can now have their cake and eat it too. MediaMath has introduced the Nielsen OCR App within TerminalOne™, which allows advertisers greater insight into the effectiveness and reach of their online video and display advertising campaigns. The audience reaching methods of TV and digital video, often dissimilar, are easily and effectively blended when viewing the daily reporting made available by Nielsen that is piped directly into the TerminalOne app. As additional campaign data points are leveraged with OCR data the in-target audience optimization potential becomes even greater. The power of digital video to extend TV audiences to otherwise unreachable customers finds a key measurement piece in OCR reporting.

Comparable to Nielsen TV ratings, the Nielsen OCR App allows advertisers to see audience metrics, like GRPs, from online video and display campaigns. Along with audience metrics, the Nielsen OCR app also allows advertisers to tag their creatives and generate Nielsen OCR reports in one centralized marketing operating system, without additional setup with Nielsen.

To learn more about the Nielsen OCR App, visit the OPEN App Marketplace.


The Future of Digital Media

November 19, 2014 — by Spencer Phillips0

Ross McNab, Managing Director of North America, MediaMath, presented at The CMO Club Summit in Los, Angeles. In his presentation, Ross opens by outlining some of the fundamental challenges that CMOs struggle with when it comes to their media buying choices. Some of these challenges include budgeting, proving ROI, and applying technology to the marketing practice. Watch Ross’ presentation to hear how brands are overcoming these struggles, and how software is the future of media buying.


7 Truths of Video Advertising

October 1, 2014 — by Spencer Phillips0


According to Business Insider, online video revenue revenue will reach $5 billion in 2016, up from $2.8 billion in 2013.  What are some of the video fundamentals that marketers must know to tap into this emerging channel, as spend continues to grow?

Lim Wan Tsau, business development director, media partnerships, APAC outlines seven truths in this Marketing Interactive article that will help marketers integrate video into their cross-channel strategies. They are:

  1. Online video attracts engaged audiences
  •  Brand and message recall are higher with video advertising compared to TV, and viewers are more likely to take action on the ads they view. Marketers can maximize the potential of increased attention levels by designing ads that require deeper engagement with the viewer instead of more obvious commercials aimed at a passive TV audience.

2. Viewers of online ads respond better to targeted ads

  • Marketers can access specific audiences and can target users based on their online behavior – for example, with the use of geotargeting or audience profiling, video ads can be personalized to the viewer’s location. Consumers are far more likely to engage with video ads if they find them relevant and useful, and are therefore more likely to take action on those they view.

3. Video ads are an effective prospecting tool

  • Recent advances in attribution modeling allow the impact of an ad to be measured at any stage in the purchase path, so there is very good reason to use video ads for prospecting as well as final conversions.

4. Online viewers crave new experiences

  • While slick, professionally produced commercials are the accepted fodder of TV audiences, online viewers are often looking for something different. Video ads that are reality based – using real people instead of actors and models, or ads compiled from user-generated content are both popular choices. Behind-the-scenes ads, or interactive adverts – where viewers can influence the story – are also worth considering.

5. Video is just one marketing touchpoint

  • When video is planned and executed in coordination with display, social, mobile, and other digital channels, the return will be greater than for a standalone effort.

6. Oversaturation can have a negative impact

  • Marketers should mix video formats and messages to keep campaigns fresh, and could even consider sequential ads that take a viewer progressively deeper into the brand story. Cross-channel frequency caps should be implemented to reduce the risk of oversaturation.

7. Video advertising is adaptable

  • Tools now exist to gauge the success of online video advertising against predetermined goals and advanced algorithms can drive automated decision-making – optimizing campaigns for different audience segments. Frequency, targeting, and even creative, can be altered in real time to ensure the best possible ROI.

To read Lim’s article in full click here.




The ABCs of Digital Video Advertising

February 20, 2014 — by Michelle Said0


It may be said that 2014 is the year of video. Sites like eMarketer predict that the spending for online video advertisements this year will exceed $5.8 billion in the United States alone. Which makes sense! Our lives are becoming increasingly reliant on digital video—whether it is via personal computers, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, or even televisions streaming online content. More viewers means more available impressions, which means that advertisers must join in or get left behind.

As the sheer amount of digital video advertising increases, so does the technology used to create and serve these ads, including programmatic buying. But how do you serve programmatic video ads without knowing the first thing about pre-roll?

We at the New Marketing Institute know how confusing these terms can be. Whether you are new to creating digital ads in general or just new to the streaming space, it’s vital to your success that you understand the language of video.

Here are a few of the key terms we will be explore in our Level 3: Video module, which will premiere on February 26th at 2p.m. To sign up, please email us at

Key Terms: Digital Video Advertising 

Asset: Also called “video asset.” This is the video content of a company, corporation, or individual that can be utilized to create or maintain some sort of financial benefit.

Bit rate: The average number of bits that one second of video or audio data will consume.

Companion banner:  Also called “Companion ad.” Both linear and non-linear video ad products have the option of pairing their core video ad product with what is commonly referred to as companion ads. These ads are commonly display ads, text, rich media or skins alongside the video experience. The primary purpose of the companion ad product is to offer sustained visibility of the sponsor throughout the video content experience. Companion ads may offer click-through interactivity and rich media experiences such as the expansion of the ad for further engagement opportunities.

Completion rate: The percentage of the video that was watched.

Compression: Reducing the amount of data used to represent video assets. Compressed video can effectively reduce the bandwidth required to transmit digital video.

Player: The online vehicle that plays video content and advertisements.

Pre-roll: Pre-roll ads stream before online media presentations.  Other variations include mid-roll, which stream in the middle of an online media presentation, or post-roll, which stream at the end of an online media presentation. Pre-roll ads tend to be the most widely used form of web video marketing.

VAST tag: VAST stands for Video Ad Serving Template, which is a standardization of video ad tags in order to facilitate communication between video players and ad servers.

VoD: VoD stands for video on demand, an umbrella term for a wide set of technologies and companies whose common goal is to enable individuals to select videos from a central server for viewing on a television, computer, or mobile screen.

Viral: A broad term, this is a buzzword referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives through self-replicating viral processes.


Five Tips to Amplify Video ROI

August 1, 2013 — by John DeFilippis0


Thinking about mixing a little video into your next campaign? Our recent tips for planning and targeting your video campaign will start you off on the right foot.

But what then? How do you ensure maximum ROI over the life of the campaign? To make the most of your video investment, you’ll really want to maximize your returns starting as early as possible. So, we have a few tips for you:

  1. Optimize the experience: Video is an engaging medium, but it requires the right viewer experience to be effective. For instance, a great TV ad does not always translate well to the online world. Take into account the differing mindsets of lean-back and lean-forward viewing. Spend some time and resources in the production of a strong creative asset, focusing on the right duration (:15, :30, etc.), quality of content (professional vs. UGC), player size and device type (with an eye toward how viewers will engage in each environment.)
  2. Use algorithmic optimization: For efficiency’s sake, your video campaigns should be backed by a true algorithmically driven decisioning and optimization engine. Let technology do the heavy lifting to determine what’s working, and steer spend in that direction. This is where you will really ramp up your ROI – with real-time optimization minus the manual intervention.
  3. Embrace attribution: Understanding what’s driving the success of your campaign is a must, especially with your higher-funnel video ads. And without a click to count, it can be tricky to assess how much your video efforts are contributing to your overall goals. The good news is that there are numerous algorithmic attribution solutions available that allocate weight to each impression and track events through pixels. The output will tell you which impressions have the most influence over the conversion event so you can adjust your overall mix. This is another opportunity to optimize, enabling you to reallocate spending to media that have been positively identified as ROI drivers.
  4. Measure video to video: You’ve clearly defined your goals. You’ve targeted by audience layered with optimal location, day part and context. Now you need to understand how well you actually hit your target audience. Consider using online GRP tools to accurately gauge your success and to compare your TV and digital video efforts for an apples-to-apples analysis. Age-gender/frequency-reach reporting will verify your efforts and inform any adjustments going forward.
  5. Cap and trade: Watch frequency caps and sequential targeting to avoid over-saturation. While repetition is important for building brand recognition, there is a point at which it can have a negative influence on results. Mix up formats and messages to keep your brand top-of-mind without going over the top.

As with all your online formats, don’t be afraid to make changes throughout your campaign. Adaptability is one of the great benefits online video has over TV- the ability to gather real-time results and respond on the fly with a shift in targeting, frequency – even creative. And remember, we’re always here to help you optimize your video campaigns to achieve maximized ROI.


Five Great Ways to Fly Right With Video

July 29, 2013 — by John DeFilippis0


According to Forrester Research, online video will jump by 23% in 2013 to a total market value of about $3.6B – with RTB representing 19% of that spend. What’s more, in-stream video ads have shown to generate a 4-6x+ higher CTR over display, rich media and mobile. Those are just a few reasons MediaMath is so excited about our upcoming video release, which will be live in August.
For many of our clients – especially those focused on direct-response – video may be unfamiliar territory, but rest assured that in the coming weeks and months we’ll be providing guidance and best practices for developing video campaigns that work toward your unique goals.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Plan holistically. Treat video with the same level of preparation, if not more, like you would any other campaign channel from the planning stage forward. Define your goals as part of your larger campaign objectives, including how you plan to measure performance of your video buys and what tools you want to use to do it. Especially if your campaign will be coordinated across other channels such as social or display and mobile (even TV) consolidating your reporting into one tool is vital. You’ll want to coordinate budgets, frequency caps, goals and optimization across all components – not in silos. For instance, managing brand fatigue is more efficient and less cumbersome when a global cross channel frequency cap can be utilized. Consider mixing up impression types as you set frequency limits, perhaps weighing more heavily toward engagement-rich video ads.

2. Segment creatively. Video can present new ways to segment your audience – be sure to explore and use them! For example, if you are collecting data on video completion rates you can target partial video viewers separately from 100% video viewers to tailor your messaging. Or consider a sequential user targeting strategy to manage the storytelling aspect of your campaign.

3. Let DR and video mix. Don’t discount video’s power in a DR strategy. Video is the ideal top-of-funnel format for prospecting, building brand affinity, and grabbing brand awareness – vital engagement that could pay off immediately with an action or have an important influence down the funnel when you go for that click. Similarly, be sure you are measuring your video in terms of the goals you care about. Attribution analysis will help you understand how much and where video is contributing to your goals.

4. Watch your context. Perhaps even more than in the display world, video advertisers must be mindful of both the good and the bad sides of context. With users spending more time watching your video and investing more emotionally in the experience, you want to stay clear of publisher environments that will negatively impact that association. On the other hand, rich and relevant content can work in the reverse, reaching consumers in a positive context when they are in an ideal mindset to explore what your brand has to offer. Consider using contextual targeting, brand safety tools or site list targeting to manage ad placements.

5. Target, then verify. Video CPMs are typically higher than display, so you want to really be sure your buys are hitting your target. Explore the various audience measurement packages such as those from Nielsen and comScore to measure your targeting success and make adjustments as needed.

Of course, MediaMath’s new video release will support just these kinds of best practices – with holistic workflows, a full range of targeting strategies, data management, and cohesive measurement capabilities to help you seamlessly ad video into your online advertising mix. We would love to hear from you! What’s on your video roadmap for 2013 and beyond?