Programmatic Training Roadshow in India

December 13, 2017 — by Pranjal Desai0


Programmatic in India is still at a nascent stage. Though the programmatic penetration in India has reached 38%, it is largely concentrated in very specific pockets and it still has a long way to go in terms of adoption. With regional concerns around the complexities of programmatic technology and the need for upskilling in such areas, MediaMath aims to bridge the knowledge gap and help marketers in the region execute more efficient and successful marketing campaigns by rolling out a series of educational initiatives across the programmatic ecosystem in India.

With the help of MediaMath’s training arm — New Marketing Institute — MediaMath ran an agency roadshow covering all things programmatic. The topics covered included ‘Programmatic 101’, ‘Data Driven Programmatic’, ‘Programmatic for Media Planners’ and ‘Programmatic for leaders’. The training was led by the Head of NMI, APAC Marrah Africa, Pranjal Desai (Country Manager India) and Zirca team (Mediamath’s exclusive partners in India). It was extremely well received and we ended up training 200+ agency folks across India.

The objectives of the trainings were multi-fold, the primary emphasis was to provide required knowledge to help align with the latest digital trends and capabilities to our partners. Smita Salgoankar, OMG programmatic, said “Continuous learning is an industry obligation. The pace at which we iterate our platforms should match the pace at which we educate ourselves. MediaMath’s training initiatives are helping our teams not only make sense of their platform, but the course of the industry on the whole.”

Secondly, there is a dire need for gaining clarity around the programmatic jargon. There are plenty of terms, buzzwords and acronyms in this space. We need to ensure that everyone involved is speaking the same terminology, allowing the various teams to plan and coordinate effectively. As Rammohan Pai, Associate Director, OmnicomMediaGroup Programmatic said “The training helped the larger team at OMG understand the scope from a non-jargon and easy to understand view, so that everyone finally comes together to understand what the strengths are and evolves their client side stakeholders.”

Lastly, a huge benefit to programmatic rests on the data layer. Data is generally a complex topic and it can be difficult to understand how to make the data work but the training helps to simplify a convoluted concept. Sagar Pushp, Business Head Cadreon, India said “The training was conducted in a very simple yet elaborate manner, taking the audience right from the basics of programmatic to current and future trends, without making it tedious or boring. We saw a great amount of excitement post this with our media planners and client servicing folks.”

MediaMath will continue to put effort in educating the market and building a transparent and efficient platform to help brands and agencies enjoy the full benefits of the programmatic revolution.


Get Ready for the Future: Marketing 2027

November 22, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


After a successful #10Then10Ahead campaign commemorating 10 years of programmatic innovation, we’ve put together an interactive eBook looking at how the next 10 years of programmatic will change the digital marketing landscape.

What can marketers expect in the next decade? What will be the biggest trends disrupting the industry in the next 10 years? And what measurement strategies will become more important as programmatic evolves?

Download the eBook today and get exclusive insights on:

  • Four visions of where marketing is going
  • Our top predictions for 2027
  • Curated content from our 10-year anniversary campaign



Lost In Translation: Gaining Clarity Around Adtech Transparency

October 12, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


This article originally appears in The Drum. 

Right now, ‘transparency’ is the predictive text after adtech.

It is the latest and likely the most enduring concern to hit the advertising industry in recent times. Adtech players have been scrambling to take the lead in defining to their benefit what transparency should mean in programmatic advertising.

In recent months a number of header bidding partners have flooded the marketplace — threatening conventional auction dynamics, launching products that promise choice and fairness through first-price auctions, and forming collectives that aim to work towards standardization in auction set-ups.

To make the bidding process more transparent, OpenX, has launched a new product which explicitly offers bidders a first-price auction option for buying programmatic media. Meanwhile AppNexus, PubMatic and Rubicon Project have joined forces to launch, an independent organisation with the aim of improving the performance of header bidding solutions for premium publishers.

Little wonder then that transparency has quickly become the new buzzword.

But what is really meant by the term? It can be argued that the meaning of transparency has been lost in translation. Depending on a key player’s position in the ecosystem, it can mean a variety of things. The Drum, in partnership with leading global advertising technology company, decided to get to the bottom of this confusion by comparing what transparency means from each of the key players in the market.

What does transparency mean anyway?

It is challenging to be “transparent” in an industry rampant with undisclosed fees, unfair auctions, data leakages, and agencies hiding rebates.

Transparency in fees across the supply chain: The seriousness of how money is channeled throughout the media supply chain and who eventually pockets what was recently brought to light with The Guardian’s dispute with ad tech firm Rubicon after claiming it failed to disclose fees earned from advertisers that appeared on the publisher’s site. An IAB study from 2015 revealed that less than half (45%) of programmatic revenues in the US reached publishers, while adtech firms ate up the rest.

Transparency in opportunity: In a fully transparent world, all parties have an equal opportunity to respond to every bid with no preferential treatment. Marc Pritchard has implored all facets of the industry to “come together, put down finger pointers, and solve these problems.” But cleaning up one’s actions requires full disclosure about their participation in the problem, according to’s chief operating officer, Namit Merchant.

“Let’s start by acknowledging complicity and the fact that programmatic can never be like the stock market it is often compared to because all of the participants (publishers, DSPs, exchanges, networks, and marketers) do not disclose how they operate in order to take advantage of the spread,” he says.

Transparency in placement and viewability: To make progress with the ad tech opacity problem, every player in the digital ecosystem needs to be speaking the same language. Ad placement and viewability rates need to be clear. For Ben Walmsley, digital commercial director of News UK, this means everyone should be clear about how advertising is measured.

“Transparency to us means that everybody should be graded by the same standard. There needs to be some clarity and consistency that applies to everybody and publishers have an obligation to accept the standards that they have agreed upon,” he says.

Tom Shields, chief strategy officer at AppNexus agrees. For him, transparency means being able to see exactly what is happening with your transactions in the marketplace, “where they go, if they were viewed, and who gets how much of the spend.”

Transparency in auction dynamics: According to MediaMath’s SVP of business development, Greg Williams, transparency is about looking at it holistically.

“This means looking at the entire supply chain and includes things like ad quality, load time, and latency that impact the customer experience. Is data represented in the right way? From the buy side, it means understanding auction dynamics, how you bid in those environments and what that looks like,” he explains.

If only it was that simple

But in the complicated programmatic supply chain, it is extremely difficult to be certain whether transparency is being honoured. As Williams notes in the context of fraud “it’s a game of cat and mouse in a system of bad actors that are trying to get around the system.”

Buyers feel plagued by hidden fees because ad exchanges and SSPs can use their undisclosed insights into the gap between winning and clearing the bid to arbitrarily inflate the buy-side fee they charge, on an impression by impression basis. This means potentially rigging the model of second-price auctions.

Moving forward, how can the industry adapt a more transparent model? For Walmsley it’s very simple: “The publisher has to take primary responsibility for investigating the contracts. Practices like soft flooring or dynamic flooring of programmatic pricing need to be understood and couched in a language that the buyer and seller understand, and are happy with.”

Merchant refers to the power of data — data that can fuel programmatic revenue and lead to significant yield optimisation.

“Your adtech partner should not just allow for but foster a practice of openness with data. A partner that gives you visibility into buyer and bidding data and works with you to build upon it can deliver real value. But that is exactly what is missing – enough players that encourage end- to-end transparency.”

To read the rest of the article, click here. 


Monthly Roundup: Top 5 Most Popular Blog Posts for September

October 2, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


Check out our most popular pieces of blog content below:


Always a Startup: 4 Major Brands Tell Us Why They’ll Never Lose Sight of Culture

September 12, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0


This article originally appears on Built In NYC. MediaMath talks about how it keeps a strong culture as a larger startup in NYC.

Many people we’ve talked to in the startup space refer to their teams as “families.”

But what happens when your family rapidly expands in size across multiple markets around the country? Much like maintaining any kind of long-distance relationship, startups can have a tough time staying grounded while they scale. Here’s how some of the larger startups in NYC have managed to keep their cultures strong.

MediaMath started back in 2007 in NYC as a way for marketers to engage in real-time media buying. Since then, the team has expanded to 16 offices across North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. SVP and global head of professional services Jenna Griffith joined the team in 2008 as employee number eight. The team is now 750 employees and growing. She told us what the team does to keep everyone feeling the way they did 742 employees ago.

How do you retain a startup culture despite having grown so quickly?

The ability to not only share new ideas, but also put them into practice and try them out within a short period of time was a major reason why I joined MediaMath almost 10 years ago, and I want to provide others with that same ability to innovate. My team has found success in keeping this culture alive through frequent and informal all-hands meetings, both in and out of the office, as well as consistent transparency to the team on what’s working and what needs improvement. Further, fostering global mobility across roles and regions keeps a high level of excitement and knowledge sharing embedded in the day-to-day. In short, the right people combined with a high level of communication, transparency and mobility has been key to continual innovation and a fun and open culture.

Why is it important for your company to keep its small startup feel?

One of the key outputs of a startup is constant innovation, which I have always known as a good thing for company health. Without fostering the culture described above, innovation can quickly be snuffed out by process, often leading to people feeling out of touch with the company and its goals.

What are some challenges you’ve faced when trying to keep a strong culture with such a large team? How do you overcome them?

There are always challenges when you are running a large, global team. People in remote offices can feel cut off from what is happening at headquarters. You can’t help geography, but you can do things to bridge the gap. Ensure regular visits by and to teams in other offices; keep multiple channels of communication open across email, phone, HipChat and other telecommunication and collaboration tools; schedule meetings at times where most global teams can join; regularly solicit input from these teams so they know their voices are heard from afar; and ensure you are developing and recognizing talent no matter which office they are in.

Read the rest of the article here.


MediaMath: On Track for Compliance with the New GDPR Law in Europe

September 8, 2017 — by Alice Lincoln1


On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect in the European Union. The GDPR was created to strengthen consumer privacy protections and contains a number of important requirements for businesses that collect and process data about EU and EEA consumers.

MediaMath has a long history of compliance with European data protection standards and is actively preparing to be compliant with the GDPR when it comes into force. Our Data Policy & Governance and Legal teams are working with external counsel, industry groups and other companies to assess the GDPR’s requirements and design the right mix of administrative and technical solutions to support our clients. We have also taken on an industry leadership role as chair of the IAB Europe Working Group on Consent, to bring together advertisers, publishers and technology providers to develop effective compliance solutions for the entire digital marketing industry. In addition, we have designed, built and deployed our products and services to help businesses comply with applicable European regulations while achieving true business outcomes.

MediaMath supports the fundamental aims of the GDPR and is committed to working with regulators and self-regulatory organizations to meet the GDPR’s requirements.  We will help marketers continue to deliver customer-centric, relevant and meaningful marketing experiences across channels, formats and devices, in ways that protect consumers’ personal data.

MediaMath encourages its clients to start planning for the GDPR as soon as possible. If you have questions about MediaMath’s approach to GDPR compliance, please refer to the Knowledge Base or ask your MediaMath account manager to share your questions with our Data Policy & Governance team.

Certified industry organizations, codes and frameworks of which MediaMath is a part:

  • EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shields
  • European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) and its counterparts in the US (DAA) and Canada (DAAC)
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, the US and the UK, and serves on the IAB UK Board of Directors
  • Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW)
  • Direct Marketing Association in the UK and US
  • Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)
  • Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG)


Back-to-School Starts Early for Marketers

September 6, 2017 — by Laura Carrier0


This article originally appears on MarTech Advisor. 

Back-to-school is just around the corner, and spending is projected to go up by 9.4 percent from last year. To help ensure advertisers are targeting and reaching back-to-school shoppers this summer, MediaMath put together tips and trends to help them optimize for their campaigns before school’s back in session. Laura Carrier, VP, Vertical Strategy, Measurement at MediaMath explores these tips and provides the best ways to fully optimize a campaign through an audience based, omnichannel, brand safe approach. 

Back-to-school shopping is the second largest online retail season in the US, after the winter holidays. It serves as an essential revenue generating period that can help retailers get ahead of their revenue targets before Q4. The National Retail Federation projects that back-to-school spend will go up by 9.4 percent from last year and 54.8 percent more than a decade ago.

We looked for patterns in the way that our best brands made the most of this fruitful season, including the way they think about timing, budget, media, targeting, data and more. Here are a few of the best practices that our advertisers use to get the most out of the back-to-school season:

Know your Audiences

It has always been the case that marketers need to understand who they are targeting to inform creative and targeting decisions. And the digitization of retailing has allowed unprecedented understanding of who your marketing audience is, where they are and what their interests are. There are two cohorts of back-to-school shoppers, each of whom exhibit very different shopping behavior. Parents of K-12 students are the biggest spenders of the season, responsible for a projected $75.8 billion total spend in 2017. They are volume shoppers that focus on clothing and shoes. The other cohort of back-to-school shoppers are the parents of college students, who are responsible for less overall spend at $45.8B, but have larger budgets for electronics. The average college student parent spends approximately $899.19/person, more than $200/person –  higher than the average K-12 student parent budget.

Marketers should understand which audience, or percentage of each audience, to target based on their product category and industry. It will inform your media and data strategy to find the right way to reach them, and should be essential in the creative that you use to reach the audience. Remember that you are advertising to very different sets of parents, even for the same products!

It’s Still Not Too Late to Start

The main back-to-school shopping season kicks off after the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but conversions do not begin peaking until around July 22nd, and they remain at their highest volume through the end of August. Marketers should plan to have their campaigns launched and at full force from the last week of July through the end of August.

How marketers time these strategies will also depend on which cohort they target – college parents complete their shopping by the Labor Day holiday, while K-12 parents continue making last minute school purchases all the way through October.

Summer is For On-The-Go Shoppers

The last place that anyone wants to be in the hot summer months is in front of their desktop, at home or in the office. During most of the year, desktop site traffic is significantly higher than mobile traffic. But during the summer period between July 10 – August 28, site traffic is just as likely to come from cellular devices as it is desktop site visitors, a major shift that’s sustained for almost the entire summer holidays.

If marketers are not taking an omnichannel approach to their back-to-school strategy, they are leaving even more money on the table than usual. Optimize across channels so that you reach people who are even more on the move than usual.

Understand the Importance of Digital Influence

Back-to-school shoppers overwhelmingly purchase in stores, however the influence of online marketing and research on offline purchases is continuing to increase. This is important for marketers to understand with respect to the ensuring continuity of conversation: if you are not speaking to your customers online, then you are missing more than half of the conversation they are looking to have with you, and you are missing the start of the customer journey. Not only do most customer journeys start in a digital channel, but digitally influenced offline store sales are much greater than all of e-commerce sales. Brands must understand this in laying out their digital strategies, such that they are building up their online and offline presences to act in concert together, not as wholly separate strategies. Creating relevance for back-to-school shoppers is about understanding that a retailer’s physical presence drives online conversions, and additionally their online presence drives offline conversions – customer journeys flow across the entire “phygital” world.

Quality Counts

Brand safety concerns should be especially important when running a campaign targeting parents who are shopping for their children, and marketers are becoming more aware than ever of where their brand appears. In looking at back-to-school campaigns, however, we also saw that ads served on premium, curated media had a 2X response rate compared to all media during back-to-school campaigns in 2016. Marketers should test some strategies on whitelists or premium media marketplaces to see if overall engagement and performance works for their audiences – those higher CPMs are certainly worthwhile if they are justified with higher quality brand experiences that drive conversions!

The second largest shopping season is nothing to sneer at – summertime is a perfect period for retailers to get ahead of their revenue targets ahead of Q4. Also, since the holiday season is just around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to implement new technologies and sharpen best practices.