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MediaMath and the 2019 IAB Leadership Conference: A Rewarding Experience

February 14, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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In a meeting with Joe Z this week at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM) in Phoenix, Arizona, one of our partners dated our relationship by saying, “Seven IABs ago…” It was said with humor, but the fact also communicates the importance of this particular gathering of the IAB and its members to our community. We date our progress and relationships to some degree by the passing of the conferences—and in an industry that moves at lightning speed, that’s saying something.

The IAB ALM was more than an opportunity for marathon meetings. First, it was a chance to recognize some of the great work being done in the industry, including here at MediaMath. Our peers commended our leadership across four areas:

  • A Service Excellence Award to Floriana Nicastro, Director, Mobile Product Strategy, for helping IAB establish a common framework for “5 Questions to Evaluate Your Identity Partners”
  • A Tech Lab Service Excellence Award to Charlie Simon, Director, Data Policy and Governance, for his work on the GDPR Commit Group
  • An Education Excellence Award to the New Marketing Institute
  • An Award for Overall Sales Excellence for a Small-to-Medium Sales Organization

It was like being Lady Gaga at the Grammys (which happened to be trending on Twitter at the same time we were live-tweeting the #IABALM opening).

But beyond the accolades, for which we were very humbled, we learned and grew ourselves. Conference speakers communicated the important message that we are in a new age of disruption on three fronts. First, direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have come of age and are disrupting the markets in which they compete as well as the way in which businesses use data. Second, marketers are demanding to get and know more from the advertising and marketing technology that connects them to consumers. Third, privacy is no longer an issue for the legal department, it is an existential challenge that demands the ecosystem’s full attention.

DTC disruption

The main stage at the conference opened with IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg delivering a flawless and well-constructed presentation of the disruptors among us (check out the IAB 250 Report to discover the most important disruptor consumer brands in U.S. economy). He highlighted that DTC brands are growing in ways that outpace incumbents in their market and doing it using data and digital platforms as well as traditional physical infrastructure and linear television. For the programmatic world, these companies are relatively new to the scene, largely dependent on Facebook because it is easy and it is what they know, but they are seeking alternatives and seeing the benefits of trying out different digital paths to consumers. Over time, we believe they will become key demand-side actors in the space, and we aim to serve them.

After Randall’s speech, he welcomed to the stage the founders of the wildly successful DTC brand ThirdLove. Their presentation was interesting because of how data-enriched their service is and the story they tell about how ThirdLove came to be. First the data. It tells you things that are at first counter-intuitive. The brand’s primary customer is not in cities, and it’s not all millennials. The feedback from consumers drives the brand’s product development and sheds light on things ranging from the need for different color undergarments to reflect different skin tones to the importance of women over age 30 seeing themselves reflected in marketing.

For those of us from MediaMath in the audience, we saw a kindred spirit in the young DTC company. It is up against much larger competitors, taking risks, working as a force for good using its product to help women and girls around the world, and investing and reinvesting in its technology as a tool for driving value for customers and employees.

From digital video to digital identity

MediaMath also participated in two important panels at the conference. Mike Fisher, our passionate advocate for all things sight, sound, and motion, participated in a town hall with SpotX, CBS Interactive, Hulu and Sony Crackle about the future of connected TV and digital video. He broke down the need to address digital and linear differently: “Video is video, but getting the right video creative and using the right screen for the right message is what you have to do…screen size matters and engagement matters.”

While Mike was in one ballroom, Danny Sepulveda was in another communicating our passionate commitment to doing right by consumers and the ecosystem when it comes to privacy. Joined by luminaries in the business John Montgomery from Group M, Townsend Feehan from IAB Europe and Doug Miller from Verizon, the group agreed that the business needs to plan for the new California privacy law as if it will go into effect without changes while respectfully advocating for reasonable amendments to the law for the good of the ecosystem as a whole. The panel was ably moderated by the IAB’s man in Washington and an old friend of MediaMath’s David Grimaldi. The other message that the panel delivered was that the ecosystem needs to invest in, rally around and present a better way to design law that does right by consumers without distorting the data-driven economy in favor of one business model or at the cost of creating barriers to independent ad tech’s existence.

Where to from here

No single part of the ecosystem is independent from the others. We work to serve each other—publishers, marketers, agencies and tech providers alike—and when we do it well, information is not hoarded or trapped inside a garden—it is distributed and shared with respect for consumer privacy to serve their market needs. We at MediaMath are committed to that value exchange and are working hard to deliver it within the construct of a mature, responsive and respectful tech stack.

We also know that education plays a critical role in moving the industry forward. It’s fitting that NMI just celebrated its seventh birthday (seems to be our lucky number). Having had an opportunity to connect with industry colleagues and friends during the conference, there seemed to be shared enthusiasm for our commitment to education and the acknowledgment that this industry is complex and fast-moving. Creating a safe space in which to have bold conversations, recognizing where the learning gaps exist and designing a structured educational framework that drives adoption of new technologies and digital transformation are critical components.

Seven IABs from today, we will still be there, having constructed a digital path to consumers that is simple, scaled and accessible to brands, from those with pop-up stores and a quality product of any size to publishers with engaging platforms on which to reach consumers.

About Lauren Fritsky

Lauren is the Senior Director of Content at MediaMath, responsible for creating, executing against and managing the global, data-driven content strategy that informs key themes and messaging across paid, owned and earned. A native of the Jersey Shore, Lauren graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia with an English degree that she has put to use as a print journalist, trade magazine editor, professional blogger and now content marketer. After a 3.5-year stint in Sydney, Australia and a 4.5-year stint in New York City, Lauren now lives in Phoenix with her husband and two children. She loves to travel, read true crime books and eat all the dark chocolate.

About Daniel Sepulveda

As VP for Global Government Relations, Danny Sepulveda joined MediaMath after spending two decades in public service, including work at the highest levels of the US government. In the Obama administration, Danny served as Ambassador and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department under Secretary of State John Kerry, where he traveled the world working on high-level initiatives including cyber policy, digital economy, internet governance and human rights. Prior to that, he worked as a senior aide to three US Senators, including then Senators Barack Obama and John Kerry. Danny’s role at MediaMath is focused on shaping, implementing and communicating MediaMath’s policies and practices around the consumer value proposition, privacy protection and public policy.

Trends

2019 Programmatic Trends By the Numbers

January 31, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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Every year, MediaMath puts out global trends on the digital marketing space from around the globe. This year, we decided to try something a little different with our 2019 Programmatic Trends By the Numbers—an interactive infographic. Users can click into each region or country to see trends specific to that area and also watch some cool animations of the data. Click the graphic below to get started. We hope you enjoy the experience!

 

Trends

Re-Making the Brand: Prestige Consumer Healthcare

January 30, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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We’re back with the next installment of our video series “Re-Making the Brand: People, Processes and Partnerships in the Age of Programmatic” in which we talk to marketers about how they are incorporating programmatic into their businesses and the value they are seeing. This time, we sat down with Mark Karlan, Director, Digital Marketing, at Prestige Consumer Healthcare.

“Our Number 1 goal is to make every dollar work as hard as it possibly can,” he said. “Whatever methods and technologies and partnerships we can put in place to do that helps us.”

Karlan said his business, which operates programmatic in a self-service model, is very focused on and supportive of change and has empowered him to bring in the resources he needs to effect digital transformation.

“We are very reliant on the support of our partners which goes a long way in how we make decisions and how we accomplish the ambitious objectives we’ve set out. The combination of technology and talent is really what enables us to be more effective.”

Watch the full interview with Mark below.

MediaTrends

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

January 29, 2019 — by Karen Chan0

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

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

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

How to get started

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

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

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

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

Trends

MediaMath Recognized in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Ad Tech Report

January 22, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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MediaMath announced today that it has been recognized by Gartner, Inc. in its inaugural “Critical Capabilities for Ad Tech” report, a companion to the “Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech” report published in October 2018.

“We’re delighted to have received the highest product scores in two of four uses cases, Campaign Setup and Campaign Piloting, in Gartner’s November 2018 Critical Capabilities for Ad Tech report. MediaMath also tied for second highest score in Media Plan Creation and received the third highest score in Campaign Results Analysis,” said Dan Rosenberg, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at MediaMath. “We believe it’s a testament to the innovative work we’ve done together with partners and clients over the last 11+ years. As we head into 2019, we will continue to collaborate with the ecosystem to build the next generation of architecture that connects marketers to their audiences in a way that is more effective, transparent and responsive to consumer needs and wants.”

The Critical Capabilities for Ad Tech is a market research report prepared by Gartner analysts that evaluates the functional product capabilities of ad tech companies. “Critical capabilities” are “attributes that differentiate products/services in a class in terms of their quality and performance…Each capability is then weighted in terms of its relative importance for a specific product or service use cases. Next, products/services are rated in terms of how well they achieve each of the critical capabilities…This Critical Capabilities research is an assessment of vendor capabilities based on past execution through July 2018, and future development plans.”

MediaMath was recognized by Gartner as a Leader in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech. The company was also recognized as a Leader in both the Demand Side Platform and Data Management Platform categories by Forrester in 2017.

Download a complimentary copy of the full report here.

*Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Ad Tech, Andrew Frank, Lizzy Foo Kune, James Meyers, Eric Schmitt, 28 November 2018. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech, Andrew Frank, Lizzy Foo Kune, James Meyers, Eric Schmitt, 11 October 2018.

Disclaimer:

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s Research & Advisory organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

PeopleTrends

5 Key Takeaways from CES 2019

January 18, 2019 — by Daniel Sepulveda0

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The fact that CES takes place at the very beginning of the year makes it a great event for taking a temperature check of the sector and using those insights to set our intentions for the year ahead. Partners, clients, prospects, brands and thought leaders all highlighted the two big trends in our world that we believe are undeniable and unavoidable. One, giant walled gardens are devouring digital budgets and gatekeeping access to audiences to the frustration of everyone else in the ecosystem. Two, the open web faces renewed scrutiny of longstanding structural inadequacies that hinder its growth and also frustrate marketers, publishers, partners and consumers. These two realities leave marketers, partners and independent publishers on the open internet and consumers with two poor options.

We walked away reaching the conclusion that as a participant in the independent digital marketing supply chain as a whole, we and our partners must continue to innovate and serve the best interest of the stakeholders that matter. More specifically, we took the following five lessons away from CES:

  1. The Consumer Electronics Show is a marketing event, and going was more than worth it. CES organizers realized that the advertising and marketing technology community were gathering organically at CES every year and created a dedicated space for us. They called it C Space. And it works. There are also panel discussions on hot topics. According to CTA, 87 percent of Fortune 100 companies had a presence at C Space. Instead of bouncing from coast to coast to meet with key partners and stakeholders, we could do it in one place while simultaneously getting a sense of the larger zeitgeist.
  2. Transparency, relationships and serving those relationships matter as much or more than the technology: Repeatedly, we heard in meetings and in the halls a strong desire for adtech companies to continue to mature to begin systemically serving the needs of marketers and their partners and publishers more quickly and with a true service mindset. We see this as creating “transparency to build trust” in the ecosystem. The sector can no longer expect marketers to spend money on advertising delivery mechanisms and tools that they do not understand and that provide no useful data back to them on meaningful business metrics and where spend goes. Additionally, partners and brands must be able to customize for their competitive needs as well as bring their own investments into play with ad tech solutions across identity, cognitive intelligence and supply. But they also demand personal attention and speedy solutions in response to inquiries. Adtech in general can also no longer expect that publishers will just sit back and allow ad spend to be siphoned off without good cause as it travels through the ecosystem to them. Every actor and partner in this ecosystem matters. We communicated that at CES, and we intend to continue to live it as a company.
  3. Identity is the key to serving consumers, and what matters is serving consumers, not just channels: CES was replete with discussions and deliberations about how to construct identity-based solutions for marketing, even as the pursuit of relatively new channels, from connected TV to cars, was excitedly discussed. We communicated our strategy to enable brands to respect and be relevant to the consumer by supporting the development of a single view of people, not devices, and an observed behavioral understanding. For that understanding of the consumer to be useful, it must be both accurate and portable as well as respect the rights of the user. People were excited to hear that the core of our identity graph is deterministic, while allowing for you to choose to expand further by activating probabilistic as well as brand and partner data. Accuracy in behavioral understanding is also important, which is why our MediaMath Audiences are based on observed actions, allowing us to ensure advertising experiences are mapped to these consumer actions vs. delivering poor, generic, disruptive experiences with too broad, third-party audiences that are not efficient uses of a marketer’s investment. And we are equipped to deliver in the multi-channel environment.
  4. Privacy was everywhere. From Apple’s clever, if not misleading, billboard that read “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” everybody, especially in the government and thought leader discussions, was talking about privacy. Respecting the boundaries of what collection and distribution of information is necessary for effective marketing—without being intrusive or disregarding the wishes of consumers relative to how they want to be seen and approached—is becoming table stakes for adtech businesses. And government is moving to make it illegal to do business any other way.
  5. Teams win. One of the joys of traveling with such a large team of MediaMath colleagues is getting to know each other, our partners and client brands and working together in an intense setting in various environments. In fact, of particular use for building a teams win strategy and one of the oldest ways of affirming relationships is to break bread together. We did that. And for the record, it was delicious.

Trends

19 Programmatic Trends for 2019

January 4, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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“We are riding the crest of a wave of technology that is changing the world of advertising and how people relate to the brands they love. It’s great.”

Our founder and CEO Joe Z’s parting words for 2018 will ring true in the new year as marketers the world over shift more spend to programmatic, streamline budgets across channels instead of treating them as silos and more heavily invest in channels like addressable TV. Read below to see our list of 19 programmatic trends for 2019 from around the world.

  1. The US accounts for 58% of global programmatic spending, or US$40.6 billion, making it by far the largest market. (Zenith)
  2. Almost 80% of programmatic ad spend will go to mobile ads—instead of desktop—in 2019. (eMarketer)
  3. Canada is projected to surpass $1 billion in mobile ad spend for the first time in 2019, with an increase of 18% year over year. (PubMatic)
  4. Canada is becoming a major programmatic video ad spend market, with a projected 24% year-over-year growth in 2019. (PubMatic)
  5. By 2019, the majority of the nearly $19 billion in additional ad dollars expected to go to programmatic display in the US will be put into private marketplaces and programmatic direct. (eMarketer)
  6. The percent of programmatic ad spend allocated to mobile in the UK will increase to 86.5% in 2019, compared to 60.6% in 2015. (eMarketer)
  7. Programmatic ad spending in Germany will reach €1.66 billion ($1.83 billion) in 2019, up from €1.44 billion ($1.59 billion) in 2018. (eMarketer)
  8. Digital video advertising transacted programmatically in the UK will increase to 75.7% in 2019. (eMarketer)
  9. German agencies predict that addressable TV will see the most growth in digital ad spending in 2019, reaching about 17%. (FOMA and BVDW)
  10. In 2019, outlays on programmatic trading in France are expected to reach €920.6 million ($1.02 billion). (eMarketer)
  11. Indonesia is the fastest-growing digital advertising market in the world, with an expected increase of 26% in 2019, followed by India, with an expected increase of 20%. Both are home to large populations of increasingly digital and mobile users. (PubMatic)
  12. China is the second-largest market for programmatic spend globally, at US$7.9 billion. (Zenith)
  13. APAC’s overall market for digital and video ads will be worth $US19 billion by 2020, with programmatic taking a 36% share. (Boston Consulting Group)
  14. Thailand is predicted to be the top fastest-growing country in the Asia-Pacific region for mobile ad-spend growth in 2019, with a 40% change from 2018. (eMarketer)
  15. Total digital advertising spend in South Korea is expected to jump 11% from $4.4 million to $4.9 million in 2019. (Statista)
  16. Latin America is home to three of the world’s most dominant digital advertising markets. In 2019, there are projected year-over-year increases in spend of 15% for Mexico and 13% for both Brazil and Argentina. (PubMatic)
  17. Brazil will be the second-fastest-growing programmatic digital ad market in annual terms in 2019, becoming only the seventh programmatic market to reach a billion-dollar valuation next year, with a 45% increase year over year. (PubMatic)
  18. Peru is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing countries for mobile ad spend growth in 2019, with a 55% change over the prior year. Chile comes in close second with a 51% change from 2018. (eMarketer)
  19. Mexico is expected to reach $5.15 billion in ad spend in 2019, with mobile accounting for 26.5% of the spend. (Global Ad Spending Update, eMarketer, p.4)

Trends

Re-Making the Brand: FanDuel

January 2, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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In the fall, we introduced a brand new video series called “Re-Making the Brand: People, Processes and Partnerships in the Age of Programmatic.” Off the back of our Tech & Talent playbook, we wanted to explore how brands are driving organizational adoption of programmatic and managing the change that it requires from an operational perspective. We are excited to share our first interview with a brand client, daily fantasy sports provider FanDuel. We sat down with Aaron Dugan, Director, Online Marketing, and Alex Kuwada, Digital Marketing Manager, Programmatic (and MediaMath alumnus!).

Kuwada says his company is already seeing results after changing its programmatic operating model.

“I’d say the wins to date are performance gains, tapping into new supply, audience testing, being able to work with the DMP.”

According to Dugan, brands looking to drive organizational change around programmatic must “understand your business goals and objectives” and then create “a structured roadmap as to how you want to get there or how you can get there.”

“That includes things such as the tech partners that you onboard, the media partners you work with and the structures and functions around your organization.”

PeopleTrends

Looking Back at a Game-Changing 2018…and Planning for a Big 2019

December 18, 2018 — by Joe Zawadzki0

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As our MediaMath family members gather around dinner tables and living rooms with their natural or chosen relatives this holiday season, they will undoubtedly be asked how it’s going at work. They may yet again have to explain what it is we do in the world of digital advertising and how, yes, we help marketers connect with consumers all over the world across all kinds of digital screens but, no, we are not one of the bad guys who keeps track of your private thoughts or who your friends are or stalks you, Grandma—that’s another company.

To help inform those holiday conversations, we thought we would jot down some quick thoughts about how things are going here at MediaMath. In short, it’s been an amazing year—full of ups and downs and pretty much everything in between. This year, we raised a significant investment of capital to help us position our technology, talent and partnerships well to ride the sometimes choppy waters of digital marketing and to continue growing and competing at the highest levels in 2019.

We’ve made significant strides building towards our product vision across identity, AI and supply over the last 12 months. Those terms are somewhat “inside baseball.” But put simply, it means we are progressing in how we help marketers and their partners recognize consumers on their digital devices, reach them efficiently and appropriately, show them the most relevant messages and enable them to drive real business growth. 

Our identity work centers on creating a global, open, enterprise-class, pseudonymous solution that puts the consumer first, backed by support for the IAB’s DigiTrust initiative and partnerships with some of the world’s most trusted and innovative technologies. We are continuing to refactor the supply chain for how an ad gets from concept to screen, with several key initiatives under our Curated Markets product line to foster accountability in media procurement and drive performance across premium supply, including our Guaranteed Viewable Market launch, updates to our native product and a commitment to stop working with SSPs with shady auction practices. We have rolled out further innovations across linear and connected TV, digital out of home and audio to extend the power of programmatic to new and emerging channels. On the AI front, we are optimizing our advanced machine learning algorithm, The Brain, now connected to IBM Marketing’s Watson AI tech to bring more quantitative horsepower into the marketing field, as well as showcasing our platform’s eagerness and readiness to allow other technologies to enrich it and enable clients’ capabilities that have been built on top of it. By partnering with the other platforms in which marketers invest, we can together help our clients reach their customers more effectively in ways those audiences—namely, us as consumers of content and buyers of goods and services both as customers and as clients—appreciate. Look for updates here in the first half of 2019.  

It sounds both technical and lofty, and it is, but it is also super exciting and will have real-world applications that will help make marketing that everyone loves.

On the talent front, we elevated some of our best internal rock stars into new leadership slots this year. Take Wil Schobeiri, who is now running a growing and joint tech and product team under one banner. This is a key point of investment and attention because, at our roots, we are a tech company producing tech products. There have been other promotions too, such as Jenna Griffith, now our Chief Operating Officer, Anna Grodecka-Grad, our Chief Services Officer, and Franklin Rios, our Chief Commercial Officer overseeing both our corporate development and client operations teams globally.

We also hired new talent like Jim Sink, our SVP of Global Partnerships tasked with forging stronger relationships with our agency, channel and consultancy partners; Danny Sepulveda, our VP of Government Relations who is helping to shape and communicate MediaMath’s policies and practices concerning privacy and consumer protection; and Jackie Vanover, our VP, DSP, who is driving our platform innovation to help our clients find their audiences at the right time, for the right price, in the right place, with the right message, to delight and drive their business forward. We’re aggressively looking to hire more great talent as we continue to fill and create new roles in our growing endeavor. (Just in case cousin Eileen is interested, send her this link. We hear she rocks.) And to help evangelize and build upon our tech to meet the needs of both brands and agencies, we both revamped our Professional Services team to further optimize clients’ use of our platform with more robust campaign management, education and consulting offerings and developed new and strengthened existing partnerships with major players like IBM, Oracle and Akamai across our product pillars.

What all that upgrading and evolving results in is our continued position as a top choice for clients seeking an independent, transparent, software-based multi-channel platform with a robust product vision and roadmap. Translating for non-ad tech insider Uncle Jim, that means that while many marketers at the world’s biggest brands and agencies are going through big media companies like Facebook and Google to send advertising to people, we have become the preferred choice for those marketers who want to work with a purpose-built technology company like ours that is focused on their needs and that connects marketers and people—and everyone in between—in a way that is open and enterprise-class. That’s why we got highest-in-class grades (the parents should like that) from industry watchers like Gartner and Advertiser Perceptions.

At the same time, we’re also finding ways to make marketing an actual force for good. We are part of the Pledge 1% movement, meaning we’re donating 1% of our time, 1% of our technology and 1% of our profits to support causes that we all care about. (To find out more about the ways in which we’re making this a reality, see our holiday card here). And because we know that those dinner table conversations inevitably turn to concern over how people’s information is being used, stored and distributed, we are working with our trade associations to more clearly understand as an industry how we can evolve to better present our value proposition to consumers and give them greater control over how they are observed in the market. These efforts range from helping construct the IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework for the GDPR to working with the FBI to take down a global botnet.

We are riding the crest of a wave of technology that is changing the world of advertising and how people relate to the brands they love. It’s great. 

So, after all that, from our family to yours, we hope everyone has a great holiday and prosperous new year. Now, back to dinner.

Trends

MediaMath’s Predictions for 2019

December 10, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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It’s hard to believe we are a little over 12 months away from the year 2020, the start of a new decade, a milestone year as we mark 20 years into the 21st century. With programmatic fully into adolescence, we expect to see the run-up to 2020 as a period to “Do Good, Better” (which happens to be one of our MediaMath values) as we learn our lessons from the GDPR, Cambridge Analytica, poor measurement and continual battles with fraud. From AI to identity, a few MediaMathers share their predictions for 2019 below.

Artificial intelligence

“From ‘omnichannel’ to ‘big data’ to ‘artificial intelligence,’ the buzzwords of corporate strategists, CEOs and marketing executives are once again making their cyclical ~5-year shift.  As ‘AI’ and its ingredients—machine learning, deep learning, facial recognition, natural language processing— become the words de rigueur of the next few years, we are going to continue to see Moore’s Law-like impacts of technological change.

What this means is that those companies who only talked the talk and did not walk the walk in terms of big data (and omnichannel) strategies are going to be left further behind at a quicker pace, as AI relies on big data.  And exacerbating this phenomenon will be the dearth of talent in analytics, engineers, big data and AI, which will lead to further and faster divergence between flourishing and collapsing companies.” — Laura Carrier, VP, Data & Measurement Strategy

“There will be a surge in the use of deep learning techniques by ad-tech companies in all aspects of marketing: customer ad response prediction, audience lookalike modeling, dynamic creative optimization, probabilistic identity tracking, fraud detection and optimal bidding. Deep learning models have been shown to be vulnerable to imperceptible perturbations in data that dupe models into making wrong predictions or classifications. With the growing reliance on large datasets, AI systems will need to guard against such attacks on data, and the savviest  advertisers will increasingly look into adversarial ML techniques to train models to be robust against such attacks.” — Prasad Chalasani, Chief Scientist

Connected TV

Whereas two to three years ago TV buyers were saying ‘talk to my digital buyers about connected TV,’ now both sides are saying we should be the ones to control this industry. There was about $10 billion dollars spent last year that’s forecasted to grow, and the industry hasn’t even reached full potential. We need to stop saying that this is the year of connected TV because we are already there. But we’re at a point where buyers are saying I want to be buying into connected TV and buying into addressable TV not as a value-add to their linear buy but as a distinct channel.” — Mike Fisher, VP/Head of Advanced TV & Video

Mobile

“Mobile is not a channel anymore, but the channel of the other channels. Mobile is becoming the centerpiece of overall advertising spend, building the bridge between online and offline through location data ( DOOH, TV, audio, desktop, mobile). We expect a big consolidation of location data providers—they’ll partner with DSPs, TV and DOOH solutions to win market share. We also expect location data improvement of quality vs. quantity as the stakes for accuracy become high with attribution and we dig into the correlation between visits and sales. From a vertical perspective, location attribution will become especially interesting for CPGs, which don’t always have access to sales data, and for retailers as an additional down-funnel KPI for them to drive users to in-store purchase.” — Floriana Nicastro, Director, Mobile Product Solution

Data privacy

“We’ll see continued/increased scrutiny of major first-party data players’ privacy, security, anti-fraud, brand safety and election-related practices, with expansion of that scrutiny to third-party companies, and improved industry standards to proactively address these concerns, along with emerging technologies such as connected TV and IoT.” — Alice Lincoln, Vice President of Data Policy & Governance

“I expect certain browsers to continue to restrict third-party tracking and advertising by default. This tips the scales further in the direction of walled gardens and further fragments advertisers’ views of their customers. This also threatens the marketing dollars that fund free and open Internet content offered by independent publishers. Up to 80% of consumer browsing could be in privacy-enabled browsers by EOY 2019.

I see the advertising industry finding technical solutions to defaulted private settings, and I see privacy advocates ensuring consumer preference is respected. Ultimately, I see industry engaging consumers with consent to continue funding the free and open Internet with advertising and commerce dollars. This is a global thing—it’ll be there next year, on the heels of the GDPR and CCPA.” — John Slocum, VP, DMP

Identity

“Consent management companies, customer data platforms and data management platforms will continue to become critical components for managing the interaction of consumer preferences, personal information and pseudo-anonymous online identities.  With DoubleClick’s decision this year to stop populating the encrypted UserID field in DCM and DBM for consumers globally, marketers wanting to maximize campaign effectiveness and achieve maximum relevance for consumers must now explore alternative solutions in earnest.” — Ellie Windle, VP, Global Business Development