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MediaMath Continues to Bring Unmatched Transparency to Digital Advertising with New SOURCE Ecosystem Scorecard

October 20, 2020 — by MediaMath

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Two Octobers ago, we released an open letter to 50 SSPs saying we’d stop buying from them if they played games that contributed to unfair, murky programmatic auctions. Almost a year to the day later in 2019, we took another huge step towards greater transparency with the unveiling of SOURCE, our effort to build a programmatic ecosystem that is accountable, addressable and aligned. And today, two weeks after celebrating SOURCE’s first birthday, we are releasing a new SOURCE Ecosystem Scorecard to continue our quest to offer unmatched transparency in the supply chain.

“With SOURCE, we set out to address some of the biggest issues facing the industry—to create an environment that is accountable and addressable, and to align the interests of brands, agencies, publishers and technology providers,” said MediaMath Founder and CEO Joe Zawadzki. “The SOURCE Ecosystem Scorecard continues to make good on that promise and is truly a Holy Grail for the industry— a configurable setting that provides brands and agencies with unparalleled data and transparency, giving them confidence in where their advertising dollars go regardless of the channel.”

The Scorecard has nine, equally weighted data signals that are split across Accountability, Addressability and Alignment and tally up to a final score across all ecosystem partners which directly leads to increased buyer value. Currently, the average score for the 82 participating SSPs is a 7 out of 10. We wouldn’t expect a perfect score of any SSP—that’s not the purpose of the Scorecard. Instead, we want the Scorecard to provide an incentive and roadmap for our partners to pursue a more  transparent ecosystem in which we provide measurable value and collectively empower advertisers to make better, more informed decisions.

ACCOUNTABLE

  • Fee Transparency Method: To achieve a top score, partners must provide complete transparency into supply chain costs so customers can understand the true value of every impression and create data-driven optimization strategies.
  • Supply Authorization: Partners with the top scores provide impression-level seller data and publisher path transparency to inform data-driven enterprise and campaign-level SPO strategies.
  • Inventory Type: Top scoring partners enable granular inventory and placement targeting, target instream instead of outstream video and define skippable vs. non-skippable video access.

ADDRESSABLE

  • Fraud & Invalid Traffic: Top scoring partners for this signal have 100% of their supply filtered by White Ops for pre-bid IVT, provide free fraud protection for buyers, have no post-campaign IVT claw backs necessary and no undelivered marketing budgets due to IVT.
  • Preferred Identity: Partners with top scores here will provide an increased find rate to customers by transacting on multiple common IDs and measuring consistently so they can attribute at the person and household-levels.
  • Unique Channel Identifiers: Partners who exhibit this signal use appropriate identifiers for channels such as CTV and ensure omnichannel reach to audiences across devices.

ALIGNED

  • Bid Feedback: This signal is focused on informing effective bid shading, ensuring advertisers pay the fair price for impressions and providing future support for auction insights reporting.
  • Brain Sync: Partners who exhibit this signal at the highest level better inform seller bidding algorithms and improve supply performance toward advertiser goals by ingesting MediaMath algorithm data.
  • Impression Counting Method: This signal is scored on how well partners ensure marketers pay only for impressions that have the potential to be seen, align counting methodology across the supply chain and reduce counting discrepancies.

A sample of the Scorecard:

The SOURCE Ecosystem Scorecard is available globally. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to your Account lead.

DataMediaTrends

Download our 2020 Holiday Guide for Retail

October 19, 2020 — by MediaMath

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For eCommerce retailers and those with robust digital capabilities, Holiday 2020 can be a success. Holiday sales are expected to increase 3-4% and retail e-commerce sales 44.5% year-over-year. eCommerce also accounted for 16.1% of total retail sales in Q2, up from 11.8% in the first quarter of 2020.

While COVID-19 quarantine measures abated over the summer, cautions of a second wave as students and teachers return to school and the flu season looms will prompt 71% of US adults to do more than half of their holiday shopping digitally this year. Consumers will also take advantage of options like click and collect, which eMarketer expects to grow 60.4% this year, with sales reaching $58.52 billion.

It is more important than ever for retailers to build a strong digital presence as consumers start their holiday browsing, carting and purchasing, likely even earlier than they did last year. In 2019, half of the season’s revenue was complete by Dec. 3. Encouraging earlier gift shopping this year will help reduce the
risk of losing share of wallet.

We’re here to help retailers plan for Q4 even as the world continues to change. Download our 2020 MediaMath Holiday Guide for tips on how to make this holiday season a success for your brand. You’ll get access to:

  • Holiday audience packages
  • Recommendations for reaching across device
  • Measurement approaches for both online and in-store
  • How to leverage native, creative and social display

Happy holiday advertising!

Data

A First-Party Relationship is Critical for a World Without the Third-Party Cookie

October 12, 2020 — by Jamie Penkethman

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This year has been one about embracing change. It’s happened on a personal level, a societal level and an industry level. COVID-19 has accelerated shifts that were already happening in how consumers shop and consumer content—take for instance the migration from linear TV to connected TV. The spread of misinformation and hate on social media has strengthened the resolve of the tech community to fund a healthy, diverse media ecosystem. And Google’s announcement of the phaseout of the third-party cookie right before the pandemic hit has brought the industry together to engineer the future of the Internet via initiatives like Project Rearc.

All of these trends intersect. When we call into question how we fund quality publishers to fund a healthy society, the value of ad inventory goes down without an identifier according to some research. The changes and regulation happening right now are designed to protect consumers, but if the media loses money, if publications can’t fund their journalists, the whole of society loses.

It’s important to remember that while third-party cookies and the type of tracking associated with third-party data have been the focus of consumer privacy concerns and responses by browsers, OS operators and regulators, the first-party relationship is too often overlooked. The first-party relationship addresses consumer privacy concerns and can provide the functionality that publishers and brands need for their continued success. Let’s explore why and how the first-party relationship can help usher us into this next, third-party-cookieless phase of our digital future.

First-party data: from direct mail to digital

When you think about it, we are trying to solve technical challenges so brands can do in digital what they have long done in direct mail: use their customer database to send product information to customers who have directly provided their data to the brand.

Doing this very same thing in the digital world is vastly more complex than putting a name, address and stamp on an envelope. That offline data needs to be anonymized, then associated to digital devices.  Just as the consumer has a relationship with the brand, that same anonymized data can associate that consumer to the websites and apps with which they also have a relationship. Thus, in a world without third-party cookies, it’s first-party cookies and anonymized emails that can build links across websites and devices.

Hashed email for the win

Hashed email, other types of user authentication and first-party cookies will enable the association of a person across sites and devices. Here’s how this looks in practice:

  • A person logs into a website or submits their email.
  • The email is encrypted into a pseudo-anonymized double hashed and salted email which cannot be decrypted and associated back the original email.
  • When that person logs into another site or app, that hashed email can be used to identify that as the same person.
  • It can work on different sites in the same browser, or on another device, including mobile.

The key is transparency into how first-party data is used and respect for consumer privacy preferences. All of it is based on the first-party relationship that a person has with the brands and publishers whom they allow to use their data.

Stepping into the future

There will remain much uncertainty as events like COVID-19 persist and we march toward 2022 when the third-party cookie will be a thing of the past. In the case of both societal and industry events, we will continually be asked to embrace ongoing change and move away from our old ways of thinking and behaving in addition to obsolete technology and processes. Getting back to the essence of our relationship with consumers and the data they directly provide to us is a perfect place to start.

To learn more about how to prepare for a world without third-party cookies, download our whitepaper “Preparing for a Post-Third-Party Cookie World: Identity & the Future of Online Advertising.”

DataEventsTrends

MediaMath Becomes First DSP to Natively Bid, Buy & Attribute on LiveRamp IDL Thanks to Massive Identity Re-Architecture

October 5, 2020 — by MediaMath

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We are proud to be the first DSP to natively bid, buy and attribute on LiveRamp IdentityLink (IDL) globally thanks to our massive identity re-architecture that gives advertisers flexibility in how they reach their audiences across devices. Hear more about how this integration provides marketers a best-in-class experience for targeting and measurement in order to power premium consumer experiences from Travis Clinger, Senior Vice President, Addressability and Ecosystem at LiveRamp, in this Beet.TV interview below.

DataMediaTechnologyTrends

Programmatic Buying: Accountability & Transparency in Focus

September 9, 2020 — by Lauren Fritsky

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We are excited to announce our series with Beet.TV “Programmatic Buying: Accountability & Transparency in Focus,” which explores how we can build an accountable, addressable and aligned digital media supply chain to solve for the interconnection of brand-safe advertising, funding of quality publishers and consumer respect. Check out the first videos from Jeremy Steinberg, our Global Head of Ecosystem, and Tom Kershaw, CTO at our partner Magnite, below, and check back for more to come from IBM, LiveRamp, PubMatic, Tru Optik, Oracle, TRUSTX and MMA.

DataMediaTechnologyTrends

Accountability is a Top Priority for Marketers Who Seek Greater Transparency into the Supply Chain

August 19, 2020 — by MediaMath

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“There’s so much good that’s associated with programmatic in being able to make much more intelligent, real-time, data-driven decisions, but the supply chain is complicated and messy and hard to penetrate and confusing for a lot of brands and their agencies.”

Those words were spoken by Joanna O’Connell, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, in her interview with Beet.TV on the issues around transparency and trust in our current digital media supply chain.

In July 2020, MediaMath commissioned a custom study executed by Forrester Consulting called “Confident Media Spending Requires A More Transparent And Addressable Supply Chain” which shows that of 220 advertisers surveyed, 55% cite challenges working across partner ecosystems and 48% say having less visibility into costs and fees is contributing to less transparency in the digital media supply chain today.

Watch more in the video with O’Connell below and download “Confident Media Spending Requires A More Transparent And Addressable Supply Chain” here.

DataTrends

Independent Research by Forrester Finds Advertisers’ Need for a Transparent, Trustworthy Supply Chain to Prove ROI

August 13, 2020 — by MediaMath

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Whether it’s zero-based budgeting or a focus on profitability, most advertisers are feeling the pressure to get the most value from their marketing investments—especially amidst current global events. But many advertisers have been unable to quantify the ROI of their digital ad spend. It’s an issue that has been independently validated in recent reports like ISBA’s “Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study,” which showed that 15% of advertising costs are unaccounted for. In July 2020, MediaMath commissioned a custom study executed by Forrester Consulting called “Confident Media Spending Requires A More Transparent And Addressable Supply Chain” which shows that only 33% of more than 220 advertisers surveyed say they can demonstrate and report the financial return on their programmatic media spend completely and accurately.

The reason many advertisers can’t tie their ad spend back to their business’s bottom line comes down to a murky digital media supply chain. A more well-lit ecosystem is critical to informing advertisers’ buying decisions. According to the Forrester Consulting study:

  • 94 percent of marketers face executive scrutiny over how digital media spend is performing yet only 33 percent of marketers say they can demonstrate and report the financial return on their programmatic media spend completely and accurately.
  • Over 70% of respondents find media accountability, transparency, addressability, and alignment across the media ecosystem partner interests important to their programmatic buying decisions.
  • Marketers were most likely to say they lacked a fundamental understanding of the role intermediaries play in media buying today, which 39% cited as a top challenge.
  • When it comes down to what is contributing to less transparency in the digital media supply chain today, 48% note having less visibility into costs and fees.

Download the full study here.

We created the SOURCE supply chain with 15 key industry partners to combat these very challenges. With better alignment of brand and publisher interests in MediaMath’s SOURCE supply chain, advertisers get more accurate ROI calculations and improved return on ad spend overall relative to legacy programmatic—127% increased ROAS for one B2C RETAILER—and 15%+ more efficiency over legacy programmatic execution. Our supply chain has modernized commercial terms that hold each partner contractually accountable for providing incremental value within the ad tech supply chain. And exclusive data-sharing with our SOURCE supply chain helps put more of every dollar to work.

Consumer behavior is shifting rapidly toward an all-digital expression. Many brands will seek to take advantage of this opportunity, but with so many changes happening in the world, what’s the best way to proceed in 2020? We think digital advertising on the open Web executed through more trustworthy, transparent pipes is the answer.

Data

CCPA Implementation and the Future of Advertising

January 24, 2020 — by MediaMath

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As the industry works towards compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), concerns continue to arise about how the many new requirements can be completely met.

Our SVP of Policy & Advocacy, Daniel Sepulveda, shares his thoughts on CCPA implementation, compliance and how to build a future of digital advertising that is consumer- and competition-friendly in an op-ed on Morning Consult. Read highlights below:

“The jobs and wealth the digital advertising ecosystem creates and the innovation it fuels are worth billions of dollars. In the United States alone, digital advertising industry is worth more than $100 billion, with a significant portion of that wealth created going to California, the largest market in the country. For the last two decades companies that understand we need a set of rules in our industry have made a strong effort at self-governance, recognizing that not all uses of data or ways of getting it are ethical.”

“The CCPA was not written to turn back time and it would be difficult to articulate a regulatory reason to interpret it that way. Furthermore, the end result would be poor for everyone. It would mean that products (such as golf equipment) would need to be advertised on sites a person interested in those products would be more likely to visit (such as a golf site) regardless of whether the person viewing the ad is in the market for them.”

Read the rest of his op-ed here.

DataTrends

Embracing the Changing Cookie Landscape to Create a Better Internet for All

January 16, 2020 — by Wilfried Schobeiri

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Earlier this week, Google announced it will phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome Web browser by 2022 to bring more stringent privacy standards across its online advertising platforms and tools.

Before we go down the rabbit hole, it’s important to define exactly what wasn’t announced this week: a unilateral motion by Google to end the third-party cookie without a replacement. Rather, Google has announced its intention to replace the cookie in the next two years with a set of technology standards that gives end users more control over their browsing experience and privacy. Those technology standards don’t yet exist, and Google is asking for engagement from the technology ecosystem to work together to provide a viable consumer- and competition-friendly alternative to the third-party cookie.

Said another way, this move doesn’t mean the end of consumer identifiers or the end of personalized advertising and the companies that enable it. It means embracing the ongoing change in our industry and moving away from obsolete technology towards more relevant identifiers, as evidenced in our collective embrace of mobile and CTV IDs. The world is increasingly omnichannel, and any holistic identity solution needs to care about the totality of media, not just a single channel.

To come up with the alternative to the third-party cookie, we—publishers, advertisers, the technology platforms that support both, and web developers—need to come together to work with Chrome on developing consumer-friendly, privacy-sensitive technology solutions that enable: 1) publishers to continue to monetize their content through advertising—which for many, remains >80% of revenues; 2) advertisers to continue to market to relevant audiences and measure the efficacy of their marketing message; and 3) consumers to be more deeply engaged in the value exchange of advertising for free, relevant content while having control over how their data is being used, having confidence that it is being used fairly and respectfully, and having the right to change and/or erase it at any time and ensure it isn’t being used without their consent. Being clear about the role of the consumer in the value exchange between advertisers and publishers is more critical than ever, as consumers continue to demand and deserve strong checks and balances when it comes to use of their data.

We don’t think these three things are in conflict—in fact, our top brands and agencies and their media partners are increasingly voting with their dollars on a supply chain that stands for these principles. We also think we’ll see a growing trend of publishers and advertisers working closely together on bidirectional data transfer solutions. And we fully support Google’s desire to collaborate in getting to a solution appropriate for all parties. It’s with this same spirit that we brought together over a dozen industry partners to launch SOURCE by MediaMath, through which we are building a new, rules-based model to enable digital advertising to operate with transparency and trust.

On MediaMath’s part, we’ve been working on technology solutions with our partners that leverage authenticated user signals, first-party identity solutions, bidirectional data transfer, greater use of contextual parameters, and more to either replace the hole created or reduce the burden on advertisers left by the eventual absence of third-party cookies. We’ve maintained open dialog with several privacy councils, the major federal and European data governance bodies, the major trade associations, and the browser vendors, and we look forward to getting deeply involved in the technical standards work that’s ahead of us. In addition, the identity work we are doing with partners like LiveRamp and Akamai is fundamentally built on addressing these issues.

An announcement without a complete solution in place puts the industry in a precarious and uncertain position. We’ve been spending a lot of time over the last week at CES and in other meetings discussing our plans for the future with many clients, and we imagine others are, too. Like GDPR before it, we expect this anxiety will accelerate further consolidation amongst those who don’t have the resources to heavily invest in response to this change. We knew this change was inevitable, but Google will have to be careful with their next steps, given the antitrust risks that exist with owning the industry-leading browser, publisher ad server, search provider, video content publisher, and demand-side ad server in addition to several major demand-side offerings and one of the largest ad exchanges.

We will continue to believe that an industry standard that is neutrally governed is the best approach to solve for the interconnection of consumer privacy and advertising. And if Google’s efforts over the next two years can create a standard for all browsers, one that is both consumer- and competition-friendly, that’s a good thing for the industry.

DataPeople

Shine On! How 2019 IAB Data Rising Star Danielle Dzbanek is Defining the Reporting Behind SOURCE by MediaMath

October 11, 2019 — by MediaMath

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As we are putting a stake in the ground to create a 100% accountable and addressable media supply chain through SOURCE, we are proud that the industry is taking notice of the people who are making this initiative come to life. The IAB Data Center of Excellence has shone a dazzling light on one of our own. Danielle Dzbanek was recognized as a 2019 IAB Data Rising Star! She joins a number of data-fanatics recognized for their spectacular work and profound impact on the digital media industry in 2019.

As Director, Analytics, Danielle manages a team whose mission is to empower MediaMath clients by providing accessibility to and transparency into data through custom reporting, visualizations, and advanced analytics that lead to actionable insights that drive revenue. She is also involved in everything from pre-sales through to onboarding, from consulting to reporting and analytics. As part of our SOURCE by MediaMath launch, Danielle and her team are behind the insights reporting and defining how to test SOURCE campaigns.

“When we talk about the need for both tech and talent to clean up the supply chain and help brands reach the height of their business goals, we are talking about talent like Danielle,” said Eric Tutlys, VP, Global Head of Analytics. “She is curious, hardworking and does things without being asked. Part of her innovative brilliance has come from taking on things that are technically outside the scope of her role.”

Danielle is a 2014 graduate of our Marketing Engineer Program that combines extensive professional development, formal industry deep-dives and hands-on experience across roles to ensure that every participant has the demeanor of a leader, knowledge of the most fundamental to the most cutting-edge topics in digital media and, finally, skills necessary to tackle any role, be it trader, analyst, sales or others. After six months spent learning the ins and outs of the industry, MediaMath and its platform, Danielle was given the role of Data Analyst. She then went through a series of almost annual promotions to become a director managing a five-person team.

Danielle has made substantial contributions to the team since joining in January of 2015. Taking the lead on the bulk of revenue captured in North America, Danielle has touched nearly every client on our top 30 list. Danielle is continuously seeking how to streamline client processes, fill critical product gaps and craft an appropriate narrative while solving for our clients’ most critical business needs.

Danielle has been a cross-functional champion, working across Product, Sales, Account, PSO and Solution Engineering, and a truly masterful multi-tasker. Her balance across the team, our clients (new and existing) and our product is remarkable. Through the balance of fire drill response and proactivity, she brings a vibrant, honest approach to getting things done.

As she has evolved in her role, Danielle has almost single-handedly carried MediaMath Reporting into the future. She has been at the very front lines of ensuring that MediaMath’s product-based reporting not only as a means of delivery but also that the products themselves are operating as best they can.

We are proud that the IAB has recognized Danielle as a shining talent in our industry. Learn more about the IAB Data Rockstars 2019 Award.