MediaMath is at CES in Las Vegas this week to talk about how this is the year for cleaning up our media supply chain once and for all. We caught up with our Global Head of Ecosystem Jeremy Steinberg to learn why he’s excited for this year’s event and for what’s in store for 2020. Watch more in our interview.
MediaMath has made its 8th annual visit to the south of France for Cannes Lions 2019. We are still reminiscing about our truly inspiring week on the beach discussing the most cutting-edge advancements in the advertising industry. Relive some of those memories with us by watching our new recap video to see how we are leading the industry to an accountable and addressable media supply chain and learn more about our new strategic partnerships announced during the festival.
Almost a year ago, we announced our partnership with IBM to connect brands, consumers and all of the companies in between with infrastructure that is enterprise-class, open and smart while infusing true AI into real-time marketing. At Cannes, Dave Reed, managing director, international, MediaMath, and Mark Simpson, vp, offering management and strategy, Watson Commerce and Watson Marketing, IBM, talked more about how our partnership has evolved and what’s next on the horizon. Ron Anram, vp of media, Heineken USA, and Kevin Manion, chief strategy officer, Advertiser Perceptions, also weighed in. Watch the video interview below.
During the ad industry’s busy “events season” when there’s a flurry of industry events all over the globe, I had a thought: Why are we all traveling at great expense when we could have stayed home?
After all, programmatic advertising was designed to automate aspects of buying and selling media that used to be carried out by humans. Why is the human touch so important to our business of all businesses?
The answer is that there’s something intangible about face-to-face contact that’s essential to forming the deep relationships required to execute this business effectively. While that’s hard to quantify on a spreadsheet, it’s a necessary component of business, which means the ROI on these types of events is considerable.
Why face-to-face matters
For most of human existence, face-to-face was the only means of carrying out a meeting or conversation. This explains why our brains feel unsatisfied by videoconferencing or other forms of digital communication. A new book, iGen, about teens and young adults, posits that the lack of face-to-face communication in this group is leading to higher rates of depression and “the worst mental-health crisis in decades.”
Other recent research has shown that a face-to-face request is 34X more effective than email. The researchers found that nonverbal cues during the request made a huge difference in how the respondents viewed the legitimacy of the requests.
This research jibes with my personal experience. When you’re all attending the same event, there’s a spirit of comradery that comes from dealing with the same lines, inconveniences and stress of being away from home. Blame evolutionary conditioning, but you’re more apt to view the other person as an ally and look for ways to work with them. You inevitably see the person as more than a name behind an email. You can look them in the eye and gauge whether what they’re saying is trustworthy and whether they believe in what they’re saying.
Then there’s the convenience aspect. I suppose you could arrange dozens of back-to-back meetings from your home office, in-person or via video, but it would be a logistical nightmare compared to the ease of coordinating such meetings at an event where everyone is centralized.
So what’s the ROI?
Such concerns of course fall under the heading of “squishy humanity.” Programmatic is all about data and it’s all but impossible to quantify the value of a face-to-face meeting against the expense of travel and the opportunity cost of not being in the office.
Speaking of opportunity cost, the best way to quantify the ROI of attending an event is to consider the cost of not going. Inevitably, you will lose control of the narrative about your brand as others attempt to fill in the gaps because you’re not there to tell your story. You will miss out on connections that may save your company money or provide new business down the road. You’ll miss out on the gossip and strong opinions that offer a reality check against whatever execs are saying onstage.
Viewed that way, the intangible costs of flying halfway around the world to sit in a conference center for two or three days seems more tangible. Even a decade from now when we’ll be able to meet in VR, I think that dynamic won’t change. We’re wired to get personal. So let’s accept that as part of the cost of doing business effectively.
At Mobile World Congress last month, Michael Weaver, VP, Channel Solutions at MediaMath, interviewed Iliccio Elia, head of mobile DigitasLBi, on the importance of geolocation. The below synopsis of the chat has been translated from the Italian publication 360com.
Associating a user with a geographical location gives marketers the ability to answer questions such as “What stores did this person visit in the past?” and “Where does he go regularly?” Starting from this point, Iliccio Elia, head of mobile at DigitasLBi, and Michael Weaver, VP of product strategy at MediaMath, discussed the rise of geolocation as smartphone adoption soars.
“The location is becoming an obsession for marketers,” said Weaver, “It is certainly important information, but it is only one of the channels for understanding who you are trying to reach, what to say and why,” echoed Elia. The supply side, in fact, “offers different formats for advertisers, but they must be good at knowing which one to choose,” said Weaver. ”
We must interpret the mentality with which consumers are approaching the format, and to do so requires research on multiple signals of where and what users are shopping and browsing, and the content they are consuming. “The analysis is one of the keys missing to many advertisers,” said Elia. Moreover, “Your plan must be clear,” because without a defined strategy, “you are likely to flood the user with ads.”
In an ecosystem that requires omnichannel, mobile is the first touch point. The advice for making the most of it is, “Listen more. We must be patient and collect a body of important data. Only then is it possible to say what the right time and the right thing to say are,” said Elia.
At the beginning of this month, New Marketing Institute (NMI) EMEA held its inaugural Marketing Engineer Program (MEP) showcase event in London. We couldn’t have asked for a better first experience – whether it was through great guest speakers, valuable conversations, or Marketing Engineers telling their stories – we were able to connect with a diverse audience who shared in our commitment to talent and education. But let me start from the top.
MEP is MediaMath’s immersive three-month training program, which aims to develop highly skilled programmatic campaign managers with a solid grasp of the ecosystem and upon graduation, they are able to step into full-time roles within the digital marketing and ad tech industries. Our third London cohort is soon to graduate and the aim for the showcase event was to connect current participants with hiring organizations, from the likes of Affiperf, Omnicom, TVTY and Index Exchange, as well as to elevate the conversations with ad tech and media industry partners around digital skills gap.
The afternoon was kicked off by our excellent guest speakers, including Josh McBain, Head of Innovation at Future Foundation and Kristin Brewe, Advertising Lecturer at University of West London. McBain presented insights from a 2016 research paper on the education and skills required for the future. Besides the interesting data, two things really stood out for me.
Firstly, the future is defined by liquid skills and learning a new skill is becoming a form for younger generations. Secondly, while global technology adoption is only set to grow with the emergence of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and 3D printing, only 34 percent of young people in the UK are feeling ‘very confident’ about having necessary skills for a successful career.
While UK digital ad spend was at £8.6 billion in 2015, the shortage of digital skills represents a bottleneck for the industry. The problem stems from the constantly expanding range of digital technologies and new skill sets associated with them, and inability of the education sector to keep up with the speed of the industry. As a lecturer, Brewe was well positioned to speak on this lack of awareness among graduates despite the number of opportunities in the digital sector, particularly in programmatic.
So, what are my takeaways? The digital skills gap is real and the industry needs to look for practical ways to address this challenge. Here are my two cents’ worth:
- We can, and should, be more proactive in partnering with educational institutions to talk about careers in the ad tech and media sectors – whether through employability sessions, guest lectures, or directly engaging with STEM students. Creative Data Academy, run by IDM and NMI guest lectures for students at Birkbeck University are just two examples.
- We need to be more open-minded when it comes to hiring talent. While it requires less effort to on-board a more experienced candidate, by closing the doors to fresh graduates or career changers, we are creating further barriers for employment. As a result, we are missing out on some great talent. Be it programmatic trading, PPC or social media management – these skills and knowledge can be taught through a structured on-boarding framework. MediaMath achieves this through Marketing Engineer Program, where participants learn several subject areas through class-room training, job shadowing and self-driven projects. The results speak for themselves – 64 global graduates over the past two years with 100 percent job offers in digital marketing.
- We are a creative industry, so let’s think creatively and work collaboratively. There are great agency-focused initiatives such as AdMission by IPA, or graduate programs at individual agencies, but these can benefit a lot from the expertise of ad tech. Things like Lumascape or workings of a demand-side platform can be overwhelming, so why not involve the tech and data partners to explain it first-hand?
At the end of the day, the industry talent pool is limited and people tend to move around between agencies and tech companies. Why not work together to raise the bar for everyone to benefit from?
Earlier this year, we secured an earned speaking opportunity at one of the biggest advertising and marketing events in Mexico, IAB Conecta, organized by IAB Mexico. The event had around 1,700 attendees, including agencies, brands, publishers and technology firms. Our very own founder and CEO Joe Zawadzki took the stage to talk about how Mexico can leapfrog programmatic adoption.
Joe shared his experiences in the industry and showed the progress the US market has made in the past 10 years, offering advice on what has worked and what hasn’t so other markets can adopt programmatic at a faster clip. Those areas include domain expertise, better training and holistic education for all levels in the business.
“The amount of work that needs to get done in order to do programmatic well, it’s not one person anymore,” Joe said. “It’s not your one programmatic person inside of the agency or the small team anymore. The real reshaping that has to happen right now is along a whole bunch of different dimensions.” These dimensions touch platform operations and data science, among other areas, Joe said.
To hear what Joe had to say about how Mexico and other markets can accelerate successful adoption of programmatic, watch his full presentation below and on YouTube here.
This byline originally appeared on IBM’s THINK Marketing.
At last week’s 13th Annual Advertising Week, industry leaders came by the masses to New York City—the world’s media capital—to inspire and share insights on the future of advertising to fellow marketing and communications professionals.
I managed to catch the tail end of the four-day conference last Thursday, never having gone to one since my foray into marketing for the technology space. As a former journalist turned content marketer, I was curious to see how my job as a storyteller would differ now that I create content for a technology company. Turns out, not so much. Here’s why.
From panels discussing the future of video to digital advertising for the post-website era, one key theme prevailed— know your audience. More often than not, marketers are more concerned about the ROI and generating X amount of leads, and rightly so, but the heart of what our consumers are looking for in a piece of content tends to get overlooked. The same approach applies to storytelling in the newsroom. WHY should an audience CARE about the news? Is it relevant? Does it impact their lives in any way? It’s simple. The more you tap into people’s emotions, the more likely you are to drive engagement.
As Alex Hunt, President, The Americas at BrainJuicer and Laura Salant, Senior Director, Research and Insights at Undertone said during the session Key Metrics to Guide Your Advertising Creative: What You Need to Know Right Now, that’s how you can quantify creative. “Emotion builds brands. Emotion drives engagement. The more you feel, the more you buy.”
In the session The Future of Video, the panel discussed how ad blocking has provoked the right type of behavior. Rather than peppering consumers with all kinds of ads and seeing what sticks, create better advertising experiences for them. What was notable for me was when they touched upon the theory of getting away from traditional marketing apparatuses and offering up something which reflects the consumers’ behavior.
For example, Snapchat encourages advertisers to shoot vertical video, which has traditionally been a huge no-no when producing video content. But in a fast-moving digital world, consumer habits have changed, so how you deliver content has to change along with the shifting tide. According to Snapchat, vertical video ads are watched on the mobile app all the way through nine times more than horizontal video ads. This would never have been the case even a few years ago!
The key takeaway from the day’s summit was clear. What’s good for consumers is also good for marketers, and understanding how we as humans engage with content—whether it’s an ad, an eBook or via social—is the key to meeting the customer where they are.
After two overwhelming days of nonstop networking and social events, the recovery from Dmexco is never easy, but the knowledge and lessons learned make it all worthwhile.
This year, we shared our booth space with our Audience Partners, VisualDNA and Eyeota, and hosted Listen and Learn sessions with both of them as well as with our B2B data partner, Bombora. We felt this was a great way to highlight our close industry partnerships, highlight our differentiated solutions together and collaborate closely with their teams while at Dmexco.
Now that it’s been almost two weeks since we are all back to our home offices, I decided to catch up with each of them and see how their Dmexco experience went.
• What are some of the emerging trends that you’ve seen come out of this year’s Dmexco?
We saw a marked transition, even from recent expos, that audience data for targeting and analysis has gone from a nice-to-have in previous years to a must-have. We got great feedback from clients that they are targeting significant proportions of their prospecting campaigns using data.
Audience data is definitely becoming essential in programmatic campaign planning. We did a lot less explaining and educating about what we do and more about how we can work together with partners and clients. Exciting stuff!
While a lot of discussion from Dmexco 2016 has centered on the rise of programmatic, one of the perhaps hidden trends that is taking a foothold in driving the industry is content production. Set to be worth $313 billion in 2019 according to PQ Media*, content truly is king! And with the explosion of content across the B2B landscape, companies need to focus on delivering personalized, relevant and timely information. In addition to this, the diversification of technology and channels (e.g. augmented reality, mobile, social, etc.) means that companies need to get even more creative with the production and delivery of their content.
• Moving into 2017, do you think Dmexco has changed your positioning in the EMEA market?
We launched our Audiences With Personality on the first day of Dmexco, and the feedback was superb, it is the right time to have the best psychographic data with all of the debate about creative coming together with tech and data in programmatic offerings to improve digital advertising. An issue for planners and traders has been getting consistent high reach audiences across Europe. VisualDNA has answered that with high reach audiences in France, Germany, Italy and Spain as well as UK which we are famous for, and of course USA. As a result, I’m sure that our 2017 positioning will be greatly steered by these and more brands with EMEA and global planning will engage with our data.
Not really changed our perspective — more and more US companies are showing up in full force, making Dmexco an even stronger international show for us, and we see that continuing for 2017.
With 47 percent of our B2B interactions captured outside of the US, Bombora’s focus has always been global. We recognize that in order to build the richest source of B2B intent data we need to surf the ‘waves of intent data’ across the world! Dmexco gives an opportunity to gauge the market, as well as expand our brand and footprint into the EMEA market, which is a strategic focus for us in 2017.
• Can you provide some key tips/hints/tricks on how to prepare for Dmexco 2017?
Clarity of proposition is becoming more key with over 1,000 exhibitors present. The puck has moved to a place where there is more clarity required about why your offering is better and different, it is no longer acceptable just to be capable. That is key to attracting new clients, for your existing ones plan ahead, book meetings where possible, people’s time is precious and their schedules are crazy. And wear comfortable shoes…
Have routine prep meetings leading up to Dmexco to clearly map out goals and objectives, by team member, adding metrics to strive for. This makes your overall investment in the event measurable.
Getting there and beyond — book in your passes, travel and accommodation as early as you can. This just means it’s all taken care of and you can focus on all of the other fun stuff that comes with the conference sooner!
• What’s been your highlight of this year’s Dmexco?
Two stand outs:
- Receiving great feedback and validation for VisualDNA’s new Audiences with Personality product, it is generation 5 of our psychographic based data and the best product / market fit we have achieved so far.
- We spoke to many current clients about how our audience data frequently outperformed others. We could have candid conversations and found that people are more open when away from the office.
A major highlight was being a part of the MediaMath booth and having an opportunity to present on audience data trends. Another highlight was our pre drinks event on Tuesday Sep 16th at Fruh. It was a huge success and we had a much larger turnout than expected. We’re already planning on doing it again next year! Lastly, since Dmexco, we have been running a wildly popular 20% off deal on seasonal segments available through MediaMath’s T1 platform.
In addition to the announcement of a new partnership with content marketing platform, Outbrain, our presentation at the MediaMath booth was equally exciting. It was a great opportunity for our CEO, Erik Matlick, to share insights about the influence of intent data on driving content and Account-Based Marketing. We received fantastic exposure to the Dmexco attendees, including some key decision makers who expressed excitement our B2B intent data.
• What was your biggest learning/key takeaway from the event?
Location — it was great partnering on MediaMath’s booth in the heart of coveted hall 7 with high foot traffic. Just like a property agent we can verify that location is key…
Let’s go bigger next year!
Our biggest take away was the opportunity presented through the content marketing industry and how important personalization is, as well as the dynamic growth of the industry in EMEA.
We’re just a little more than three months away from Christmas, and marketers should be actively putting their holiday campaigns into play to capture Q4 spending. According to eMarketer, ecommerce will remain strong for holiday 2016, with sales growth of 13.3 percent. And for the first time, ecommerce will surpass 10 percent of retail sales during the holiday season. This growth means the ability to find and target users across channels and devices at the opportune moment will be more important than ever before.
We’ve put together a holiday planning hub and related playbook to help you with four main areas of holiday 2016: acquiring new customers; activating last year’s customers; converting browsers into buyers; and aligning in-store and online tactics. Check out our landing page for stats, tips and tricks and download the full version of our playbook for more detailed tactics on getting the most out of your marketing dollars this Q4.