Where are Key Verticals Spending Their Digital Ad Dollars? Head of Advanced TV and Video Mike Fisher Weighs In

August 5, 2019 — by MediaMath0


As we close in on the final months of 2019, where are key verticals spending their digital ad dollars? Our Head of Advanced TV and Video Mike Fisher recently spoke with eMarketer about ad spend forecasts for TV in particular industries such as US media and entertainment and retail.

“Now Netflix is coming out with 500 original series a year and needs a way to promote that to the right viewer. You’ll see more marketing dollars shifting…to get eyeballs and promote original series with niche audiences, you need to spend more to drive eyeballs to that content that you then monetize on the backend.” 

“Retail’s great for advanced connected TV ads because you’re able to tie back an impression to either something like a Nielsen Catalina or any sort of store foot traffic, Basically, anything that is looking to drive traffic is starting to shift to connected TV.” 

For more on Mike’s insights on how TV is evolving, check out the below articles:


How to Up-level the Quality of Your Supply in 2019

June 26, 2019 — by Pranjal Desai0


Programmatic is central to nearly 40% of overall planning and execution of media buying by Asia-Pacific (APAC) marketers[1]. India specifically is the fastest-growing country for digital ad spend across the globe in 2019, with a 28% boost compared to last year[2].

It is this very rapid growth that has also created challenges in the ecosystem, including a supply chain riddled with fraud, intermediaries that add little value and uncertainty of the exact path to the impression. The internet as constructed was never intended to sensibly connect the diverse and complex technologies brought to bear by the myriad or adtech and martech constituents in our industry. In fact, most of the longstanding problems we’ve seen over the last few years – such as fraud and lack of transparency—have been caused by this complexity. From the core technology service providers to third-party data providers, advertisers are often unaware of how much spend is going to intermediary fees versus publishers.

However, the future is looking brighter. Select industry players are hard at work creating a more accountable, effective, trustworthy media supply chain from which all parties—marketers, publishers and consumers—can benefit. One of the ways that starts is through access to trusted, high-quality supply that is not blocked by partners that don’t add value.

How can marketers build the best supply strategy?

All of this means that the single most important thing a marketer can do when it comes to determining the best media strategy is ‘never assume’. With high levels of complexity across the supply chain, it is vital that marketers analyse their supply strategy and avoid making the wrong call. Marketers should build or buy specialist insights required for their brand-specific marketing campaign.

For many major brands, this means building a supply team to integrate their technology into the bidding stack. However, the expense and expertise required for this remains to be a challenge for many brands, which is why choosing the right media agency is so critical. The right agency can add real value as they can pool the demand of multiple advertisers in negotiating deals, provide deep industry expertise and negotiate vertical specific deals.

But it also means partnering with the right technology vendor. There are key things to look for:

  • Adoption of the IAB’s ads.txt initiative, which increases transparency by allowing publishers to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory
  • Supply-path optimization to find the most direct path to the impression by removing intermediaries
  • A supply code of conduct that specifies behaviors that your vendor will and will not tolerate from its supply partners

In the end, the aim is to use the most optimal path to reach your user rather than hoping to find the user on specific supply sources. It is pertinent to have a holistic approach to a media supply strategy which can help everyone in the ecosystem—marketers, publishers and consumers alike —get the quality they deserve.


MediaMath All Fronts Event Shows What the Future of TV Can Look Like

April 4, 2019 — by MediaMath0


Last week, MediaMath hosted a successful event focused on the future of TV with clients and publishers at its 4 World Trade headquarters. Premium TV publishers spoke about their connected TV and OTT offerings, highlighting the differentiators in their content, viewership and app environment, and learned more about MediaMath’s TV offering.

“The role that we’ve taken in the TV space is really to be the connection point between buyers and sellers, to take premium TV content, surface it, make it available to the buy-side in a way that the sell-side wants it to be made available,” said Mike Fisher, our head of advanced TV and video. “So we’re never going to be arbing or re-selling or black-boxing anybody’s inventory.”

DISH Media EVP Kevin Arrix, who spoke at the All Fronts event, highlighted the ability for advertisers to use its Sling TV data to deliver unique targeting and reporting that ties into ROI and attribution. For the industry to truly see the benefit of that type of application of data, the supply side needs to “get connected and get integrated” to what the demand side is doing.

“The demand side is saying ‘I like this company, I like MediaMath I like their UI, I like their platform and I am going to run my marketing dollars through to this platform,'” he said.

Being that connection means being as transparent as possible, according to Fisher.

“We do believe that transparency is the most important thing for TV because we want to make sure that the networks and the publishers in OTT are giving us access to the best of the best content. What we’re doing is further enhancing it with audience targeting, enhanced measurement, attribution reporting…basically tying back everything that a client is already doing in the online environment to TV.”

But it’s about consumers, too, and the ability to deliver engaging, entertaining content across screens in a privacy-compliant way.

“We know the goals of our clients. They’re looking to reach the people they that care about, they need to do it in a way that the people at the other end of the screens appreciate,” MediaMath Founder & CEO Joe Zawadzki says in this Beet.TV. interview.


Beet.TV Interviews Mike Fisher on TV and Video Trends at IAB Annual Leadership Meeting

February 27, 2019 — by MediaMath0

This article originally appears on Beet.TV.

When it comes to advertising, screen size matters and it all starts with the big TV. The first exposure to a brand message begins the storytelling, which then leads to finding “that same user, same household, same viewer on other screens either for down-funnel messaging in web video, mobile video or even display,” says MediaMath’s Mike Fisher.

This is particularly appealing to so-called direct-to-consumer brands with traditional digital video assets they can now extend to TV, the company’s VP and Head of Advanced TV and Video says in this interview with Beet.TV at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.

What those newer brands have in common is that they probably haven’t had a relationship with a traditional agency while growing their businesses on the Internet with one-to-one, measurable marketing. They’re attracted to things like programming and tent-pole events they’ve never been able to access. “Programmatic really fits well into that pipe especially for TV, which is why direct to consumer is so big for us,” Fisher adds.

As video SSP’s continue to evolve, MediaMath’s model is “to focus on running on the rails that the publisher wants us to run on. A lot of our partners build leverage, Telaria and other video SSP’s, as their connection point for us into their inventory.”

This, in turn, “allows us to connect to multiple supply sources. It allows them to connect to multiple demand sources without having to do one-to-one integrations with networks.”


Debunking Programmatic Supply Strategy Myths

February 8, 2019 — by Travis Barnes0


There are no excuses to base your supply and media strategy on assumptions about what works best. In the spirit of giving marketers and advertisers greater transparency into how the different modes of programmatic buying actually work, MediaMath has released a whitepaper based on research into our own data that sheds light on how PMPs and Open Auction actually perform according to some of the key metrics about which marketers care. We also approached some of our partners to help us confirm that what we were seeing is true across other aspects of the industry.

It is our hope that marketers can use some of the insights that we’ve gleaned to build better data-driven strategies that will help them accomplish their marketing goals more effectively. Here are a few surprising findings from our research.

The time spent troubleshooting deals impacts advertiser and publisher revenue

Only a third of deals begin spending on the first date they get set up—and more than a third of deals will not start spending before the end of the first business week.

Each day spent troubleshooting PMP deals is a lost opportunity to spend their investment and see a return on advertising. For clients with a fixed period in which to run their campaign and who see a direct ROI from their digital spend, this delay translates to substantial missed revenue opportunities.

PMPs do not always have higher priority than the open auctions

Fully 17.9% of all PMPs had a lower win rate than the open auction, meaning that advertisers are adding workflow difficulty, narrowing their optimization capabilities and taking on the sole accountability for supply chain cleanliness for no discernable benefit and a significant amount of the time.

Advertisers assume the risk (and the cost!) of fraud in PMPs

MediaMath consistently sees higher rates of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT)—instances of fraud, such as bots acting as legitimate users, that require advanced analytics, significant human intervention and other measures to detect and mitigate—on media purchased via PMPs than on our Curated Market offering, which carries a fraud-free guarantee that perpetuates through the supply chain and incentivizes the publisher to keep fraud low. The rates of fraud that we report across PMPs are consistent across the same PMPs on other DSPs.

Download the full paper Supply Chain Excellence: How to Get Results, Avoid Fraud and Boost Your Total Buying to get a deeper dive into these trends and our guidance on how to use them to improve your data strategy.


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 MediaMath0


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.


MediaMath’s Floriana Nicastro on Being a Woman in Tech and Where Mobile is Headed in 2019

January 17, 2019 — by Lauren Fritsky0


The interview originally appears on MarTechSeries.

Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be part of the programmatic industry?

I started in a mobile ad network to drive their first programmatic offering. I was fascinated by the technological exploits around data and measurement, and the early promise of reaching the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. I quickly moved to MediaMath — already pioneering the way — and I have never left! As the mobile channel lead for MediaMath, I’m working with both our product and sales teams to build a strong mobile offering that is aligned with client expectations and market evolution, as well as helping advertisers reach their business outcomes.

As a woman in tech-heavy ecosystem, what message would you give to other women, especially in the Marketing and Sales functions?

Ask for what you need to do your job — from coworkers, from teams, or from your boss. Stand up for yourself and for your team. Don’t let anyone cut you off — your voice is as important as anyone else’s. Don’t underestimate your ability ever. Be bold. Align yourself with strong women who will mentor and guide you. I have had a few mentors at MediaMath who have been instrumental to my growth.

How is your role at MediaMath different from the one you had when you joined the company? How did you prepare for the disruptive tech industry?

Mobile has been evolving so drastically, and MediaMath itself so fast, that my role has changed tremendously. From sales to product, from marketing to partnerships, it is like owning a little business within the business.

You can’t really prepare for disruption; you must learn to embrace and manage chaos. You have to be really agile in the way you operate and simply move forward, assembling every piece of the puzzle one by one — keeping in mind the big picture you have for driving the business forward.

What trends are you seeing in mobile programmatic right now? 

Mobile is not a channel anymore, but it is the channel of the other channels. Mobile is becoming the centerpiece of overall advertising spend, not only to reach where consumers are, but to build the bridge between online and offline (DOOH, TV, audio, desktop, mobile).

Read the rest of the interview here.


Supply Chain Excellence: How to Get Results, Avoid Fraud and Boost Your Total Buying Power

January 15, 2019 — by Julia Welch0


Right now, marketing isn’t working for a lot of people.

It definitely is not working for marketers who, even now, more than two decades into digital and more than a decade into programmatic, are still left to wonder which half of their ads will work. Not publishers, who are getting squeezed from every direction. Not consumers, who recognize that they are the product.

Legacy infrastructure and legacy processes are part of the problem—the Internet as constructed was never intended to sensibly connect the diverse and complex technologies brought to bear by the myriad, diverse constituents in our industry. Many of the longstanding problems we’ve confronted—fraud, lack of transparency—are a direct result. And consumers have gotten the worst end of the deal, with clunky, irrelevant experiences and mystery surrounding the use of their data.

But there is a way forward that lets marketers maximize their investments without sacrifice and without compromising their values, lets publishers create the content that consumers want and the independent journalism that the world needs and lets consumers defend their right to a free and open Internet. It all starts with recognizing, understanding and respecting the consumer, and then reaching high-value audiences through access to high-quality supply. We’ve focused on the second part of the equation in our whitepaper, in which we share how marketers can make better decisions about their supply strategy, taking a holistic approach to get the outcomes they want and deserve. Our analysis is supported by research from our own demand-side platform.

Supply Chain Excellence: How to Get Results, Avoid Fraud and Boost Your Total Buying Power

Download this report to learn:

  • How a misaligned supply strategy can lead to wasted time and budget, a lack of quality and a higher risk of fraud
  • The ideal scenarios in which to use private marketplaces, preferred deals or programmatic guaranteed
  • Three approaches for effective deal management that maintain the benefits of privilege and keep the true costs of media management low

Today’s media buyers want—and deserve—results. They want promises, and they want to be recognized for their total buying power over time, not just the fleeting auction-of-the moment. We can work together to make that a reality.


The Real State of Consumer-First and Omnichannel Marketing By the Numbers

December 6, 2018 — by MediaMath0


In September, we released Dream vs. Reality: The Real State of Consumer-First and Omnichannel Marketing, our research in partnership with Econsultancy that assessed the gap between marketers’ desire to deliver compelling, privacy-compliant experiences and what they’re actually doing in practice. Econsultancy surveyed more than 400 global marketers about everything from adtech and martech integration to AI and shared the results in a 36-page report. For anyone who hasn’t read the report or is short on time, we’ve distilled the main highlights into a one-page infographic we’ve released today.

Download the infographic to find out:

  • The gap between how many marketers see the importance of putting the consumer first and how many actually are
  • The benefits integrated tech could bring to marketing
  • The least important benefit of integrated tech, according to respondents


It Takes a Village to Take Down Ad Fraud Schemes

November 30, 2018 — by Daniel Sepulveda0


The global internet and the digital economy have created immense opportunity for advertisers and marketers to leverage economies of scale to help fund and fuel the development of digital services on the web and around the world.  We marry buyers of ad space to sellers, with billions of dollars transacted in the process every day.

But along with immense opportunity have come new threats.  In the process of building a global platform for innovation and wealth creation, we have constructed an economic target for criminal enterprises to infiltrate, and they have taken advantage of it.  This week, we saw American law enforcement, in cooperation with the private sector and law enforcement abroad, take the first significant step to signaling that the jig is up.

After two years of investigation, the Department of Justice announced its first significant takedown of two global criminal ad fraud schemes.  Those schemes used servers and malware to violate the security of millions of computers and trick advertisers into buying access to non-existent consumers on fake websites.  In the process, they stole $36 million dollars from legitimate businesses.

Multiple individuals were charged and taken into custody abroad.  Domains and servers were seized.  And those schemes have been shut down.  This is more than good news. It signals the increased maturation of the global digital economy both as a tool for crime and as a focus for law enforcement in its efforts to deter abuse of access to a global, open internet.

As societies and jurisdictions around the world grapple with a borderless internet, accessible to the law-abiding and criminal alike, there are important lessons to take away from this case.

First, a communal interest in eliminating fraud allows for industry cooperation.  MediaMath was just one of a group of about 30 advertising technology companies that worked with the DoJ to help them understand how the programmatic advertising system works and where and how to capture illegal activity.  Ad fraud threatens advertiser trust in the digital economy, in programmatic advertising and in consumer faith in the legitimacy of the system as a whole.  It is in all of our interests to cooperate to end it, because none of us alone can do it.  And none of us want to be part of financing criminal enterprises.

Second, we learned that law enforcement needs private-sector expertise and information to enforce the law.  The expertise of the DoJ and the FBI’s cybersecurity teams is growing exponentially.  But as the operators of the private networks and systems over which fraud is executed, the industry has insight and access to information that law enforcement does not.

And third, we learned that law enforcement has to be able to cooperate across borders to stop crime on a borderless internet.  The internet is global, and cooperation must be global to work. The list of cooperating law enforcement agencies and entities involved in this takedown ranged from Malaysia to the United Kingdom.

We take the global internet for granted.  We shouldn’t.  The only way it will continue to grow and thrive is if we can all trust in its security and governance.  Our industry can and should support funding the development of skills and capacity-building related to cyber security for law enforcement at home and abroad.  We welcome continued cooperation with law enforcement at home and thank them for their service.