Project Purpose-Driven Advertising

April 2, 2020 — by Daniel Sepulveda0


In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, news publications and channels are delivering uncensored information to us in real-time so that we can hold those in power accountable and force them to action. News publishers are also giving us a sense of where we stand and what to expect. It is a critical and foundational function.

But of the roughly half of brands that are still advertising via shifting budget to other channels, many are blocking the rising amount of news content they know people need but that they believe might put their brands next to a negative story. The result of rising advertising inventory supply and stalled demand for it as well as content that frightens marketers is that as people pursue quality information on quality publishers, the traffic is rising, but ads are not meeting those consumers.

It is our aim to help fix that problem. Through a broader initiative called Project Purpose-Driven Advertising that calls for marketers to reenter the market during these unprecedented times, we are partnering with Peer39 to enable marketers to curb the blunt-force decision of avoiding advertising on entire swaths of news through global keyword blocking on our buying platform. We are encouraging marketers to adopt tailored approaches to brand safety relying on data analytics and machine learning to assess the context in which keywords appear. A significant percentage of content that they would otherwise block is actually still safe to advertise on. Many of these stories are stories of human generosity or simply a straight reporting of facts and what people can do in response.

The Peer39 capabilities executed on our platform that clients can act on now should allow for dramatically greater monetization of necessary publisher properties. We are also making that capability available to all marketers on our platform and working with publisher partners on how to best package media for buyers under the program. This calls out the essence of Purpose-Driven Advertising—properly valuing and compensating quality content and financing a healthy media environment while building lasting relationships with consumers. We believe that marketers can profit in the process of redirecting and renewing their investment in marketing towards quality content during this critical time. This project intends to prove it.

The media ecosystem is allowing us to shelter in place while staying connected to others or distracting ourselves by binge-watching something entertaining. Time that consumers spend on streaming services has increased 40 percent. Our platform and our partners enable marketers to address consumers using those services at scale. Now is the time to reenter the marketplace, reengage with consumers, tell them where you stand, and that we will get through this together.

Find out more about how to activate our Peer39 solution for your brand today here.


Infographic: The Programmatic Marketplace During COVID-19

March 31, 2020 — by MediaMath0


We at MediaMath are committed to supporting you, your team and your organization in navigating the turmoil and change currently happening in the world. It’s important to note shifts in behavior patterns, including how consumers shop and consume media, were increasing before the onset of COVID-19 and have potential for permanent behavior changes to emerge. Based on evolving consumer behavior and “presence,” we are seeing a few patterns surface in the way clients are rethinking their strategies to reach their consumers/customers. See some of the insights we’ve gathered from our own platform and third-party research.

Click on the infographic to download a PDF version.


Q1 2020 Events Wrap-Up: Digital Advertising Works When Run Through Accountable & Addressable Pipes

March 27, 2020 — by MediaMath0


As we head into what is sure to be a dynamic Q2 in which 90 percent of B2B industry events have been canceled, postponed or converted into digital experiences, we’ve been reflecting on the powerful conversations and content from Q1 events CES, ANA Masters of Data and Technology and RampUp. Even in uncertain times, the major takeaway for us remains the same: when executed through accountable and addressable pipes, digital advertising provides full media-cost transparency, eliminates non-working media and allows you to bid with confidence. Check out some video highlights below.

Wil Schobeiri, our CTO and CPO, participated in a panel on identity with SOURCE anchor partner Rubicon at CES. Wil shared that his prediction for a top 2020 trend is ongoing consolidation in the industry to cut down on the number of duplicative solutions in the space. “I think it’s ultimately healthy and will sort of help all of us and the consumer especially not have to necessarily worry about their data being spread across too many touchpoints that they don’t have control over.”

Next up, our Global Head of Ecosystem Jeremy Steinberg participated in a panel on addressability at RampUp with SOURCE partner LiveRamp, Digitas and Adweek. He spoke with Beet.TV about the continued momentum of SOURCE to make real the industry’s ideal response to “transparency” concerns. “We’re building it, we’ve built the first version of it that we have brands live and running right now, and seeing great outcomes. And now we’re going to keep iterating over time because we want the whole industry to adopt this new framework and this new approach to advertising.”

Speaking of brands who have signed up for SOURCE, one of the highlights of our attendance at ANA Masters of Data and Technology was a shoutout by IBM Senior Vice President and CMO Michelle Peluso about the great results they are seeing running spend through our more transparent, accountable pipes. Our Founder and CEO Joe Zawadzki called for “radical transparency” during his panel “Bringing Transparency to the Programmatic Supply Chain” with representatives from IBM, Merkury, Forrester and TRUSTX. “If you start doing logical things as an industry and you just focus on the long-term as opposed to the short-term, you’re willing to make some disruption to business, you can actually make a huge leap forward in how this industry works,” Joe said.



The Rise of OTT and CTV as More Consumers Stay Home

March 25, 2020 — by MediaMath0


This interview was originally published on VideoNuze

There are a lot of questions swirling these days about how ad spending is going to be reallocated given the virus’s interruption of live sports. I’ll be publishing a series of short interviews with industry thought-leaders sharing their current experiences and what changes they’re seeing due to the virus. The first interview is with Jeremy Steinberg, Global Head of Ecosystem, MediaMath, which is an adtech company serving brands and their partners (also known as a demand-side platform).

VideoNuze: What are you seeing so far from clients in terms of shifting spending from live content (e.g. sports, etc.) that have been cancelled to AVOD?

Jeremy Steinberg: Brands and agencies are obviously rethinking their marketing strategies. Because we are seeing a significant uptick in OTT viewership as daily consumer behavior is shifting with more individuals staying at home and we have recommended to our clients that they should re-invest their media budgets into home-based channels most specifically CTV. We are seeing budgets pulled from live sports and many other channels including experiential.  Quality of the content has never been more critical, as clients across all industry verticals demand the purity of the connections between brands and consumers. They are focused on reaching real people on real devices, as we see consumers purchasing more goods and services and streaming more content at home.

VideoNuze: Anything else you’d add on the shift to CTV?

JS: We are devising strategies to help marketers navigate these challenging times as their customer base moves to 100% digital and CTV is definitely a key component. Although it is not the only beneficiary of our focused strategy this channel is definitely one of the biggest beneficiaries of this shift in spend.

VideoNuze: To the extent CTV is biggest beneficiary, any more info on targeting tradeoffs being made, at least temporarily? Is new CTV spend primarily contextual-based or other attributes?

JS: In addition to reworking channel mix we are also working with our clients to expand or supplement their existing targeting strategies given the changing consumption patterns.  We are focused on finding our clients desired audiences always but looking at historical interests and content to determine the most appropriate strategies.  There is no one option currently bring prioritized, but we are definitely taking into consideration all viewing habits and content types to help work through the right mix that will drive the largest benefit to our clients.  I think one other point to highlight is our focus on premium content across all channels as a key priority and focus.  This is paramount to the value that SOURCE brings to market and we are holding true to that with CTV strategies.

VideoNuze: Is the virus/spending shift accelerating more clients to gain exposure to CTV and will this have an impact in 2nd half of ’20 and beyond? (In other words, slope of growth curve in CTV ad spend sharper through ’21 or beyond?)

Going forward we believe CTV will continue to be a large priority for us and our clients and can envision the strategies deployed and learnings from these trying times being built into future strategies which should continue to drive growth in this channel.

VideoNuze: What else is MediaMath up to?

JS: We just announced our partnership with Rakuten and its Video On Demand (VOD) platform in Europe, which delivers premium content from all major film studios and distributors to about 90 million households across 42 countries on multiple devices. This partnership, made available through SSP SpotX, will enable MediaMath clients in Europe to extend customer reach from traditional digital marketing to TV and Expand OTT/CTV budgets to capture those audiences.


Navigating COVID-19

March 17, 2020 — by MediaMath0


We’re experiencing an unprecedented time in our world. Our priority remains the health and safety of our employees and continued support of your business needs. MediaMath is committed to helping you keep your operations running as smoothly as possible.

We’re adhering to the advice and recommendations given by the CDC, WHO, state, city and local governments in which we operate and live. We have officially moved to a work-from-home model globally, and our Facilities, HR and IT teams are ensuring employees have everything they need to confidently, efficiently and effectively work from home. Your MediaMath teams will be in constant communications via Slack and Zoom to ensure we’re providing you with the same level of support as always. We also have single sign-on as well as VPN to keep employees working productively while at home. Please let us know if you have any concerns or see slippage in communications, and we’ll promptly address them.

Our technology, SLAs and communications with you remain unaffected. Your campaigns will continue to run as expected, and your account team will be available to answer all your questions and concerns no differently than before. We’ll continue to monitor the landscape to identify any change that could impact performance, CPMs and more.

Stay safe and healthy, and we’ll continue to stay in close communication with you as this global situation evolves.


Bringing Transparency to the Programmatic Supply Chain

March 16, 2020 — by MediaMath0


Join moderator Joanna O’Connel (Forrester) for a lively discussion with Joe Zawadzki (MediaMath), Richard Brandolino (IBM), Gerry Bavaro (Merkle) and David Kohl (TRUSTX) on bringing radical transparency to an industry that desperately needs fixing. Chalk full of plumbing metaphors, this 40-minute panel session hosted at the 2020 ANA Masters of Data & Technology Conference dives into how trust can be built in the supply chain, with consumers, and with eachother–brands, publishers and tech players. The short answer? You have to know what’s going on. Watch the video to learn more about the path forward for the industry and steps that can be taken today.


The Honest Ads Act Charts A Path For Political Advertising

February 27, 2020 — by Daniel Sepulveda


This byline originally appeared on AdExchanger.  

Lawmakers and industry leaders have not yet reached consensus on digital political advertising rules. As a result, no one is satisfied with the platforms’ varying self-governing policies.

Facebook, for example, won’t fact-check political ads or disclose campaign targeting parameters. Twitter won’t run any political ads. And Google will disable many targeting tools for political ads to control abuse, but now the platform is less useful for small campaigns and campaigns with first-party data.

Targeted political digital advertising can have real, positive value for voters and campaigns. Campaigns should be allowed to focus their message on the parts of their issues platforms that need more awareness or are relevant for particular groups. They should be able to engage supporters and potential supporters with calls to action.

Campaigns should also be able to construct custom lists of voters they think might be open to their messages. The challenge is to make those tools foster transparency and encourage healthy discourse and debate.

These are difficult issues, and while there may not be a perfect policy, there’s an alternative for the industry to consider: full transparency in political advertising as proposed in the Honest Ads Act. This should enable scrutiny of ads and ensure that competing ideas and campaigns can find the same voters.

The Honest Ads Act before Congress mandates transparency within advertising technology for political campaigns, but there is much debate on what this means. Its rules for transparency hinge on disclosure of all creatives, targeting parameters and media spend.

In addition to the law, there should also be minimum audience size requirements to ensure that a large enough group of voters see the ad to enable scrutiny. And no advertiser, political campaign or other entity should be able to distribute verifiably false or misleading advertising. Each platform should be able to make the call of when that line is crossed, but to draw no line at all is an abdication of responsibility.

The mandates should either be made law or an industry standard, enabled and managed by one of our trade associations with a centralized, publicly available transparency database.

It is a challenging subject due to the gray areas around what is true. At a minimum – and it appears there is universal agreement on this point – no platform that enables targeted digital advertising should turn a blind eye to content that suppresses voting. This would include advertising the wrong date of an election to confuse voters about when to vote.

Less universally agreed, no platform should allow the amplification and targeting of verifiably false information. For example, the claim that a candidate is soft on crime is not verifiably true or false – it is an opinion. Claiming that an opponent is a criminal is verifiable by checking public records. Platforms should police against those behaviors.

More common are the debatable assertions all campaigns make. For competing campaigns to meaningfully challenge opposing ideas and present their own views, they need to know the audience that the assertion targeted.

The industry should look to Congress to step in, pass the Honest Ads Act, which is currently stuck in committee, and provide additional guidance. This includes partnering with advertising trade associations to collectively establish norms that we can all adhere to.

Digital advertising is not a tool available only on Google and Facebook. Advertising spend will migrate to where it works. As a result we must work toward generally applicable rules and norms and continue iterating on them until we are sure our democracy is free from algorithmic manipulation.


Media Innovation Day 2020: The Value of the Advertiser Dollar

February 19, 2020 — by Lauren Fritsky


Joe Zawadzki recently spoke at The Ad Club’s Media Innovation Day 2020 | Opposites Attract: The Alliance of Art and Science alongside Danilo Tauro, PhD, of Procter & Gamble, Max Kalehoff of Realeyes – Emotional Intelligence and Amy Williams of Good-Loop. Joe had this to say about the top challenges on which advertisers should focus:

“Everyday marketers are investing their dollars and making a choice…I think this idea of marketers being really really choiceful and very thoughtful about where your dollars are going–do my investments reflect what I want to do from an ecosystem perspective, do they reflect my brand, and does it pay for quality content and journalism–and then make sure those beliefs are reflected in what is happening on a day-to-day basis on the ground. It is super hard, but I think it is super urgent.”

Watch the full panel below.


The SOURCE Pursuit of Trust in Advertising Through Transparency and Accountability

February 14, 2020 — by Daniel Sepulveda


Accessing consumer information and using that access to deliver advertising is rightfully dependent on increasingly stronger standards of transparency and consumer control. Over the last two years, we have taken steps within our platform and with our partners, through our trade associations, and in public advocacy to drive change in that direction. We have engaged commercial and non-commercial stakeholders in good faith to understand, evolve, and rise to the demands of consumers, browsers, and policymakers for greater accountability.

As a significant part of that effort, we have imposed increasingly strict guardrails on what data is allowed in our systems and how we, our partners, and our clients can use it. We believe we can do as much or more for advertisers with less personal data than previously thought necessary. For example, we have higher restrictions on the use of location data than many of our competitors. Additionally, more than a year ago, we stopped “fingerprinting” because we felt it was no longer consistent with evolving privacy norms and our consumer-first vision.

We have also worked to set increasingly higher standards for our industry by helping our trade associations strengthen their self-regulatory codes and develop policies and tools to support compliance with them. We played a leadership role in developing and currently chair the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), which gives European consumers users visibility into and control over the companies that may process their data and the purposes for which they may do so. As a Board member of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), we have supported and encouraged the evolution of the NAI Code to expand its scope and heighten its requirements. The 2020 NAI Code, for example, now covers the use of offline data for tailored advertising, requires opt-in consent for the use of precise location data for ad delivery and reporting, and raises the bar on what it means to obtain high-quality opt-in consent. We also worked closely with the NAI to develop their recently released guidance on health-related ad targeting.

We embrace the principle that consumers must be able to know and control whether or not they are engaging in the value exchange of content and services for information. As the digital advertising industry works to rearchitect its consumer engagement tactics and tools, we will work with our colleagues to ensure that accountability mechanisms and governance are embedded in any replacement for the cookie.

This is no easy task because the advertising supply chain is more complex than most people realize. When a person sits in front of a computer to access ad-supported services, they interact with far more companies than are visible to them. The internet service provider connecting their device to the internet, their device’s operating system, the browser they use to move around the internet, the search engine they use to find a website, the website they visit, the supply-side platforms that aggregate that website’s advertising space and inventory with that of other websites, the demand-side platform that aggregates buyers to bid on that inventory, and, finally, the advertiser that wins that bid all get some kind of access to the consumer’s data. Providing for accountability and transparency across that supply chain is difficult but absolutely necessary.

We have worked hard to restructure the way our people, organization, and partnerships interact to evolve our products and services for a new age. The result of that two-year reengineering effort is SOURCE by MediaMath, a marketing platform of aligned firms and services bound by values, respect for people’s data, and a commitment to delivering transparent, accountable, and addressable advertising to reach real people on real media. We are proud of it, believe it is setting a new standard for the ecosystem, and look forward to continually and iteratively working to improve on it. We look forward to working with friends and skeptics alike to exchange ideas in good faith in an effort to ensure that the digital economy works in a way that all stakeholders can embrace.