Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Display Advertising, Display Advertising, Programmatic Advertising & Media Buying, Uncategorized

P&G slashed its digital ad spend & nothing bad happened: 5 ways ad tech is responding

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digital ads

Digital ad revenues have continued to climb. But not all is well.

In the past year, major brands have called into question the notion that mass marketing necessitates a scattershot approach to digital advertising. Programmatic’s promise to deliver huge scale at cheap prices has brought to the forefront the tension between scale and vetted quality and transparency. Now stories of brands pulling back on programmatic with little to no downside for their businesses add a greater sense of urgency to addressing issues that have long plagued the ad tech industry.

Potential impact on media spend

Procter & Gamble has been the most vocal and visible marketer to question the path ad tech has been blazing and finally push back. When one of the world’s biggest and most digitally savvy marketers says cutting some $140 million in digital ad spend in its fourth quarter had “no negative impact on growth rate,” the industry should take notice.

P&G CFO Jon Moeller said on that quarterly earnings call, on July 27, that the company cuts came where ads were serving bots instead of humans or where the ad placement was not “facilitating the equity of our brands” in terms of context or quality.

JPMorgan Chase told the The New York Times in March, after many brands pulled ads from YouTube over controversial ad adjacencies, that it was adopting a whitelisting approach for display and would extend that to YouTube. Kristin Lemkau, the bank’s chief marketing officer, said after reviewing its placements, the group approved just 5,000 sites for its ad buys with Google and AppNexus. Lemkau said early results indicated there was little effect on CPMs or visibility.

With the added scrutiny and push for more transparency about fees, where ads appear and whether they are visible to humans has put pressure on the once high-flying ad tech industry. Rocketfuel’s bargain sale to Sizmek last month, for a small fraction of its 2013 IPO, is just one indication of a changing landscape for ad tech generally and programmatic specifically.

[Read the full article, including ways the ad tech industry is responding, on MarTech Today.]

Posted in Uncategorized

Rethinking School

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For most of modern history, humans have placed smaller humans in institutions called schools. But what parts of this model still work? And what must change? This hour, TED speakers rethink education.TED speakers include teacher Tyler DeWitt, social entrepreneur Sal Khan, international education expert Andreas Schleicher, and educator Linda Cliatt-Wayman. Source:

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Things B2B Marketers Should Learn from B2C

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The world of B2B marketing is changing rapidly. Over the past few years, we’ve seen trends emerge that challenge many of the traditional ways we think about demand generation.

A great illustration of this movement was the latest SiriusDecisions “Demand Unit Waterfall”, released just a few months ago, which essentially redefines the definition of a B2B buyer. Rather than leads or accounts, it focuses on “demand units”, defined as “a buying group that has been organized to address a need the organization is challenged with” — in other words, the group of key influencers with buying power within a given company.

If there’s one common line between this and all the other evolutions in B2B marketing we’ve seen in recent years, it’s the evolution of a more targeted model for demand gen, which increasingly resembles consumer marketing in its emphasis on audience personalization.

This evolution received a huge boost with the adoption of account-based marketing alongside traditional lead-led approaches, and has also been propelled more recently by the explosion in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the B2B space, which is empowering marketers to do so much more with their customer data.

Here are 5 ways in particular that B2B marketers can continue to evolve by taking a page from the B2C handbook:

1. Audience-centric marketing

Behind the evolution of demand gen — from fishing for leads, to named accounts, to combining both (“demand units”) — is a recognition of the importance of understanding B2B audiences on a personal level. (In fact, for SiriusDecisions, identifying your Total Addressable Market sits right at the top of the funnel.)

Of course, B2B audiences are made up of leads and accounts — but that’s only part of the story. Audience-centric marketing is the difference between defining a qualified lead or account by checking-off the standard boxes (“job title”, “industry”, “company size”, etc), to zooming in and getting to grips with more personal information — specifically, those relating to the individual leads’ relationship with their account, like responsibilities and job functions, site-level hierarchies, and capacity and propensity to buy. These are the insights that really separate between a potential customer and an unqualified lead.

This echoes the approach of contemporary B2C marketing. Effective consumer marketers don’t merely spam you with every possible item or experience they can offer; instead, they’re using the right data on you to identify which offerings, if any, would be most relevant. That data can range from your age/social demographic, where you live and work, your previous related purchases, your personal interests and even your attitudes and beliefs — all of this gleaned from a huge range of data sources spanning online cookies, intent data and other third-party structured and unstructured data (more on that later).

2. Greater Personalization

Knowing who their target audiences are enables marketers to consistently serve the right content to the right people. The advantages to both customers and vendors alike are obvious. For the former, it means a far more pleasant, less intrusive or irritating customer experience. Customers who receive relevant content are much more likely to consider buying than those served content — even on potentially useful products or services — which doesn’t speak to them.

Consumer marketers do this as a matter of course. It’s no coincidence, for example, that Amazon manages to consistently serve you with relevant ads. Their eCommerce division combines the enormous masses of data at their disposal with AI, to accurately predict what kinds of offerings will resonate with you.

For B2B marketers, greater personalization means more efficiency and greater ROI. Marketing efforts won’t be wasted on unqualified leads or accounts, and sales will similarly save time by only focusing on genuinely qualified prospects. Tailoring content more personally also means their marketing spend can go a lot further.

For example, personalized emails are can generate a sixfold increase in in transaction rates than generic email campaigns.

3. Omni-channel marketing

On a related note: personalization also opens the potential for B2B marketers to fully utilize all the channels available to them in ways that have until now been impossible.

For example, online ad campaigns are seen as notoriously ineffective in the B2B world. But that’s more a function of the two-dimensional, “traditional” B2B methodology — i.e. just target a specific group of company IP addresses and hope the right people at those accounts will see a relevant ad. Unsurprisingly, you won’t get far by simply throwing content in the general direction of your customers and hoping it lands in front of the right person.

Direct mail poses similar challenges: it’s a particularly high-cost strategy, which is only worth pursuing if you’re confident of a reasonably high response rate.

Switching to an audience-centric model helps to narrow the field significantly. Using the right individual-level data can make targeting far more effective for B2B marketers too, by ensuring the campaigns they’re investing in are reaching the right audiences.

To illustrate: a recent Facebook ad campaign we ran at Leadspace saw a 25% lift in click-through rates when we utilized AI to target a more specific, relevant audience.

4. Speak wants and needs, not product features

Every B2B marketer worth their salt knows that to reach your prospects, you need to address the problems you’re solving rather than the specific features of your product or service, no matter how impressive or sophisticated they are.

And yet, so many B2B marketers are still putting their audiences to sleep by yammering away about their product’s shiniest features. The reason for this is that it’s impossible to talk to your customers’ needs if you don’t know who they are and what their pain points are. Without that vital intelligence, the only alternative is to either talk generically or simply fall back on the product itself and hope some relatively informed prospects will respond.

Ultimately, the people who you want to sign a check will only do so in return for solutions to their own business problems. They aren’t interested in “state of the art,” “best in class,” or “advanced XYZ” — they’re looking for ways to be more effective at their jobs, save time, and avoid pressure from other departments or their managers.

Again, marketers can find that information by getting the right customer data — but it’s also just as important to listen to your customers themselves for important insights and feedback.

5. Turn customers into advocates

The most successful consumer brands know that their interaction with their customers doesn’t end with a sale. B2C marketers work hard to ensure their customers will keep coming back for more, and ideally act as advocates and encourage their friends to buy.

The idea of turning B2B customers into advocates sounds almost bizarre at first — B2B marketers aren’t selling anything fashionable, cool or viral. But so what? B2B customers aren’t looking for fashionable, cool or viral. By taking an audience-centric approach, B2B marketers can understand their customers’ most urgent pain points and then effectively solve them. Isn’t helping your customers sleep well at night knowing they’re doing their job better than ever before enough reason for them to become fans?

Bringing it all together

Many B2B marketers are starting to do at least some of these things already, perhaps without even realizing it. But as demand generation continues to evolve, the most successful marketers will be those who combine them all to provide truly audience-centric marketing campaigns which truly resonate with their target audiences.

With legacy technology, marketers are getting an imperfect view of who their customers are and what they want. Download the Customer Experience Simplified to learn how to manage your customer experience and give them what they want.

Image credit: Pexels Source:

Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Display Advertising, Display Advertising, Programmatic Advertising & Media Buying, Uncategorized

TAG awards 9 adtech companies with “Certified Against Malware” seal

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The Trustworthy Accountablity Group (TAG) has named nine companies as the initial recipients of the “Certified Against Malware” seal. AppNexus, DataXu, Google, LKQD, OpenX, Publishers Clearing House, Rocket Fuel, Sovrn, and The Media Trust received the seal for implementing TAG’s anti-malware standards.

“You can’t stop fraud without stopping malware because the two are intertwined at nearly every level,” Mike Zaneis, CEO, Trustworthy Accountability Group, told MarTech Today. “Malware is the vehicle that allows fraudsters to create their bot networks and corrupt the digital advertising ecosystem, and today’s announcement is an important step in stopping those criminals and increasing confidence in our supply chain. We commend the first group of companies to receive these seals and look forward to expanding the ranks of certified companies even further over coming months.”

To qualify for TAG’s Certified Against Malware seal, companies must adhere to a set of guidelines based on their role in the supply chain, including TAG’s best practices for scanning malware released last year.

The nine companies are also partnering in TAG’s Malware Threat Sharing Hub, which provides a central resource for sharing and accessing near real-time information about malware attacks. Companies can access it to keep their own defense systems up to date, and TAG makes information from the Hub available to law enforcement agencies to assist in criminal prosecutions.

The industry group has also certified companies in its programs aimed at combating ad fraud and piracy. Last month, TAG launched a tool to help keep ads from running on apps that distribute pirated content.

[This article originally appeared on MarTech Today.]

Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Video, Google, Google: YouTube, Uncategorized, Video

Google reportedly pitching publishers on YouTube video player with ad inventory controls

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Just as Google has issued another update on its efforts to address advertisers’ brand safety concerns on YouTube, AdvertisingAge is reporting the company is shopping a new YouTube solution for publishers.

According to Ad Age, YouTube is offering publishers the ability to control the ads served on their YouTube videos when they use its video player. To sweeten the deal, the player and accompanying analytics are free.

While some publishers are weary of giving Google yet another hook into their businesses, The Atlantic’s Kim Lau told Ad Age that YouTube’s player and analytics are superior to other video players and that there is appeal to “consolidating our video strategy.” In The Atlantic’s case, that consolidation means a move away from video hosting and distribution platform Brightcove.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Posted in Uncategorized


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We often know how to plan for the future, but find it hard to take the necessary steps. This hour, TED speakers challenge the inevitable and explore what to do today to prepare ourselves for tomorrow.TED speakers include neuroscientists Daniel Levitin and Rebecca Brachman, writer (and neuroscientist) Lisa Genova, epidemiologist Seth Berkley, and behavioral economist Daniel Goldstein. Source:

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Channel: Display Advertising, Display Advertising, Display Advertising Column, How To Guides: Display Advertising, Uncategorized

Attributing affiliate value: Looking beyond consumer journey position

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Marketers at work

The popularity of the already well-established affiliate channel continues to grow as part of the marketing mix. US affiliate spending will total $5.37 billion in 2017, according to an eMarketer report, a 12 percent increase over 2016’s $4.78 billion. The same report states one of the reasons for this growth is that it is highly measurable — a key characteristic of performance marketing as a whole.

However, the demands on affiliate marketers to accurately measure performance are becoming more sophisticated as the modern consumer journey becomes increasingly complex. As such, more marketers are realizing the importance of attributed measurement than ever before: Almost 60 percent of US marketers expect to carry out cross-channel measurement and attribution in 2017, according to a study.

As affiliate marketers look to measure performance across the whole consumer journey for a better understanding of the value of their work, more affiliate networks are promoting their own attribution capabilities. But what should you demand from your data?

Being able to see which publishers have played a role in the path to purchase beyond that last click is just the beginning. If you’re looking to attributed reporting to improve your affiliate marketing performance, you need to be thinking beyond recognizing the value of upper-funnel publishers to get the most out of your data.

Attributing affiliate value 101

Advertisers working with content publishers, such as influencers and bloggers, need to be able to measure how those publishers — which can often appear toward the beginning of the path to purchase — contribute to revenue. US data from Rakuten Marketing, my employer, shows that of all the orders placed where a customer has interacted with a content publisher, that publisher is the first touch point 60 percent of the time.

In other words, content publishers kick off the sales process 60 percent of the time. If you only look at performance on a last-click basis, it’s likely that the contribution of these publishers will be undervalued. You might even choose to pause activity with your content partners, which could lead to a loss in revenue farther down the line.

For example, for one of our UK fashion clients, analyzing data across the whole user journey revealed up to 5x more revenue attributable to content publishers than looking at performance on a last-click basis. This insight gave the brand the data-driven confidence to invest more into its content publishers.

Understand the cross-channel view to provide a better consumer experience

Historically, carrying out a non-siloed approach to marketing has been an issue for marketers. However, we’re seeing more and more brands and retailers across our client base taking this cross-channel view.

This view allows you to analyze the performance of your affiliate activity in the context of your other marketing channels. It can also show you which channels you should be using together to provide an effective and consistent message and a better cross-channel consumer experience.

For example, in another of my recent Marketing Land articles, I gave an example of one of our clients that saw an increase in conversion rate when display was involved in the consumer journey.

Channels such as email, SEO and social media saw the biggest impact, but affiliates also saw around a 25 percent increase in conversion rate. Identifying the channels that have the biggest influence on each other gives you the opportunity to test the (hopefully much improved) impact of a campaign run across those multiple channels — a campaign that provides consistent messaging and a better consumer experience at each stage of the consumer journey, hopefully resulting in increased sales.

See which publishers drive new customers

For retailers looking to acquire new customers, the ability to differentiate between those users who have purchased from you before and those who haven’t — regardless of which channel — is essential. This segmentation then allows you to identify which affiliate publishers are most effective at driving new customers and, therefore, shape your customer acquisition strategies.

Aggregated data from our attribution and insights platform shows that 76 percent of the attributed revenue brought in by coupon publishers is from new customers. So, coupon publishers become one of the likely partners for brands looking to attract new purchasers.

Determine the role of affiliates in driving engagement and lifetime value

Affiliate advertisers want to work with publishers that are driving engaged users and customers that promise a high lifetime value. Identifying these publishers is only possible if you have access to on-site performance data (e.g., how many pages of your site a user referred to by a content publisher visits) and data that shows the repeat purchase behavior of customers regardless of channel.

Having a cross-channel view allows you to see how effective your affiliate activity is at driving loyal customers in comparison with your other marketing channels. However, having the ability to drill down into the data further to a publisher type and individual publisher level enables better strategic planning of your affiliate activity.

For example, for a range of UK high-end fashion clients, our data demonstrates that customers who purchase via shopping publishers become the most loyal and returning customers. Four out of five customers acquired through shopping publishers in Q3 continued to spend with the brands in Q4. Having access to this insight enables those clients to confidently shape their affiliate strategy to include shopping publishers in order to attract engaged and valuable customers.

Demand insights that provide demonstrable results

Using attributed reporting needs to provide insights that lead to discernible results — whether that’s changing the shape of customer acquisition strategies, shifting budget across channels, increasing investment in certain publishers or any other action that helps you meet your objectives.

To achieve those results, you need to ensure that the data and insights you are given access to are not only based on an accurate view of the full user journey but are also easily accessible and clear enough to take action. You need granular data that gives insight into your customers’ behavior, on top of the initial understanding of where publishers sit in the path to purchase.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Display Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Programmatic Advertising & Media Buying, Uncategorized

IAB Tech Lab releases MRAID 3.0 for creating in-app rich media ads across platforms

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mobile apps, phone

The IAB Tech Lab announced the release of MRAID 3.0 on Thursday. This version of the Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions builds on the universal specs for creating in-app rich media ads that can automatically run in any MRAID-capable app, across devices and operating systems.

“MRAID will be the bridge for in-app advertisement that allows the industry to focus on being creative instead of being bogged down supporting proprietary implementations,” the IAB Tech Lab said in the announcement. “MRAID 3.0 provides compelling interfaces for the creative to understand where and how it fits in an application, and enables it with a much better way to deliver the brand’s creative experience to the user.”

The release comes after a public comment period during which the IAB Tech Lab says it received more than 50 comments and suggestions that resulted in improvements and additional new features.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Display Advertising, Display Advertising, Display Advertising: Ad Fraud, Programmatic Advertising & Media Buying, Uncategorized

TAG launches tool to help keep ads off apps that pirate content

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Mobile user

The Trustworthy Accountability Group, a trade organization aimed at keeping fraud and other criminal activity out of digital advertising, has launched a tool to track apps that distribute illegal pirated content, including TV shows, music and movies.

The initiative provides a shared resource for TAG members — which include brands and publishers such as Disney, Warner Bros. and VertaMedia; agencies, including Publicis Groupe and Omnicom; sellers like Google and Facebook; and intermediaries like OpenX and The Trade Desk — to keep so-called pirate apps that violate intellectual property rights out of the advertising supply chain.

There are already more than 8,000 apps listed in the resource.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

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