Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’

With marketing departments typically focusing on P&L / ROI of ad campaigns and product development on product quality, product feature enhancements / performance and customer UX, it’s easy for the two business areas to be fragmented which could make the end goal harder to reach.

Ironically although the individual department goals for both are normally so separate and different, the most common problems they face can sometimes be solved by the other eg. Acquisition marketing unable to increase incremental volume because the CPA / ROI / ARPU of the additional media spend doesn’t look healthy, yet fixing some bugs around the product feature in question, a feature enhancement or a new product release is likely to contribute to the solution that allows a raft of new customers through the door efficiently. Vice versa, a new shiny product or feature where the target audience is so niche that acquisition marketing efficiency / volume is poor or it’s unlikely existing customers will benefit, then it’ll be an uphill struggle to make the product viable.

Fortunately the majority of brands have both of these areas in-house so it does make optimising the relationships and responsibilities easier. Naturally one area cannot exist without the other even when you look at brands like Google and Facebook who have groundbreaking products, yet still require nicely crafted ad campaigns to generate incremental revenue.

Product developers don’t bite and marketers don’t just care about ad campaign performance, so close collaboration which is vital can be achieved by letting down a shield and discussing problems openly and bravely, so that multiple solutions can be discussed and you never know, the problem you thought was a tough problem to solve, may not be so tough anymore.

Again, close collaboration is key and potentially another way of aiding / fast tracking an improved relationship is by recruiting a marketer or two into the product development arena or vice versa.

The two departments working collaboratively to solve problems could lead to some spectacular chemistry.

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Since the rise of bid optimising / RTB there’s been more of an appetite for advertisers to seriously consider taking the digital media planning and buying function in-house, for many reasons whether cost savings or the function being closer to product.

Due to this, there’s been a shift in why and where people change jobs within the digital media industry.

Neil Middlemass’s recruitment consultancy ran a survey recently asking the burning key questions (below) to industry specialists resulting in the truth about moving in house being revealed.

The Headlines
Why does everyone want to move in-house?
Career
Do client-side roles pay more?
Will working client-side improve my career progression?
Is it easier to diversify your channel exposure in-house?
Are agency acquired skills valued higher than in-house skills?
What draws senior agency people in-house?
Hiring
What are the benefits of employing agency people into in-house roles?
Working Mechanics
Do you have more influence and control working in-house?
Is client-side work too far away from the action?
Is it easier to get campaigns signed off in-house?
Is it more difficult to stay up to date with the market in-house?
Lifestyle
Is the work/life balance better in-house?
How does the social life at work differ?
Where are in-house roles based?
Working Environment
How does the working culture differ in-house compared to agency?
Do you have to work harder at an agency?
How target-driven are in-house roles and how is success measured?
Are the offices more or less impressive client-side?
How big are in-house teams compared to agency side?
How much does the vertical the company works in affect the culture of the company?
Conclusions?
After speaking to everyone, what did I learn?

It’s powerful, flexible, customisable, saves thousands of man hours, provides valuable customer insights / behaviour and most importantly ensures that you get a healthy ROI if used in the right way.

Meet The Brain: The Brain is MediaMath’s proprietary algorithm and ingests data (60 billion opportunities everyday to be exact) and decisions against that data.

Their algorithm’s left-brain and right-brain work together to analyse large pools of impressions, looking at dozens of user and media variables, to determine which impressions will best meet an advertiser’s goal.The Brain values each impression based on its likelihood of driving an action, and bids accordingly.

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Ever wondered what the digital agency market looks like from space?

Well Neil’s Recruitment did and as a result they built the below infographic:

”Digital

dictnry

Programmatic

When a process is automated and self-service is the definition of programmatic.

When looking at programmatic buying, this would include: paid search, Facebook marketplace and FBX, affiliates, display RTB, online video RTB and any other biddable media / RTB buy.
Trading Desk

A team of ‘programmatic planners / buyers’ is the definition of a trading desk.

Most agencies claim they have a ‘trading desk’ yet run paid search, affiliates and Facebook marketplace in different buildings to their RTB buys, in which case they should be called a managed service DSP or ad network.

Only when an agency has all programmatic buying under one team and one ‘head of’ can they truly call themselves a trading desk and have the ability to run a trading desk as it should be done.

In house

Ad agencies have offered huge value for advertisers for decades and continue to do so. This will never change.

The key benefits of outsourcing the media planning and buying function to ad agencies include the likes of: global negotiating power, specialist contacts for sponsorship deals, cross client learnings, cross channel integration, deal with the hassle and admin and it’s someone for the CMO or CEO to blame if the business isn’t hitting key targets.

With programmatic buying (Paid Search, Social Media, Display RTB, Online Video, Mobile and Affiliates) becoming the bulk of digital Marketing, the majority of these benefits no longer applies therefore it doesn’t make sense and can be classed as lazy if a brand wasn’t to even consider taking all programmatic buying in-house.

Although rightfully CEO’s obsess about growth, also ‘wastage’ and efficiency across the business needs to be reviewed often.

Let’s look at the pros and cons for taking all programmatic buying in-house:
Pros

  • New digital media team would be sitting next to all other marketing areas eg. CRM, creative, content, web design, product managers.
  • Close to business KPI’s and budgets so they can be extremely reactive.
  • No hidden margins in bid platforms.
  • Can often get cheaper adserving and bid platform rates.
  • Team become specialists in the business sector / vertical.
  • 100% of time and focus will be given to the one client.
  • Learnings and data won’t be shared with other clients with no chance of leakage to competitors.
  • Can turn around new campaigns significantly quicker.
  • 24 hour contact.
  • Will always have the time to stay ahead of the game.
  • Work closely with the data team / in-house DMP optimising on real KPI’s such as revenue / LTV / ARPU.
  • Can openly recommend business requirements to CEO in order to get things done quickly and grow the business.
  • No hidden agendas – everyone aiming for the same goal.
  • Other internal departments can be educated about what role the media buy has on business goals.

Cons

  • Can take six months to recruit team, train grads and setup systems and data integrations.
  • Ad agency would have to make more effort to integrate offlline and online brand with internal programmatic team.
  • The CEO might ignore team recommendations of key requirements needed to improve marketing.
  • CMO would need to find someone who has +5 years experience in programmatic buying across all channels to head up the team and train the grads.

There are certainly plenty of pros and if you’re wondering how to kick things off, speak to some of the recruitment agencies below who will be able to provide an abundance off free advice:

Neil’ Recruitment

Digital Bubble

Puddle

Offline brand activity has been measured in the same way for decades through econometrics – mainly looking at the correlation which offline activity has with brand search volume and bottom line acquisitions / revenue.

Many digital specialists claim that this way of measuring offline brand activity was built for offline and it would be unfair to use this method for measuring online brand. Yet, those digital specialists are more than happy to attribute post view data to all online advertising without analysing actual cause and causality.

The reason why many feel that it’s unfair, is because online branding is expensive and when looking at the correlation of online brand spend vs. offline spend through an econometrics model, offline shows a greater ROI for many advertisers. Also when it comes to banners, in many instances there is zero correlation between banner impression volume and brand search uplift / bottom line acquisitions.

Just because you can track post view, it doesn’t mean that you should attribute post view conversions to campaigns. Most digital planners who have been around for a while know how this can be easily abused, you only have to look back at the classic Yahoo Marketplace placement on the Yahoo HP where an impression counter could be attached to the ad to remember this.

The key objective for all brand activity is to deliver a positive ROI no matter how the consumer got to your site / store or whether the ad was delivered online or offline. I can’t imagine any marketer spending money on advertising and not ever wanting a return from that spend, so it’s pretty safe to say that the key objective above is fact.

So what is the most robust way of measuring the ROI of online brand activity.

Analysing the correlation that both uplift in brand search volume and bottom line acquisitions / revenue has on any medium to large weight brand campaign (online or offline), is the most effective way of viewing impact / ROI in a robust and truthful way. This would mean that econometrics would be perfect to measure the effectiveness of online brand campaigns also.

In order to determine cause / causality, the brand activity would have to be signficant eg. Portal / social network takeovers, online video or high volume display burst campaigns so then the noise will show up in an econometrics model.

For very low volume online branding, there is an option to use in view post view data as a proxy of success, but it’s essential to remember that you won’t know whether the conversions would have happened anyway, unless you have run a placebo controlled test.

The ultimate goal is to know what brand opportunities are the most cost efficient way of increasing conversions / revenue. Basic econometrics is still the most effective way of reaching this goal across all marketing channels.

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As digital media skills become more valuable to the industry and there’s a huge lack of them in certain areas, some grads in their first job in marketing / advertising are demanding an extra £20k pay rise in the first 18 months of starting work.

This causes many issues especially ad agencies when it comes to managing retention. iProspect are a good example of how agencies have had to adapt by adopting a quarterly pay review rather than annual.

With these ludicrous demands at such an early stage in their career, minimal work experience and a lack of key skills which is required to be able to think for themselves, have the confidence or knowledge to improve campaign performance independently and generally still at the stage where they’re sitting at their desk wondering ‘what to do next’ is causing a level of ungratefulness and sense that there could be greater long term benefit / ROI to businesses by scrapping a grad only policy and accepting school leavers as a priority in some cases.

The right school leaver may not be able to string along words as grammatically correct and might require a calculator more often than grads, but what they do bring to the table is an abundance of common sense, drive, passion for their job, ability to get things done in a proactive way with less moaning and more doing , all of which are only normally naturally gained when working full time from the age of 16-18.

Let’s face it, we all know that you don’t need to be a rocket science to work in marketing / advertising and for those grads who think that all that’s required in our industry to get significant auto payrises is a degree and to turn up for work, really do need to wake up and smell the coffee because the industry is a fairly close nit industry and those who put the effort in will shine and those who expect an easy ride will be quickly identified.

Just because a degree is missing from a CV, employers should think twice before discounting the applicant.

Neil’s recruitment blog touches on school leavers in digital media nicely.

spider.io-—-powering-accurate-analytics

RTB brings a wealth of benefits to display advertising and one of the biggest features which is coming soon is the ability to auto optimise across different placements within a page based on historical in view rates. Yes, there is above the fold targeting but the volume isn’t there and there is still value from advertising below the fold.

Many advertisers are throwing over 60% of their RTB spend and adserving down the drain because over half of the ads delivered simply did not get viewed. For those who accept PV, the wastage would be significantly higher as the channel gets attributed PV conversions where the ads didn’t even get viewed.

This is where viewability technology comes in. Let’s look at the viewability technology marketplace and the test results off the back of a study to find the best partner:

Firstly you need to identify what you class as ‘in view’ – some tools believe it or not have a default setting which cannot be changed of 1 pixel has to be in view to class the banner as ‘in view’. It’s recommended to set the values at 100% of ad surface viewed for a minimum of 4 seconds or 50% of ad surface for a minimum of 8 seconds.

Project Sunblock

The test didn’t even get off the ground as they only supported a solution where the creative would re-direct through their servers. This brings high risk of their technology affecting the ad delivery so this provider was ruled out

Comscore

This test also didn’t get off the ground as they struggled to send the necessary tagging over and their technology does not work with Chrome or IE browsers so for that reason alone this provider was ruled out

Alenty

  • They have a pretty good offering and do offer very good customer support. Their tech didn’t affect impression volume and is compatible with all browsers
  • Test results show: Germany (35.8% in view), Portugal (40.7% in view), Poland (42.9% in view) and UK (29.2% in view)
  • They can use a DSP macro to pass back campaign name, strategy name, exchange name and domain name
  • They have a good reporting UI and can setup bespoke reports
  • You can customise your in view calculation in the UI and the data adjusts in real-time.
  • Compatible with DSPs
  • Infectious Media have been using the tech for a while now with optimisation success
  • Referring to their demo on http://www.alenty.com/en/demo/display-ads (which has since been removed), if you move the banner half off screen or have another window in front of the banner, the ad surface remains as 100% and visibility duration continues to go up which is a huge downfall of the technology because if you’re going to track viewability then you need to do it right.

If it wasn’t for Spider.IO, this would have been a good alternative.

Spider IO

  • Very good technology which is compatible with all browsers and didn’t affect impression volume
  • In view rate of 17%
  • They can use a DSP macro to pass back campaign name, strategy name, exchange name and domain name
  • They don’t have a reporting UI yet, but can supply bespoke daily reports with customised in view calcs
  • Technology is patent
  • Compatible with DSPs
  • As per their demo, their technology is truly ground breaking http://spider.io/vStp83jg6/
  • They offer log level data which can go into a DMP

Spider.IO was the clear winner due to their patent tech, the demo which works and log level reporting. Alenty although the tech is not 100% is still a fantastic alternative.

Capture

A traditional way an ad agency generated revenue was through a variety of ways such as agency fee, adserving mark up, bid platform fee mark up and preferred partner trading deal kickbacks.

With more and more channels becoming programmatic led where negotiating doesn’t come into it and clients rightfully continue to be protective over their data, ad agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to stop revenue declining.

It’s becoming more popular for brands to include ad data into their existing DMP keeping the data in house and secure, take control of the adserving and bid platform contracts for further transparency and handle all biddable media / programmatic buying in house (paid search, desktop and mobile display (incl. RMTG), Facebook, Twitter, video / VOD….) allowing the brand to react quickly to ROI data and innovative new media options keeping them ahead of the game.

So this leaves a big hole in many traditional ad agency wallets meaning they’ll have to adapt to meet the current demands of brands. So what will the focus be on over the coming years for them:

  • Offline planning and buying will always be an essential part of an ad agency even as offline including TV transitions over to programmatic buying
  • Large sponsorships will also need global negotiating power so although there will be certain levels of kickbacks, ad agencies will always get a far superior deal than a brand
  • Consultation – although many digital agency specialists will move over to client direct, there will be a need across certain brands for support in setting up custom attribution models internally, econometrics and business development (whether it’s advising the CEO to focus on app development, building out their DMP for more insightful data or improving their in house trading desk) all of which would be priced accordingly.

Ad agencies will always be there to support brands whatever their needs, but in future it will be in a more transparent way.

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I went to the online video event which was put on by Adap.tv yesterday. It was certainly insightful and the panel were very open and clear about what they were looking to achieve and where the channel is going.

The only disappointing element I found was that it was heavily focused towards publishers moaning about how much revenue they want to make from online video and discussing about a common currency. I think the online video space especially publishers really need to step back a bit and think about the role which online video has within the wider selection of media channels, advertiser demand and actual impact of online video and where this sits in relation to impact from TV.

Marco from Vivaki touched on the fact that online video suppliers and publishers have given up trying to fight for the TV spend and it’s not a case of one or the other and more of a case of complimenting TV. Let’s look at this possibility in more detail:

1. This would indicate that advertisers have tried online video in high volumes by turning off TV whilst the online video ads have been running and the impact hasn’t been the same – if it was or better, advertisers would not have thought twice about investing in online video at high volumes vs. TV over the past few years. Just to confirm that we only have to look at Youtube volumes to understand that there is inventory aplenty across the www.

2. Complimenting TV would mean taking a fraction of what was the original vision of taking a significant chunk of TV spend

3. If by delivering small volumes of online video, this would be hard to measure because 1. We all know that online video will never work on a post click basis and 2. We know that in order to view any movement on brand search / bottom line acquisitions, then you need to deliver high volume because otherwise an economics system would find it hard to pick up the online video activity especially as there are so many other factors which create noise.

What I’d like to see are case studies or a concerted effort to work with clients to find out how impact differs vs. TV and also in terms of complimenting broadcast TV. Advertisers are not short of TV supply and when thinking of the main KPIs of a business which is to deliver a positive ROI, if they have extra budget why move it to online video when you can simply drive more TV ratings which would deliver a healthier ROI than online video.

Tim from BskyB mentioned that he’d like CPMs of around £60 to £70 for online video which is ludicrous without having a thought for what the advertiser would get out of it impact wise. I’m expecting publishers who are greedy to find that advertisers can find users in the right environment at the right time across thousands of other premium publishers at a fraction of the cost thanks to Adap.tv. I think it’s fabulous that Adap.tv have come up with the market leader at this early stage and it’ll be interesting to see how the impact value weighs up with broadcast TV or with any other digital channel.

If online video impact is considerably less vs broadcast TV, could this simply be down to consumer experience and someone who watches video online wants to watch exactly what they want and will not accept anything to get in their way, yet when you look at broadcast TV, you tend to have more than one person watching TV with no ability to forward ads on a 40” or so Samsung HD TV. Either way, it’s an absolutely crucial step which needs to take place soon and large spend across online video may not be unlocked until live TV is adserved and streamed through your 40” HD TVs.

Online video is double the price than TV when looking at the in target CPM (which is crazy alone and indicates that the online video CPMs really do need to come down) but the level of impact / value online video delivers to clients in the form of revenue is still unknown and until this key element has been unlocked, the online video spend potential will remain locked up.

website-view-300x217

If you’re keen to ensure that your banner ads are making an impact, you need to ensure that the banners are first and foremost in view / have a high possibility of being viewed.

If you’re wondering why there is no correlation between impressions or post view conversion volume with bottom line acquisitions, then it’s a high possibility that around 60% of ads aren’t even in view.

So the general census is the higher the CPM, the higher the in view rate right, yet from a study which has been done across a DSP, this is not strictly true:

When delivering impressions at an increment of 20 cent from 15 cent up to $1.50 CPM, it was found that the average in view rate (55%) was pretty much completely flat and if anything as the price went up, the in view rate went down.

Interestingly though as you’d expect, when running the same strategies across above the fold inventory across the same pricing structure, the in view rate significantly goes up to 70% although it’s still flat across all bid prices.

Based on these facts, the data suggests that above the fold inventory which is becoming more and more available is a more cost efficient way at driving impacts / views than simply increasing your bid price.