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Mad Men meet Mr. Spock; Programmatic Ad Buying

October 13, 2013 in Blog

programmatic ad buyingWe’re witnessing the death throes of advertising’s “Mad Men” era, and the birth of the Mr. Spock era. Mr. Spock is all about making logic-driven decisions with programmatic ad buying based on data collected about consumers and the context surrounding the ad. Who is clicking, and is that click leading to a transaction? Is this ad worth what we’re paying? Mad Men were all about coming up with clever ideas for ads, treating clients to steak-and-martini dinners, and putting TV spots on the most popular shows. You didn’t know exactly who saw your ad when it ran on “Bonanza,” or what impact it had on sales, but you knew it reached a lot of people.

Basically, explains venture capitalist Jeffrey Bussgang, “The geeks have taken over the advertising industry, and it turns out we have a lot of geeks in Boston.”

In the Spock era, it’s amazing how much information an advertiser can get about who’s seeing their message, and how automatic the purchase and placement of these ads are. As you click around a website on your iPad, for instance, advertisers can bid to have their ad shown on a page as it loads.

What price is Zappos willing to pay to reach a 37-year-old woman in Wellesley on a given Sunday? They can pay for their ads to follow you from one site to another, a practice called re-targeting. They can even set ads to show up only when the weather is below 30 degrees.

“Honda might try to encourage people to do test drives by ‘geo-fencing,’ ” says Jennifer Lum, cofounder of Adelphic Mobile, an ad tech start-up in Waltham. Geo-fencing uses your phone’s current location to determine which ads to show you. “They can have mobile ads show up only when someone on a phone or tablet is within a mile of one of their dealerships. Or Starbucks could advertise to users who are close to Dunkin’ Donuts locations.”

And just like programmed stock market trading, many of these ad campaigns are being run automatically with programmatic ad buying. “If you are a company like Wayfair with millions of products, you want to use software to figure out what products to advertise where, and with which kinds of ads,” says Ric Calvillo, chief executive of Boston-based Nanigans, which is nearing 150 employees.

Boston start-ups like Jebbit and SessionMare trying to devise new ways to incentivize consumers to watch or interact with ads. SessionM, for instance, offers a kind of “frequent flier point” for using mobile apps; they can be given out by the app itself, but you get more when you do something with an advertiser, like watch a video or fill out a survey.

With enough of SessionM’s points, “You can shop for Amazon or iTunes gift cards, or make a charitable donation,” says chief executive Lars Albright. “It turns advertising into a more positive experience than just slapping up a banner ad, which people see as basically spam.” His Boston company has 60 employees and has raised $26 million from investors.

All of these new forms of digital influence may skeeve out consumers, who’d prefer to remain untargeted and unmolested. But it’s important to remember that in the Mad Men era, we had soap operas and “Seinfeld” on TV because we watched the commercials. In the Mr. Spock era, we have free apps and social networks because we watch — and occasionally click on — the ads.

“It’s an explicit value exchange,” says Lum. “Consumers get apps and content, but the creation is being subsidized by advertisers that want to reach them.”

The technology delivering the ads may be new, but the trade-off is the same.

To read the article in its entirety visit the Boston Globe.

The post Mad Men meet Mr. Spock; Programmatic Ad Buying appeared first on Adelphic.

What is a Mobile Demand Side Platform?

March 15, 2013 in Blog

Mobile Demand Side Platform

Some companies claiming to be “mobile demand side platforms” are veiled mobile ad networks, or at least they’re mobile ad network-like. Which is to say they may be taking margin without disclosing price paid to the client.

Others may be more transparent, buying on a per-impression basis and charging licensing fees as a standard DSP would do. These companies may bring bidding and optimization features, and data sources, geared to capturing impression opportunities among the confusing array of smartphones and tablets.

We asked a few people for their take on this frequently applied label.

“Mobile DSPs need to unlock the marketing potential of the largely anonymous mobile inventory available in market today. Mobile DSPs require advanced technology that enables faster and more complex processing on a much larger data set. Mobile DSPs need to collect, combine, analyze and process massive amounts of real-time data in order to execute successful campaigns.  Decisions must be made based on real-time analysis of over 100 mobile data points.

There are factors unique to mobile that DSPs must be able to handle across operating systems, browsers, apps, locations, and thousands of devices. An effective mobile DSP must offer robust solutions for each of these fundamental challenges:

  • Variability in data availability
  • User identification
  • Audience intelligence and segmentation
  • Tracking

Of course bidding, targeting, and optimization tools are also required. However they must be designed to consider mobile-specific data to drive real-time consumer behavior and positive ROI.”

To read the article in its entirety, visit AdExchanger.

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Meet the 21 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising

July 11, 2012 in Blog

Mobile AdvertisingWhen we compiled our list of the most important people in mobile advertising — the Mobile Power List 2012 — it contained one depressing anomaly: They were all men.

While there are plenty of influential women in the business, most of them have CEOs above them who are male. When women are CEOs, it tends to be at smaller companies they founded themselves.

So we set out to find and rank the most powerful women in the mobile ad business.

First, we asked our readers to submit nominations. To ensure the nominations weren’t self-serving, we also asked you to submit two nominations from other companies, rivals or colleagues.

This is not a complete list of every influential woman in mobile advertising, obviously. We chose the women with larger client bases, greater revenues (or spending) further reach, larger staffs and more innovative ideas than their peers. There are plenty of women who could have been named to the list, but because they work for companies where there is a peer company that employs an even more powerful woman, we didn’t include them here. We also discriminated against companies that aren’t specific about their revenues, employee headcounts and user reach.

The result is a list that counts not just the most important women in the business, but the women who are also the most prominent for their company type. (For further detail, we discuss the methodology behind the rankings at the end of the list.)

#21 Jennifer Lum

Adelphic Mobile only launched this year but Lum makes it onto the list because of her resume and connections: She was vp/advertising operations at Quattro Wireless, the company that was acquired by Apple and turned into iAd.

She’s been in mobile advertising since 2005, and mentors and invests in other small mobile companies.

We’re curious to see how successful Lum and Adelphic’s “predictive data platform” will be.

To read the article in its entirety, visit Business Insider.

The post Meet the 21 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising appeared first on Adelphic.

4 Mobile Marketing Trends to Watch

April 17, 2012 in Blog

mobile marketingAs a marketing professional, I spend a lot of time learning and educating on digital trends. With the current rate of growth, mobile marketing has been one of the most exciting to monitor. The data on user adoption is changing almost daily, with consumers actively changing the way they consume, share and publish.

To keep up with these changes, brands and media companies are regularly making advancements that affect our industry. For this column, I spent some time with my agency’s mobile strategy team to define the top four current trends.

More Data Capture, More Targeting
Advertisers have been able to target by location, content and demographics for some time now. Recently “social targeting” and retargeting across mobile-enabled platforms has emerged. The new capabilities represent a significant opportunity to hone ad delivery. They also allow for greater customization of messaging.

Social targeting (e.g., partners like LocalResponse, Twitter, and Facebook): Scrapes social conversations tied to location to target users. Great for determining very specific communication opportunities.

Retargeting (e.g., partners like Tapad, BlueCava, and Adelphic): Uses connected devices that require registration to trigger usage patterns. Technology can then serve ads based on data collected.

The “Holy Grail” will be a connection point and solid data capture between all digitally enabled platforms (desktop, IPTV, phone, and tablet) … but you can’t be too greedy.

Content Is Adapting
With the proliferation of more digital access points, the attention span of customers is more and more limited. The content should mirror the expectations of the user and brands are starting to use this research to guide asset development across mobile and tablet devices, making content more accessible across all formats (app or mobile web).

Brands should be developing content tied to the consumer’s primary needs. This is true if you are running standard ads in mobile media placements or if you are developing content for organic distribution (e.g., Flipboard). Content development and distribution have positioned marketers as an advertiser and a publisher. It is important to understand the demands on a brand’s content in an always-on, connected culture.

Social Media Is at the Forefront
We have all heard (and agree) that a mobile device is the most personal technology a user constantly accesses. It is unsurprising that social represents a majority of a consumer’s time in mobile. According to comScore, 45% of all Facebook traffic and 55% of all Twitter traffic is mobile. Unlimited access via mobile is not just changing how people access the social web, it’s changing what they do when they get there.

Activation, Activation, Activation
Engaging consumers through mobile continues to be a hot topic. Many brands are trying it out, for right or wrong. I see the opportunities focused in four main areas: visual (QR codes), mobile visual search (Google Goggles), audio (Shazam), and native (SMS, MMS).

QR codes have reported the largest growth (63%) in the past six months. Activation through mobile can be a great opportunity to extend the conversation from a traditional medium and represents a tracking mechanism. However, it is only as good as the content provided; it needs to be done at the right time with the right content, providing value to the consumer.

These represent just a few top trends for mobile; with the seismic change in the industry, many of these developments will likely be outdated in just a few months.

To view the article in its entirety, visit Mashable.

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