If This Process Is So Broken, Why Hasn’t Anyone Fixed It?

For those of you who found Part 1 in my AdExchanger series on Programmatic Reserve interesting, here’s Part 2.

Enjoy!

Programmatic Reserve: Let’s Solve The Right Problem

Just a quick post today, to steer readers of this page to AdExchanger for some thoughts on programmatic reserve.

Enjoy!

Programmatic Branding

Today’s AdExchanger roundup highlighted a great presentation by Bob Arnold of Kellogg Company.   His talk was on brand marketing via programmatic buying.  We obviously hear a lot about programmatic buying (primarily RTB) for DR campaigns, but this is a great reminder that we’ve still just scratched the surface of what programmatic buying can offer.

First of all, there’s much more that can be done with RTB to help brands increase efficiency.  Given the size of Brand budgets, this is a big (huge) area for growth.  Bob shares some great case examples from Kellogg’s experience:

1)    Having the right measurement framework is critical.  Bob’s not talking about CPA and conversion attribution here.  He’s driving long-term changes in purchase behavior through an offline channel.  So he divides metrics into short-term (brand safety, viewability, composition and frequency), mid-term (attitudinal lifts like awareness and purchase intent) and long-term (offline sales lift as measured by Marketing Mix Models).  This is all stuff I’ve discussed before, but we in the tech community can’t hear it too often and it’s particularly great to hear it from a big marketer explicitly in the context of RTB.  Nielsen for one is listening.  They already had a big presence in the first and last buckets, and they recently doubled down on the middle with their Vizu acquisition.   Vizu and Nielsen work great together, so this is a very smart deal.

2)    Creative is fundamental.  In Bob’s words: “Creative quality is paramount…the media plan simply amplifies the creative message.  Studies from comScore and Dynamic Logic [show that] 50-80% of the value of a branding campaign comes from the creative…it’s imperative you get that right.”  Great creative is altogether too rare online, but there are some great examples out there, like this one.  This ad made me stop and think.  And the more I thought, the more it took me away.  I will remember it and it will make me more likely to buy Legos for my kids.  Bob’s comments and creative like this are a reminder that while advertising – the activity – will be an increasingly technical pursuit for the foreseeable future, the best advertising – the thing – will continue to be driven by great creative that leverages this technology to connect people with products in a way that creates a lasting impression.

3)    Doing it right drives great results.  Bob claimed that programmatic buying for Kellogg doubled targeting accuracy while increasing viewability to >70% (higher than direct buys).  It also cut eCPM (CPM adjusted by comp & viewability) by >50% from their starting reference point.  The combination of these factors (assuming creative was comparable before and after) drove improvements in ROI (via MMM) by ~5X.  Just a stunning impact.

These examples demonstrate the power of RTB, in the hands of a savvy marketer, to drive Brand results.  Good news for all of us.

But I also want to point out that there’s more to programmatic buying than RTB.  There’s a whole set of programmatic premium, automated reserve (or whatever else you want to call it) capabilities possible on which the ecosystem as a whole as has barely scratched the surface.  A couple of the pioneers in this area include Brand.net and isocket, but I assure you there will be other, larger players down this path after them.  These next-gen programmatic capabilities are a great complement to the current set of RTB capabilities and they are tailor-made for branding.

It’s exciting to see a large marketer smartly leveraging the available technology in a new way to drive such great results.  It will be even more exciting to see what’s possible as the market begins to deliver more technology focused on this important class of use cases.

Love that Ad Exchanger

Great article by John Ebbert himself on Ad Exchanger today.

John draws very insightful parallels between the data ownership issues that are an important factor in the current trade dispute between American Airlines and several online travel agencies and a similar data ownership conflict brewing in the online ad space.

I should have referenced this example in my recent post on the latter topic.  It’s a great example.  I was aware of the American story, but didn’t make the connection.

Nice job, John!

See what all the fuss is about!

Another quick post today to encourage those of you that haven’t read today’s Q&A on AdExchanger to check out the demo for MFP On DemandTM.     Also see more coverage of Thursday’s press release on Fast Company.

It’s Time For The Futures Exchange

A quick post to direct readers to today’s guest article for AdExchanger.  It will be pushed to the broader AdExchanger audience tomorrow in John’s roundup, but I wanted our readers to have a “sneak peek” to get the dialog started.

As always, I am very interested in your thoughts and comments.

What is a DSP?

Just a quick post to go “on the record” in the context of the recent AdExchanger threads (1 and 2) defining/discussing “Demand Side Platforms” (DSPs).

I agree with those who indicated it is way too early to lock down a narrow definition of DSP.  Arguably anything that’s really a “platform” should never need a description that’s as detailed as the list offered in the first post, but regardless its definitely too soon in this particular market.

At this stage I think all are better served by a more general definition.  Fundamentally, I think any entity that meets the following criteria with sufficient breadth of capabilities is a DSP:

  • Technology that interfaces directly with demand-side entities
    • “Interface” does not necessarily mean GUI.  An API could be even more useful if it meets the customer requirements
    • Demand-side entities may include agencies and/or advertisers
  • Technology that adds significant value in the process of buying and/or management of media
    • Value could originate from data integration, forecasting, buy automation or other operational efficiency gains, supply source integration, delivery and/or pricing risk management, increased ad effectiveness through optimization, impression filtering/categorization
    • Etc., etc., etc…
  • Technology that operates as directed by the demand side entity (i.e., the customer)
    • The technology can be used flexibly and transparently by the customer in a way that benefits its business, with limited incentive conflicts

Obviously, technology is the common thread; DSPs will compete on the strength of their technology and networks with weak technology (essentially bucket shops, substituting people and excel for real technology) will find themselves increasingly squeezed between DSPs and exchanges.

One final point:  “platform” implies broad capabilities.  Many companies exist with valuable capabilities that meet the above criteria, but that couldn’t properly be called platforms.  I would suggest that Demand Side “Tools” (DSTs?) is probably more appropriate for more narrow capabilities.  These tools may be used directly by demand side entities and/or be packaged by DSPs.

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