Content Roundup: Squad Goals — Naming Your AI — Tasty Charts and Graphs

Here’s some of our fav MadTech news from the last two weeks — pubs & techies team up to solve targeting issues, proper care and feeding of your new AI…  And if you missed out our OTT Roundtable, catch up here.

Anything juicy want to share? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook… or button it up on LinkedIn.

SQUAD GOALS!

TV Industry Mobilizing to Secure Its Fair Share  AdExchange, May 15, 2017
Fox, Turner and Viacom recently announced an audience targeting alliance.
#targeting #consortium #publishers #adtech

MadTech v Goliath Media Post, May 4, 2017
Team sports continue as tech throws-in to rival Facebook and Google on the targeting front.
#targeting #adtech

PROPER AI PARENTING.

Why Tech Companies Like IBM & Amazon Give AI Human Names  Adweek, May 24, 2017
Watson, Alexa to Einstein (and the disappeared Hemingway) – Who named these AIs?
#AI #ibm

Salesforce CEO Uses AI to End Internal Politics  Business Insider, May 18, 2017
Executives face being pointed out as needed specific attention by the company’s AI Einstein…
#AI #salesforce

TWO TOO BIG?

Google Knows When Its Users Buy Stuff  The Washington Post, May 23, 2017
Google’s hands are now on billions of credit card transaction records. They “declined to detail how the new system works.”
#o2o #privacyIssue #google #PII

Facebook & Google Dominate Web Traffic, But Not the Same Business Insider, May 24, 2017
80% of referral traffic comes from just these two – Facebook for lifestyle, Google for tech and business. Do you agree?
#referral #monopoly

THE MORE YOU KNOW…

The State Of Programmatic Direct In 4 Charts  DigiDay, May 16, 2017
Due to open-exchange being “a proverbial black box,” programmatic direct ad spend has increased 50% in 5 major countries from 2015 to 2016. And publishers are moving away…
#programmatic

UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS

June 6 – 8  /  Social Innovation Summit, Chicago, IL

June 7 – 9 /  99U Conference, New York, NY

June 17 – June 24  /  Cannes Lions, Cannes, France

June 21  /  Roundtable: Header Bidding, New York, NY

 

Ok Everyone, You Missed the Point

Last week Burger King earned significant publicity over their latest ad stunt, in which a TV spot was designed to hijack Google Home devices by asking “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” The hope was that viewers with a Google Home Virtual Digital Assistant (VDA) would hear a list the ingredients back from their device. There has been a lot of news and industry talk about the advertisement itself… the Wikipedia skirmishes… but so far, everyone has missed the point.

This stunt is not about the ad, but about the power of the home-based VDA. Given Google’s insatiable appetite for advertising revenue, Google Home is programmed to use Wikipedia to list Whopper ingredients — a tiny illustration of the power of VDAs. How long will it take for your Google Home, Amazon Echo, or other VDA, to not only link to an advertisement and choose where to direct you, but for Google and Amazon to get paid by brands for your virtual self-space? Imagine you ask for paper towels – let’s say your VDA can choose Bounty or Brawny – what is Amazon’s incentive to pick one brand over the other?

I already say to my Echo, “Alexa, reorder XYZ”, and it does. No price check, no alternative, and when XYZ is a generic item, like sugar, it effectively selects the brand. I know this is the effect of my own laziness, but what I expect to see soon will be nothing short of invasive. Amazon already knows far too much about me. Again, my own choice, but in this “winner take all” economy, our retail choices are going to become limited in an entirely new way. It will not just be the local merchant being pushed out by big boxes and malls. Even they are being shattered as we embrace e-commerce, online price checking, and are swayed by social influencers, changing how we buy. eMarkerter’s recent report on programmatic spending, indicating that 84% of all digital advertising will be programmatic, shows that algorithmically-driven advertising works.  It is coming to TV (already in video) and to every other form of advertising.

What is fascinating about the potential power of VDA as it relates to marketing, advertising, and commerce, is that no one is paying attention. This will be the largest sea change in advertising/marketing and controlled by only a few companies (Google, Amazon, Apple, ???). Both Google and Amazon have reduced the friction of every transaction and are basically selling a BIG EASY BUTTON for shopping. However, the costs of finding alternatives, or actually knowing what the alternatives are, will continue to empower that easy button. This enables yield pricing on every product we buy online.

Many are already familiar with how airlines present different prices to the same person based upon how they search (one price on Kayak, another on the company’s website, and a third price on the company’s app).  When I recently searched Delta for a flight from LaGuardia to St. Louis using these three methods I was simultaneously quoted three different prices (ranging from $171~$187).  In each instance, Delta knew different things about me, and therefor quoted me three different prices. What is to stop Amazon Echo from quoting me a different price? Amazon already changes its pricing in real time – that cookware set you bought yesterday may be cheaper today (and Amazon no longer offers price protection). Why wouldn’t Amazon set pricing based upon willingness to pay? They could tune their margins perfectly.

VDAs are becoming the next narrowing point of the purchase funnel. Limiting selection and actively managing price is simply the next step.

What can we do? The answer is complicated, but it begins with awareness. We professionals in the MadTech world are familiar with how algorithms dynamically bid for impressions, change creative content inside of ads, and generally drive the successful targeting of advertising. But most people don’t know how pricing algorithms discriminate based upon what they know. As these Madtech capabilities continue to migrate to pricing, the most important thing we can do it is not fall into the easy trap by spending a little more time looking for pricing alternatives.

Content Roundup: Chicken nuggets, Google gets a cold shower, Rubicon’s FastLane

In case you missed it, here are our staff’s fav MadTech news picks from the last two weeks. Notice something new? #Hashtags! We want to know what you’ve been reading, and what we missed. Tell us on Twitter, Facebook… or button it up on LinkedIn.  

In case you missed it 2x, here’s our previous Roundup (#redundant).

 

 

News Corp & Unruly seeking to redefine programmatic through new private marketplacesThe Drum, Apr. 10, 2017
Media buyers can now buy inventory that matches a person’s mood…
#emerging #programmatic #partnership

How The NYT, CNN, and HuffPo approach publishing on platformsNieman Lab, Mar. 30, 2017
A study from Columbia University examines how social platforms have changed journalism.
#publishing #study #social

Rubicon Project Announces Early Successes from Video Header Bidding BetaYahoo Finance, Apr. 6, 2017
The Exchange announced the initial results experienced by publishers using its video header bidding product…
#beta #emerging #programmatic

Diana Ionel, Starcom Romania: “The cold shower for Google is a good thing…”iCEE.news, Mar. 30, 2017
“No matter how sophisticated targeting is right now, the association with quality content involves a judgment on that content…”
#content #international

The Kendall Jenner Pepsi Creative BriefMedium, Apr. 6, 2017
This parody brief for Pepsi’s massive tone-deafness is right on the nose… 
#blowingIt #pepsi

World record for retweets could be broken over some free chicken nuggets The Verge, Apr. 6, 2017
A social media win for Wendy’s. Are you in one of the 2.7 million retweets?
#NuggsForCarter

 

UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS

April 19 – 20  /  Conversion Conference, Las Vegas, NV

April 23 – 26  /  Marketing Nation Summit, San Francisco, CA

April 25  /  Empire Startups FinTech Conference, New York, NY

April 26  /  Influencer Marketing Roundtable, New York, NY

 

(Join in! Tweet us or tell us on LinkedIn of some media that you think is worth sharing.)

Media We Like: “Backlash to the Walled Gardens?”

Here come the I.I. team’s headline roundup. Last week was terrible for Google. Will it be the beginning of advertisers standing up against the walled gardens? Ten brands rock in programmatic buying, whether doing it in-house or letting agencies pull the levers. We are just in the 1st inning of Sales Tech growth – hello to another crowded LUMAscape. (See our previous weekly picks here.)

YouTube Advertiser Exodus Highlights Perils of Online Ads (The New York Times) – Mar. 23, 2017
Google and YouTube are facing a full-scale advertising boycott from major brands like Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and Verizon. (CNET, Mar. 24)

The Top Ten Programmatic Advertisers (AdExchanger) – Mar. 20, 2017
The ten brands who fully embrace data-driven marketing, and understand how to work with a vast partner ecosystem and quality oversight.

Some responses following by P&G Pritchard’s seismic talk:
Premium publishers say They Can Solve His Digital Ad Problems (Advertising Age) – Feb. 16, 2017
DCN, an association of publishers including Hearst and NYT, argues that advertising with high-quality websites is one way out of the digital mess. “The primary way to avoid fraud is economic rather than technical.”

Voice from DSP: A New Era for Advertising Transparency Is Here (The Trade Desk) – Feb. 14, 2017
“To really move the needle on, our industry has got to reduce the conflict of interest it has accepted in the past.” In 2o16, The Trade Desk passed $1 billion in platform spend as non-display products gain stream. (AdExchanger, Feb. 16)

The Future of Sales Tech (LUMA) – Mar. 14, 2017
With over $25bn already invested across thousands of companies in MarTech, it is easy to see how the Sales Tech sector could experience similar growth – if not more.

(Join in! Tweet us or tell us on LinkedIn of some media that you think is worth sharing.)

 

Stop Calling It an AdTech Tax

We cringe when we hear it: tax. It feels awful, it sounds unfair. But taxes are additional costs tacked onto the original service or product that often have nothing to do with the deliverables themselves.

Weather transactional fees or SaaS, our fees are necessary to leverage all the amazing stuff we do for brands, agencies, publishers… AdTech has changed the game, embraced and continues to define the digital, attention-based economy. If we allow our revenue to be thought of as a tax, we will never define our value and maximize it openly and appropriately. And what’s worse, our hard-earned dollars will continue to seem somehow an unfair burden that nobody wants to pay for.

What we need is transparency, which will allow all parties to see the real value in AdTech.

According to Advertising Age, through the massive shift of programmatic revenue the IAB estimates that less than 45 percent of revenue into the ecosystem actually reaches the publisher. The IAB also notes that, “understanding where dollars are distributed across the stack from advertisers to publishers can be quite disorienting in the current programmatic landscape.”

…Well, that’s reassuring.

What happens if we have transparency, and all sides can see what-costs-what and who was involved in delivering an ad to real eyeballs? In our last roundtable, we quoted Mike Driscoll, CEO of MetaMarkets when working with a marketplace, “each time they increase the transparency they share with their partners, they actually see that market activity increases… transparency drives market activity.”

What happens when a marketplace is transparent?

  • Advertisers have the opportunity to spend their money more effectively
  • Advertisers have a POV from which to understand audience scarcity and understand the higher eCPMs for that audience
  • Publishers can stand behind the costs for reaching their high-value audiences
  • Publishers have the opportunity increase their revenue by selling smarter
  • AdTech can evolve to a more competitive ecosystem

The IAB agrees – and have essentially put their foot down by creating the Programmatic Fee Transparency Project. The initiative, led by Carl Kalapesi, VP-industry initiative at IAB, recognizes the lack of transparency that has undermined trust and liquidity in the marketplace, vowing “The IAB Programmatic Fee Transparency Project will develop guidance around fee disclosure and transparency within the programmatic ecosystem.”

Opacity is ultimately wasteful and counterproductive – we all know that trust builds lasting relationships. We will continue to deliver, innovate, and monetize our work, but our revenue is based on direct results. The first step in transparency is not calling our revenue something it isn’t.

So don’t call it a tax.

a man looking at laptop

Media We Like: “Data, clarifying lens or shenanigans?”

Here come the I.I. team’s picks for the week. (See our previous headline roundup here.)

Fake it till you make it’: Confessions of a recovering ad tech executive (Digiday) – Jan. 10, 2017
(From Dorian) “Almost all of the tech startups feel like, we’ll fake it until we have enough scale or data or algorithms get smarter.” Until then, it’s “shenanigans.”

Axios launches newsletters, gearing up toward a full-fledged site just in time for the Trump administration (Nieman Journalism Lab) – Jan. 9, 2017
(From Dorian) “We also want to make sure we reach the universe of serious news readers, anyone who on a daily basis consumes serious news. We think that’s roughly 15 to 20 percent of the adult population.”

Forecasts: Programmatic, Native on the up (BizReport) – Dec. 6, 2016
(From Mark C.) There’s a 15% to 20% increase in programmatic display pricing as we head toward 2018. And it is believed the next five years will show strong growth for native formats, with social helping to push growth.

2016 Marketing Technology Landscape (chiefmartec.com) – March 2016
(From Jonathon) So packed that you have to zoom in and zoom in to see a clear company logo.

Publishers are using their newsletters as labs for new offerings (Digiday) – Nov. 2, 2016
(From Chris) Newsletter subscribers are disproportionately loyal readers, which makes them an ideal group to test ideas on.

EU Proposes New Rules That Could Limit Web Tracking for Ads (The Wall Street Journal) – Jan. 10, 2017
(From Melody) Users would have to consent to website cookies. Potentially hitting the bottom line for big online ad brokers like Google and Facebook.

(Join in! Tweet us or tell us on LinkedIn some media of interest that you think is worth sharing.)

Media We Like: “MarTech + AdTech = Success”

I.I. team members share our faves with each other. Now, we’re sharing with you. We’ll keep doing it, too. 

A World Without Work (The Atlantic) – July/August 2015
(From Chris) For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving.

The Platform Of The Future Will Own The Intersection Of Advertising And Marketing (AdExchanger) – Nov. 7
(From Jonathon) Whoever masters and melds marketing and advertising will dominate an industry now ruled by Facebook and Google. Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe and the holding companies are contenders.

The Secret Formula For The Perfect Viral Share (SocialTimes) – Jun. 4, 2014
(From Dorian) In depth, long form (meaning research-driven) content performs best.

Breitbart Urges Boycott of Kellogg After Brand Abandons Site (Bloomberg) – Dec. 1
(From Mark) Discusses AppNexus’ barring of Breitbart for hate speech.

15 SEO Best Practices for Structuring URLs (The Moz) – Feb. 24, 2015
(From Chris) Write for humans. Try to avoid hashes. And other tips. See the comments, too.

Programmatic Display Ad Prices to Surge 20% by 2018 (The Drum) – Nov. 22
(From Jonathon) … due to publishers using yield optimization technologies, says a study.
And, programmatic will grow faster than other channels. (MediaPost)

(Join in! Tweet us or tell us via LinkedIn some media of interest that you think is worth sharing.)