PubMatic Congratulates Winners of the 2014 AOP Awards

On Thursday, July 3rd, PubMatic was delighted to attend and participate as a Headline Partner at this year’s renowned Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Awards in London. It was without a doubt one of the best AOP award ceremonies yet, as media heads from across the capital came together in their slick tuxedos and elegant cocktail dresses to celebrate the industry’s top performers.

A total of 11 publishers and digital agencies shared the trophies across 18 categories. PubMatic would like to extend a huge congratulations to the following winners:

  • The Drum Editorial Team
  • Vice UK Editorial Team
  • Hearst Digital Pureplay Team
  • Jonathan Kitchen from Dennis Publishing
  • Unruly UK Operations Team
  • Kate Lucey from Hearst Magazines UK
  • The Native Age by AOL UK
  • XFM and Bulmers by Global Radio
  • Radio Times by Immediate Media
  • Madeforums & Heinz Baby by Immediate Media
  • Global Radio and Bulmers
  • IPC Media and Radium One
  • Immediate Media Marketing Team
  • Vice UK Social Media Team, Procurement Leaders Website Team
  • Digital Spy by Hearst Magazine
  • Carnyx Group Digital Publishing Team
  •  Dennis Publishing Digital Publishing Team

With just under 700 delegates in attendance, the Roundhouse played host to a full night of entertainment, including British Comedian Josh Widdicombe, who co-presented the awards alongside the evening’s sponsors. The sheer success of the evening’s event was in no small part due to the fantastic sponsors in partnership with the AOP, which included Blinkx Media, Google, Celtra, OpenX, Theorem, Sailthru, SpotXchange, Vibrant, YuMe and of course, PubMatic!

AOP01

As delegates entered the Roundhouse, they were greeted with superb reception drinks hosted by Blinkx Media and slowly made their way up the blue AOP- and PubMatic- branded staircase to the main hall. Everyone in attendance shared fun photo ops while posing in front of the sponsors’ logo backdrop. PubMatic also played host to a prize drawing that offered select winners a chance for instant champagne delivery to their table. Our lucky winners included the Telegraph and CBS Interactive. As an added bonus, the drawing also included a chance to win an iPad mini, which was awarded to Bryony Drage, from Mail Online! Another huge congratulations from the PubMatic team!

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The night’s ceremony kicked off after dessert, and celebrated many individuals and teams across all areas of our industry; from digital marketers to technology providers, the awards were well deserved and celebrated. The AOP Awards shone a light on all sectors of the online landscape, playing home to innovative and forward thinking experts.

As the ceremony drew to an end and the champagne bottles were cleared from the tables, the evening entertainment began with the opening of PubMatic’s VIP bar, bringing together guests from the Telegraph, Dennis Publishing and many more. We were thrilled to create a warm and inviting environment by providing signature VIP drinks and making sure the dance floor was complete. PubMatic’s Bill Swanson, Country Manager, UK, and Laura Fordham, Advertiser Solutions Manager networked throughout the room, sharing laughs and deep conversations until the late hours.

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Representing members from this ever-evolving industry, the awards truly do recognise the excellence in online publishing, reflecting the innovation and creativity that traditionally has characterized this fast paced environment. As a longstanding associate member of the AOP, PubMatic rejoiced in accepting the chance to be a headline partner and participate in the celebration of all of the monumental achievements in the media space this year.

PubMatic Promotes Bob Walczak to GM & VP of Product

Bob Walczak, GM & VP Product

Bob Walczak, GM & VP Product

As the digital advertising landscape grows more complex and publishers are faced with an increasing number of challenges, we at PubMatic remain focused on being the leading provider of programmatic advertising technology enabling publishers to realize the full potential of their digital assets. As part of that mission, we pride ourselves on providing publishers with a platform with the intelligence needed to drive a holistic revenue strategy across every ad (on an impression-by-impression basis), every screen (desktop, mobile, tablet and video) and every channel (indirect and direct sales).

As part of our ongoing efforts to help publishers succeed in a complicated digital media environment, we are very pleased to announce that PubMatic has appointed Bob Walczak to lead our product development initiatives as the GM & VP of Product from his previous responsibility leading Mobile and Video. As an experienced business leader and former CEO of Ringleader Digital, Walczak brings a wealth of market understanding and relationships to this expanded role, in which he will lead product development and innovation.

Kirk McDonald, PubMatic President, commented on Walczak’s appointment: “Under Bob’s leadership, PubMatic’s mobile business experienced material growth and we launched our video RTB solution for publishers earlier this year. We’re extremely excited for our customers and clients as we are confident that Bob will bring the same dedication, passion and intense drive that helped our emerging media business succeed into this product leadership role.”

Bob’s appointment to this role further signals our commitment to maintaining PubMatic’s leadership position with regard to both product innovation and customer service. By taking a strategic view on market evolution and the expanding role of software automation, we’ve made the investments in people and technology that have driven results for our partners. We see this as one of those investments.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to expand my passion for products beyond mobile and video to focus on the entire business across all solution areas” Walczak commented, “Especially at a company like PubMatic, which has continued to lead the programmatic market in providing innovative software solutions.”

Will the real SSP please stand up?

There are many themes in PubMatic’s customer discussions around the globe, but none more critical than innovation and helping our customers navigate between the hype and reality of the advertising technology sector. Every week, publishers are inundated with press releases, white papers and sales calls about why vendor X’s solution to problem Y is the silver bullet to their programmatic revenue strategy. As long term innovators in the programmatic advertising market, PubMatic has always taken a balanced and publisher-centric view of the challenges and opportunities, which has helped us earn a leading place globally among SSPs and exchanges for publishers.

Take the announcement from OpenX yesterday. According to VentureBeat, “OpenX’s groundbreaking new approach represents a major advance over traditional SSPs by truly fusing Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and ad network demand into a single auction, driving up price by increasing competition and maximizing yield for publishers.” OpenX were kind enough to provide a visual explanation of how this works:

OpenXSSP

As a publisher, this sounds like incredible innovation. Apart from the fact that this technology is more than 4 years old.

So, OpenX, welcome to the party. The one we were having in 2010. Glad to see you are starting to catch up.

In fact, PubMatic launched this version of what we called our Unified Auction in 2010, predicting ad network pricing and combining with real-time pricing from RTB-based buyers to optimize yield for our publisher customers. See our 2010 whitepaper on the topic here (one of the industry’s first exclusively RTB-focused whitepapers).

Example 3_RTB Whitepaper

And over the last two years the market has moved on considerably. In 2010, ad networks were the dominant participants in the yield optimization equation, with RTB-based buying a smaller, but growing component. Fast-forward to 2014 and this dynamic has changed. RTB-based buying from DSPs and ATDs has accelerated and taken market share from the ad networks, reversing the market position of 2010. During this transition, our Unified Auction has calculated about 34 trillion bids on behalf of our publisher customers, with RTB-based buying performing on average at around a 200% improvement over ad networks.

More importantly, other buying models are now critical within our Unified Auction. Private Marketplaces have accelerated over the last 18 months to become a meaningful contribution to a publisher’s monetization strategy. For some publishers, PMPs contribute more than 35% of their programmatic revenue, up from 5% less than 12 months ago. And we now welcome the next buying model with the launch of PubMatic’s Automated Guaranteed, allowing a new set of buyers to participate within the Unified Auction, accessing inventory and audience on a guaranteed impression basis. Our question as we look at OpenX’s “groundbreaking new approach” is how do their publishers access this premium demand and maximize yield when this is absent from their auction?

Publishers are increasingly focused on the programmatic channel, but whilst Automated Guaranteed provides long-term increases in buying efficiency, publishers want to understand relative performance of direct and indirect channels. Launched in 2012, PubMatic’s Decision Manager integrates with a publisher’s ad server, allowing programmatic demand to compete with direct sold campaigns on a real-time basis. The publisher defines when indirect wins in order to ensure that their direct sold campaigns and delivery objectives are satisfied. What’s interesting of course is that when this truly dynamic management of demand is implemented, we of course see dramatic improvements in publisher eCPM across their inventory set, in the range of 30-50% over a period of several months.

To our current and future publisher customers operating their businesses in 2014, please continue to evaluate your technology vendors with care, as all innovation is not what it seems. Have a clear view of your business challenges and opportunities and ask your vendor to be very clear on how they are solving these for you. And if they can’t answer those questions, perhaps you’re speaking to the wrong team.

PubMatic Rings In The New Year With Our Continued Commitment To Innovation and The Evolving Needs of Branded Publishers

Kirk McDonald, President

Kirk McDonald, President

One of the best things about transitioning from one year to the next is the opportunity to take stock of everything that occurred over the previous 12 months. In newsrooms and living rooms alike, we compile “best-of” lists, pick the year’s winners and losers, sum up trends and predict new ones.

When it comes to the advertising technology industry, the most tempting thing would be to speak in terms of sheer growth: look at the new clients we’ve all signed up; the IPOs that have launched not only individual companies but the industry as a whole to new heights; and the technological advances introduced this year, and you’ve a portrait not only of significant achievements but also of a promising future.

But the numbers tell only half the story. The greatest thing that happened to the industry this year does not appear on anyone’s balance sheet: it is the fact—impossible to prove empirically, but also impossible to deny—that 2013 was the year we finally stopped questioning programmatic.

We stopped because it became obvious. For years, our main challenge was making the case for the merits of programmatic advertising strategies. Our technology, we had to insist, wasn’t a fad. It will benefit advertisers and enhance, not harm, publishers’ abilities to monetize their inventory. It will not, and was not designed to, replace human judgment and human interactions. It will foster new kinds of creativity. Even as our industry blossomed, we still had to begin most business meetings and most interviews with something that sounded a lot like a defense of our very existence.

No more.

This past year, due largely to the aforementioned technological and market-size breakthroughs, programmatic has crossed the “If” chasm. From this point on, I suspect, we will no longer be talking about whether programmatic is an advisable strategy, but how best to harness it in the interests of all sides. This is a major shift, and like all major shifts, so too will this one have implications we probably won’t be able to see for years to come. But several changes are likely, and we’d better pay attention to them if we are to start 2014 on the right foot.

For one thing, the complete immersion of programmatic in the publishing cycle means that we are likely to see new and exciting partners entering the fray. With innovative platforms allowing any content provider to target the right audience and offer up the most relevant ads, the very definition of what it means to be a publisher is changing in front of our eyes. From the small magazine that delivers content tailored to its niche readership to the huge corporation that uses its data to provide its customers with specific and highly relevant offerings, we are all publishers now.

That being the case, we need more and better-trained specialists to help us through the process of programmatic adoption. Far from eliminating the need for human expertise, the surge of programmatic has brought people back to the forefront. It will take the best and brightest among us to apply the wisdom and experience of media best practices to the efficiency of algorithms and technology supported workflow. The combination will determine new winners and re-shape the advertising industry in the process. At PubMatic, we call it the Human API, and are confident in the fact that its application is the future.

As we put on our party hats and welcome the New Year, let us take a moment and celebrate the thought that the future looks truly bright, and we are blessed to have a part to play in shaping the outcomes.

The Impact of Multi-Bid: Decreasing Deadweight Loss

Andrew Baron, Director of RTB and Revenue Operations

Andrew Baron, Director of RTB and Revenue Operations

Last year, we unveiled “multi-bid,” a forward-thinking protocol that improves performance on the buy and sell-side of the ad ecosystem by increasing the volume of bids in the marketplace. We projected the effects, but now we have the data to prove impact as well as lessons learned. The key takeaway is that multi-bid decreases marketplace frictions, which in turn creates efficiency. Said more dramatically (and while wearing a pocket protector), multi-bid decreases deadweight loss.

First a quick review. How does multi-bid work? PubMatic first sends the bid request to DSPs describing the potential impression and DSPs then respond with multiple bids, each of which has a description for potential creative. PubMatic’s system then evaluates these bids against publisher settings and other bids and selects the winner.

Buy-Side Benefits

In a multi-bid environment, advertisers and agencies first benefit from increased inventory exposure or access. We saw buyers increase their participation rate by 40-100%. With this increase in participation, we saw a subsequent increase in the buyer’s importance to the publisher’s business: a 115-130% growth in the buyer’s share of the publisher’s advertising revenue.

From the technology provider’s (read: DSP’s) perspective, multi-bid increases response effectiveness and business intelligence. The best efficiency metric that we can measure on behalf of a DSP is its throughput, as defined by media spend/QPS, which grew 10-15%. The primary driver here is an improved win rate, which grew 45-100%. It’s important to note that a growing win-rate does not just deliver short term ROI benefits, but also increases the DSP’s business predictability. While foresight is a critical piece of building business intelligence, another is learning from past experiences; through multi-bid, DSPs have increased their auction results feedback by 30-40%.

Sell-Side Benefits

With regard to multi-bid, publishers are primarily focused on increased marketplace liquidity. Bid density grew 40-100%, which drove 5-10% growth in fill rates, the end result being a 10-15% increase in publisher advertising revenue. Premium publishers accrued a disproportionate share of value. DSPs used multi-bid to go after higher valued audiences in higher valued contexts, evidenced by a 20-70% price difference between impressions attracting multiple bids and those attracting single bids. Lastly, publishers grew their lost opportunity insights by 30-40%, which is valuable in effectively managing a healthy discretionary revenue channel.

What We Have Learned

How was multi-bid effective? It helped reduce publisher imposed frictions (read: brand controls). In an environment where more bids are available, advertiser blocklists, advertiser category blocks, and even advertiser whitelists could continue delivering strategic value without sacrificing as much revenue. Premium publishers tend to use these brand controls most heavily, and DSPs are aptly concentrating their multi-bid efforts on these high-valued contexts and audiences. Multi-bid value accrues to the industry’s head.

We’ve seen both successful and less successful tactics in avoiding brand control frictions. DSPs should submit a variety of advertisers and advertiser categories in each multi-bid response—in other words, don’t submit multiple bids from the same advertiser and don’t submit multiple bids on behalf of advertisers all from the same vertical, for example.

Multi-bid has proven to be the most efficient means to securing the most valuable content and users. In the absence of multi-bid, a buyer depends on a feedback loop of past actions to achieve future successes. Since publisher brand controls are dynamic, and not always transparent, the aforementioned feedback loops repeat, iterations multiply, and direction forward may not be clear. People and infrastructure costs consequently increase. Multi-bid allows buyers to realize efficiencies ahead of these feedback loops – it’s like learning to fish while eating a salmon dinner.

In conclusion, it’s early days for multi-bidders. It’s still a buyer’s market where early adopters and power users are capturing much of the value created. As adoption and usage continue to grow, we expect to find an efficiency plateau at some point in the future, but we aren’t there yet. Win-rates continue to increase—and do so at an increasing rate—with each additional bid submitted. Said differently, the eradication of deadweight losses is accelerating!

 

To read more about the advantages of a multi-bid RTB environment, you can download our whitepaper: “The Advantages to Publishers, Advertisers and the Ecosystem of a Multi-Bid RTB Environment (Q4 2012).”

The Here and Now of Mobile: What Publishers Need to Know

Wakczak

Bob Walczak
GM, Mobile & Video

Every time I see another press release about a firm in the media and ad tech space staffing up to prepare for mobile I have to smile to myself. Just this month OpenX hired a bunch of new execs to adapt their desktop technology to mobile, while at their annual summit this month AppNexus announced that they plan to revamp the company around mobile, as founder Brian O’Kelley noted “desktop is dead.”

While I’m glad that there is finally a ton of excitement and development effort going into mobile, it’s more important for our clients to understand the current state of the mobile market. At PubMatic, we’ve got the product and process in place and are making it easier than ever for publishers to monetize mobile. I won’t get into an “our stack is better than theirs” discussion, but I will offer some words of advice about how to approach the unique aspects of the market:

  1. Mobile is Not Desktop. There is a key difference in the behavior of mobile buyers than desktop. In mobile, buyers bid less but win 95% of the time. Campaigns all fill 100%. In a market with far more supply than demand, buyers want specific impressions. They expect more targeting. They’re looking for lat/long data and location functionality on impressions and whether an ID was available. Where desktop is often a buckshot approach, mobile is a precision target.
  2. Data is the Premium in Mobile. This precision buying behavior has redefined what is premium in mobile. Properties like ESPN and Pandora acknowledged the mobile shift early on and pushed the market along, but they did so with the right type of enriched impressions to make them able to monetize. Publishers have to understand that you can’t sell mobile just by virtue of being a media brand. They also need to have the right data parameters to push supply and demand. We don’t have too many mobile impressions in the market; we have too many unqualified mobile impressions.
  3. Increased Data Increases Competition. To that end, mobile will become a more efficient market when increased data on impressions leads to increased competition. That will drive scarcity and deliver on what is truly premium in mobile: data enriched impressions.
  4. Transparency is Key. Buyers demand to know what they are getting with transparent targeting parameters. Publishers need to get over their fear of channel conflict and designate quality impressions, and they need to do so openly.

What else do publishers need to know? First and foremost that we’ve created a mobile auction and it’s available now. It increases the performance and competition over mobile with full demand side transparency. We’ve also released an open SDK—essentially a self-serve tool for app providers—that will make our supply that much richer for the demand side. Just this past April, we enhanced our platform with 30 third-party data parameters and up to 20 first-party parameters—10 times more than in desktop—because that’s what mobile demands. By adding the ability to combine first-party, geo, carrier, and device data into the PubMatic platform, publishers can create the premium inventory that sells. We also understand publishers’ fears of maintaining appropriate ads on their mobile content, and we have a custom solution that filters and blocks brands unwanted by the publisher. AdTruth has been integrated for identification and TRUSTe for privacy—all ensuring quality for buyers, sellers and users.

Yes, the mobile ad market is still in its formative days and we have a lot of work to do to increase bid density. But at PubMatic the building blocks of mobile buying and selling are in place and functioning smoothly. Mobile at PubMatic is about the market now as well as what it will be next year—it’s not just a press release or line item on a development plan.

Time For A Time Out

Any parent knows that terrifying moment when the three year old stands up and yells out the F-bomb. It’s entertaining, but pay it too much attention and you’ll just end up encouraging the kid.

That’s the case with the latest outburst from our friend Brian O’Kelley, who suggested in his recent interview, that everyone in the advertising ecosystem has it completely wrong. No one seems to understand the future, and everyone is pursuing a failing strategy. Makes us wonder whatever happened to that old adage about not saying anything if you can’t think of anything nice to say.

We respect the business that Brian has built in display, but his comments were troubling. He basically told publishers to drop dead, declaring them irrelevant and not offering them any real capabilities. We take publisher needs seriously – after all, they own the relationship with the consumer. And we have put our energy towards delivering real mobile solutions to our premium publishing partners. We suppose that if you haven’t successfully built a publisher product with a relevant value proposition, then you might imagine there’s no future in having them as paying customers. We disagree. And as much as we enjoy Brian’s colorful turns of phrase, we hope that he’ll soon bring the same spirited approach and energy to developing mobile offerings.

But hey, it’s the weekend, and as we wind down this week at ad:tech, let’s end it on a good note and say something nice about all the incredible companies that work in this ecosystem. Congratulations to our customers, partners and competitors for continuing to learn and innovate together, and cheers to all those that are committed to making the promise of digital a reality!

 

 

Ad Revenue 6 Live Blog

Hi from Ad Revenue 6 @ Chelsea Piers, Pier 60! #AdRev6. Please excuse typos/grammar errors.

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Registration Begins

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Embraceled

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Kirk McDonald, PubMatic President greets the room!

We now welcome PubMatic Co-Founder & CEO, Rajeev Goel to the stage for the opening remarks. Rajeev says the industry is at a tipping point – a do it for me to a do it with me model: a change in focus to yield to enterprise capabilities focus. 7 of the top 10 marketers are building their own DSPs – value is migrating out of technology into business strategy. He says he sees more and more resumes touting using DSP and SSP platforms.

As a company, PubMatic is no longer exclusively focused on yield – but rather to intelligently price, package, and sell and moreover human API. We should be excited about this and we are at a clear inflection point, rapid expansion. Maturity and ubiquity of ad technology is upon us. Communications has changed – you no longer need an assistant to type for you, you can do it yourself. Real estate has changed – other than completing the transaction, you can do it yourself. “Technology fades in the background” and the value is in the business strategy. Ultimately technology is a means to an end.

Rajeev shifts to wear the industry is heading next: “the ad server as we know it is dead.” It’s all about one seamless system. The pricing chasm between premium direct sold inventory and indirectly sold non-guaranteed inventory has collapsed. We see this in our own platform. The dollars flowing through programmatic are getting to scale that agency, client, publisher wants guarantee on delivery. The need is very clear: a multi-consumption channel that understands audience and can blend guaranteed and non-guaranteed. While we recognize the power of tech, without education and service, that power goes unfulfilled. Rajeev talks a new services offering PubMatic is offering, the Platform Solutions team, to really help customers march forward. The team will ramp up to provide the “human API.”

Rajeev talks about a global IDG study: 80% of US display will be based on RTB. And 1/4 of direct sales will be conducted via RTB.

Rajeev Goel - Opening Remarks

Rajeev Goel – Opening Remarks

Kirk introduces Carl Fremont, Chief Digital Officer, MEC Global as the moderator for a panel: Evolving Programmatic. Carl introduces panelists: Brian Gleason, MD, North America, Xaxis; Lou Paskalis, SVP, Enterprise Media Executive, Bank of America; Dick Porter, EVP & President of Media Sales, Meredith; Ritu Trivedi, SVP, Digital Strategy and Partnerships, MediaVest, USA.

Carl ponders, has programmatic lived up to its expectations?

Ritu says the goals have changed as the space changes. Clients ask about it, executives think about. They are trying to build for it and get more talent for it. She says she doesn’t know if they t have a goal as an agency but it is by client. Ritu says from an action perspective, there is a lot of work to be done.

Dick says it is binary option from the sell side. Xaxis’ view is that programmatic has to happen. With the power of first party data, he believes Xaxis can do well.

Carl wonders what Lou’s expectations/goals are as he comes from a different background. As a marketer, Carl is getting inside consumers’ heads. We’re there as an industry with a lowest common denominator end which inherently has a low degree of relevance. The self-actualization of programmatic is how we can link the data stream. He wants to create bespoke ad experiences, permission-based and wants the creative side of the house to catch up to the technical side of the house and provide enough assets to tailor messaging for consumers in a way that creates break-through. Let’s pivot to making our ad assets better – same rails of programmatic to deliver content. He says there is a lot of work to do.

Brian says that when you think about data, programmatic is a great premise. From a tech standpoint, it’s there. The next wave is inventory. From a branding perspective, there is a wealthy of opportunity. At the same time, he agrees with Lou: how we engage in that 1:1 conversation, he doesn’t think we’ve touched. Also, there is analytics.

Carl is wondering what should we expect is the percent of the programmatic trading environment?

Ritu agrees, that we can’t peg a number because when it comes to branding, there is a lot of work. We are swayed by jargon and real-time but we haven’t necessarily put all the right things in place. Programmatic was less about tech 2 years ago and more about data and insights. She thinks somewhere in the last year or two we’ve lost our way and it’s become more about the tech stack.

Dick says there aren’t a lot of markets that perpetually go up – but there is accountability. The consumer expectation is that you’ll deliver more, know more about them and deliver against that value. Dick says he loves consumer revenue. He says accountability is really critical – they are problem solvers. He says the tech stack is not the problem they solve – it’s the agency. He says you he needs to think about how are they going to optimize a household because they believe they should sell stuff that works, and not sell what doesn’t. Dick says programmatic is “just a segment of a solution based that gets a marketer where they need to go.”

Carl asks Dick, will programmatic move Meredith into more sides of their media? Dick says they have great data people but not necessarily great “sales data” people; the talent trails the tech and people will have to pay to get the best and brightest.

Carl wonders what the panelists should do around the talent? How do they recruit, retain, and train in this completely evolving market?

Ritu says, it’s not just about the data, but insights have to be built. These people need to be able to build case studies, business points that actually solve problems for clients. Without this, it’s just data and those who know media, do this well so those people have to be trained. She says data analytics is a center of excellence, not just about dashboards but the ability to work with everyone in this room. The old and new need to work together otherwise silos will be created.

Carl Leads panel

Dick says they are a database marketer disguised as a big media company. The trust that has been given to them by consumers is really important. He says the future is “consortiums.” They work with PubMatic and Krux – for data security and trust.Brian says Xaxis doesn’t necessarily want to participate in open marketplace but rather 1:1 relationships with publishers. He says they found 30% lift over the open market. 1:1 prevents fraud in the marketplace and rewards content.

Lou says it’s hard in the financial services category to give his data to Dick. As a marketer, there are opportunities to exchange value however the financial services industry wont’ take the lead. He has a vision of the future, we are going to track you and we “screw up, we’ll kill ourselves trying to fix it.” Consumers need to know, what’s in it for them, even if it’s just 5% of the market. He says, this is the future we should aspire to.

Carl asks the panel in a lightning round, “programmatic media = return on blank?” Panelist responses are investment, performance, engagement, and value.

Carl asks the panel in a lightning round, “programmatic media = return on blank?” Panelist responses are investment, performance, engagement, and value.

Carl asks, how do they find talent? Brian, says they first identify the need. “Passion” is the common characteristic. Lou says we have a merchandising problem – we are topics about features rather than benefits. The benefits are what consumers will respond to. We need to get out of optimization mindset for finance and more into the consumer mindset. He wants to attract those types of people.

Brian says Xaxis doesn’t necessarily want to participate in open marketplace but rather 1:1 relationships with publishers. He says they found 30% lift over the open market. 1:1 prevents fraud in the marketplace and rewards content.

Dick says they are a database marketer disguised as a big media company. The trust that has been given to them by consumers is really important. He says the future is “consortiums.” They work with PubMatic and Krux – for data security and trust.

Lou says it’s hard in the financial services category to give his data to Dick. As a marketer, there are opportunities to exchange value however the financial services industry wont’ take the lead. He has a vision of the future, we are going to track you and we “screw up, we’ll kill ourselves trying to fix it.” Consumers need to know, what’s in it for them, even if it’s just 5% of the market. He says, this is the future we should aspire to.

Carl asks the panel in a lightning round, “programmatic media = return on blank?” Panelist responses are investment, performance, engagement, and value.

Kirk introduces the next panel: Ad Tech – The Tool or The Trade moderated by Vikram Somaya, GM, WeatherFX, the Weather Company. His panelists are: Jeff Green, CEO and Co-Founder, The Trade Desk; Eric A. Litman, Chairman & CEO, Medialets; Andy Monfried, Founder and CEO, Lotame; John Snyder, CEO. Grapeshot Limited.

Vikram says uses Shakespearean voice to talk about whether or not to “ad tech.” Vikram asks, how did the panelists know they were going to build what they were as CEOs and Founders.

Vikram asks who are the people here – because of Rocket Fuel IPO? Jeff says he hopes Rocket Fuel continues to do well because it may help the industry.

Andy says people have become so reliant on data for retargeting and that the human API that Rajeev showed is the most underutilized part of the tech stack. He says that Lotame is out there with great technology – he says his differentiator is the people.

John is saying with keyword context, then you are very blind. Grapeshot makes RTB less blind.

Jeff says it’s pretty complicated to talk about agency margins however you have to remember agency trading desks have really healthy margins. He believes they will compress but agencies are constantly looking for ways to make larger margins. Margins will improve because we have to add the human component to the technology discussion. Jeff calls it “the clear box” – let everybody look inside.

Vikram talks about agency consolidation – he wants to know what the future of the centralized trading desk is.

John feels that big agencies have the wealth of data aggregation. He says the biggest margins he sees aren’t from trading desks but from publishers like The Daily Mail from audience extension.

Andy says he takes a different view – coming from the ad network world, ad nets invest a huge amount of money in people. Many marketers often don’t care about getting smarter but rather just on results.

Eric says it’s a systems integrations play. He says, “it’s a leveraged game.” There are companies whose sole value prop was to get smarter about “this” because their margins allow it. Eric says agencies are in a tremendous position to take the knowledge they’ve gained and do more and more with the technology as the direct tech vendor to their clients vs spending time as the filter of the smart people better invested in the tech. Jeff agrees to Eric. Jeff says it won’t be centralized long term but the more important point that there will successful agency trading desks. Agencies are in a phenomenal position because it is in their DNA to add service.

Vikram thinks there are too many ways to target – confusing to publishers, agencies, entrepreneurs. How do we simplify? John says you have to get the capabilities bundled into a workflow. He says context is still not in there. At the end of the day, the publisher has to pull the strands together.

Andy, says the most important thing to understand is how can I leverage my first party data internally and how can I integrate so I am sharing my segments externally. He continues on with talking about the importance of knowing where the publisher should be sending his data and what partners he is integrated with. Andy notes that is what you need to keep CPM’s intact.

Vikram and his panelists

Vikram and his panelists

Vikram says looking into the conference theme and looking into the future, asks the panelists for their thoughts re: emotions up as pupils were dilated.

Jeff says it’s a difficult argument to make. Andy says they are skittish about wearable devices because what can be tied to a person/individual v. an audience.

Vikram throws out a bunch of statements and asks for reactions:

 

  1. Women and minorities in ad tech boardrooms – should we let them in? Jeff says there is no question we need more diversity in ad tech.
  2. If you had to choose between glasses or a watch to do everything you want, which one? John says charging device would be the problem. Eric says he has a Pebble and Google Glass.
  3. Most impactful employee in your team, name and title and why? John says his senior engineer because you have to innovate very fast – Alex. Andy says it is Brian who runs the client success team as he brings back the knowledge regarding what works for the org and not. The people that make Lotame smarter are the key to driving both product and tech. Eric says his best employees are his customers – Vikram says Eric failed. Jeff says it takes a village and no way to identify a single employee.
  4. The best client interaction you’ve had that stuck out in your memory? Jeff says when the lines between personal and professional get blurred it really highlights how great it is to be in this business. Eric mentions 4 days ago explaining digital marketing to a client’s dad. The practical matter is that we need to help the people who spend money on our category. Andy says he is most proud of that their usage is up 370% from Q1 to Q4.
  5. When you speak to the next generation, what do you say to them about the experiences you’ve had in this industry? John says the young generation get a lot of this stuff and we have a lot to learn from them and not the other way around. Andy says it’s such a fast paced environment, it keeps you up at night because you don’t know what’s going on. Everyone thinks there is a knowledge gap and you’ll never know anything but it’s exciting. Eric says use your intuition and be audacious. Jeff says understand the core of the business for example, trafficking – because if you understand the core, you’ll be able to do anything. Now we go to break for refreshments! EmbraceLED will light up. See you soon!

Kirk introduces Reggie Lau, Total Economic Impact Senior Consultant, Forrester Research. This study, is an update on last year’s TEI study which demonstrated lift in eCPM and sell-through using RTB and PMP.

Congrats on the engagement Reggie!

Stay tuned – technical difficulty!

Okay we’re back! Reggie summarized, “PubMatic generates incremental ad revenue, sets foundation for programmatic sales, and puts mobile monetization in motion. Over three years, after adjusting for risk, the financial impact PubMatic has on LaudNet (a composite organization was comprised of 4 PubMatic customers) is ROI: 338%, NPV $6MM+, and payback <1 month.

Benefits were:

 

  1. In open market RTB revenue, 35-50% CPM lift with 90% discretionary inventory monetized.
  2. In private marketplace revenue, 4x lift on top of RTB CPM lift
  3. For mobile monetization, it was still early days for LaudNet but there was high potential
  4. Brand value retention
  5. Relationship management efficiency; realigned 2 of 6 resources to support programmatic

Thanks Reggie!

We now welcome Doug Weaver, Founder & CEO, Upstream Group to moderate the panel: The Private Marketplace Opportunity. Panelists include: Megan Pagliuca, GM & VP of Display Media, Merkle; Vincent A. Paolozzi, Sr. Director, Marketplace Development, Cadreon; David Rowley, VP Revenue Operations, BlogHer; Matt Spengler, Executive Director, Digital Sales, Rodale, Inc.

Doug speaks to his panelists about private marketplaces

Doug speaks to his panelists about private marketplaces

Doug asks what is exactly for sale in a private marketplace? Vincent says it’s rich contextual environments and audience based opportunities.

Doug wonders what is actually being transacted in a private marketplace? David says it can take a lot of different permutations. He says you start with 1 deal ID, which is RON. Doug confirms, initially a pilot program: a store you want to buy at.

Doug asks Matt to give a different read on it: Matt says it’s endemic and non-endemic. The other might be core advertiser like Nike who wants to test programmatic – could be run of Rodale, run of women’s sites, perhaps based on past experience.

Doug asks for audience participation – raise your hand if you’re still confused about private marketplace. 1 person raised his hand.

Doug talks about truly private marketplaces and semi-private marketplaces. Megan says they care about being higher in the prioritization chain whether it’s private and semi-private. Vincent says there a number of variables – collaboration between the buyer and the seller. You have to know what the needs of the buyer are. It could be as broad as run of network or as direct as your autos channel.

Doug asks Vincent to pick a brand and Vincent chooses MasterCard. Doug asks, what leads you to want to do a private marketplace deal in the first place? David looks at it advertiser by advertiser. He says this advertiser has been hard to break into. There would be more opportunity to work with an advertiser like MasterCard on programmatic.

Doug says he hears more and more big advertisers wants to do direct with you but we want our data involved in the programmatic space. Our marketers dictating terms? Megan says agencies are dictating it.

Question: if I do programmatic work with you, can I also get direct business?

Megan can make that call as an independent planning agency. Doug says publishers were leery about the idea of jumping into the big demand pool of the open exchange. The question was, am I cutting myself off from direct sales? Or am I discounting my business?

Megan says the publishers who’ve had the most challenges are the ones who’ve tried to protect cannibalization. Publishers have to embrace it otherwise dollars will go to another publisher. Doug confirms the message is don’t be scared, embrace it, or keep your head in the sand and do nothing.

Matt is saying that programmatic can lead to print deals – exception but not the norm but it is a bit of separate business right now. To Megan’s point, you have to be involved and be smart about it.

Doug wonders how a private marketplace arrangement actually happen? Does the role of the outside seller; do they have a role? Matt says they don’t at this point but it’s not the main lead source. Some come from the open market.

Questions: what should every seller know about programmatic/private marketplaces to help move this along? Megan said they’ll go through the SSP’s, make sure they’re talking to the right person. Doug says you’ll use PubMatic as the filter. Megan says yes because PubMatic will introduce you to the right person.

Doug looks at the audience for questions: how important are deal ID’s in these arrangements? Are they simplifying or complicating the process? Megan and Vincent agree they are important and there are still challenges but they are getting better and the mechanism for transaction.

Another question from the audience, “How important is it for a publisher to be able to break out site into section rather than audience?” Matt says they aren’t a giant portal so they have to be more careful about it and they go with more general categories. David says he keeps it broad as well – food, parenting, fashion, etc. Some of those categories don’t scale but gives buyers testing opps.

Vincent agrees that you have to start broad and then break it down on a client by client basis. Megan says she will be more tactical and operational: NBC has done a good job of this. Merkle will start broad but depending on the cannibalization concerns, you should decide.

Doug milks his last 2 minutes and wants panelists to offer 1 hard fact for the audience:
Matt: private marketplace opps are here to stay, get involved in the process.

David: Go all in because it’s here to stay, if you’re going to have your salespeople to sell, make sure it isn’t devalued, a dollar is a dollar.
Vincent: Get connected, get really smart around how do you utilize data and analytics.

Megan: Create differentiation with your first party data; use your social login.

Thanks Doug and panelists! And now we break for lunch catered by Abigail Kirsch!

Kirk welcomes the audience back from lunch. Thanks the Trade Desk for sponsoring!

We are very fortunate today to have the CEO of AOL Networks, Bob Lord to give the Keynote: CONVERGE – Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology.

Bob talks about "CONVERGE"

Bob talks about “CONVERGE”

Bob says there is a fundamental business problem, it is completely inefficient. There is no reason why we can’t buy the way we transact in commerce. This is why Bob came to AOL. Bob fundamentally believes in order for any industry to transform itself, it has to converge, it has to think about its business in a different way. Bob co-wrote the book “CONVERGE.” The reality is in the media world, the consumer got a voice. Bob says “creativity can come from anywhere.”

He ponders how do we bring tech, media/data, creativity together? He says from a creative standpoint, “we’ve been coloring it black and white.” He goes back to Henry Ford – the auto industry in the 1900′s, Henry Ford created the assembly line. When the Model T hit the auto industry, there were finally scalable solutions. Look at finance: trading automation – we got rid of the mundane tasks. The reality is where we’re moving from feature companies to platform companies – he calls it ” The Technology Tax.” We’ve got to make the ecosystem much more efficient for us.

There are 4 trends to embrace:

 

  1. Put the customer at the center - We’re not asking the right question, how do we provide more value, and together?
  2. Think of a brand as a service
  3. Reject silos
  4. Act like a startup and embrace diversity

 

Bob says:
“Campaigns Must Be Structured Around the Customer”

“Strategies MUST Be Based on Data from Actual Customer Activity” – the micro behaviors of tribes is going to be profound. We have to use technology to get there.

“Brands are no longer in the business of selling stuff, they’re filling consumer needs”

Bob, talks about the “Special K” diet. Bob says there is a whole bunch of information that Special K will get because they are mixing a product with a service. The emphasis of getting the basics done – the efficiency between the demand and supply side and now layering on more information on top is where brands are going to go. If you are going to survive as a brand, you have to do more than sell products.

Bob says he could never sell ads based upon device usage without tech and algorithms and it will get more complex. If you start overlaying behavior, context, demo makes the value equation much more complex and brands will demand it.

Bob, shows his Programmatic Brand Platform:

1a) Consolidate
1b) Onboard
2)   Standardize Measurement
3)   Plan Intelligently
4)   Execute Programmatically
5a) Measure ROI
5b) Get Smarter

We now get into a Q&A between Bob and Larry Harris, CMO of PubMatic.

Bob and Larry

Bob and Larry

  1. Why this shift in roles? Bob wanted to recreate the magic of Aquantive, the economics of services doesn’t allow him to build the platform/product around programmatic and try to solve the problem. He mentions he doesn’t think we’re all on the same page of what the problem is.
  2. How as a publisher are you helping to solve the problem with agencies?The agency world has a lot of influence over brands. Bob is imploring the room to help solve the problem of margins. The publisher has to go lock-step with the agencies because the last thing the creative agencies want to do is spend more money on media.
  3. What his Bob’s definition of programmatic? Bob says “automation which is not synonymous with RTB.” We need to avoid the race to the bottom.
  4. Giving television a run for its money…why now? The response Bob got to a programmatic upfront and to try to get them to understand is to give them money back to throw into creativity. Bob says the requests have been beyond his expectations. Bob says when you look at the AOL stack, they need partners to help them accomplish their goals.
  5. What important does Bob see around creative? Bob thinks you should learn to code as a creative person. The challenge of creativity is much more complex than ever before. You need more creative and talented people than ever before. He mentions that his son doesn’t know the difference between a creative department and a tech department.
  6. What’s happening Q4?
  7. What has surprised Bob in 2000 from where he stands in 2013? Bob says he knew tech was going to have an impact on the industry but didn’t realize how reticent we would be as an industry to embrace it.

Kirk intros the next panel: Cross Platform Becomes Reality – Taking Mobile to the Next Level. The moderator is Rick Mandler, VP, Digital Advertising Sales & New Media, ABC Television Networks and his panelists are: Mike Baker, Co-Founder & CEO, DataXu; Michael Collins, CEO, Adelphic; Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, Founder & CEO, Drawbridge, Inc; Are Traasdahl, CEO & Founder, Tapad; Elizabeth Zalman, Co-Founder & CEO, Media Armour.

Rick says, why do we care about cross platform? Are says, “the holy grail of advertising.” Michael says consumer are multi-channel and brands need to be multi-channel. Rick wonders if there is a danger in looking at the world by way of “half my advertising is wasted.” Do we risk more if we hyper target and data drive customers who aren’t ready yet?

Rick questions his panel

Rick questions his panel

Rick asks, how real is the risk of government intervention undermining operations today? How can we manage this so consumers don’t feel the “ick factor” – that big brother is watching them? Mike says it requires industry buy-in.

Rick says as Elizabeth does 1:1 conversations with customers, is there a tipping point where there is too much information going into the commercial conversation? Elizabeth says yes people do feel this and general branding can be the followup instead.

Rick wants to know, for cable networks, when inventory is sold out, part of the impetus for programmatic sales is that there is liquidity. If that’s the case, will that hinder the growth of programmatic? Mike thinks so.

Rick asks one last question: what keeps him up at night is that as a publisher, he is outside of the demo so he’s not particularly valuable but to an advertiser, he is in the market for a car so he is valuable to an advertiser. This “information asymmetry”: how to resolve?

We move on now to a conversation with Steve Mills, SVP & Group Executive, Software & Systems, IBM Corporation.
Interviewing Steve is Michael E. Kassan, Chairman & CEO, Medialink LLC. The conversation is a round “Big Data: Marketer’s Dream or Dilemma?”

Steve talks about the explosion of data and real world events such as 6b mobile phones worldwide, >24 Petabytes of data that Google processes in a day, etc.

Steve says, “80% of all available data will be uncertain.” If money is spent to collect it, how do you get value out of it?

He continues by talking about how big data and analytics matter; Use cases he mentions are big data exploration, enhanced 360 degree view of the customer, security/intelligence extension, operations and analysis, and data warehouse management. The use in advertising/marketing is audience optimization, channel optimization, ad yield optimization, and targeted media buying.

Marketers/advertisers are facing big data challenges – mainly in processing of the data as well as ongoing management and analysis.

Steve shows various case studies that show how customers who used IBM analytics software to measure ad effectiveness had improved customer response rates, reduced analytics time, improved ROI, etc.

Steve winds down his presentation by talking about how IBM’s investment in big data and analytics continues to rise.

Steve talks "big data"

Steve talks “big data”

We welcome Karsten Weide, Program Vice President, Media & Entertainment, IDC to the stage. Karsten says, last year we spent 1/10 in RTB. This year 11%. By 2017, 28% will be through RTB platforms.

There is no segment in online advertising growing faster than RTB. 2012-2017 CAGR: 22% video, 39% mobile, 51% RTB.

The overlap between mobile and RTB creates tremendous business opportunity. The fast majority of the spending is happening in the US. Most markets are much more conservative than the US. Japan’s numbers are smaller than Western Europe however it is just one country.

China is just beginning with RTB: infrastructure issues because ideal time frame is 30 milliseconds and networks are too slow. Most inventory in China isn’t being sold (80%). If you look at the culture of the ad industry in China, it is 2-4 years behind.

A lot of sales are on a time basis. Australia is fairly advanced in terms of RTB but market is small so not a whole lot of spending there. The major source of growth will be indirect sales.

Video will be a minor contributor on overall revenue because there isn’t enough inventory to go around. The inventory that is available is being sold direct. Mobile sales and direct sales were be more important than indirect sales.

This year 60% of indirect sales will be done via RTB. By 2017, it will be over 80% with RTB.

Karsten talks RTB growth

Karsten talks RTB growth

Karsten mentions when it comes to mobile RTB, if you look at overall relationship between online and mobile, the industry feels mobile is still a new thing. Karsten says mobile will “crush” online in the future.

Karsten said the commercial significance of private marketplace is minimal. The reason why is it is because it is an exchange and they only work well where there is liquidity. A private marketplace artificially reduces the liquidity. What they will continue to do is “allow publishers to stick their toes into the water, without being afraid to drown.”

Guaranteed upfront, programmatic premium, etc. he says are what’s coming for direct sales. What happens if a publisher defaults on these guarantees? Karsten mentions contractual default obligation.

Why do we think direct sales will take off in a big way? Agencies want it because it is effective. In indirect sales, publisher defaults, platform defaults, advertisers and agencies get their money automatically. Publishers will embrace RTB for “survival.”

Karsten says “it’s time to take a closer look at RTB” and “RTB is your friend.” With automation, there will be fewer salespeople, but “it is what it is.” Sales has to be more consultative, more about native executions, and a more interesting/challenging job in the future.

Karsten’s final thoughts: “closing the feedback loop.” When someone figures out how to do this on scale, it will be very hard to compete with RTB.

Thanks Karsten for a very interesting look into the industry’s future.

In the final panel today: How the Role of the CRO Has Changed in a Programmatic World, moderating is Michael Barrett, President, Ichabod Farm Ventures. Panelists are Jeff Dossett, CRO, Demand Media; John Henderson, SVP, Sales, Answers Inc; Ann Lundberg, SVP, Digital Sales, Food & Cooking, Scripps Networks Digital; Rich Sutton, CRO, North America, Mail Online; Lisa Valentino, SVP, Multimedia Sales, ESPN.

Michael asks how the role of the CRO has changed

Michael asks how the role of the CRO has changed

Michael asks Lisa, how is ESPN structured? Lisa says that they are matrixed – they have specialists that work with trading desks but they aren’t looked at programmatic separately.

Michael looks to Ann to discuss programmatic at Scripps. Ann says at Scripps, they are TV driven. They have a programmatic leader who tries to build high-level relationships with DSPs and trading desks.
Michael asks if programmatic is amounting to real dollars? Ann said it’s gone 0-30 in 1 year. It’s a big focus for Scripps.

John says that Answers.com may be the biggest site people haven’t heard of. He is in a unique position to start the direct ad sales team. 95% of his revenue today is through the open exchange. He was brought on board to take it up a notch on the private marketplace.

For Demand Media, Jeff says the brand marketer & agency are their customers – that hasn’t changed. They haven’t restructured.

Michael asks how do you arm the direct sellers? Lisa says define what you mean by programmatic. This is not a CPM game. If it were, ESPN would not be in the programmatic space. Today most of the sector is in the ad network space. If we look at this as automationthen we can focus on our business.

Rich says you have a brand and a solution proposition. If you can’t get that across, it doesn’t mater if it comes across an IO or programmatically.

Jeff says that trying to fight logical trends, makes no sense. To the extent there is cannibalization, we were asking of the market to pay a price above the real value of that product or service, shame on us. He continues on to say, we over-complicate this.

Michael says the real challenge is to manage for today but also planning for the future – “who wouldn’t want a more automated world?”

John says that at TripAdvisor where he was for 6 years, he didn’t spend much time thinking about programmatic. Now he is doing a 180 and it’s more about the advertisers they speak to and what their goals are and their plans are. From his perspectives, listen to advertisers and give them more.

Jeff says he looks forward to the opportunity of unlocking value of audience he can’t yet put through programmatic. Lisa says in the mobile space for her category, the mobile screen is likely the first screen. She’s seeing the revenue start to follow and yet there is a surge of mobile conversation happening but you can’t unlock the value yet. The low CPM business is accelerating so they have not exposed mobile and video to programmatic until they believe the environment provides the value.

Kirk summarizes the day

Kirk summarizes the day

Kirk finishes the presentations with closing remarks and talks about why the theme of the day was “Beyond Ad Tech.” He mentions that the principals of advertising are regaining control, recapturing value, and focusing on long-term growth strategies.

Thanks to all our speakers, moderators, panelists, attendees, and sponsors! It’s cocktail hour!
Cindy Lee @iamcilee, PubMatic

 

RTB Brings the Northern Lights to the Nordic Media Scene

garethHolmesArguably some of the greatest work to emerge from the Nordic region in recent years has been their incredibly enigmatic and gripping dramatic television series, such as The Killing and Borgen, that the global marketplace has embraced enthusiastically. The Nordic televised drama market has changed the way millions of crime lovers view programming,breaking down the obvious barriers of language and familiarity, in favour of a good story. The northernmost European countries knew that their captive audience was out there, but pushing their content into thesaturated English-language marketplace was a risky gamble, that eventually paid dividends.

Now a different part of the media world is turning its attention to the Nordic region as the next high-growth area for the programmatic trading of advertising; and with that comes a fair few risks. Since 2009, when supply-side platforms and ad exchanges announced their support for real-time bidding, this method of trading has taken root with the many tiers of UK publishers, and similarly rapid expansion happened across the channel in France and Germany.

We’ve witnessed website visits increase, and in essence demand for advertising increase, significantly in the Nordic region; brands and publishers can’t help but take notice of this new growth sector. Visits to Nordic retail movie sites for June 2013 saw a 190% year-on-year increase from 2012, and Norway and Finland report a respective increase of 981% and 271% of users visiting retail movie websites.

Infrastructure scale is a big challenge preventing RTB really taking off in the region; pricing and process are not as clear-cut as they are elsewhere. Having recently partnered with Concept CPH in Denmark, PubMatic have gained valuable insights into the reservations, challenges and opportunities available for publishers. Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark recognise the benefits that programmatic trading has brought to the digital media marketplace, but the operational logistics of implementing real-time bidding has understandably raised concerns.

David Borring, Partner Operations & Exchanges at Concept CPH said, “We are eager to see a mature programmatic market established in the Nordic region, yet there is a general wariness of such a radical overhaul of current inventory trading. Our publishers fear decreasing overall CPMs, drops in premium inventory value and maintaining brand integrity. On the opposite end of the exchange, advertisers are voicing concerns over programmatic capabilities to effectively scale while safeguarding their brand name, in light of recent incidents like the #fbrape pressure put on Facebook. Despite these concerns, publishers need to realise that they have to get on board with programmatic trading, not only if they don’t want to lose out on ad revenue opportunities, but also to gain valuable insight into their digital inventory.”

Wider apprehensions over private marketplaces (PMPs) and their ability to drive revenue are surfacing, in addition to maintaining established publisher/advertiser relationships and the impact on direct sales. One overarching concern is the fear that publishers will cede control to advertisers, but with proven results from working with premium European publishers we can lead the way in making change happen, given the correct support and advice.

To solve the case PubMatic is currently working in Scandinavia to establish a robust, scaleable RTB infrastructure. Setting trading regulations and data privacy standards will provide further security around processes, pricing and fraud.

To ensure longevity and take the mystery out of RTB, we know from experience that education is needed as much as sector development. Experienced technology partners, with proven track records of developing rich programmatic ecosystems elsewhere are needed to guide Nordic publishers and advertisers through best practices for automated trading. What will follow, and we have seen time and again across Europe, is effective system implementation, revenue uplift and uncompromising attitude to brand safety. Publishers need to understand that programmatic trading and especially our partnership with data management platform (DMP) Lotame enables greater control through audience data segmentation and allows them to connect to more demand sources, hence increasing their revenue.

The current Nordic mindset is focused on establishing an automated ecosystem which addresses the essential need, and once this is in place the previously unconsidered benefits of RTB will be free to flood the market.

Enhanced monitoring will bring definable engagement measures to a burgeoning market and pave the way for fully-executable RTB campaigns that deliver strong returns. We have seen great pace in areas such as mobile and tablet RTB campaigns, in response to a significant increase in mobile web traffic, hinting that the Nordics have the potential to quickly match the rest of Europe’s market maturity. With multi-screening becoming the norm globally, technology providers will be influential in ensuring that future Nordic RTB initiatives will operate seamlessly across all platforms right from the start.

The Nordic region presents an exciting prospect for RTB-enabled trading, but it cannot be rushed. The necessary time to educate, assist and adapt must be allowed if Nordic publishers and advertisers are to build genuine trust in programmatic trading. PubMatic’s position is one of assisting the safety, commercial viability and ecosystem-wide adoption of programmatic trading. Our role is to become one of the leading technology partners across the Nordics with minimal drama and confidence in its ability to stand the test of time.

PubMatic: Ensuring Privacy Standards, Meeting Consumer and Industry Needs

BOBA Conversation between PubMatic’s Senior Marketing Manager Belinda Smith and PubMatic’s VP of Mobile, Bob Walczak

PubMatic, along with AdTruth and TRUSTe, introduced an innovative privacy technology solution at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on June 20, 2013. The technology pairing is the brainchild of PubMatic’s Bob Walczak, born from Bob’s prior experiences in the industry, and from recognizing the importance of meeting consumer demand for transparent digital privacy choices.

 

Q: Tell us a little about your background in the industry.

BW: I was the founder and CEO of Ringleader Digital from 2005 until June of 2011. Ringleader was a mobile ad-server and mediation platform, with a device identification technology called Media Stamp. It was a powerful technology which allowed you to uniquely and persistently identify any device regardless of cookie capabilities. We were offering it to the marketplace as an advantage for targeting and analytics on our platform and for other platforms.

 

Q: In your time in the industry, how have you seen concerns about privacy develop?

BW: I founded Ringleader at age 25, and though I knew about the privacy issues surrounding cookies, I didn’t get a full education on privacy until Media Stamp had become widely used across the market by top publishers and brands. Media Stamp was a first of its kind identification technology, launched in 2008 as an alternative to cookies, since they don’t work consistently on mobile devices. This wide adoption led to us being served with a privacy lawsuit in 2010. We weren’t doing anything illicit with the technology, but the suit stemmed from the lack of privacy guidelines governing the use of alternative identification technology. Had I known then what I know now, I would have proactively sought an industry wide solution to these privacy challenges.

 

Q: What was the biggest lesson learned?

BW:  Fast forward to me joining PubMatic; device identification is still a fragmented market. My view was if we were going to enter this market, and do it in the right way, we needed to be the leaders in advocating for an open solution for the industry to protect consumer privacy and provide them with persistent privacy options.

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) has now produced an excellent set of privacy guidelines, and a framework to honor consumer privacy choices. While these guidelines address the rules around protecting consumer privacy they don’t offer a real world technology solution that instructs how a company should pair a privacy systems with any identification system.


Q: So why are you working with other technology companies on these solutions?

BW: We are doing this for multiple reasons. The first is technical. It’s the combination of the approaches being implemented by AdTruth and TRUSTe that allow us to achieve the privacy technology solution. However, the solution we built is modular meaning any privacy system or identification technology that meets the DAA requirements can be implemented in place of TRUSTe or AdTruth.

The concept behind our work with AdTruth and TRUSTe is to pair a device identification system that allows publishers to serve relevant content to users, with a  privacy system that gives transparency and privacy choices to the consumer. The key is that the privacy system has to be deterministic; meaning that if that user has opted out their privacy choice will be honored 100% of the time. The identification technology can be either deterministic or probabilistic. Putting these two systems together is the technology solution that we are advocating for.

The second reason, which I feel is the more important one, is that taking consumer privacy seriously must be an industry wide effort. Without broad support from multiple vendors, what we are doing here isn’t going to achieve much. Ultimately, we want consumers to be comfortable with how privacy standards are implemented.


Q: How does leading this effort fit with PubMatic’s goals?

BW: At PubMatic we serve premium publishers. We need to ensure that we are protecting both the publisher and the consumer in the course of doing business. This is not only about the trust that we have with our clients, but it is also about the trust that these brands have built with their customers. Based on my experience I believe the right thing to do here is to lead by example; ensuring we do it in an open, honest, and inviting way that brings everyone on board.