Private Marketplace Adoption: IDG UK Study

IDG UK Brand

IDG UK is the UK’s leading technology media company with the largest tech media and marketing solutions portfolio in the country.

Programmatic Trading is the buzz word for 2013. Many publishers are showing interest in adopting this more efficient way of trading but often lack the support to do so. Concerns in the market are rife, and it can often seem discouraging when the knowledge behind the technology isn’t there. And to confuse matters, Private Marketplaces (PMPs) have entered the programmatic scene, leading to even more mystification and fears on the publisher side.

However with their granular transparency PMPs give the reins back to publishers, allowing greater control over pricing and powering direct sellers with information on the practices and preferences of their best clients.

A recent PMP success story for PubMatic started when it partnered with IDG UK (International Data Group UK) towards the end of last year to help drive IDG UK’s offering into the programmatic spectrum.

IDG UK is a global technology network bringing together over 280 million technology buyers in 97 countries. IDG UK chose PubMatic as their Strategic Selling Partner to enable its programmatic offering to market for their B2B and B2C properties, such as ComputerworldUK, Macworld, PCAdvisor and DigitalArtsOnline.

Like many of our other clients, IDG UK needed to partner with a trusted technology platform to lead their programmatic trading adoption and help them drive their direct sales into the opportunities around Private Marketplaces.

Key factors for any client, when moving into the PMP environment, are to gain deep control over their digital assets with heightened transparency and the ability to adjust floor prices when needed. The feeling of having the chance to be ‘hands on’ within the programmatic landscape is often needed by the publisher to allow them control and transparency when dealing with their inventory.

IDG UK was quick to realise the benefit of embracing programmatic trading and taking ownership over how and to whom its impressions were traded programmatically. As part of its overall digital strategy, IDG UK’s media services director Dan Shaw quickly identified the need for a specialist to lead their programmatic trading and adoption within their direct sales teams.

“Everywhere you look there are very bullish forecasts about how much the programmatic space will grow. We wanted to make sure we were as close to the market as we could be. And we also wanted to be one of the first Publishers having the conversations agencies wanted to have. A dedicated sales resource has given us the opportunity to do both of these things; we recognised the need to have someone actively talking with all demand partners (and someone who could spend time with Pubmatic) so they really understood the opportunities and could feedback to the overall business,” said Shaw.

By appointing Rob Bradley to work with PubMatic’s EMEA Director of Advertiser Solutions, Duncan Chamberlain, Dan Shaw ensured IDG had a dedicated sales lead to partner with PubMatic.

This enabled the direct sales business to work alongside the Agency Trading Desks whilst complimenting each other rather than cannibalising the sales efforts which led to increased revenues.

Programmatic buying and PMPs equip IDG UK with the capability to control the pricing of inventory by advertiser or segment whilst maintaining direct relationships with buyers and controlling ad quality. This was previously not possible with network relationships.

Throughout 2013, IDG UK will continue to focus on PMPs, extracting higher CPMs and approaching more trading desks, segmenting audiences further with the addition of 1st and 3rd party data.

By funnelling more agency spend into programmatic, IDG UK will gain greater control on pricing via guaranteed spends across its premium/audience rich inventory.

“As a premium publisher it is imperative we have control over the CPMs and spend we receive from our core clients via Programmatic Trading. An initial block list led a sales strategy to approach agency teams and trading desks to set up PMPs, with clients we gain direct bookings from and use trading desks. Although the overall PMP market is not as advanced as we would like we have seen great success with some of those implemented. Our SSP PubMatic has been a very valuable asset in setting up this new revenue stream.

“The next few months will see us arranging more PMPs with various demand partners and keep a close eye on their success and impact against direct sales. We see them as a core progression towards Premium RTB. In fact I am already experiencing conversations regarding branding campaigns with higher CPMs than the usual direct response we are used to via RTB,” Bradley said.

Concerned over Private Marketplaces? No need to be.

Why a Private Marketplace strategy

Why a Private Marketplace strategy?

Programmatic Trading is the buzz word for 2013. Many publishers are showing interest in adopting this more efficient way of trading but often lack the support to do so. Concerns in the market are rife, and it can often seem discouraging when the knowledge behind the technology isn’t there. And to confuse matters, Private Marketplaces (PMPs) have entered the programmatic scene, leading to even more mystification and fears on the publisher side.

However with their granular transparency PMPs give the reins back to publishers, allowing greater control over pricing and powering direct sellers with information on the practices and preferences of their best clients.

A recent PMP success story for PubMatic started when it partnered with IDG UK (International Data Group UK) towards the end of last year to help drive IDG UK’s offering into the programmatic spectrum.

IDG UK is a global technology network bringing together over 280 million technology buyers in 97 countries. IDG UK chose PubMatic as their Strategic Selling Partner to enable its programmatic offering to market for their B2B and B2C properties, such as ComputerworldUK, Macworld, PCAdvisor and DigitalArtsOnline.

Like many of our other clients, IDG UK needed to partner with a trusted technology platform to lead their programmatic trading adoption and help them drive their direct sales into the opportunities around Private Marketplaces.

Key factors for any client, when moving into the PMP environment, are to gain deep control over their digital assets with heightened transparency and the ability to adjust floor prices when needed. The feeling of having the chance to be ‘hands on’ within the programmatic landscape is often needed by the publisher to allow them control and transparency when dealing with their inventory.

IDG UK was quick to realise the benefit of embracing programmatic trading and taking ownership over how and to whom its impressions were traded programmatically. As part of its overall digital strategy, IDG UK’s media services director Dan Shaw quickly identified the need for a specialist to lead their programmatic trading and adoption within their direct sales teams.

“Everywhere you look there are very bullish forecasts about how much the programmatic space will grow. We wanted to make sure we were as close to the market as we could be. And we also wanted to be one of the first Publishers having the conversations agencies wanted to have. A dedicated sales resource has given us the opportunity to do both of these things; we recognised the need to have someone actively talking with all demand partners (and someone who could spend time with Pubmatic) so they really understood the opportunities and could feedback to the overall business,” said Shaw.

By appointing Rob Bradley to work with PubMatic’s EMEA Director of Advertiser Solutions, Duncan Chamberlain, Dan Shaw ensured IDG had a dedicated sales lead to partner with PubMatic.

This enabled the direct sales business to work alongside the Agency Trading Desks whilst complimenting each other rather than cannibalising the sales efforts which led to increased revenues.

Programmatic buying and PMPs equip IDG UK with the capability to control the pricing of inventory by advertiser or segment whilst maintaining direct relationships with buyers and controlling ad quality. This was previously not possible with network relationships.

Throughout 2013, IDG UK will continue to focus on PMPs, extracting higher CPMs and approaching more trading desks, segmenting audiences further with the addition of 1st and 3rd party data.

By funnelling more agency spend into programmatic, IDG UK will gain greater control on pricing via guaranteed spends across its premium/audience rich inventory.

“As a premium publisher it is imperative we have control over the CPMs and spend we receive from our core clients via Programmatic Trading. An initial block list led a sales strategy to approach agency teams and trading desks to set up PMPs, with clients we gain direct bookings from and use trading desks. Although the overall PMP market is not as advanced as we would like we have seen great success with some of those implemented. Our SSP PubMatic has been a very valuable asset in setting up this new revenue stream.

“The next few months will see us arranging more PMPs with various demand partners and keep a close eye on their success and impact against direct sales. We see them as a core progression towards Premium RTB. In fact I am already experiencing conversations regarding branding campaigns with higher CPMs than the usual direct response we are used to via RTB,” Bradley said.

The Opportunity of Mobile RTB for Publishers and Advertisers: Q & A with Mobile Sales Director, Heather Menery

Heather Menery, who has been working with agencies and brands to launch mobile campaigns for over seven years, is the new Director of Sales, Mobile, at PubMatic where she will be responsible for sales to both publishers and ad buyers.  Among her varied roles in mobile, Menery was sales director at Velti, a mobile marketing and advertising technology company, and a sales executive at Jumptap Mobile Ad Network. Heather shares what her experience in mobile has taught her and what she can bring to publishers and demand partners at PubMatic.

Q:  You’re one of the few mobile execs to have spent your entire career in mobile.  What do you think you learned about mobile as a marketing medium at your first job?

I am glad that I was first on the account management side at Enpocket, a mobile media company with mobile marketing services, before starting my sales career. I learned so much about the importance of client education, especially as it pertains to new media. In 2006, it was not just about educating the advertiser on why they should invest in mobile but also how to take those first steps to launch a mobile campaign. As the landscape is constantly changing, the education piece has not changed. Some of the first mobile buys I received from agencies were a result of continuous client education and proper expectation setting.

Q. What is the biggest consumer trend impacting mobile advertising right now?

Users are consuming more media than ever before. Because so much of this consumption is taking place on the mobile device, mobile can no longer be considered a “third screen.” We are a generation that thrives on multi-tasking and we are consuming media from different devices simultaneously or within seconds of each other. We watch TV, see a brand’s commercial, and immediately visit that brand’s site on our mobile device.  I love the cross-platform play as mobile stands out as the connective tissue for all forms of media vs. being labeled as a “third screen.” As we heard from many agencies at the recent Mobile Media Summit, companies that can target users cross-platform will impact mobile advertising in a big way.

Q.  What do you think is unique about mobile as an ad medium?

How personal our mobile device is. I do not share my phone with anyone, it’s become more important than my wallet. In some cases, it is my wallet. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and often the last thing at night. Because it’s always with us, the location piece is essential. If publishers can pass us latitude and longitudinal data we can deliver much more effective targeting, which in turn makes the inventory more valuable. Even national retailers are using location to add relevance to their advertising and layering on daypart targeting. People do things at certain times of day and if you can reach them at the right moment with a localized message, it’s gold.

Q.  What do you think will most impact mobile ad spend which has been lagging compared to spend on other media.

Most of the time, mobile is still the last line item on a media planner’s media budget. There is still the need for continuous education, especially in such a fragmented space. There are new mobile companies popping up daily, new devices, new ad formats…taking a week vacation from reading about mobile trends means you’re already behind. The need for education is still prevalent.

But I believe the biggest challenge in mobile right now is the lack of standardized tracking, both at the mobile media display level and attributing this media to users’ post click actions.  The tried and true way of tracking on digital display is not working across mobile, which is very frustrating to advertisers. Combine lack of unified tracking with privacy concerns in a fragmented space that changes daily and you’ll understand why the investment isn’t there yet.

I’m confident that this industry is too smart to fail and we may all need to work together towards a universally accepted method of tracking that is privacy compliant.

Q.  You’ve been on the agency side. What are budgets like these days for mobile?

It depends. There are some brands with seven figure mobile budgets but average deal size at the campaign level can still average $25 – 50K per campaign.

Q.  What do publishers need to understand about mobile in terms of mobile advertising?

Your standard “desktop” site may look fantastic on the iPhone but publishers need to think beyond aesthetics and understand how users’ behavior is different on their smartphones vs. laptops and even tablets. A mobile optimized site is a must and the functionality and organization of your mobile site will differ from your desktop site. Take advantage of all the ad sizes mobile can deliver beyond just the standard banner i.e. rich media and video. The targeting you can offer advertisers will only make your inventory more valuable, especially if you can target based on a user’s location.

Q.  What is the greatest challenge for publishers about mobile advertising?  

That it’s a fragmented space and there’s always something new to learn. Advertisers and publishers share many of the same challenges, as I mentioned above. It goes back to education…there are a lot of nuances. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s so smart that PubMatic partnered with MobStac, which simplifies the process of optimizing content for any mobile device.  It’s one of the headaches that can now be solved through automation.

Q. What are the most important things you think PubMatic can do for publishers with mobile inventory?

Better understand their mobile assets and increase the value of their mobile inventory. Aggregate demand partners and continuously innovate to stay on top of market trends. I also would not downplay the service aspect.  At PubMatic, we provide insights into the bidding environment because we live and breathe it every day.  The mobile team is made up of true mobile experts who really understand RTB.  The reason I came here is that I see the promise of RTB for mobile.   I’ve been working at different mobile ad networks for some time and advertisers want to talk about RTB. I wanted to work at a company that really gets it.

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Have a question for Heather we haven’t covered here?  Leave a reply, question or comment below.

Mary & Mobile: How Are We Going to Get There?

By VP of Mobile Bob Walczak

Twice a year former Citibank and now Kleiner Perkins analyst Mary Meeker wows the industry with the power of Internet growth globally [http://www.businessinsider.com/mary-meeker-2012-internet-trends-year-end-update-2012-12].  Her reports like these go back to the dot-com days. This year mobile became the dominant theme and the ultimate catalyst for business and consumer change. Why? The numbers are staggering.  Fifty percent of people in the US and China now have smartphones. While iPods changed one sector of media, their ramp up among consumers has been marginal compared to that of iPads.  The iPad is the number-one thing kids in the US want from Santa this year. Twenty-four percent of online shopping on Black Friday took place on tablets or smartphones.

All of this consumer usage growth is incredibly exciting, but as VP of Mobile at PubMatic, there’s one chart in her deck that really gets me going:  it’s where she breaks out time spent with media to ad spend.

Mobile has the biggest upside:  see the chart below.

Time spent is typically a proxy for media spend and while mobile gets 1% of spend, it’s now 10% of media time. It represents a huge opportunity for publishers.  How are we going to close that gap?

It’s no surprise that the mobile revolution has challenged many publishers in terms of monetization. Supply is outstripping demand and as a medium, it’s really complicated with so many device types and formats.

Here’s the top 3 things every publisher should consider to make mobile manageable and truly go “mobile first” as so many are talking about:

  1. Find a tool to help you render content for any mobile format:  There is no reason a publisher should be attempting to do this all themselves. There are companies like MobStac that make it easy to optimize content for any tablet or smartphone format.
  2. Work with a yield platform that does the work of enriching your ad requests:  If done correctly, the SSP should add values like geo-parameters, carrier, and offer a full device library which identifies things like device type (smartphones, tablets, connected TVs) and features (OS, touch screen, camera, resolution…etc.) to be passed to demand partners and ultimately increase monetization.
  3. Look for a stable standardized Rich Media solution: I still hear stories of Rich Media ads that advertisers want, rendering improperly across content. The mobile web has gotten a bit more consistent but the application side is still struggling. The labor of integrating an SDK for a developer is significant, so finding a company that provides a stable, comprehensive and lightweight SDK is critical to reducing this pain point. The main recommendation is for the SDK to incorporate MRAID (a standard for rich media advertising defined by the IAB). This not only enables higher value monetization, it also it enables the industry to scale and better meet Meeker’s projections.

At PubMatic, we are constantly pushing to innovate in mobile and ensure our publishers can monetize the inventory they have.  We saw 700% growth in mobile paid ad impressions from Q1 to Q3 this year.  To support mobile monetization, over the next few weeks you will see announcements on a number of partnerships and developments that all work together to ensure that any of our publishing clients can put mobile first.

The mobile revolution is all about making information easy to access when and where consumers want to. PubMatic’s innovations in mobile are bringing simplicity – and increased revenue – to the platform where we are all now most likely to engage.

 

The Chief Media Revenue Strategist and Revenue Analysts

Crucial new roles for Publishers in the Era of Sales Automation

By Richard Sobel, Director of Product Marketing & Platform Strategy, PubMatic

Given all the discussion around media operating systems and simplifying the complex online ad ecosystem, we’re finally also getting around to talking about its impact on personnel. Google says that six weeks per person per year are wasted due to all the different tools that need to be cobbled together for campaigns (http://www.adexchanger.com/platforms/6-weeks-per-person-per-year-in-wasted-time-and-efficiency/).  We spent the last 15 years finding and training enough people to do ad operations.  Is the full machine-to-machine automation of media buying and selling likely to put these people out of work?  The reality is more akin to what happened in the Industrial Revolution:  technology changed the nature of work forever.   A media revolution is underway and it calls for new, powerful and sophisticated roles that just don’t exist at most media companies: a Chief Media Revenue Strategist and Revenue Analysts. And, if implemented properly, these roles should actually help publishers meet the challenges of the digital, increasingly-automated age of media sales.  Ad ops people will declare independence from tedious tasks to actually use their knowledge of campaigns to increase revenue.

For Revenue Analysts, the base job change is from one that is task oriented (tag the ad, make sure it runs where it should, reconcile the billing) to strategic:  use data from past and current campaigns, audience data, tools that include real time bidding, to make informed decisions on where and how impressions should be sold. Current tools can basically automate the tagging — seventy to eighty-percent of all ads are now 3rd party served so tagging will only be required for very custom opportunities.  The revenue analysts can be freed from basic tagging to actually use the reports available to optimize pricing plus see who is buying and at what rates to identify and evaluate future opportunities.   These Revenue Analysts should report into and inform the decisions made by The Chief Media Revenue Strategist.

The Chief Media Revenue Strategist role is a larger one that may be hired from externally or promoted from within. This person needs to have the social acumen of a business development background with some level of technical familiarity with systems.  From working with PubMatic’s clients – and my own background in developing systems and training personnel at big media companies like Time Inc and Disney – there is typically a wall between ad operations and sales. The future of media sales demands the fall of the wall:  We literally need to take the services aspect of sales and marry it with the data and technical sophistication of tech operations for this new role. This supra (and super) operations person knows the ins and outs of the tools and can make intelligent decisions in real time about what inventory to sell where and communicate why. They understand the ad clients and their objectives and are committed to fulfilling them. Most importantly, they have a seat at the table with the CRO and work holistically beyond the bounds of artificial constraints on inventory like guaranteed and non-guaranteed.

The Chief Media Revenue Strategist is indeed a new role, but one for which we have the perfect job description:

Key Roles & Responsibilities

  • Link corporate vision with strategy and execution of ad sales for business growth
  • Increase overall revenue by uniting direct and indirect sales channels based on real time market data
  • Interface between advertising operations, revenue analysts and the sales staff
  • Report into the CRO or head of sales
  • Champion the use of technology and development of better sales process flow, and evaluate tech opportunities and determine  opportune partners
  • Create and sustain guidelines for pricing and packing inventory for audience targeting
  • Direct the Revenue Analysts and use their data for smarter sales channel decisions

Regular Activities:

  • Oversee the work of the Revenue Analysts as they look at performance data, revenue info, impression volumes, sell through data, distributions of inventory to make informed decisions on optimal sales channels
  • Develop relationships with sales people and their teams: Work with the sales team(s) to price and package  inventory for audience targeting, either to sell direct audience campaigns or through automation, including participation where necessary on sales calls
  • Develop and drive relationships with the Agency Trading Desks so they understand the premium value of the properties being represented, and to sustain a master relationship to ease how sales team(s) work to activate marketing programs using automation and programmatic buying
  • Partner with marketing about packaging future inventory assets: Converse with research to develop new ways of getting at audience composition
  • Participate actively in weekly sales meetings to provide updates on agency developments and opportunities routed in technology, and evaluate opportunities for inclusion of audience targeting
  • Develop larger strategies for new opportunities such as mobile, tablet, digital video and ITV
  • Find ways of efficiently managing cross channel buys and targeting

Desired Background

  • 7 – 10 years general business experience
  • Combination of tech, sales and business development expertise – but these do not have to be mutually exclusive
  • Ad ops expertise can help but is not essential
  • Wall Street background is complementary:  they need to be able to apply analytics skills, deal making, and involvement in tech projects
  • Technical, systems process and data background is a must
  • Strategy and enterprise revenue management expertise

The Chief Media Revenue Strategist is really the “Future of Automation” ambassador and a key role in any media sales organization. We’d love to hear your challenges (and triumphs) with personnel in this fast moving world of sales automation.  Any Chief Media Revenue Strategists out there are encouraged to contact us. We’ll profile you on our site – and absolutely buy you a beer.