Ad Revenue 6 Live Blog

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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.

Enriching Mobile, Embracing Data

A blog post by Frederic Prigent, Country Manager, FR, PubMatic

fpIt feels like we’ve been talking about Mobile for infinity in the online advertising landscape, with both concerns and great excitement. Every year technology platforms announce new outstanding systems created to enhance mobile advertising, building solutions to remove apprehensions around Mobile Tracking and Targeting. However, it still remains in the back of everyone’s mind, and as 2013 ends a successful first quarter, we reflect back at the discussions and debates we’ve all been swept up in around Mobile. How can we target without Cookies? How can we drive loyal users and measure performance? How can we ensure mobile devices are all tracked to the same standards?

All these anxieties around mobile all come down to one factor: lack of data. Unlike desktop, mobile presents a new challenge for technology partners to collate enough data to ensure both advertisers and publishers can trade premium impressions and not compromise the user experience. Collecting data for mobile is a different process to what we all know so well with desktop. Without cookies, we have to draw data from other offerings within the mobile environment; Geo, age, device type, carrier and so on. These pockets of data then have to extract a wide range of user related parameters which in result will add value to impressions.

PubMatic has recently launched a new set of Data Enrichment products, built to relieve all concerns around mobile, and enhance the buy and sell of digital media. Our mobile product package provides the opportunity to optimise data, by layering over 30 parameters of 3rd party data, and 20 fields of 1st part data values onto every impression. Applying these extensive parameters will enrich the value of every mobile and tablet impression passed through our platform, adding significant value to media where needed. Priding ourselves and our expertise within our market, we have recognised the trends within programmatic trading, and we know that enhanced, enriched data can more than double or triple the value of inventory. We saw mobile paid impressions experience an unprecedented growth of 1425% between Q1 and Q4 in 2012, emphasising that programmatic selling is becoming an increasingly viable way for publishers to monetize their mobile inventory.

PubMatic now has the capability to accept and offer a wide variety of options when tracking across mobile, providing four substantial solutions:

  1. We can accept and extract user data such as Unique User ID, Location (both latitude and longitude), Country, State, City, DOB, Ethnicity, Gender, Carrier etc. Location data in particular can allow advertisers to target specific users across all screens and work creatively to suit each device.
  2. We also have the ability to target campaigns against device, having the capability to reach Feature Phones, Smart Phones, Tablets, Video support, Pointing methods and so on. This proficiency will detect a variety of screen resolutions, shape and size offering a scope of platforms in which to engage with.
  3. PubMatic is now able to detect the carrier per device, which in affect takes the IP address from the user as the input, and sends to the carrier engine. This will encourage carrier parameters such as connection type – cellular/wifi.
  4. Having assembled all data parameters mentioned above, we can map all 1st party data into our API, enabling our demand partners to qualify and easily ingest.

PubMatic’s mobile offering has been implemented to ease the trading of media across all screens, whilst offering great value and uncompromising the user experience. With our new and exciting Data Enriching offering, we can now begin to discard all previous concerns around mobile, and begin looking across all devices.

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.

A Conversation with Andy Monfried, Founder and CEO, Lotame

Lotame Video

Your company generates mountains of data. But you need a way to turn this mountain into a goldmine.

 

I sat down today with Lotame’s Founder and CEO Andy Monfried to discuss the recent integration between the partners and how they are uncovering audience data to make publishers’ business much more transparent.

 

Rich Sobel (RS): We’re really excited about this partnership, and what it means to put two premium businesses together. When we first started conversations about this, some time ago, what clicked for you?

Andy Monfried (AM): The tremendous footprint that PubMatic has, and the unbelievable supply opportunity that you guys are tasked with and responsible for. I saw it not only as an asset but also as a unique challenge.

 

RS: You have been very publisher-focused since the beginning, in terms of helping them manage their data. In our world, we have a number of clients who could be considered marketers as well, who require the same support for their data management.

AM: Our visions are aligned in that respect. Many of our products allow the sharing of data from a publisher point-of-view to a marketer point-of-view, all from the click of a mouse. So if you choose to share your first party data on a permission basis with a marketer, we enable that function. The movement of data, quickly, easily and seamlessly is what I believe makes the plumbing of our DMP a key differentiator.

As far as what’s trending, whether its mobile, CRM, RTB, or transactions, we’re seeing an explosion of data sharing across our ecosystem.

 

RS: The programmatic experience is about finding the user you’re looking for.

AM: I totally agree—I think that marketers will learn to bring a small portion of their CRM data to large publishers who can then model it out across their first party inventory. And that’s a benefit for everyone. PubMatic sits at the center of a lot of those transactions, and can enable that type of transaction.

 

RS: When you think about all the things that are necessary to make it all work, there’s the user component of it, and then the transaction part. So, there are a lot of complements across our platforms.

AM: Yes, there’s a natural symbiotic connection between what PubMatic excels at and what Lotame focuses on. We collect first party data in a unique way—Lotame allows you to write rules and capture events behind the scenes so the publisher doesn’t do any heavy lifting. A-synchronous data collection across user experiences is huge.

 

RS: The combination of multiple components in a single stream.

AM: Exactly. And that’s a key differentiator for us, how we do first party data collection. First party data is one of a publisher’s greatest assets—that’s why we put such an emphasis on getting the most from it. It’s not all equal.

 

RS: And you’re getting the smarter publishers. Not all SSPs are the same; different elements need to be taken into consideration. Both PubMatic and Lotame go the extra mile in terms of how we create unique technical solutions for our customers. PubMatic runs a truly unified auction across all buying methods – including guaranteed, direct sold campaigns – and the most advanced Private Marketplace solution, while Lotame has the most advanced and granular ways to collect and manage audience data. This brings us back to this partnership, which will impact the ecosystem in a major way. There’s so much competition out there, but there hasn’t been much collaboration.

AM: The ease of integration mitigates the amount of work and increases the results. The hard work comes from PubMatic and Lotame, rather than the publishers. Whether it’s data collection, categorization, targeting, optimization, and construction, these are all executed by Lotame and PubMatic service and support teams. One of the key goals of this partnership for me was to reduce the workload on publishers, and I believe our mutual clients already see the opportunity and value we bring together to them.

 

RS: We take a consultative approach to how we serve our clients, and you guys do something similar. There’s a lot of data crunching required — we act as a guide to help publishers by taking the work off their plate. For publishers who want to take the next step, and have seen the shifting sands to manage their share of wallet, there’s no other option than to engage in the programmatic, RTB-enabled world of media buying.

AM: It’s true. Publishers don’t have the extended resources to sit around and wait for the tasks they have to perform. So this partnership is the next step in making a publisher’s life easier and making assets more valued.

 

RS: As advertisers start to dictate terms more formally, using programmatic tools, publishers can face these changes by defining and leading a consortium. Scale matters, and publishers who are looking to compete for larger share of wallet have to find ways to expand their footprint. Data is one way to find more audience, and creating partnerships establishes premium pools of inventory to activate that data.

AM: Absolutely. We allow publishers to share data on a permission basis with each other to find their users across their partners. Data must be extensible, but publishers need the controls that we (Lotame and PubMatic) provide to make it brand safe.

 

RS: Integrity is important to us, and it’s important for us to work with premium businesses that feel the same way. Our customer relationships are more important than anything else. And we value this partnership, because we know that Lotame shares these values. On that note—what was the initial idea behind the partnership?

AM: We wanted to focus on ways we can increase value for publishers, by leveraging data, knowing that most major marketers and publishers are in the hunt for the right DMP for business. People work with DMPs and SSPs out of necessity—Lotame and PubMatic together come to the table with a more cohesive offering: this partnership.

We have similar visions for our companies, and at the end of the day, we both always hold the client at the highest regard for whatever their goals are.

In addition, PubMatic has a global footprint from which Lotame is very excited to benefit from. Data is important everywhere, and PubMatic’s experience and expertise in key local markets make this partnership very exciting.

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Accelerating Growth in EMEA and APAC: a Q&A with Rob Jonas, VP and MD International

Rob Jonas, the new Vice President and Managing Director for EMEA and APAC, will lead international sales and help drive continued global expansion of the PubMatic platform.  He brings 15 years of experience developing high-growth technology companies in the EMEA, North America and the Asia-Pacific regions.  An alumni of InMobi, Google, Overture and Yahoo!, he has managed large regional customer relationships and contributed to the successful global expansion of these companies.

 

What will your experience with global brands like Yahoo! and Google bring to a developing company like PubMatic?

I’ve worked at both large global companies and start-ups like InMobi and hope to bring best practices from each. When you work with different global companies, you see that they approach international expansion very differently — some better than others. You have to make sure you understand the markets you are going into and recognise there is a huge amount of variation in how businesses work in Europe and in Asia.  One-size-fits-all is a recipe for failure; there are many nuances and differences across the markets. Secondly, you have to make sure you have experienced people who know the pitfalls to avoid.  Ten years ago it was difficult to create a team with adequate digital experience across multiple markets, but today there are more and more people that have that experience, enjoy the business and are passionate. Lastly, you need to have a clear strategy. Many businesses that launch in international markets with only people on the ground fail because they neither defined success nor created benchmarks to achieve it.

 

What is the biggest challenge for publishers globally today in terms of revenue generation?

There really are three challenges. First, is the speed of change versus ten years ago, which has created higher levels of complexity for operating businesses, servicing customers and managing competitive threats. Second is the multi-platform dimension coupled with the rise of mobile.  Even three years ago publishers were not focused on mobile — it was analysts talking about how important it was. Today, publishers are grappling with multi-platform content distribution and monetisation. Mobile usage adoption has caught many publishers by surprise.  Globalisation is the third factor.  Ten years ago, monetisation operated in local markets.  Today however, major players are finding that huge parts of their business come from outside their home market. Take UK news publisher The Daily Mail, a London-based publisher, which has attracted a large US following, making it the largest online news site in the world – even larger than the New York Times.  Two or three years ago, few people would have predicted that.  As a result, the traditional model of in-house sales teams selling to local advertisers has had to adapt.

 

How would you compare global markets in terms of RTB adoption to the US? 

The U.S. is obviously well established but international markets are becoming more and more important. The UK is a crucial digital advertising market as publishers have more widely adopted the technology – it will be a leader in Europe for RTB growth and overall market size. Japan has caught up to most Western European markets and has the most potential to rival the U.S. in overall size in the next few years. Total RTB spending in Japan will grow from $47 million in 2011 to $1.1 billion in 2016. Beyond these, France and Germany will become critical in Europe. Both of these markets are conservative in adopting new advertising technologies, but once embraced, have the capability to grow very quickly. Australia, India and China will all contribute, with the latter having potential in the long term to be one of the largest RTB markets globally.

 

How can publishers overcome the current commoditisation of inventory that is often blamed on programmatic?

The first iteration of programmatic buying led to the commoditization of remnant inventory for publishers, which pushed down CPMs and yield.  It’s now a very different marketplace with companies like PubMatic offering sophisticated capabilities and platform functionality.  Now publishers can take inventory they may not be able to sell directly, layer in audience data and package it in ways they could not in the past. The publishing business is more complex now and requires technology to increase value from global audiences.

 

What’s your version of an elevator pitch for what PubMatic offers to publishers?

We’re solving critical problems:  How do you monetise your digital assets in an increasingly multi-platform and global marketplace? How do you use technology to increase value and complement your direct sales activities? PubMatic is at the nexus of two huge trends in digital advertising: the rise of programmatic buying and selling of inventory and the consolidation of platforms as users consume content across channels.

 

How do you see the demand side of the business?

I’m one of the big believers that the demand side will drive the ecosystem and will catalyse the marketplace.  Leading Agency Trading Desks project that programmatic buying revenue will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars within the next 24 months.  European publishers are expected to increase RTB budgets by 1000% in 2013.  With this in mind, PubMatic will continue to develop relationships between publisher customers and demand clients.

 

Unified optimization, or the idea of evaluating all inventory sold through a platform, is a pretty radical concept to a lot of publishers who want to continue to segregate inventory into direct sold and premium.  What’s the first step they need to take to better understand this concept?

By articulating our vision of growth, we are able to update publishers’ perceptions.  Once they are on board, many of their concerns disappear.  Our platform offers consultative, 24/7 support so our customers are able to maintain a solid understanding of the current state of the industry as well as prepare for future shifts.

 

Coming from a mobile network, what would you advise publishers to do to increase the value of their mobile inventory?

If you are a mobile publisher today, it’s a challenging market. Publishers need to educate advertisers on why they need to be focused on mobile and help them understand how to plan, buy and run campaigns.  We’re still having the dreaded “year of mobile” discussion — the market is still divided between performance / pay for download and brand advertisers.  We have more work to do on the creative level to unlock the potential of the platform.  We have to take into account the personalised nature of the device plus the data that is attached to it. Soon, we will get to a point where targeting will go beyond “male, 18 – 34, ABC1, in London” to intent context or intent-based targeting. We will be able to target someone about to go shopping, get on a plane or commute to work.  As an industry, we’re also developing enough experience around gaining user consent; surveys have confirmed that users will exchange consent for more valuable content and relevant advertising.  On mobile, there is so much potential for advertising and we are getting closer and closer to this every year.

 

What are your daily must-reads for business and pleasure?

I use Twitter to stay informed about industry news from outlets such as Business Insider, AllThingsDigital and TechCrunch. As I am relatively new to the programmatic sector, sites like ExchangeWire are also must-reads. In the mobile space, there are a handful of analysts who really understand the hype often associated with the mobile sector such as Ben Evans at Enders Analysis. Outside of work, I am a pretty active road cyclist and am usually checking on the latest European race on The Guardian or L’Equipe or what my network is up to on Instagram or Strava.

 

Why did you join PubMatic at this point in your career?

PubMatic predicted many of the trends that are coming to market and after coming in to contact with the company more than five years ago, now is the perfect time to help accelerate its plans in EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region. The speed of change, increase in cross-platform complexity and inexorable rise of programmatic buying is only going to increase in the next few years.  I am looking forward to working with the fantastic team at PubMatic during this next stage of growth.

Focus on the Audience

Or, How the IAB’s view of the advertising landscape leaves out the most important force in media & marketing: People

A blog post by Rich Sobel, Director of Product Marketing & Platform Strategy, PubMatic

As usual, the annual IAB meeting brought out the luminaries of publishing (and yes, there are more “rising stars,” this time for digital video) an update on viewability, big data vs. creative, lively discussions on native ads and the future of display.  For me, the biggest introduction was IAB’s updated view of the online advertising eco-system (http://www.iab.net/IABArena), a much simplified version of the fabled LUMA-scape of Terence Kawaja.

The IAB has long complained, rightly, about the need for clearer value propositions for ad technology companies and I applaud their efforts to move from a messy, logo-ridden process flow to a more holistic vision.  It’s elegant, it’s aesthetic!  My gut reaction is that they missed something: people.  They’ve chosen brands as the central force.  So, yes, Randy, you’ve left out the human side of advertising.

While brands power media spending, the core is always the consumer.  Everything starts with a relationship. That relationship between the brand and the people who choose to engage with the brand (either through content or purchase activity) is paramount.  Content’s engagement with a consumer, and the entire audience created, is both the driver and the pinnacle of everything the content creator’s business is based on.

In our media ecosystem, with that human-centric core, everything comes down to data.

Data may have gotten big and can be valued in bits and bytes, but in the end, all data does is tell us something about people: how they engage and interact with media, and develop intent to take action in their lives.  Engagement, interaction, and intent are the foundational elements of understanding and responding to an audience.  That goes for both publishers and advertisers.  Data, used in the right way, is about making it all more personal:  the experience of media and the experience of advertising.  Publishers use data to inform their user experience and drive a more engaging and content-rich relationship with their audience, and advertising brands use data to develop products and drive consumer relationship with those products.   Retargeting is a straightforward example of a brand deploying data to re-engage people who have shown intent and offer them something of value.

Data provides the “why” in what we in advertising do as a business, and the relationship with the consumer is a value exchange.  In return for content and products, people provide data that indicates their engagement with that content and products.  The core value proposition of ad technology companies is to take the knowledge gained from the experience of a consumer and improve the next point of engagement.

Ad technology platforms, like PubMatic, provide the “how” to take data and apply it to make advertising more personal on a publisher’s media property.  A Private Marketplace allows publishers to apply their audience data in a direct sales environment without risking the open market commoditization of their data, and leverage the power of their audience relationship, blending the premium and programmatic sales channels without conflict.  It’s only one of the paths forward we see in a simplified ecosystem where people and their experiences with brands (both publishing and advertising) are increasingly personal, relevant and positive.  

As we attempt to explain the business we are in, we cannot forget that everything begins and ends with a consumer relationship.  We should be more focused on defining the problems we face and the solutions we provide than with creating a chart.  Let’s solve our customers’ problems and drive great experiences.

 

Devising Innovative Solutions to Drive Growth: a Q&A with CRO, Americas, Andrew Zeiger

Andrew Zeiger, the new Chief Revenue Officer of the Americas for PubMatic, brings 20 years of experience with top publishing companies like CNET, technology companies like the Geeknet and data companies like RichRelevance.  At PubMatic he will oversee revenue operations, strategic account development, and be responsible for devising innovative solutions to drive continued growth in North and South America.  He discussed the opportunities he sees for PubMatic clients and how he can help them meet their goals.

Why come to a company like PubMatic now?

Two reasons: PubMatic is filled with smart people and truly has a culture of innovation. PubMatic has already established leadership through innovation in an industry space that has sorely needed it as the pace of changing models and growing demand accelerates. As programmatic buying and selling become more important in the advertising ecosystem, I’m convinced that PubMatic will be the real-time engine that drives the industry forward for publishers and demand partners while creating a more useful consumer experience.

How did your background prepare you for your role at PubMatic?

I see this role as the culmination of my experience.  I started on the agency side and lived and breathed the whole buying process. Then I spent the better part of 20 years on the publishing side.  I understand what the publisher pain points are and the solutions that are needed.  One thing that has been a recurring theme in my career has been creating value for consumers and, consequently creating an environment that allows for a positive interaction between consumers and brands.  This is an important focus for PubMatic as we continue to create value for all constituencies in the marketing equation.

What is the biggest challenge for publishers today in terms of revenue generation?

Traditional publishers are still working on a model of a direct sales force exclusively representing their inventory.  While there will always be an important place for that, it simply does not scale to the extent that publishers and demand partners require in an increasingly fast paced environment requiring real-time decision making and execution. Most often publisher’s inventory is left underutilized and under valued.  What has been lacking in the rapidly changing world of programmatic sales are insights and innovations on both the publisher and demand sides.  They have to be able to understand the value of tier-two inventory.  When you become a data centric company – which is what all publishers have to develop expertise in – you unlock the value, increase revenue and improve results.  There has also been a total shift in terms of the speed that automation brings to the market.  We all know how hard it is to accurately predict and monetize spikes in inventory volume, but RTB can solve those issues.  Direct teams just cannot respond with the timing required in today’s market.

What excites you about programmatic buying and selling?

It’s bringing an intelligence and value to the consumer that is really difficult to do in a non-automated way. We can also accelerate a marketer’s time to market with technology solutions that match the right message to the right individual.  It’s positive for everyone involved.

Many publishers fear commoditization; how can you help them understand that RTB is not a race to the bottom?

PubMatic has done a great job on the data side.  They are bringing value to what has been considered remnant.  RTB is bringing intelligence to an unsorted mass of inventory.  For too long it’s been a price story as there was little visibility into what you were getting.  As recent data from PubMatic shows, RTB doubled CPMs over what publishers could get from ad networks in Q4.   Private Marketplaces – which offer huge benefits in terms of transparency — increased CPMs dramatically over traditional ad network buys.  Advertisers are coming on board as they are getting the quality inventory that’s just not identifiable in exchanges.   PubMatic does an excellent job of balancing the needs of both publishers and advertisers.

There’s been a lot of discussion of programmatic premium.  How do you define it and what do you think publishers need to understand about it?

It’s early and we’re still getting the market used to the idea that the direct sale can be augmented with programmatic.   Advancements in programmatic premium such as Private Marketplaces have facilitated strategic direct deals to get more creative in their own time.  Everyone in the equation wins.

PubMatic’s ultimate goal is the concept of unified optimization:  using the platform to evaluate all inventory sales.  Yet, many publishers still fear the cannibalization of the high CPMs of their direct sales through such an approach.

We need to expose exactly what unified optimization means.  There are lots of reasons why publishers might want to allocate or do deals.  Unified optimization is being able to look at all inventory and allocate what you send to whom. What is the availability?  What are the pricing thresholds?  When you take the distinct use scenario and say this portion is only for direct, this is for programmatic, you ultimately leave money on the table. Unified optimization will ultimately be adopted as publishers realize that it will provide a marketplace intelligence that just wasn’t there and that is demanded by the changing way that advertisers want to buy media.


At PubMatic, you will also be selling to demand partners.  What do you think PubMatic brings them that they can’t get elsewhere?

Their focus has always been on premium publications. They stand for a high level of quality in the marketplace.  And the science and the algorithms are really strong. They’ve invested far more in engineering than many of their competitors.  They’ve also brought security measures and data protection that are critical to the health of the industry.

Mobile is the hot area of growth in digital advertising; how do you see PubMatic helping publishers increase revenue in this nascent area?

PubMatic is taking a holistic approach and providing the same tool set for mobile as for the online marketplace in general.  From the traditional screen, to tablets, to the new Windows machines that are crossing over – the same value proposition still exists.  Buyers will increasingly want cross-platform digital and PubMatic will be able to provide it.

You’ll be based in PubMatic’s Redwood City office.  We assume you will be doing lots of traveling.

I like and need to be in front of customers – it’s how a lot of great ideas and possibilities are fleshed out. Chief Revenue Officer is not a job done sitting behind a desk.  Besides, I grew up in New York but left 20 years ago. It will be great to be working with clients there and all over the country.