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Author: Chris O'Hara

Chris O'Hara

I am the Co-Founder and CRO of Bionic Advertising Systems,  which is providing the next generation of tools for buying guaranteed premium digital advertising with its Digital Media Planner product. 

I am also a domain expert on platform technology, with an emphasis on digital advertising workflow, data management, and real-time bidding. I have led successful sales efforts at TRAFFIQ, Reviewed.com, Nielsen, and Mediabistro.com. 

I am a member of American Business Media’s speakers bureau, the IAB’s Networks and Exchanges and Sales Executive Committees, and a contributor to industry publications including Business Insider, eMarketing & Commerce, Econsultancy, AdMonsters, MediaPost, The Agency Post, Adotas, ClickZ, iMediaConnection, DigiDay, and AdWeek.

Five things to expect from a DMP

DMPs all look very much the same at first glance, but there is a ton of nuance when you dig deeper.

Here are five things you must consider when evaluating the data management technology of 2015.


Big brands capture reactions to ads with new video technology

A few years ago, I had coffee with Nick Langeveld, who left Nielsen to run business development for an interesting company called Affectiva. He was telling me how the company, an MIT labs spin-off, was going to make measurement in a new direction by measuring people’s facial expressions.

Like Intel, who is going to start shipping set top boxes that know who is watching television, Affectiva is using the ability to watch consumers through their webcams as they consume video, and measure the emotions in real-time.

Now, marketers could see the exact moment when they captured surprise, delight, or revulsion in a consumer—and scale that effort to anyone with a webcam, who opted into their panel. This sounded great, but I wondered if and when large marketers would adopt such technology.


Programmatic premium is not about bidding

When it comes to digital publishing sales, it seems like many publishers are questioning whether the product they have — the standard banner ad — is what they should be selling.

Last month I wrote that 2013 would be the year of “premium programmatic,” where LUMA map companies who make their living in real time bidding turn towards the guaranteed space, where 80% of digital marketing dollars are being spent.

My recent experience at Digiday Exchange Summit convinced me that this meme continues — with an important distinction: “Premium programmatic” is not about bidding on quality inventory through exchanges. Rather, it's about using technology to enable premium guaranteed buys at scale.


Death of the digital agency: Redux

Last year, I wrote that the digital agency was dead. I was mostly talking about how platform technology was going to knock a lot of digital media agencies out of business. In a world where over five trillion banner impressions are available every month, I argued it was simply too much for humans to navigate through the choices and wring branding effect and performance out of campaigns.

Well, digital media agencies are still around—but they continue to lose share to platforms as the amount of programmatically bought media increases. With RTB-based spending estimated to rise at an annualized rate of nearly 60% a year, according to market intelligence firm IDC, we could see as much as $14 billion in spending by 2016, or 27% of total display spending. Looks like the machines are slowly taking over.


Best practices in data management: report

Data is everywhere. As the cost of storing and collecting data decreases, more of it becomes available to marketers looking to optimize the way they acquire new customers and activate existing ones.

In the right hands, data can be the key to understanding audiences, developing the right marketing messages, optimizing campaigns, and creating long-term customers. In the wrong hands, data can contribute to distraction, poor decision-making, and customer alienation.

Over the past several weeks, I asked over thirty of the world’s leading digital data practitioners what marketers should be thinking about when it comes to developing a data management strategy.

The result is the newly available Best Practices in Data Management report. A few big themes emerged from my research, which I thought I would share.

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I fought Facebook, and Facebook won

How can you make the most of the power of platform economics to drive success? Learn what to look for in a platform. 

Last month, I wrote about my unfortunate experience with Facebook, which took it upon itself to broadcast my entire Spotify listening experience to the world, seemingly without my knowledge or permission.

This aggravated me to the point of proclaiming, quite publicly, that I was going to “commit Facebook suicide” and end my relationship with the social media behemoth. It turns out that is easier said than done.


The RFP is dead: new concepts in audience discovery

Real-time bidding, data segmentation, and new buying methodologies have made a dinosaur out of the traditional agency request-for-proposal.

A programmatic approach to budget allocation and audience discovery is coming soon that will forever transform the RFP from a static document to an effective attribute matching engine that can effectively connect the demand and supply sides in media.


Three reasons why the digital display ecosystem will fail

Here are the three reasons most of the companies within Terence Kawaja's display advertising landscape map will fail, and the three types of companies that will win big.


The death of the digital media agency?

Three fundamental changes to the media business are threatening the current business model for digital media agencies.

These are: the ubiquity of platform technology, the shift back to premium placements as brand budgets return,  and the coming threat from social media. 


Why Real Time Bidding is more important than you think

Getting RTB (real time bidding) right is the key to success for many of the companies in the digital media ecosystem.

This post explores the trends in real time bidding to look for over the next 18 months as systems provide more premium inventory; enable private exchange buying; move beyond display into other digital media types; and provide immediate buying opportunities.