tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/advertising Latest Advertising content from Econsultancy 2017-07-18T09:51:59+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69167 2017-07-18T09:51:59+01:00 2017-07-18T09:51:59+01:00 A day in the life of... a web designer for a programmatic ad company Ben Davis <p>As ever, remember to head of to the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs board</a> if you're looking for a role yourself, or try out our brand new <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/training/marketing-readiness">Modern Marketer quiz</a>, to find out what kind of marketer you are.</p> <h3>Please describe your job: What do you do?</h3> <p>I’m a web designer at Sociomantic Labs, so I work with account managers in setting up the design framework and with clients to keep their online ads fresh and relevant.</p> <p>I also work on both print and digital design for Sociomantic’s marketing, supporting both internal and external projects.</p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>I’m part of the design team, which includes the UI/UX, Banner and Marketing (Print &amp; Digital) departments. The majority of the team is based in our Berlin headquarters, next to our R&amp;D team, although we have a designer or two in all of our largest offices globally to work closely with Tier-A clients.</p> <p>I oversee the design and set up for the UK market’s largest accounts, and report to the Global Head of Design in Berlin.</p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role? </h3> <p>Organisation, prioritisation, communication and a willingness to adapt to change.</p> <p>Organisation is key when you work with a variety of clients over the course of a week, all with their own requirements and deadlines. I keep all my files labelled and organised to a T for this reason--I never know when I’ll be asked to pull up and reference a design from last Christmas!</p> <p>Prioritisation is necessary to keep on top of the constantly changing workloads and deadlines. It’s imperative to know approximately how long each job will take you so you can manage timelines efficiently.</p> <p>Communication with clients and account managers is a large part of the role. Therefore, being able to communicate effectively and explain your point of view/work in a way that non-designers understand is an advantage.</p> <p>Having a willingness to adapt to change is almost the most important skill in a fluid industry like digital. At Sociomantic, we’re always innovating, which in turn updates our process and workflow.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7579/chelsea_ikona.jpg" alt="chelsea ikon" width="550"></p> <p><em>Chelsea Ikona, Sociomantic</em></p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day…</h3> <p>I always start the day by checking my emails, having a strong coffee and making a mental list of all the jobs that need to be completed before the end of the day. I begin with the most urgent work, which usually involves a few hours on the Adobe Suite (I usually plug in headphones and tune most things out during this time, which helps me focus).</p> <p>After the high priority jobs are off the list, I bounce between ongoing, less urgent jobs and the small, urgent jobs that are sent over the course of the day. The global design team, as a whole, keeps in touch using Slack. Throughout the day, we double-check each other’s work, share inspiration and send copious amounts of silly GIFs.</p> <p>I have a great relationship with the UK account managers, and ongoing inside jokes are often heard across the room. That and work-related clarifications, of course.</p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>I’ve always loved design—I’m happiest when working on challenging projects and solving problems! Likewise, I love the atmosphere. Sociomantic has hired a fantastic team of people who work hard and have a great time doing it.</p> <p>Although I enjoy the autonomous nature of my role, I miss having other designers in the same office to bounce ideas off of without having to schedule a formal meeting. The time difference can also be a challenge, especially for our far-flung colleagues based in the US, LATAM and APAC.</p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success? </h3> <p>I wouldn’t say I’m a perfectionist, but I am firm about delivering a high quality of work for our clients. The tiniest details (such as matching the kerning to a client’s promotional assets when I have only a JPEG to work with) can make all the difference in creating a cohesive customer journey.</p> <p>In general, campaign performance (ROI/CTR) can be a measure of success. We often run <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67249-a-beginner-s-guide-to-a-b-testing/">A/B tests</a> to determine which promotional message or type of creative would drive stronger engagement and return, e.g: ‘Free Shipping and Returns’ vs ‘15% off selected styles’, or a dark banner versus a light banner.</p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done? </h3> <p>Our company mainly works with the Adobe Creative Suite, which is always a favourite for design. We used to do most of our core work in Photoshop, but lately we’ve started to learn and utilise Experience Design more and more. I think it’s important to have favourite tools, but equally important to be willing to learn new programmes if you believe it will improve the company workflow.</p> <p>Otherwise, I also have a resident notebook or two on my desk for jotting down notes or ideas. When you work in digital, I think it’s easy to get into the habit of doing everything on the computer, which can be limiting to say the least.</p> <h3>How did you get started in the digital advertising industry, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>I moved to the UK from Canada 3 years ago to challenge my prospects and perspectives. Although I had never worked in digital advertising in the past, Sociomantic’s vibe really appealed to me! At first, the industry was a step outside my comfort zone, but soon I became an expert in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62179-100-frequently-used-digital-marketing-acronyms">acronyms</a> like ROI, CTR and AOV! It was important for me to be able to speak the language of my colleagues and learn about the industry I’m a part of.</p> <p>I had every intention of pursuing package and print design when I started out and what I’m doing now is a world apart from that. I honestly don’t know where I’ll go from here, but as long as I’m in a creative role and doing what I love, I’ll be moving in the right direction. </p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing display ads well? </h3> <p>It’s hard to say. Without seeing a brand’s full campaign set up and results (or pandering to award winners), as a consumer I only see ads for things that have been deemed relevant to my interests.</p> <p>Having said that, it’s clear when a brand understands the impact of design within online advertising. Companies such as Nike, which have an established brand identity and know how to use it, are generally smashing it.</p> <p>Closer to home, clients like Michael Kors are killing it – they’re a dream to work with since their design assets are always of high quality, which allows our creatives to flawlessly sync up with their overall marketing strategy, whether online or offline.</p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the adtech industry or digital more broadly?</h3> <p>If you’re just starting out, it’s imperative that you understand your design principles. Go back to the basics and really understand them. Unlike most other mediums, digital advertising can be very restrictive and you have to push boundaries in order to be creative.</p> <p>Otherwise, for designers hoping to change course, I would recommend reading up on <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68808-uk-retailers-still-failing-to-meet-web-accessibility-standards">web accessibility</a> and going through the <a href="https://www.iab.com/guidelines/iab-display-advertising-guidelines/">IAB guidelines for digital display</a>. There are too many <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">DSPs</a> that use uninspiring templates in the name of convenience, but I think it’s necessary to re-introduce designers to the conversation—branding online is just as important as offline.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69245 2017-07-13T12:33:56+01:00 2017-07-13T12:33:56+01:00 Native ads gain as advertisers seek brand safety away from programmatic Patricio Robles <p>It was the first such boycott to hit Google in the search giant's near 20-year history, and not surprisingly, the company was quick to respond, acknowledging that it has a brand safety problem and promising, among other things, new tools and controls that will enable advertisers to minimize the risk that their ads appear next to offensive content.</p> <p>But Google clearly wasn't able to put the cat back into the bag and now there's evidence that brand safety concerns are having an impact on programmatic, which <a href="http://www.adweek.com/tv-video/programmatic-digital-display-ads-now-account-for-nearly-80-of-us-display-spending/">accounts for 80%</a> of all US digital display ad spend.</p> <p>According to ad sales intelligence provider MediaRadar's new Consumer Advertising Report, 5,000 fewer advertisers purchased programmatic ads in Q1 2017 than they did in Q1 2016, a 12% year-over-year drop.</p> <p>Todd Krizelman, MediaRadar's CEO, believes part of that drop can be attributed to brand safety concerns. "After years of growth, the decline in programmatic buyers is likely attributed to concerns around brand safety, especially given recent problems for companies like YouTube," <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/new-study-shows-that-the-number-of-native-ad-buyers-increased-by-74-in-just-one-year/">he stated</a>.</p> <h3>Programmatic's loss is native advertising's gain</h3> <p>While some advertisers appear to be pumping the brakes on programmatic, many are embracing native advertising. According to MediaRadar's report, the number of advertisers buying native ads hit 5,000 in the first quarter, a 74% year-over-year increase.</p> <p>Krizelman says that the growing popularity of native ads, which has seen its advertiser base triple since 2015, is easy to explain. "Advertisers will keep spending more on native because it outperforms traditional ad units. Audiences look at native ads more frequently than non-native, and buyers are investing accordingly," he told AdWeek.</p> <p>Despite the fact that there are still challenges associated with native, such as disclosure, the industry has made a lot of progress in addressing some of the earlier challenges that gave advertisers pause, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64510-how-to-scale-native-advertising">scalability</a>. And <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68637-the-guardian-claims-impressive-results-from-new-native-ad-platform/">as publishers figure out which native ad formats deliver results</a>, expect to see more advertisers embrace native.</p> <h3>Don't count programmatic out</h3> <p><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69208-programmatic-has-become-problematic-here-s-what-marketers-can-do-about-it/">Programmatic does have its problems</a> and concerns over brand safety might be impacting its growth but there's no reason to believe that MediaRadar's data is indicative of a reversal in programmatic's fortunes. In fact, MediaRadar's Krizelman sees the programmatic space evolving more than declining.</p> <p>"This form of advertising is continuing to evolve as brands seek more control over where their ads are running," he stated. "We expect to see programmatic rise as more brands move to programmatic direct models."</p> <p>In addition to programmatic direct, there are initiatives <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69231-ads-txt-a-new-standard-for-fighting-inventory-spoofing-unauthorized-sellers-what-you-need-to-know">like Ads.txt</a> which are designed to increase transparency and weed out bad actors in the programmatic ecosystem, so while advertisers are clearly taking action to address brand safety, there's a good chance that ultimately, programmatic will emerge stronger and safer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/840 2017-07-13T06:02:28+01:00 2017-07-13T06:02:28+01:00 Digital Cream Sydney <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Exclusive to 80 senior client side marketers, <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Econsultancy's Digital Cream</strong> is one of the industry's landmark events for marketers to:</p> <ul style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">convene and network with like-minded peers from different industries</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">exchange experiences</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">compare benchmark efforts</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">explore the latest best practice</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">discuss strategies</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">learn from others who face the same challenges with suppliers, technologies and techniques. </li> </ul> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">In a personal and confidential setting (It's Chatham House Rules so what's said at Digital Cream, stays at Digital Cream), the roundtable format is a quick and sure-fire way to find out what's worked and what hasn't, an invaluable opportunity to take time out and come back to the office full of ideas.</p> <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;">Roundtable Format</h3> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">There are 8 roundtable topics and each delegate chooses 3 table topics most relevant to you, each session lasting about an hour and fifteen minutes. Each roundtable is independently moderated and focuses on a particular topic discussing challenges or areas of interest nominated by the table's attendees in the time available. This level of input ensures you get the maximum from your day.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Digital Cream has been devised by the analysts and editors at Econsultancy in consultation with the most senior digital buyers in the world and runs in London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Attendees pick three tables choices from the following full list of topics offered (extra topics will be removed at a later stage. If there is a topic you'd like to discuss which is not listed here, you can suggest it while registering):</strong> </p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">1. Agile Marketing - Develop a more responsive &amp; customer-centric approach</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">2. Content Marketing Strategy</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">3. Customer Experience Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">4. Data-Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">5. Digital Transformation - People, Process &amp; Technology</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">6. Ecommerce</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">7. Email Marketing - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practices</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">8. Integrated Search (PPC/SEO) - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practices</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">9. Joining Up Online &amp; Offline Channels Data</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">10. Marketing Automation - Best Practices &amp; Implementation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">11. Mobile Marketing</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">12. Online Advertising - Retargeting, Exchanges &amp; Social Advertising</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">13. Real-Time Brand Marketing - Using Data &amp; Technology To Drive Brand Impact</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">14. Social Media Measurement &amp; Optimisation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt;</strong> <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">View past Digital Cream event photos (source: facebook page)</strong><br></strong></p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10153875617599327" target="_blank">Digital Cream Sydney 2016</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153214103704327.1073741876.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Singapore 2015</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153124439974327.1073741873.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Sydney 2015</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152276242849327.1073741856.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Melbourne 2014</a> and <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152209218799327.1073741854.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Hong Kong 2014</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69231 2017-07-11T15:00:00+01:00 2017-07-11T15:00:00+01:00 Ads.txt, a new standard for fighting inventory spoofing & unauthorized sellers: What you need to know Patricio Robles <h3>Ads.txt allows publishers to broadcast a list of authorized sellers of their ad inventory</h3> <p>The idea behind Ads.txt, which stands for Authorized Digital Sellers, is simple: by providing publishers with a means to tell the world who is authorized to sell their ad inventory, the digital ad ecosystem will get a much-needed boost of transparency that can help weed out scammers engaged in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68578-the-weather-company-on-programmatic-ad-fraud-and-how-extreme-conditions-affect-business/">ad fraud</a>.</p> <p>The Ads.txt format is equally simple: an ads.txt file is hosted on publishers' websites and contains a comma-delimited list of four fields (three required and one optional) and one record per line.</p> <p>For example, a publisher, example.com, to show that it has authorized a reseller, somessp.com, to sell its inventory would include the following on a single line in its ads.txt file: </p> <blockquote> <p>somessp.com, 12345, RESELLER</p> </blockquote> <h3>The IAB has built a crawler that the media buying ecosystem can use</h3> <p>The IAB is providing <a href="https://github.com/InteractiveAdvertisingBureau/adstxtcrawler">an open-source reference implementation for an Ads.txt crawler</a>. This can be used by media buyers to create their own crawlers to pull Ads.txt data and incorporate it into their bidding systems.</p> <h3>Lots of companies have voiced support for it</h3> <p>Ad firms including Google, AppNexus, Rocket Fuel and The Trade Desk, as well as publishers like Business Insider, have voiced their support for Ads.txt.</p> <p>According to Scott Spencer, Google's Director of Sustainable Ads, "It's great to see the industry moving quickly to address the issue of counterfeit inventory with Ads.txt. Google fully supports ads.txt, and with a finalized spec, we'll begin integrating Ads.txt functionality into all our ads systems to make sure advertisers' spend reaches the intended publishers."</p> <h3>Ads.txt's success will require mass adoption</h3> <p>While the initial support for Ads.txt looks promising, for it to become a truly powerful weapon in the fight against ad fraud, large percentages of both publishers <em>and</em> media buyers will need to follow through in adopting it. For example, if enough publishers don't adopt Ads.txt, or a meaningful percentage of media buyers fail to take advantage of Ads.txt in their bidding, the specification will be for naught.</p> <p>On the media buying side, a June article published by AdExchanger <a href="https://adexchanger.com/platforms/buyers-ready-pull-trigger-ads-txt/">reported that</a> "no buyers that AdExchanger spoke to had immediate plans to implement campaigns using ads.txt."</p> <p>According to Melissa Bonnick, VP of programmatic strategy at Havas Group's programmatic trading desk Affiperf, "We will be paying attention to who starts to implement ads.txt." Translation: we're not going to incorporate Ads.txt into our bidding until there's a good enough reason to do so.</p> <h3>There are reasons some publishers might not adopt Ads.txt</h3> <p>While Ads.txt is relatively easy for publishers to adopt, there are a number of reasons that some publishers might not opt to do so.</p> <p>One of the biggest: even though transparency is a good word in the digital advertising ecosystem today, when push comes to shove, some publishers are likely to be uncomfortable letting the world know who is selling their inventory. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69175 2017-07-11T09:46:08+01:00 2017-07-11T09:46:08+01:00 A day in the life of... Head of Yahoo Storytellers content studio Ben Davis <p>If you're looking for a change yourself, head over to the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs board</a> or try out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index/">Digital Skills Index</a>.</p> <h3> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h3> <p><em><strong>Emma Jowett:</strong></em> I am the head of Yahoo’s client and brand partnership team, Yahoo Storytellers and I lead a passionate and focused group dedicated to creating exciting content-led advertising solutions. My team has a lot of different skillsets, from client sales to creative strategy, project management, design and commercial editorial. My primary role is to bring all these talents together to deliver fantastic ideas for our clients and agencies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7375/story.jpg" alt="yahoo storytellers logo" width="350"> </p> <h3> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> I report into Nigel Clarkson, MD and Commercial Director for the UK.</p> <h3> <em>E:</em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> People skills are obviously vital. On a typical day, I’ll not only speak with my team but with clients and agencies too, and it’s important that I keep my team motivated, agencies engaged and clients happy. I have a positive demeanour and I strive to inspire and empower my team to do their best work every day.</p> <p>I’ve always placed emphasis on having strong product and industry knowledge, which is essential given the pace at which our industry evolves. I love what I do, and the combination of knowledge and passion for what you do is key.</p> <p>Finally, although I sit on the more creative side of our sales organisation, I think having a commercial background is hugely beneficial. I’ve spent a lot of my career in global strategic sales and I have a strong understanding of the balance between commercial goals and creative output. Creativity and amazing ideas are key, but ultimately they need to deliver successful results for our clients.</p> <h3> <em>E:</em> Tell us about a typical working day…</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> With two little girls, it’s often a whirlwind start to the day, usually beginning at 6:30am as I get them ready for school. Then, to get ahead of the day, I catch up on my emails on the train to work. Working at a global company, we tend to get a flurry of emails overnight. It’s amazing how much happens when you’re sleeping and this train time is key for staying on top of what’s happening at HQ.</p> <p>When it comes to the working day, I like to devote my time to three core priorities – innovation, collaboration, and communication.</p> <p>As a general rule I like to spend 20 per cent of my time focused on innovation, and on any given day this could mean meeting with new start-ups and thinking about how we could work together or quick-fire brainstorming with my team.</p> <p>Collaboration makes up 30 per cent of my time, whether it’s with external partners or internal stakeholders, and with the remainder of my time I focus on communication. This may seem obvious but it’s hugely important, and includes everything from aligning our editorial and sales teams, to discussing proactive content ideas with key clients and agencies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7374/emma_jowett.jpg" alt="emma jowett" width="225" height="225"></p> <p><em>Emma Jowett, Head of Yahoo Storytellers</em></p> <h3> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> For me it’s all about the people. I admire and respect the different skills each person brings to the team, and getting to know what makes them tick in order to bring out the best in them. I work with some incredibly talented people at Yahoo, and the speed at which we work means that we’re constantly adapting and evolving how we think and work. Every day I learn something new and I love that. </p> <p>I also cannot overstate how much I enjoy working with our clients and partners. I’m blown away by their innovation and being able to achieve incredible results when we execute a strategy together.</p> <p>My biggest bugbear is that I sometimes feel there just aren’t enough hours in the day! It’s such a dynamic and fast moving industry and time can be the limit to being involved in the many new and exciting projects you might want.</p> <h3> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> My number one goal is to make sure our clients are satisfied with the campaigns we produce for them. If we achieve that, then revenue follows – arguably the ultimate metric for any business. From a manager standpoint, it’s seeing my team grow and progress in their roles. </p> <h3> <em>E:</em> What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> Marketing intelligence and data can give us a complete view of emerging trends and triggers that we can build ideas and solutions upon, whether it’s proprietary research we commission internally or insights from our social listening partners. Industry events and knowledge are also crucial - being able to track trends in the market and responding accordingly. </p> <h3> <em>E:</em> How did you get started in content, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> It was a natural evolution for me to go from working on large global campaigns that were very brand-led and involved creative use of content to heading up our content creation team.</p> <p>I am particularly excited about how the traditional notion of what 'content' is has been turned on its head. The increase in user-generated content has propelled people to create and consume really innovative content and I'm excited to see where that leads the advertising and marketing industry.</p> <h3> <em>E:</em> Which brands do you think are doing social content well?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> As a huge travel fan, I love the work that British Airways has been doing in social. They have truly embraced the power of content marketing and the positive effect that advocacy can have on their brand and have run some fantastic campaigns across Tumblr.</p> <p>Their most recent campaign, <a href="https://soulsofneworleans.tumblr.com/">Souls of New Orleans</a>, perfectly captures the essence and passion of the city and has most definitely inspired me to add Nola onto my bucket list!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7373/sono.jpg" alt="souls of new orleans" width="615" height="320"></p> <p><em>British Airways' Tumblr, Souls of New Orleans</em></p> <h3> <em>E:</em> Do you have any advice for people who want to work in this area?</h3> <p><em><strong>EJ:</strong></em> In advertising it can be easy to get swept along with the next shiny new idea and opportunity, but what really counts is the customer. It’s so important not to lose sight of the end goal, and ultimately that will always be customer behaviour.</p> <p>My advice will always be to ground ideas and creativity in facts and evidence, and that means getting comfortable with data.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69235 2017-07-07T10:36:16+01:00 2017-07-07T10:36:16+01:00 Snapchat opens up to the web in a big way with new Paperclip linking feature Patricio Robles <p>While Instagram has been embracing the web, Snapchat has refused to budge. But that appears to be changing.</p> <p>This week the company announced a new feature, Paperclip, that will allow users to add external website links to the snaps they post.</p> <h3>One small step for Snapchat, one giant leap for marketers on Snapchat</h3> <p>While Paperclip is a simple feature that is nowhere near as technically impressive as some of Snapchat's other features, such as geofilters and lenses, for marketers active on the popular app, it could be one of the most important, if not the most important, Snapchat has ever added.</p> <p>As AdWeek's Marty Swant <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/you-can-now-link-to-websites-on-snapchat/">noted</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Until now, the only way users could add links was if a brand bought an ad and included a way to swipe. However, this could make it easier for marketers to gain more organic traffic. It's also a big win for media companies, which now finally have a way to direct users to their actual websites.</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, marketers on Snapchat will now have an opportunity to run direct response campaigns that drive traffic to owned properties without buying Snapchat ads and it almost certainly won't be long before marketers start taking advantage of Paperclip.</p> <p>For instance, fashion marketers could use Paperclip to drive users to their online stores to purchase clothing items featured in their snaps. Publishers can use Paperclip to promote articles on their own websites. And CPG marketers could use Paperclip link to ad campaign microsites that feature coupons, promotions and sweepstakes.</p> <h3>Just the start?</h3> <p>While it's not clear what prompted Snapchat to develop Paperclip, it's easy to speculate that Snapchat's change of direction is a response to Instagram, which has been accused of copying Snapchat features in an effort to dent its biggest competitor.</p> <p>Unfortunately for Snapchat, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68763-can-snapchat-survive-instagram-s-aggressive-copycat-tactics/">Instagram's copycat strategy</a>, as controversial as it has been, appears to be working.</p> <p>For instance, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68142-instagram-stories-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/">Instagram Stories</a>, which is functionally equivalent to Snapchat Stories for all intents and purposes, surpassed Snapchat Stories in popularity just eight months after it was launched. With greater reach, some publishers and marketers have reportedly upped their use of Instagram and decreased their use of Snapchat.</p> <p>Interestingly, despite the fact that it has embraced the web more than Snapchat, Instagram still does not allow users to add links on their posts. There is an exception for users with more than 10,000 followers when they post Stories, but given that Paperclip will be available to all users and on all snaps, this is one area where Snapchat is leading Instagram, at least for the time being.</p> <p>As AdWeek's Swant observed, "The tool gives Snapchat a leg up on rival Instagram, which doesn't allow anyone to post links other than by putting it in their bio – forcing everyone to ruin a post with overly promotional phrases like 'link's in my bio'."</p> <p>The big question now is whether Snapchat will stop here or relent and open up its closed ecosystem even further. For instance, will it make at least some of its content available through the web like Instagram?</p> <p>Time will tell, but the good news for marketers is that as the battle between Snapchat and Instagram heats up, it would appear both are moving more in the direction of open than closed, creating new opportunities for marketers to interact with their users and drive engagement outside of their closed ecosystems.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69226 2017-07-06T10:43:30+01:00 2017-07-06T10:43:30+01:00 How Food52 successfully combines content and commerce Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how has it managed to create such dual success? Here’s an in-depth look into the publisher, and what others experimenting with commerce might be able to learn from it.</p> <h3>Fusing content and community</h3> <p>As former food editor of the New York Times, Food52’s CEO and co-founder, Amanda Hesser, undoubtedly knows a thing or two about food publishing. In 2009 she teamed up with freelance food writer and recipe tester, Merrill Stubbs, to create a food website aimed at 'home cooks'.</p> <p>More specifically, Food52 aims to reach an audience of home cooks who – alongside recipes – also care about food within a wider context, such as how it fits in with a modern lifestyle, its visual appeal, and how it makes people feel. </p> <p>In order to do this, instead of a straight-forward recipe hub or editorial website, Food52 uses a combination of professional articles and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">user-generated content</a>. So, alongside feature articles, you’ll also find regular submissions from its 1m registered contributors, and even a site ‘hotline’ for people to find answers to any burning food-related questions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7240/Food52_Hotline.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="423"></p> <p>It is the site’s highly-engaged community that first allowed Food52 to venture into commerce. When the site launched, it did so with the aim of crowdsourcing a cookbook based on user submissions. Since then, it has created a number of cookbooks in this way, with each one including a competition element (with recipes voted for by fellow readers). </p> <p>In doing so, it has been able to capitalise on the contributions of its enthusiastic audience, as well as foster a real sense of community online. Contests are a regular feature throughout the year, too, with users voting for various categories such as ‘best weeknight recipe’ and ‘best thanksgiving leftover recipe’. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7241/Recipe_contests.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="443"></p> <h3>A seamless experience</h3> <p>Alongside this sense of community, Food52’s dedication to creating a seamless user experience has enabled it to expand into ecommerce <em>without</em> alienating its audience. </p> <p>Instead of using content purely as a vehicle to drive sales it treats the two verticals equally. It aims to be the ultimate foodie destination, meaning that - whether the user’s aim is to find a lamb recipe or a carving knife – they will be able to find what they’re looking for somewhere on the site. </p> <p>Product recommendations (usually found at the bottom of recipes) feel natural rather than forced, with the publisher only selling items that fit in with the brand’s wider ethos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7242/Product_recommendations.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="677"></p> <p>Similarly, regardless of whether Food52 is promoting a product or a recipe, its priority is to always provide the user with inspiration – and high quality across the board. This stretches to the site’s signature photography and design, too. </p> <p>Both the content and commerce verticals are photographed in the Food52 studio, which ensures consistency in what the publisher calls the ‘Food52 aesthetic’. This usually means beautifully understated and minimalistic photography, often with a vintage-inspired edge.</p> <p>Together with design, Food52 uses storytelling elements to naturally integrate retail, as well as to create its own ‘point of view’. In doing so, it does not necessarily aim to compete with large competitors, but to provide extra value for consumers. Unlike the purely functional style of Amazon, for instance, Food52 uses emotive and immersive elements to draw in the audience.</p> <p>Each merchant selling on the site has their own page, including detail such as where they’re from and their motivations.</p> <p>With a third of all products sold being exclusive or one-off designs – Food52’s curated approach is certainly part of its appeal. By promoting the handcrafted nature of items and the small scale of merchants selling on the site, it feels far more 'artisan' than a big brand ecommerce site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7243/One_of_a_kind_products.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="500"></p> <p>This image is portrayed everywhere on the site – even extending to the FAQ page, where the first two questions focus on the publisher’s ‘food as lifestyle’ approach.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7244/FAQ.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="430"></p> <h3>Relevant and natural advertising</h3> <p>Food52’s online shop is not its only source of revenue – it also makes money through display advertising and sponsored content.</p> <p>However, it also treats this in the same way as it does shoppable items, ensuring that it is both relevant and valuable for users. Again, the publisher does this by putting as much of an emphasis on quality as it would its regular editorial features or recipes. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7245/Sponsored_content.JPG" alt="" width="640" height="459"></p> <p>There’s no obvious difference in quality between sponsored or non-sponsored content, which means that it could even pass by unnoticed. </p> <p>Food52’s CEO, Amanda Hesser, has previously said that the publisher decides whether or not it accepts a brand deal based on a single question – would it do it with or without an advertiser? If the answer is yes, then this clearly signifies a natural partnership, and one that the audience would want to hear about. So, even if brand involvement <em>is</em> obvious, Food52’s reputation for quality means that users are perhaps more than willing to accept it.</p> <h3>Strong social presence</h3> <p>Unsurprisingly, social media is another huge area of interest for advertisers, with sponsored content on Food52’s various channels often being part of the package. </p> <p>Food52 has partnered with a number of big brands including Annie’s Mac &amp; Cheese and Simply Organic Foods in the past. And just like branded content on the website, these social posts tend to be just as well received as regular ones, mainly due to the way they seamlessly blend in with the rest of the content on Food52’s channels.</p> <p>Instagram is one place where Food52 has particularly flourished – perhaps unsurprising considering that food is one of the most <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank">popular topics on the platform</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7246/Food52_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="418"></p> <p>That being said, other publishers show that the topic itself is not always enough. </p> <p>One of Food52’s biggest competitors, AllRecipes - which generates a huge amount of visitors on its main website - has a mere 280,000 followers on Instagram. Perhaps this can be put down to AllRecipes aiming to be a sort of social hub in its own right, however, it certainly highlights Food52’s success on the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7247/AllRecipes.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="435"></p> <p>The publisher experiments with various types of social media content, capitalising on user-generated posts as well as other mediums like video and livestreaming. Interaction with followers is also another key to social success, with Food52 encouraging comments and replying to questions across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffood52%2Fvideos%2F10154761571104016%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>Let’s not forget its use of Pinterest either – especially how Food52 has even incorporated similar features from the discovery site into its own. Users can ‘like’ products and recipes to add them to new or existing ‘Collections’. In turn, this data also allows the publisher to discover what readers are looking for and enjoying, which it uses to inform future content and commerce sales. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7248/Collections.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="490"></p> <p>Using a combination of beautiful design, quality content, and focus on delivering value for its community, Food52 is a great example of how to fuse two very different verticals.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66438-how-should-ecommerce-brands-be-using-content/" target="_blank">How should ecommerce brands be using content?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69026-why-online-publishers-are-launching-wedding-verticals/" target="_blank">Why online publishers are launching wedding verticals</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69058-how-millennial-entrepreneurs-are-disrupting-retail-and-ecommerce/" target="_blank"><em>How millennial entrepreneurs are disrupting retail and ecomm</em>erce</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69208 2017-07-03T02:00:00+01:00 2017-07-03T02:00:00+01:00 Programmatic has become problematic: Here's what marketers can do about it Jeff Rajeck <p>Yet programmatic has remained a very popular ad-buying strategy. The market has been growing at an <a href="https://www.zenithmedia.com/%EF%BB%BF%EF%BB%BF%EF%BB%BFprogrammatic-ads-grow-31-2017-ahead-channels/">average rate of 71% per year</a> for the past five years and is projected to be a $64bn dollar industry in 2018.</p> <p>At a recent Econsultancy event in Singapore, Digital Outlook 2017 Part 2 hosted by NTUC, Hari Shankar, MD at Escelis (the performance marketing brand of Havas Group) told attendees about a few of the current issues programmatic is facing and what marketers can do about them.</p> <p>Two of these are summarised as follows.</p> <h3>The 'machine problem' </h3> <p>Hari started by introducing the programmatic landscape, which can seem overwhelming and confusing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7100/1a.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> <p>But when programmatic is simplified down to how ads are served to web browsers, it is relatively straightforward. Publishers announce that they have an ad space to be filled and advertisers bid for the spot. The winning bid then serves the ad to the browser.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7101/2a.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="531"></p> <p>The 'machine problem' occurs due to how the bidding algorithms work. Instead of offering a free bidding market, programmatic buying auctions are held using a waterfall model. What this means is that while all advertisers can bid for the space, some bids take priority, even if they are not the highest bidder. </p> <p>In the case illustrated below, Partner #1 loses the bid because it is below the floor price set for the publisher, but Publisher #2, being above the floor price, wins the bid despite higher offers coming in from Partners #3 and #4.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7102/3a.png" alt="" width="321" height="371"></p> <p>Hari noted that this model creates an unfair advantage for large bidders, such as Google DoubleClick Bid Manager, as they are often at the top of the 'waterfall'. Publishers suffer too as they do not receive the highest bid for their ad space.</p> <p>Recently, however, a new technology called '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68687-my-nightmare-trying-to-understand-header-bidding/">header bidding</a>' has emerged as a solution to the 'machine problem'. Instead of using the waterfall model, header bidding takes in bids from all ad partners at the same time and serves up the ad with the highest bid.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7103/4a.png" alt="" width="354" height="422"></p> <p>While some estimate that many large publishers, including MailOnline and CNN International, are implementing header bidding, not everyone is yet on board with the new technology.</p> <p>Regardless, marketers were advised to ensure that header bidding is on their programmatic roadmap and to lobby publishers to adopt the technology soon. Otherwise, brands will lose out on bids for quality ad space and will not be able to get their ads in front of the people they are targeting through their partner sites.</p> <h3>The 'people' problem</h3> <p>Another programmatic problem Hari brought up has more to do with people than algorithms.</p> <p>He noted that a lot of programmatic is still bought via agencies and trading desks which operate using an 'undisclosed' model. What this means is that many brands are buying ads programmatically through a third party which doesn't disclose the fees they are paying for their services.</p> <p>This might not be a problem if the fees were low enough to be negligible, but Hari drew attention to some recent data about the costs of programmatic ad buying.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7106/7.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> <p>Using <a href="http://www.ana.net/getfile/25070">data from the Association of National Advertisers, et al</a>, Hari stated that for 3.9 billion display ads, the volume-weighted average cost was $3.30 per thousand impressions (CPM). <em>Disclosed</em> fees from agencies, however added on a further $1.49 per CPM, a 45% premium.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7104/5b.png" alt="" width="800" height="230"></p> <p>The researchers concede that many of these costs may be worthwhile as they encompass such services as sophisticated targeting and buying against KPIs, but Hari's point was that if disclosed fees saw a 45% premium then undisclosed fees are likely to be much higher.</p> <p>The 'people problem' then leads to brands cutting back on spending by buying low-quality ad inventory which then results in issues with viewability, click fraud, and the brand safety problems currently plaguing programmatic buying.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7105/6.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> <h3>The solutions</h3> <p>Hari concluded by pointing out that if programmatic is going to succeed as a performance-based ad buying strategy, then brands need to take more control of the process.</p> <p>He makes three recommendations:</p> <h4>1) Set up a transparent model for programmatic buying</h4> <p>This could be one of three things: </p> <ul> <li>A fully-in house programmatic buying team, or</li> <li>Direct deals with DSP / RTB vendors, or</li> <li>Disclosed trading desk model with agency</li> </ul> <h4>2) Set up a strong tracking and optimization system</h4> <p>Hari advises that brands should use a single vendor for ad serving and web analytics and track display using multi-channel attribution. Additionally, marketers should integrate their customer data (CRM) with programmatic, ideally using a data management platform (DMP).</p> <h4>3) Test, learn, scale</h4> <p>Marketers should use tools like Optimize 360 for A/B testing and, using their transparent buying model, conduct more controlled buying such as programmatic direct, placement-led programmatic, and first-party tagged targeting. </p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank Hari Shankar, MD Asia Ecselis, Havas Media for his presentation as well as the delegates who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7107/8.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69210 2017-06-30T16:00:00+01:00 2017-06-30T16:00:00+01:00 Is Reddit on the verge of becoming a bigger player in digital advertising? Patricio Robles <p>The company, Reddit, operates what it calls "the front page of the internet" and the name isn't just marketing buzz: according to Alexa, Reddit is now the fourth most popular site in the U.S., attracting some 250m users a month, and has an average daily time on site of over 16 minutes, nearly six minutes more than Facebook.</p> <p>Despite its popularity, however, Reddit has struggled to build the kind of booming advertising business one might expect a site with so much traffic and stickiness to have. That's largely because Reddit, which is powered by the contributions of users who are referred to as Redditors, is considered <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67619-five-brands-that-proved-marketing-on-reddit-can-work/">a tough nut for advertisers to crack</a>.</p> <p>Not only have the tools it offers advertisers been rudimentary compared to those provided by other ad players, there's a belief that the Reddit community is, by and large, hostile to advertising, making Reddit an uncomfortable and even risky platform for advertisers to invest in.</p> <h3>Trying to change perceptions</h3> <p>Reddit, which was once owned by Condé Nast and then spun off, has raised $50m in funding since the spin-off. Clearly, Reddit's investors want a return and the company is trying to change perceptions in an effort to lure more ad dollars.</p> <p>Reddit recently attended the Cannes Lions ad festival for just the second time ever and co-founder and chairman Alexis Ohanian was busy pitching advertisers on its updated self-serve ad platform, which lets brands more easily manage their campaigns, test creative and obtain analytics data. </p> <p>According to Ohanian, Reddit's self-serve ad platform hadn't been updated in nearly eight years.</p> <p>Reddit, which has thus far offered a limited set of ad formats that include sponsored posts and banner ads, is also <a href="http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/reddit-video-ads-1202477117/">adding a new video ad format</a> that has already been piloted by Universal Pictures and A24 Films.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7127/reddit2.png" alt="" width="865" height="147"></p> <h3>Not Facebook</h3> <p>Despite the fact that Reddit is now competing more aggressively for ad dollars, it isn't comparing itself to social platforms like Facebook. In fact, part of its proposition is that it<em> isn't</em> like other social platforms.</p> <p>"There's no other place on the internet where people all come together because of the conversation," Ohanian <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/reddit-is-pitching-brands-at-cannes-on-why-its-ripe-for-advertisers/">told AdWeek</a>. "Because people aren't worried about their perfect Instagram life, they're just being honest and open. It's a unique place because everyone is self-selected into communities."</p> <p>According to some, Reddit's unique characteristics make it a very valuable ad platform if used correctly. Sherwin Su, associate director of social at digital agency Essence, went so far as to tell the Wall Street Journal, "Reddit is one of advertising's best kept secrets."</p> <p>For years, stories, mostly posted by individual entrepreneurs and small businesses, have circulated, many touting the fact that Reddit ad campaigns can drive a lot of traffic quickly and much more cheaply than other ad platforms.</p> <p>But what about big brands? Over the past year, Reddit <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/why-big-brands-are-suddenly-getting-cozy-reddit-172053/">has been trying to help larger advertisers achieve similar results</a> and there's some evidence the effort is paying off.</p> <p>Netflix used Reddit ads to promote its show, Wet Hot American Summer, and Toyota ran a campaign that invited Redditors to share their stories about their Rav4 vehicles. According to Reddit's VP of sales, Zubair Jandali, the campaign resulted in brand favorability that was six times higher than the category average.</p> <h3>Worth a second look?</h3> <p>While such campaign results are promising, the jury is still out on Reddit's ability to be a meaningful source of digital advertising ROI for brands. But as brands grapple with the risks of a digital advertising ecosystem increasingly dominated by two firms, a more brand-friendly Reddit might be worth a new look.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69217 2017-06-29T17:14:00+01:00 2017-06-29T17:14:00+01:00 As WPP hit by cyberattack, brands need to pay more attention to agency security Patricio Robles <p>Like WannaCry, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/27/petya-ransomware-cyber-attack-who-what-why-how">Petya</a> appears to be ransomware, as it encrypts files on infected computers and demands payment for access to be restored.</p> <h3>A very high-profile victim</h3> <p>One of the companies hit by Petya was the world's largest ad holding firm, WPP. In a statement, the company revealed that on June 27, "a number of WPP companies were affected by the ransomware attack that hit organisations around the world."</p> <p>WPP assured clients that it was working with its IT partners and law enforcement "to take all appropriate precautionary measures, restore services where they have been disrupted, and keep the impact on clients, partners and our people to a minimum."</p> <p><a href="http://www.adweek.com/agencies/wpp-cyberattack-serves-as-a-wake-up-call-to-agencies-and-cmos-alike/">According to</a> AdWeek, "staff at various offices left work early yesterday due to an inability to access their networks."</p> <p>In an internal memo, WPP chairman Sir Martin Sorrell tried to reassure staff that the cyberattack wasn't hurting the firm's business. "Many of you will have experienced significant disruption to your work. However, contrary to some press reports, WPP and its companies are still very much open for business," he told staff, adding that there was "no indication that either employee or client data has been compromised."</p> <h3>A new agency risk</h3> <p>Even if WPP emerges from this cyberattack with little more than a few nicks and scratches, the fact that it was affected at all by Petya should be of concern to brands that count agencies as some of their most important partners. After all, if a brand's agency is knocked offline, loses data or is otherwise compromised, it could affect clients in any number of ways, such as disruption to or delays of campaigns. </p> <p>As Michael Connolly, CEO of adtech firm Sonobi, <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/wpp-ransomware-attack-smoke-screen/309614/">told AdAge</a>, "Any impact to an organization's infrastructure or operational ability...can have an impact on the ability to execute, particularly when data is involved." Data, of course, has become the lifeblood of digital advertising thanks in large part to the rise of programmatic.</p> <p>And there are a number of worst-case scenarios that could expose clients to even costlier crimes. For example, because agencies are privy to some of the most sensitive information of their clients, it's not inconceivable that agencies could be specifically targeted by groups who are aiming to extort or otherwise inflict damage on their clients by stealing, modifying or deleting client data.</p> <p>Seem far-fetched? Consider that this <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-hacking-disney-netflix-20170523-story.html">is exactly what is happening to Hollywood studios</a> on a now disturbingly frequent basis. Like brands, Hollywood studios rely heavily on third-parties, which out of necessity often have access to some of their most sensitive and valuable assets.</p> <h3>Agencies are ill-prepared</h3> <p>Unfortunately for brands, according to experts who spoke to AdWeek and AdAge, agencies are largely unprepared to deal with cyber threats like Petya. </p> <p>According to Tom Pageler, chief risk officer and chief information security officer at global information services provider Neustar, agencies are "probably doing the minimum versus other, more heavily regulated industries like financial services that deal with critical data."</p> <p>The news isn't all bad, however. "The industry realizes that they’re really not where they need to be," he stated, and in the the wake of the Petya attack, Pageler is already seeing signs that companies are trying to catch up. He predicts WPP specifically will soon announce the hiring of a big security vendor.</p> <p>But while agencies have a lot of work to do, brands must also recognize that they share with their partners responsibility for cybersecurity. They can't just demand that their agencies own the cybersecurity challenge. Instead, they need to better educate themselves, take an active role in establishing and enforcing data security policies that their agencies are required to adhere to, and take steps to ensure that they're not creating vulnerabilites themselves.</p>