tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/media-planning-buying Latest Media planning & buying content from Econsultancy 2016-04-12T12:23:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4093 2016-04-12T12:23:00+01:00 2016-04-12T12:23:00+01:00 People-Based Advertising in North America <h2>Overview</h2> <p>The <strong>People-Based Advertising</strong> report, produced in collaboration with <strong><a title="Signal" href="http://www.signal.co/">Signal</a></strong>, is based on a survey of more than 350 brand marketers and media buyers in <strong>North America</strong>. It explores the hypothesis that smarter, data-driven, people-based display advertising is an important alternative to the legacy model that is failing the online ecosystem.</p> <p>With the unpleasant realities of ad blocking, fraud and viewability concerns weighing on marketers' minds, this report explores whether smarter, data-driven, people-based display advertising is a viable important alternative to the legacy model that is failing the online ecosystem.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>What are the issues with display keeping advertisers up at night?</li> <li>How are companies managing the data governance issues created by the relative marketing dominance of brands such as Google, Facebook and Twitter?</li> <li>How important is the process of onboarding in the future that advertisers envision?</li> <li>Are consumers likely to be less compliant in the future about the use of their data in addressable media?</li> </ul> <h2>Who should read this report?</h2> <p>The report is essential reading for both in-house marketers and agency professionals based in North America, as well as those outside the region who want to understand how people-based advertising is evolving in these countries.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67731 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 Think affiliate marketing doesn’t work for luxury brands? Think again Chris Bishop <p>But no longer. Affiliate marketing has truly come of age.</p> <h3>Isn’t affiliate just voucher codes?</h3> <p>This is not just about voucher codes, cashback and last-click for advertisers, this is part of a holistic approach to digital advertising that promises real and sustained ROI for high-end brands.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/whoaretheaffiliates.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>The modern managed affiliate programmes use sophisticated groups of content publishers, including mainstream “offline” publishing houses such as Condé Nast.  </p> <p>This is performance marketing through deep partnership, levered via tenancy, editorial, blogging, email and (yes) incentives like voucher codes or cashback. </p> <p>Partnerships with high volume and niche sites that can deliver the kind of primed-to-buy, long tailed traffic available nowhere else.</p> <h3>Are you at risk of losing control of your message?</h3> <p>No, but…</p> <p>For years affiliate networks and technology companies used the size and scale of the channel as a key selling point, promising brands access to tens of thousands of affiliates.  </p> <p>Given that they worked on tracking fees based upon revenue generated by activity, who can blame them? </p> <p>However, this wasn’t what luxury or designer retailers, already nervous about losing control of their brand’s messages, wanted to hear. </p> <p>Only now, with dedicated, digital agencies selling these solutions as part of a wider media strategy, are brands being given the whole picture.</p> <p>When properly managed, affiliate marketing allows brands to deliver relevant messages to highly-targeted customer segments.  </p> <p>But it’s the size and scale of the networks that makes this targeting possible in the first place.</p> <h3>But isn’t luxury all about exclusivity?  </h3> <p>Why would luxury brands want their valuable name bandied about on affiliate channels with everyone else’s?</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/chriscarcollection.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>Success in the digital age requires a change in mind-set for luxury brands as customers’ buying cycles accelerate and competition stiffens in every part of the market place.  </p> <p>No longer can scarcity be the strongest value in a luxury brand's armoury, as the array of choice and quality available elsewhere can fill any sales vacuum.  </p> <p>Instead, luxury today is defined by desirability, product excellence, exemplary service and, fundamentally, a brand promise.</p> <p>And affiliate channels are exactly where a brand’s promise, desirability, service and excellence are defined for its target audience.  </p> <p>They are key to the continued success of luxury brands in the digital age and are proven to send ready-to-convert customers direct to online stores.   </p> <h3>Luxury is talked about and bought online more than ever</h3> <p>Deloitte says that 58% of UK millennial luxury consumers buy their luxury goods online. What’s more, 85% of luxury consumers regularly use social media.</p> <p>According to Google one in five luxury purchases happens on the web.</p> <p>And participating in high profile online retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday clearly doesn’t dim the lustre of a luxury brand or cannibalize their full-price sales.</p> <p>In 2015 our client NET-A-PORTER saw Black Friday was its highest day for sales that year, with one item sold every second on its website. </p> <p>What’s more, offering deals and vouchering is not regarded as damaging to luxury brands’ reputation by consumers.  </p> <p>In fact, these luxury customers were four times more likely to be searching for deals on Black Friday 2015 than non-luxury customers (Experian).</p> <h3>Do affiliate tactics really deliver incremental sales to luxury brands?</h3> <p>Yes, they do.</p> <p>One of our retailers had always assumed cashback websites would only reach customers already on its files and has little effect on overall profit. We helped them prove otherwise.  </p> <p>A tactical trial conducted with Quidco for the brand found that 86% of consumers that bought their products via the publisher during the trial were “new to file” and their average order value was much higher than the norm.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/shopstylesolacelondon.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>For another fashion retailer, working with affiliates achieved over 300 pieces of content coverage in a three-month period which, in turn, contributed to content websites driving 50%+ of the brand's affiliate revenue.</p> <p>Affiliate channels have proved, time and time again, to bring new customers and incremental sales to the table for every kind of brand, particularly those at the very top end of their sector.</p> <h3>Who else is using affiliates?</h3> <p>The roll call of brands that are using the affiliate channel as part of the marketing mix is impressive – Agent Provocateur, Barneys New York, Burberry, Liberty London, NET-A-PORTER to name a few.</p> <p>But if the affiliate channel was just about vouchers and cashback, they wouldn’t be using it.</p> <p>These brands know the value of curated conversation and content-led buzz to their brand; they are finding new and exciting ways to engage through affiliate marketing.  </p> <p>Crucially, they are realising that careful planning, targeted partnership and innovative execution ensures the biggest ROI alongside an extension of digital PR.</p> <h3>The lessons of affiliate marketing</h3> <ul> <li>Luxury affiliate marketing is happening... if you’re not doing it, you’re already losing out.</li> <li>Luxury consumers are savvy, switched on and impulsive – take advantage of that.</li> <li>Be led by the data and use experts to help you execute the highest quality campaigns.</li> <li>Choose who manages your affiliates carefully – your brand’s success will live or die by their experience both within wider digital marketing, the specific affiliate channel and naturally their knowledge of your brand / sector.</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4052 2016-03-22T09:49:00+00:00 2016-03-22T09:49:00+00:00 People-Based Advertising in Australia <h2>Overview</h2> <p>The <strong>People-Based Advertising</strong> report, produced in collaboration with <strong><a title="Signal" href="http://www.signal.co/">Signal</a></strong>, is based on a survey of more than 350 brand marketers and media buyers in <strong>Australia</strong>. It explores the hypothesis that smarter, data-driven, people-based display advertising is an important alternative to the legacy model that is failing the online ecosystem. </p> <p>With the unpleasant relalities of ad blocking, fraud and viewability concerns weighing on marketers' minds, this report explores the hypothesis that smarter, data-driven, people-based display advertising is an important alternative to the legacy model that is failing the online ecosystem.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>What are the issues with display keeping advertisers up at night?</li> <li>What premium are brands willing to pay for people-based advertising?</li> <li>How are companies managing the data governance issues created by the relative marketing dominance of brands such as Google, Facebook and Twitter?</li> <li>How important is the process of onboarding in the future that advertisers envision?</li> <li>Are consumers likely to be less compliant in the future about the use of their data in addressable media?</li> </ul> <h2>Who should read this report?</h2> <p>The report is essential reading for both in-house marketers and agency professionals based in Australia or North America, as well as those outside the region who want to understand how people-based advertising is evolving in these countries.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67599 2016-03-03T14:39:00+00:00 2016-03-03T14:39:00+00:00 31 opinions on the future of programmatic advertising Ben Davis <p>To learn more about this topic, book yourself onto our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/programmatic/">Programmatic Training Course</a>.</p> <h3>Personalisation / targeting</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>1. Nic Roope, Poke London</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">It’s the usual tension between art and the machine. Take a film and personalise it. Are all personalised results more resonant than the original unedited film?</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Do people like a film more because there’s a BMW in it instead of a Mercedes. The answer is, of course, no. [Programmatic in this context] is eroding the feeling of the art.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em>(Nic was partly referring to Romeo Reboot, an infamous/innovative dynamic creative video, that hasn't yet released any campaign results.)</em></p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131929702?color=fcfbfa&amp;title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="500" height="281"></iframe></p> <p><strong>2. Charles Vallance, VCCP</strong></p> <p>With nearly all the strongest brands, we know what we're buying, so we shouldn't over-personalise or over-target as this will detract from how we consume brands.</p> <p><strong>3. Tom Lancaster, Topman</strong></p> <p>Our website is just as important [as programmatic ad creative]. The ad that’s personalised has to be matched by a site that offers the same proposition.</p> <p>There's no point tailoring ads to high-end twenty somethings or the mid-thirty market, then the site showing the same things to both.</p> <p><strong>4. Jim Hodgkins, Visual DNA</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66492-with-so-much-data-why-do-brands-still-talk-about-broad-segments-like-millennials-and-baby-boomers">Segmentation</a> doesn't have to be explicit. It can be implicit - we know something about the user and therefore we can change creative appropriately.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>5. Charles Vallance, VCCP</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">I think there's an opportunity to let the customer join in the mechanics. e.g. let them plug Spotify into the Topman site and see what look they are recommended.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">It could be used as a trigger to open up a sale.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>6. Bob Wootton, ISBA</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">My bete noire is poorly applied <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66622-how-not-to-be-creepy-with-display-ad-retargeting">retargeting</a>. For a while it’s funny [being retargeted after purchase], then it pisses you off. It’s conspicuous.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">We can heal ourselves quickly from these endemic misdemeanours. Consumers understand enough to know the internet is good at targeting, so they think 'why am I getting more' [of these ads]?</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>7. Adrian Gans, VCCP</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Brands still have a purpose and they need to convey that with creative that isn't necessarily personalised.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>8. Adrian </strong>also gave an explanation of the three generations of data-driven advertising, represented in the table below.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2600/Screen_Shot_2016-03-03_at_11.36.13.png" alt="data-driven advertising" width="615"></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>9. Jim Freeman, Telegraph Media Group</strong></p> <p>Programmatic can work – but only if you respect the user, the medium and the environment. And humanise the tech.</p> <h3>Ad blocking</h3> <p><strong>10. Bob Wootton, ISBA</strong></p> <p>We've always had tools to block ads (go make a cup of tea, have a conversation with your wife) but not systematic ones that block the good stuff as well as the crap.</p> <p>Ads will always piss some people off, but we need to get the proportion right.</p> <p><strong>11. Sammy Austin, TUI</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">Ad blocking</a> is a wakeup call for advertisers to improve creative.</p> <p>It’s not just the responsibility of the advertisers, it’s publishers as well, they shouldn’t use annoying ads, takeovers etc.</p> <p>We need higher standards. The IAB has released its first round of principles. File size, secure calls, due diligence e.g. excluding people who have converted, having a frequency cap, [this all needs to be understood].</p> <p><strong>12. Bob Wootton, ISBA</strong> </p> <p>It's very risky to force people to turn off ad blockers, but it seems to be working. So that shows that if we can change our behaviours, quickly, we can still save the day.</p> <p><strong>13. Jim Freeman, Telegraph Media Group</strong></p> <p>The Telegraph has been trialling [asking ad blocking users <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67508-10-publishers-that-want-you-to-disable-your-ad-blocker">to add the site to their whitelists</a>] for six weeks and lots of customers are doing it.</p> <p>The Telegraph doesn’t have a high level of ad blocking compared to UK average and other news brands, but users are turning off blockers when asked.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Part of me says "no, The Telegraph, I won't disable my ad blocker for you." But then how else do they make their £? <a href="https://t.co/lDpdhiMljR">pic.twitter.com/lDpdhiMljR</a></p> — Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) <a href="https://twitter.com/WindyCOYS/status/696463790146260995">February 7, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p><strong>14. Sammy Austin, TUI</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66607-google-reveals-cross-device-conversion-stats">Cross device</a>, how do we effectively frequency cap? We need a better solution in place do it. Google and Facebook have the advantage.</p> <p><strong>15. Tim Geenen, Bannerconnect</strong></p> <p>Frequency capping is an old fashioned method. What about how long the ad has been in view for this consumer or how they have interacted with it?</p> <p>[Understanding these metrics] would allow better storytelling.</p> <h3>Creativity</h3> <p><strong>16 Adrian Gans, VCCP</strong></p> <p>One problem is the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65197-the-beginner-s-glossary-of-programmatic-advertising">confusion of jargon and complexity</a>. Creatives want to be talking about the work not just the tech.</p> <p>We have to embrace a certain amount of complexity but talk about 'what' rather than 'how'.</p> <p><strong>17. Nic Roope, Poke London</strong></p> <p>Programmatic has inherited a role of optimisation (chopping up of messaging), rather than storytelling. We should be thinking about how programmatic can help with branding.</p> <p><strong>18. Tom Lancaster, Topman</strong></p> <p>Programmatic is easier if you’re product led. e.g. Apple could run ads with five colours of iPhones and infer which is the favourite.</p> <p>Around services there are still other things to worry about, i.e. gaining the trust of the customer, which is harder to do in a few flavours of creative.</p> <p><strong>19. Charles Vallance, VCCP</strong></p> <p>Agencies like to unite with a single idea, not create 78 versions of something, so they're not keen on programmatic.</p> <p>It's machine driven, it disintermediates humanity, it needs to be interpreted by a human brain. So, it's more of an efficiency driver.</p> <p><strong>20. Nic Roope, Poke London</strong></p> <p>The culture of creative advertising doesn’t lend itself to becoming more complex.</p> <p><strong>21. Sammy Austin, TUI</strong></p> <p>Repurposing TV content for video ads doesn’t work. Why don’t we follow up with direct response or sales-focused messaging?</p> <p><strong>22. Tim Geenen, Bannerconnect</strong></p> <p>Why do we have 30-second pre-rolls before 30-second videos?</p> <p><strong>23. Adrian Gans, VCCP</strong></p> <p>We won't be talking about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65787-how-are-brands-driving-tv-ad-viewers-online">the death of TV</a> today. Programmatic is not ready to take it on yet.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2613/tv.jpg" alt="dead tv" width="350"></p> <p><strong>24. Tal Chalozin, Innovid</strong></p> <p>Bottom line is next time you think about how to get consumer attention, you must make it personalised, engaging and simple.</p> <p>Then we can reward attention with an awesome story, and that’s what we're here to do. </p> <h3>Case studies</h3> <p><strong>25. Nick Adams, O2</strong></p> <p>The O2 precision process uses onsite behaviour, customer records, campaign history (engagement), interests and passions.</p> <p>Overlay those four data sets and you can do some interesting targeting that powers the creative.</p> <p><strong>26. Tom Lancaster, Topman</strong></p> <p>We create interest personas as opposed to using social demographics. Key trends for the season are showcased on a different model for each persona.</p> <p>It’s quite straightforward, you just create five times the work. But each has to be hero creative standard.</p> <p>A lot of the ad build was done out of house, because of the number of ad formats. For each format we had twenty creatives - a mind boggling production task.</p> <p>Our competition haven’t been doing advertising as long as us (Boohoo etc) but usually have a more niche audience, so they know/can assume more about what their customer wants.</p> <p>Topman has to do this for a broad audience, showing them a range of products.</p> <p><strong>27. Nick Adams, O2</strong></p> <p>Customer scenarios for using programmatic including re-signs for pay monthly contracts, cross sellling, telling customers they are reaching their data limit, but also brand love and engagement.</p> <p>In all these scenarios, programmatic helps improve conversion rates lower down the funnel.</p> <p><strong>27. Nic Roope, Poke London</strong></p> <p>There are few creative programmatic case studies. That's a case in point. Programmatic is not presented in a language that creative agencies can riff off.</p> <p><strong>28. Nick Adams, O2</strong></p> <p>Using a product recommendation engine in programmatic creative doubled the clickthrough rate of the Priority benefits campaign.</p> <h3>Ad fraud</h3> <p><strong>29. Duncan Trigg, comScore</strong></p> <p>There are discrepancies between vendor assessments of ad visiblity...We need to change how we buy and aim for 100% view rates.</p> <p>Advertisers need to know their vendor capabilities and fully understand their inventory to create a level playing field. </p> <p><strong>30. Sammy Austin, TUI</strong></p> <p>Programmatic isn’t about buying as cheap as possible. I am willing to pay more for more viewable impressions and better practices.</p> <p><strong>31. Duncan Trigg, comScore</strong></p> <p>What is harm? It's not just ad fraud from bots or placement on pornography sites, it could be inappropriate placement on quality news sites, too.</p> <p>Pre-bid filters should take into account page context and key words.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67517 2016-02-11T11:08:00+00:00 2016-02-11T11:08:00+00:00 How to embrace creativity in the programmatic age Maeve Hosea <p>These personas include an understated man who wants to look stylish but not fashionable, ‘aspiring fashionistas’ and ‘extreme fashionistas’.</p> <p>Tom Lancaster, senior creative manager at <a href="http://www.topman.com/">Topman</a>, oversaw the development of multiple creative executions, which then ran in parallel media placements online. The one that attracted the most interactions became optimised.</p> <p>“Programmatic allows you to run segmented work that will appeal to all of your audiences – it then optimises the creative to the version that best suits a media channel’s audience,” comments Lancaster.</p> <blockquote> <p>Taking the creative programmatic route gives you a much bigger brief and a lot more work to do, but the benefit is that when you are building that creative you can make it the right kind of thing for each target audience.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">Programmatic advertising</a> is currently gaining momentum because of the attractive promise to brands of data-led real-time relevancy and accuracy in who they can target.</p> <p>By leveraging the capacities of programmatic display advertising, Topman not only targets people on key demographics such as age and profession but has found a relevant way to reach consumers on publisher and lifestyle sites beyond the usual fashion media.</p> <p>However, although creative programmatic strategy is a part of the ongoing picture for Topman, it has its limits.</p> <p>The first is the cost factor: “You have to think how much of your budget you want to spend on your creative versus your media buy,” explains Lancaster.</p> <p>“And obviously your media buy has to be sizeable enough to want to spend money on all those additional creative executions.”</p> <p>It is not only about the budgets for individual campaigns either: if a brand is taking a programmatic approach, it has to make sure it has a tailored experience to take them through to post click.</p> <blockquote> <p>If you capture someone with quite understated style but then take them to somewhere where there isn’t any of that available to them, then you may have acquired someone but you might not be showing them something that converts them.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Topman</h3> <p>Looking ahead, Lancaster sees a considerable untapped opportunity in the creative programmatic sphere. He would like to exploit the ability to embed live text with an advert, updating the copy for each type of customer and their lifestyle habits.</p> <p>He also sees the potential for serving different creatives in relation to the weather at a given IP address.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1698/Screen_Shot_2016-02-11_at_11.02.16.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <p>“It is all the sort of things people have wanted to do for a really long time and if you had this granular level of media buying and creative production then you would do it,” says Lancaster.</p> <p>“However, the challenge is having all those matrix of options at the same quality level: getting that ‘hero creative’ finish lots and lots of times.”</p> <h3>Right Time, Right Place</h3> <p>While some fear the implied threat to creativity that the automated nature of programmatic brings, Nicolas Roope, founder and creative director at Poke London sees it as timely.</p> <p>“It is newly available inventory coming together with concepts that already have personalisation and contextuality built in that makes programmatic exciting now,” comments Roope.</p> <blockquote> <p>Programmatic is a natural extension of storytelling in the digital space: always about some degree of interaction, some degree of personalisation, some degree of contextuality and timeliness.</p> </blockquote> <p>With creative programmatic, those key principals of time, place and context can be applied at scale, giving mass reach to personalised advertising.</p> <p>Essentially, it allows brands to get more relevant and creative and Roope sees that creativity flourishing in the work of Unilever’s Axe brand in Brazil.</p> <p>The brand recently leveraged programmatic adverts to serve online viewers with up to 100,000 variations of its “Romeo Reboot” advert.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131929702?color=fcfbfa&amp;title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Those variations in soundtrack, setting and plotline were part of a personalisation drive that allowed for changes to six out of the eleven scenes in the advert.</p> <p>“Fundamentally programmatic is interesting,” says Roope. “Because it highlights how limp, unintelligent advertising in a digital interactive space just doesn’t make any sense.”</p> <p>If successful, he argues, it delivers compelling creative, connecting people with the brand at the opportune moment. Roope also cites Google’s work with billboards as a valuable example of an inspiring creative approach to programmatic.</p> <p>Google trialled its DoubleClick ad technology last year, allowing premium billboard ads to be bought programmatically and passers-by to see the most relevant adverts for the time of day and location.</p> <p>“The real time quality of weather, sports and travel news was quite a surprise and interesting for people,” comments Roope. “That contextuality can be really powerful.”</p> <h3>Affinity and Desire</h3> <p>The antagonism with programmatic tends to come when you examine the formats used in most programmatic deals, which are currently much more constraining than the formats used in broadcast media.</p> <p>Within creative programmatic, you need to have very quick, low-cost adaptability for the best campaigns to work. This may call for a hundred different versions of a very similar idea and so the construct tends to be more limited and more mechanical.</p> <p>Programmatic has its place for Charles Vallance, co-founder and chairman of integrated agency VCCP, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of building a brand in full view.</p> <p>He argues that brand values and brand affinity are inextricably linked to bigger budget brand awareness campaigns.</p> <p>“We must value the advantages and efficiencies of programmatic,” he says. “But we must not have that at the expense of the colossal value of building a brand and building affinity that is shared and appreciated by a broader audience.”</p> <p>Vallance says that there are two things that communication can do: the short-term goal of selling things and the longer terms one of creating an environment of ‘buyability’ around a brand.</p> <p>“If I only ever communicate to people with the precision of programmatic, I might never make them want to buy,” he cautions.</p> <blockquote> <p>The two go hand in hand: you need broadcast or mass communication to create a collective sense of why this brand is desirable, what this brand means, what this brand stands for, and then programmatic can harness and exploit that.</p> </blockquote> <p>Shared real-time experience will never go out of style and is arguably much more valuable than automised, fragmented ones, however accurate they may be.</p> <p>“There is nothing very programmatic about Star Wars,” offers Vallance. “You don’t want 100 different versions: you want the one version that everyone is talking about.”</p> <p><strong>Creative Programmatic Conference</strong></p> <p>Charles Vallance, Tom Lancaster and Nicolas Roope will be speaking on a panel debate at Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/creative-programmatic/">Creative Programmatic</a> event on 2nd March.</p> <p>The session will examine the opportunities and challenges of harnessing programmatic in the creative process.</p> <p><em>Please note that this article was <a href="http://www.marketingweek.com/2016/02/08/how-to-embrace-creativity-in-the-programmatic-age/">originally published on Marketing Week</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67494 2016-02-11T09:56:00+00:00 2016-02-11T09:56:00+00:00 Five ways The New York Times is innovating its publishing model Ben Davis <p>As recently as May 2014, a leaked innovation report from the NYT described a business that was struggling to adapt to digital media consumption in the wake of new competitors' rapid expansion (chiefly, Buzzfeed).</p> <p>By the same time a year later, all the suggested changes from the report had been implemented at The Times, with a consequent 27% increase in digital traffic and 50% increase in mobile traffic.</p> <p>Digital-only subscribers to the NYT now number 1.1m, with digital revenue and efficiencies helping to keep revenue steady in the face of print declines.</p> <p>Here are some notable examples of NYT innovation that may make an impact in the coming years.</p> <h3><strong>1. Innovation in reporting e.g. The NYT Election Slack Bot</strong></h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67489-slack-yammer-facebook-who-ll-win-the-collaboration-battle">Slack</a> users can add this bot to their channel and receive updates from the 2016 US presidential race.</p> <p>The bot does allow for some limited two-way communication, too. Users are able to submit questions, though the majority of posts are automated.</p> <p>Slack is just a small example, but it's symptomatic of the NYT getting to grips with new ways its reporters can engage during live events, as Marc Lavalee, NYT editor of interactive news, <a href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/02/the-new-york-times-launches-a-slack-2016-election-bot-that-accepts-questions-from-readers/">tells Laura Owen</a> of Nieman Lab.</p> <blockquote> <p>We also have to figure out what the reporters have time to do.</p> <p>...Can [a Slack bot like this] be useful and time-saving in some way, or is it just another thing they’re trying to juggle? That’s what we’ve been grappling with lately.</p> <p>We haven’t crystallized what we’re committing to, and we haven’t decided how to present the value of this to readers. We’re just practicing a bit in public.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1542/Screen_Shot_2016-02-08_at_20.54.19.png" alt="nyt slack" width="615"></strong></p> <h3><strong>2. Innovation in archiving</strong></h3> <p><a href="http://nytlabs.com/projects/editor.html">Editor</a> is best described by NYT Labs itself (see the quote below)</p> <blockquote> <p>Editor is an experimental text editing interface that explores how collaboration between machine learning systems and journalists could afford fine-grained annotation and tagging of news articles.</p> </blockquote> <p>The idea is that the NYT will become not a collection of articles, but structured information allowing for smarter interrogation of the archive. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1549/Screen_Shot_2016-02-08_at_21.38.31.png" alt="editor by night labs" width="615"> </p> <h3><strong>3. Innovation in storytelling e.g. virtual reality</strong></h3> <p>By the end of 2014, almost three quarters of newspapers had implemented a paywall (<a href="http://www.inma.org/blogs/ahead-of-the-curve/post.cfm/the-state-of-paid-content-for-free-for-a-fee-or-somewhere-in-between">via INMA</a>), 60% of those a 'soft' paywall, but that doesn't negate the need to make money through ads and partnerships.</p> <p>In some ways, more interesting than the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67078-three-examples-of-brands-experimenting-with-virtual-reality">NYT jumping rapidly aboard the virtual reality train</a> (with its free phone app and Google Cardboard) was its sponsorship by Lufthansa, Mini and GE.</p> <p>Content sponsorship done well is an unambiguous way of monetising digital content, one that the reader is comfortable with and doesn't jeopardise editorial standards (in the way that guest posting does for Huffington Post and the Guardian's Professional Network, and advertorial does for The Daily Mail).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1526/nytvr1.jpeg" alt="nytvr" width="300">   <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1527/nytvr2.jpeg" alt="nytvr" width="300"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1528/carol.png" alt="nytvr" width="615"></p> <h3><strong>4. Innovation in distribution e.g. Facebook Instant Articles</strong></h3> <p>Though newspapers may have lagged behind some digitally native publications with regards to mobile development and social strategy, their brands have largely survived intact.</p> <p>The standards of journalism espoused by titles such as The New York Times still cuts through the noise on social media. This is why every social platform is keen to partner with the best newspapers, as a way of adding valuable content and increasing users' time in app.</p> <p>One of the benefits of the afore-mentioned soft paywall is that the NYT can reach a large user base va Facebook.</p> <p>The New York Times is controversially (for some) part of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66398-facebook-tries-to-lure-publishers-with-100-revenue-share">Facebook's Instant Articles</a> project, which allows the newspaper to keep the majority of ad revenue generated by the social platform, in return for allowing Facebook to natively host the publisher's articles within its app.</p> <p>At the same time, the new Slack bot and the investigation into notification and messaging technology is an admission by the NYT that stream-based social media might not be here to stay.</p> <p><em>National Geographic example of Facebook Instant Articles</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1551/Screen_Shot_2016-02-08_at_21.57.11.png" alt="facebook instant articles" width="615"> </p> <h3><strong>5. Innovation in community and the reading experience</strong></h3> <p>Another product of NYT Labs, <a href="http://nytlabs.com/blog/2015/11/05/membrane/">Membrane</a> is reminiscent of Medium's comment functionality but with added content being revealed in line, to augment the reading experience.</p> <p>In prototype, the input of the reader is restricted (question prompts rather than free text), and the author is able to respond to a greater number of users by assessing which parts of an article require clarification or embellishment.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see how both author and reader input might change dependent on the story's context.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1550/membrane1.gif" alt="membrane by night" width="550" height="614"></p> <p>It's innovations such as these that should help The New York Times stay at the crest of the digital wave, creating value for readers and advertisers in the pursuit of doubled digital revenue by 2020.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67479 2016-02-04T10:48:00+00:00 2016-02-04T10:48:00+00:00 Times of London Weekly: Fantastic app, but I want it in... London Ben Davis <h3>Simplicity and scrolling</h3> <p>The Times weekly app is all big images and bold headlines.</p> <p>All of the content is there on the homescreen, consisting of the best 90 or so articles that have featured in the grown-up paper that week. These articles are manually curated.</p> <p>The simple menu (see below) simply jumps you to the right section of this scrolling content.</p> <p>It's very focused, easy to use and feels a very different beast to the sophisticated, multiformat <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64923-the-guardian-s-new-responsive-apps-offer-great-ux-more-editorial-control/">Guardian app</a>, for example.</p> <p><em><strong>The new The Times of London Weekly app is beautifully simple</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1377/IMG_2551.PNG" alt="the times weekly app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1379/IMG_2552.PNG" alt="times weekly app" width="300"></p> <p><em><strong>..a stark contrast to The Guardian's sophisticated multiformat app.</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1378/IMG_2553.PNG" alt="guardian app" width="300"> </p> <h3>...and designed to be 'finished'</h3> <p>There's a reason this new Times app and The Guardian's app look different.</p> <p>Here's a quote from Nick Petrie, The Times' deputy head of digital (taken from <a href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/02/the-sun-never-sets-on-the-times-how-and-why-the-british-paper-built-its-new-weekly-international-app/">this excellent NiemanLabs article</a>): </p> <blockquote> <p>An edition is something that can be finished. When you’ve read it, you feel up-to-date; you’ve been told what you need to know for the day or the week.</p> <p>The weekly app takes that idea as well. This idea will appear in more and more of our products as time goes on because it’s resonated so well with our readership.</p> </blockquote> <h3>So, let's take a look at the content</h3> <p>Here's where we stumble. The Times of London Weekly is available in 46 countries, but not in the UK (where I am).</p> <p>So, even though I managed to download the app from the App Store by creating a new US Apple ID as a workaround, once I tried to subscribe, Apple wouldn't let me without a US payment card.</p> <p>The articles, if you're in the right country to access them, are also lovely and simple, with the editor apparently built on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64762-five-cool-things-you-can-do-with-wordpress">WordPress</a>. They are just text and images, no video, audio etc.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1386/IMG_2555.PNG" alt="times weekly paywall" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1382/IMG_2556.PNG" alt="times weekly - protected content" width="300"></p> <p><strong>An article from <em>The Times of London Weekly</em> - I took this screenshot from the aforementioned NiemanLabs article, as I couldn't purchase the app content in the UK.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1403/article.jpeg" alt="times weekly article" width="300" height="534"></p> <h3>Why I want to subscribe to The Times of London Weekly </h3> <p>I would have liked to subscribe (if only for a few trial months) to this new weekly, international app, for the following reasons:</p> <ul> <li>I like Times journalism a lot more than I used to a decade ago. That's because its paywall seems to have inured it to the effects of the web (namely it doesn't produce as much clickbait as other publishers).</li> <li>The $3.99 per month price of the 'weekly' app is a lot more up my alley than the $8.50 I would need to pay for the full digital subscription (the only one currently available to me).</li> <li>I like the fact that the weekly app contains only the best articles. It would broaden my reading.</li> </ul> <p>Whilst the NYT is busy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64454-the-new-york-times-on-subscriptions-product-development-and-nyt-now">experimenting with multiple digital products</a> and unbundling subscription packages, The Times is currently cut and dry - paper and digital, or just digital. No option for a funky condensed product.</p> <p>But who am I to argue? The Times became profitable in 2014, and many other newspapers are not.</p> <h3>What's next?</h3> <p>The weekly app is apparently going to include video eventually, and the ability to feature fast running stories more effectively.</p> <p>It's exciting times for The Times; though some would say this sort of content is available for free elsewhere, it's packaged nicely and designed (and written) to appeal to the serious news reader.</p> <p>Perhaps this weekly platform will be used to develop further products, or to update the main Times and Sunday Times app, which is looking a little tired (<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-times-the-sunday-times/id436792321?mt=8">and getting poor feedback</a>).</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67399 2016-01-13T15:54:00+00:00 2016-01-13T15:54:00+00:00 A brief history of ad blocking shows it’s not a new problem Lori Goldberg <p>They constructed a reclining, upholstered chair perfectly engineered to support the human body in a prone but sitting position. </p> <p>They described their new invention as “nature's way of relaxing” and held a contest to give it a name. </p> <p>When coupled with a television, the “La-Z-Boy” recliner became a staple in American living rooms and getting up to change the channel during commercials became unlikely while nestled inside in the chair’s cozy, cocoon-like comfort.</p> <p><a href="http://www.la-z-boy.com/p/vail-reclina-rocker-recliner/_/R-010403"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0694/la-z-boy.jpg" alt="" width="332" height="332"></a></p> <p>Enter American inventor Robert Adler who was experimenting with a process that would enable remote control of a television using radio waves. </p> <p>His remote device, the “Space Command” used aluminum rods that vibrated when struck by tiny hammers, producing high-frequency tones that would be received by the television set, instructing it to change channels. </p> <p>The device was perfected in the 1960’s as Adler’s remote control was modified to allow ultrasonic signals to communicate complex commands to TV sets, enabling the operator of the remote to block ads by changing the channel during a commercial break – <a href="http://inventorspot.com/adler">without leaving the comfort of their reclining chair</a>.<sup><br></sup></p> <p>But television, you are not alone. In the 1930’s Motorola’s AM radios were appearing in many vehicles. </p> <p>The invention of the “transistor” lowered costs and made car radios so affordable, they were installed on 50m new cars by 1963. </p> <p>Deadly accidents skyrocketed over time as <a href="http://mentalfloss.com/article/29631/when-car-radio-was-introduced-people-freaked-out">drivers would take their eyes off the road to change the radio station</a> (perhaps to avoid commercials). </p> <p>By the 1970s, mechanical preset buttons (likely inspired by Xerox’s early user interface machines) allowed drivers to not only change the radio station while safely watching the road, but it also gave listeners a quick solution to skipping ads. </p> <p>Today, if you’re not using commercial-free satellite radio, then you’re likely punching through presets when the ads come on.<sup><br></sup></p> <p>It was in 1999 when the first Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) arrived in Las Vegas at the <em>Consumer Electronics Show</em>. </p> <p>TiVo and it’s chief rival ReplayTV not only changed how we watch television, but also the ease at which we skip ads. DirectTV eventually acquired ReplayTV while TiVo continued to evolve and thrive, even today.<sup>4</sup></p> <p>Viewers quickly learned that they could record a show and tune in to the live broadcast 15 minutes late, and by fast-forwarding through the commercials they would catch-up to the live broadcast by the end of the show, reducing a 30-minute sitcom to a lean 22 minutes.</p> <p><em>Click on the image to access the full infographic</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.silverlightdigital.com/an-illustrated-history-of-ad-blocking-1960-2016/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0696/Screen_Shot_2016-01-13_at_15.46.08.png" alt="" width="794" height="470"></a></p> <p>Appointment television made famous with NBC’s “Must See TV” Thursday nights gave way to viewers recording everything and zipping right through the ads. </p> <p>Lawsuits by Fox and others followed as advertisers and networks challenged the “consumer’s right” <a href="https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=lc8vAAAAIBAJ&amp;sjid=1Y0DAAAAIBAJ&amp;pg=5630,870934&amp;hl=en">to record shows and skip commercials</a>.<sup><br></sup></p> <p>Legal means of preventing ad blockers were failing in court and new attempts to block advertisers were hitting the market fast and furious.  </p> <p>In 2004, the legal attempts to prevent the Federal Trade Commission’s National <em>Do Not Call Registry</em> failed and millions of Americans were empowered to block telemarketing calls by simply registering their phone number on the “Do Not Call” website. </p> <p>Mozilla – creators of the Firefox Web browser – later introduced its <em>Do Not Track</em> feature that blocked advertisers from profiling a user’s identity and browser history. </p> <p>Today’s browsers all offer standard features enabling users to surf the web in secret, or employ ad blockers – popular with about 16% of US Internet users according to a new report from Adobe/PageFair - that completely free mobile and desktop browsers from banner ads – literally eliminating them from view by preventing the browser from loading the ad.<sup><br></sup></p> <p>In 2012, Satellite television provider Dish Network released its new <em>Auto Hop DVR</em> feature that would <em>automatically</em> skip commercials on programs recorded using its <em>PrimeTime Anytime</em> service. </p> <p>Third-party applications created by DVRMST Toolbox, ComSkip, and ShowAnalyzer <a href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/05/tv-networks-say-youre-breaking-law-when-you-skip-commercials">use technology to locate commercial segments in a broadcast</a> and save the time code as data, later utilized to identify and remove blocks of commercials from recorded video files.</p> <p>These applications were compatible with DVR’s manufactured by Windows Media Player among others.</p> <p>And recently, TiVo reappears back on the ad blocking market with its new <em>Bolt DVR</em> that tags the start and end of commercials so that viewers can skip over them with the push of a single, convenient button.<sup><br></sup></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0697/Screen_Shot_2016-01-13_at_15.49.33.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>In conclusion, history shows us that ad blocking innovation and consumer’s demand for it is nothing new. </p> <p>Panic over recent methods of digital ad blocking must be put in proper historical context and the consumer’s long-held desire to skip ads must be acknowledged. </p> <p>Despite this, we also understand that advertising provides a valuable service in shaping and informing consumer behavior, accelerating our economy, and enabling wide consumption of low-cost or free products – such as apps or music – where costs are deferred with advertisements. </p> <p>Even consumers would likely agree with these benefits <em>or they can often opt to pay for content so they realize the benefit of what advertising subsidizes.</em></p> <p>The key for the digital advertising industry remains the same: to challenge ourselves to serve better and more relevant ads to audiences and be mindful of their frustrations with ad clutter and its negative impact on the brands we serve. </p> <p>Ad blocking is not the end of our industry. It’s simply an evolution point.</p> <p><em>For more on ad blocking, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/"><em>The rise and rise of ad blockers: Stats</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66650-how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-ad-blocking/">How do you solve a problem like ad blocking?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67044-is-native-advertising-the-answer-to-ad-blocking/">Is native advertising the answer to ad blocking?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67312 2015-12-10T15:08:42+00:00 2015-12-10T15:08:42+00:00 Are publishers in a losing battle with content distribution platforms? Patricio Robles <p>And the publishers that are a part of Snapchat Discover are taking their participation seriously.</p> <p>For example, Refinery29, a digital publisher targeting women, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-refinery29s-snapchat-discover-operation-1449226800">has a team</a> dedicated to producing Snapchat Discover content seven days a week.</p> <p>Why would publishers invest so heavily to produce content distributed exclusively on channels they don't own? It's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67257-15-reasons-your-brand-should-be-on-snapchat/">the reach and engagement</a>, silly. </p> <p><em>Refinery29's Snapchat</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9895/snapchat.jpg" alt="" width="359" height="550"></p> <p>Services like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram have become bonafide content destinations and instead of trying to funnel their audiences on these platforms to owned properties, more and more publishers are working to deliver their content directly to their audiences wherever they want to consume it.</p> <p>Obviously, there are reasons to question the wisdom of this.</p> <p>Long-term, it's not clear that publishers are creating value for themselves. Instead, it could be argued, they're building up the third-party platforms and could eventually be disposed of.</p> <p>The fact that Snapchat has <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/yahoo-booted-off-snapchat-discover-because-it-couldnt-connect-with-younger-audience-2015-10">kicked off</a> and <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2015/07/28/snapchat-swaps-warner-music-for-iheartradio-and-buzzfeed-on-its-discover-platform/">swapped out</a> Snapchat Discover partners is evidence of this.</p> <h3>But it's not all doom and gloom for publishers...</h3> <p>Perhaps aware of their conundrum, they're pushing back and forcing their third-party partners to make concessions.</p> <p>For instance, when Facebook was prepping Instant Articles, which distributes publisher content directly on Facebook, the world's largest social network tried to lure publishers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66398-facebook-tries-to-lure-publishers-with-100-revenue-share">with a seemingly sweet revenue share deal</a>.</p> <p>And now Facebook <a href="http://www.wsj.com/article_email/facebook-bends-to-publishers-tweaks-instant-articles-advertising-1449676734-lMyQjAxMTE1NDAyOTUwMTkzWj">is making changes</a> to Instant Articles to keep publishers happy. </p> <p>As The Wall Street Journal's Jack Marshall detailed, the company will allow publishers to add more ads to their Instant Articles content.</p> <p>Going forward, publishers can insert one ad for every 350 words; previously it was one ad for every 500 words. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/9896/facebook_instant_article-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="264"></p> <p>Facebook will also allow publishers to sell Facebook-specific ads. Previously, it required publishers to group Instant Articles inventory with the rest of their inventory.</p> <p>Another major concession is that Facebook is giving publishers the ability to control the links that appear at the bottom of their Instant Articles, raising hopes that they might be able to use Instant Articles to drive traffic to their owned properties, or to sponsors.</p> <p>Michael Reckhow, a Facebook product manager, hinted that the social network could make additional changes as it evaluates publisher feedback, but some publishers are already pleased. </p> <p>Joe Speiser from LittleThings.com told The Wall Street Journal:</p> <blockquote> <p>We’re looking at how we can increase the amount we’re publishing to Instant Articles. This is a big enough change that we feel comfortable testing a bigger percentage of our content.</p> </blockquote> <p>Elsewhere, publishers are standing up and removing their content from third-party channels when they believe their interests aren't being served.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wsj.com/article_email/aol-ons-video-distribution-troubles-media-partners-1449621857-lMyQjAxMTA1MjAyOTMwMjkyWj">As reported by</a> The Wall Street Journal's Mike Shields, some publishers, including ESPN, Rodale and Shape Magazine, have pulled their content from AOL On, one of the internet's largest video syndication networks.</p> <p>According to Shields, these publishers have been troubled by a lack of transparency and were not always pleased with the places their content was displayed.</p> <p>Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, of video publisher WatchMojo, told Shields that publishers "get frustrated when they realize there is not much scale and not a lot of true viewing by an engaged audience."</p> <p>In response to complaints and publisher defections, AOL says it will be transitioning to a new platform in 2016 that will give publishers greater transparency and control.</p> <h3>Can publishers negotiate enough to win?</h3> <p>While publishers should be encouraged by the fact that powerful third-party distribution channels are listening to their complaints and concerns, and giving in to some of their demands, it's still not clear that publishers can win in a world where the more and more of their audiences aren't really <em>their</em> audiences.</p> <p>Unfortunately, even if they are able to negotiate better terms, publishers will eventually have to grapple with the possibility that without audiences of their own, they could become little more than outsource content creators for the Facebooks and Snapchats of the world.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67287 2015-12-07T11:32:47+00:00 2015-12-07T11:32:47+00:00 Eight ways to improve the real-time bidding ecosystem Fiona Salmon <p>Certain agencies are going further, with a goal for 100% of the digital ads they buy in 2016 to have some form of automation.  </p> <p>But while this is a huge change for the industry, more is yet to come. Currently programmatic ads are sold in a four stage priority, very neatly <a href="http://www.iab.net/media/file/IAB_Digital_Simplified_Programmatic_Sept_2013.pdf" target="_blank">set-out by the IAB</a>.</p> <p>First come the “automated guaranteed” or “programmatic direct” systems, which use technology to replicate the favourable pricing and certainty of placement of the industry’s non-programmatic direct relationships. At the bottom of the priority are the open <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">Real-Time Bidding (RTB) auctions</a>.</p> <p>While the US has seen some use of automated guaranteed deals, the UK hasn’t quite been so keen, and few trading desks are demanding it.</p> <p>Moves to integrate the industry’s established ad booking systems with automated platforms could breathe more life into the automated guaranteed market.</p> <p>However, with the greater adoption and improved technology in the RTB markets, we’ve got to wonder – how long will this priority last?</p> <p><em>The real-time bidding ecosystem</em></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/real-time-bidding-ecosystem/"><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9732/rtb_ecosystem.png" alt="" width="344" height="383"></em></a></p> <p>RTB systems have already improved to emulate some of the automated guaranteed channel’s benefits in private marketplaces.</p> <p>The more sophisticated RTB platforms are affording ad buyers far greater levels of control over campaign effectiveness, new abilities to define the requisite performance of their chosen ad inventory and great value prices.</p> <p>In fact one of the primary differentiators of the automated guaranteed marketplace is its utility when booking campaigns using non-standard ad creative.</p> <p>Yet RTB systems are also introducing <a href="http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/vibrant-takes-in-text-programmatic/" target="_blank">more unique formats</a> which challenge even that benefit. Consequently the value of the automated guaranteed deals could be under threat, and they too may fall out of the ad buying priority.</p> <p>Much depends upon which performance criteria are made available through the RTB systems.</p> <p>Here is my wish list, and to learn more on this topic download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/programmatic/dates/2797/">Econsultancy’s Programmatic Branding Report</a> or book yourself onto the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/programmatic-branding">Programmatic Training Course</a>.</p> <h3><strong>1. More effective limits on bot fraud</strong></h3> <p>Realistically bot fraud will never be solved regardless of the channel through which the ad space is sold.</p> <p>However, it’s imperative that the fight against fraudsters continues, and the cleanest programmatic platforms should win-out. </p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutger_Hauer"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9733/blade_runner.jpg" alt="" width="399" height="309"></a></p> <p>The simplest tactic to follow is to opt for programmatic platforms that give access to a premium network of reputable publishers.</p> <p>However, greater reporting on the legitimacy of inventory sources, instances of malware, fake impressions and masking of domain names will help the entire industry to end the scourge. </p> <h3><strong>2. More guarantees of brand safety</strong></h3> <p>In terms of brand safety, the minimum requirement for programmatic systems must be to enable ad buyers to select ad space verified by the <a href="http://www.jicwebs.org/current-priorities/brand-safety-online/161-dtsg-seal-press-release" target="_blank">JICWEBS Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG)</a>.</p> <p>Programmatic platforms that can distinguish ad inventory that both complies with and goes beyond these standards would be extremely helpful.</p> <h3><strong>3. Combinations of targeting data</strong></h3> <p>Certain ad technologies already enable targeting based on a combination of <a href="http://www.vibrantmedia.com/en/new-large-scale-private-ad-exchange-moves-out-of-beta/" target="_blank">audience and contextual relevance</a>.</p> <p>However, easier compositing of brands’ own (“first party”) data, publishers’ (“second party”) data, behavioural targeting companies’ (“third party”) data, search string data, and the user’s precise and favourite mobile device location data will bring hyper-targeting to RTB systems.</p> <p>As so many publishers are making more ad space available programmatically it should become increasingly possible to combine targeting techniques without compromising the scale of campaigns.</p> <h3><strong>4. More native ad formats</strong></h3> <p>The functionality of ad formats directly impacts campaign performance. Currently most of the ads available through programmatic systems are the ubiquitous and indistinctive IAB banners.</p> <p>Everyone has been using these standard IAB banners for years despite complaints of banner blindness, their inherent lack of creativity, and intrusiveness.</p> <p>As more ad buyers are seeking the best performing ad formats there is a growing demand for non-standard formats which outperform IAB banners – primarily the ever improving programmatic native ads.</p> <p>However, at present most native ads find it difficult to scale across thousands of online publishers to achieve a campaign with sufficient reach across the mobile and desktop web.</p> <p>Even the automated guaranteed deals can struggle with programmatic native ads. There’s just too much offline negotiation and constant customisation for most of these formats to be involved in a truly automated marketplace.</p> <p>However, the choice of scalable, truly native ad formats available programmatically is growing.</p> <p>These are being made available through RTB systems, offering more creative and native placements to positively surprise and engage consumers. There’s no reason to think that other non-standard formats will be excluded from RTB marketplaces in the future.  </p> <h3><strong>5. Deliver viewable ads</strong></h3> <p>Comscore has verified that <a href="https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Viewability-Benchmarks-Show-Many-Ads-Are-Not-In-View-but-Rates-Vary-by-Publisher" target="_blank">the majority of digital ads never actually have a chance to be seen</a>.</p> <p>This has resulted in viewability becoming one of the fundamental performance criteria upon which ads are now being selected. Organisations such as <a href="http://www.mindshareworld.com/news/groupm-and-unilever-push-better-online-ad-viewability" target="_blank">GroupM and Unilever</a> are leading the way, with the most stringent viewability demands in the industry.</p> <p>There are whispers that certain agencies <a href="http://www.iabuk.net/about/press/archive/iab-lifts-advisory-against-trading-on-viewable-impressions-for-display" target="_blank">will start trading on viewable impressions</a> as early as Q1 2016.</p> <p>Platforms that are trialling viewability performance campaign options have sometimes seen advertisers compromise on the number of impressions they buy, and even the media titles their ads appear on, in return for premium viewability.</p> <p>However, publishers expecting to develop a higher yielding product line from “viewable cost per mille” (VCPM) campaigns in the future are likely to be disappointed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9734/Screen_Shot_2015-12-07_at_11.26.31.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>Brands buying ads expect all of them to be seen, and don’t want to pay more for them.</p> <p>What’s more, those platforms trialling viewability performance criteria often do so on a binary basis – i.e. either the ad formats pass the Media Ratings Council’s definition of a viewable ad (“half an ad for one second”) or they don’t.</p> <p>However, that performance criteria and method devalues the performance of a great many ad formats that frequently display far more than 50%+ of every ad.</p> <p>Those ads should not be marketed as being on a par with the lowest acceptable industry standard.</p> <p>If programmatic platforms want to adopt such a binary method for identifying viewable impressions, it’s better to focus on whether 100% of the ads are viewable or not, and back it up by a service level agreement. </p> <p>Alternatively, programmatic platforms could incorporate viewability score data from providers such as Moat, which will show the full spectrum and degrees of viewability, giving essential insight to ad buyers.</p> <p>At an absolute minimum, programmatic platforms have to move away from predicted viewablility scores.</p> <p>The technology and research providers are out there to deliver precise metrics on viewability. Soon there will be no excuse not to guarantee viewability through programmatic platforms. </p> <h3><strong>6. Precise page positions</strong></h3> <p>The precise positioning of an ad impacts its value. Currently, as long as ads are displayed above the mythical fold, most advertisers will be happy.</p> <p>However, an ad placed further down a page can actually have just as much value or more if it displays within contextually relevant editorial at an appropriate point in the consumers’ engagement with the content.</p> <p>Right now, it’s likely that above the fold ad space will command higher prices than those below the fold.</p> <p>However, programmatic platforms that enable ad buyers to choose a range of page positions to display their digital ads will have an important additional control on their campaign budget as well as performance.</p> <h3><strong>7. Optimum site depths for ads to appear</strong></h3> <p>Loyalty to particular publications is dropping due to the ubiquitous sharing of deep-links on social media that take consumers directly to media titles’ articles.</p> <p>Many people will view just one page of a media title before returning to what they were previously doing, or moving onto a different site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9735/Screen_Shot_2015-12-07_at_11.27.45.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>This signifies that it’s less important – and arguably less valuable – for ads to appear high up in the media title’s page hierarchy, such as on the homepage.</p> <p>Programmatic platforms enabling advertisers to select the site depth at which their ads should be displayed will give enormous control to marketers.</p> <h3><strong>8. Optimum session depths are different</strong></h3> <p>Just as it’s essential for an ad to appear at the opportune page depth and site depth, it is also important to calculate the timing of an ad’s display within the user’s session.</p> <p>Many ad buyers will typically pay more through direct deals with publishers to have their ads displayed early in a user’s session, implying that they are the premium slots.</p> <p>However, the more engaged consumers are with a particular subject matter generally indicates that they are more valuable to relevant brands.</p> <p>It will depend upon the ad campaign, of course, but it’s very possible that the later an ad is delivered to the user, the more that user has qualified themselves as being valuable to the brand.</p> <p>This could well mean that the ads will be displayed to fewer people, but the fact that they are displayed to a targeted user can in turn qualify those ad impressions as better value for money to the advertiser.</p> <p>If programmatic platforms offered page, site and session depth controls we’d soon find the campaign sweet spots – where ads are displayed at the precise points in users’ sessions to be both qualified and most open to engaging with an ad.</p> <p>Ultimately the programmatic markets will be rationalised into unified platforms. How quickly depends upon how fast new performance criteria and KPIs are made available through RTB systems.</p> <p>Once ad buyers can make ad campaign choices based on more solid data and the actual performance criteria of ad inventory, so RTB systems will enable the purchase of the most premium inventory. </p>