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Firefox 22 Will Block 3rd Party Cookies, Cookie Blocking Patch Live In Aurora Version

Firefox 22 Will Block 3rd Party Cookies, Cookie Blocking Patch Live In Aurora Version | |

If you are the least bit involved in the Online Advertising Industry, you’ve likely heard about the new version of Firefox (22) coming this summer that will block 3rd party default cookies. If you are not aware, let me give you a quick run-down:

  • Basically, Firefox 22 will block ad network cookies by default
  • Firefox will have an option that allows you to accept cookies from the sites you previously visited
  • Users of this build of Firefox must directly interact with a site or company for a cookie to be installed on their machine. The patch also provides an additional control setting under the “Privacy” tab in Firefox’s Preferences menu.

Now, at the first of the year when all of this was coming to light, it didn’t seem too much of a big deal because it usually takes Mozilla a long-time to get releases fully in use. Well, that is until this Tweet popped up the other day:

The company has just added the cookie-blocking patch to the “Aurora” version of the browser, according to Stanford grad student Jonathan Mayer, who developed the patch. After testing the feature in Aurora, Mozilla will migrate it to the Beta version, and then will release it in the next version of Firefox — currently slated for release this June.

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Why you may be learning the wrong lessons from Facebook marketing gurus

Why you may be learning the wrong lessons from Facebook marketing gurus | |

How many times have you heard this phrase? If you’ve dabbled with social media long enough and been hearing from a lot of social media marketing gurus, a phrase something like the above would not be unfamiliar to you.

In fact, a lot of gurus would preach that social media is a platform to connect with your audiences and build relationships with them. “Be accessilble,” they would say. “Solicit feedback from your fans through polls and open ended questions. Check your social media sites often, including outside of normal work hours if possible. Make sure that your fans know how to reach you.”

These same gurus may also be preaching that in order to be successful on Facebook, you would need to have wacky and creative ideas. As such, a lot of brands and organizatons have been be ridiculously misled to run campaigns on social media that lack clear objectives, let alone driving new businesses.

One example would be the “Whopper Sacrifice” campaign by Burger King which was essentially a Facebook application developed to demonstrate brand loyalty. Visitors to the application, were encouraged to sign up and then choose ten of their Facebook friends to delete (“sacrifice”) in exchange for a free Burger King Whopper.

While the campaign was awarded the Gold for Web Applications at the Art Directors Annual Awards, but within a week, Facebook blocked the entire campaign due to a breach of privacy. Not only did the campaign lack effectiveness in driving sales, but it was also met with some backlash from the public.

Here’s the untold truth of social media – you can use it to generate sales, lightning fast. And the good news is that it doesn’t matter even if you’re selling seemingly “boring” products.

A recent social media campaign from 3M Singapore has proven that a Return of Investment (ROI) of over 1,200 percent can be generated on Facebook.

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A New Addition to the C-Suite: Chief Programmatic Officer

A New Addition to the C-Suite: Chief Programmatic Officer | |
There's a new C-level job on the horizon -- the chief programmatic officer. Here are three key skills the CPO will need to influence the board room.

The New York Times, AOL, Meredith and The Washington Post -- what do each of these media companies have in common? Within the past year, all have hired top executives as programmatic ad chiefs. Given that real-time bidding digital display ad spend is expected to grow another 38% in 2014 (after increasing 74% in 2013) and reach $9 billion in ad spend by 2017 (almost 30% of total digital display ad spend), it makes sense that these companies are investing senior-level resources to help embrace and monetize the massive opportunity.

Finally, the industry has realized that the debate is not about man vs. machine, but about how man can manage the machine to deliver the best outcome for all stakeholders involved -- media companies, brand advertisers and targeted consumers. We've placed a lot of power in programmatic technology's ability to scale ad buys and find more precise audiences, but human intelligence still remains the most important part of the equation.

More than ever before, a new crop of talent specifically tuned for more technical and analytical business requirements is rising out of the woodwork and taking hold in organizations across the ecosystem, from programmatic ad chiefs at media companies to programmatic media specialists at digital agencies. I predict that it won't be long before a second CPO joins the C-suite: Along with the chief product officer, the new chief programmatic officer will affect influential strategies in the board room.

Here are three underlying skills the new CPO will need to be successful:

1. See the forest from the trees. Despite its celebrity status these days, programmatic does not make sense for all marketing strategies or revenue-generating deals. The CPO needs to understand this and not only educate and advise the sales team on the best targets for sales, but also understand big-picture metrics such as return on ad spend (ROAS) in order to help steer the organization's clients and partners toward a direction that supports their larger strategic goals. There are inherent differences between the needs of brand marketers and performance marketers; a great CPO will be able to identify these differences and align the entire organization with the right brands and advertisers.

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TV is Finally Embracing Digital Ad Technologies

TV is Finally Embracing Digital Ad Technologies | |

Digital ad tech is finally making its way into the TV ad market after decades of talk about making TV ads more personal, more automated and smarter. Today, addressable ads on TV are a reality at Cablevision, Dish and DirecTV. Programmatic TV advertising as a long-term strategy is being evaluated by all of the major TV media owners and media agency TV buyers. And audience-based TV ad buying, while nascent, is now being tested by virtually every TV media owner and TV ad buyer.

What's causing the TV industry to finally move to new ways of filling the ad pods tied to their shows? Three reasons: fragmentation,

accountability and digital envy. First, audience fragmentation on TV is now quite severe. Nielsen data show that 65% of U.S. TV viewing is now on shows with a rating of under 0.5. Buyers and sellers need techniques to "re-aggregate" those fragmented audiences.

Second, thanks to Wall Street and big data, ad spend is under the accountability microscope at every major consumer marketer, making ROI-based measurements and the elimination of waste in both media and in the media-buying process very high priorities.

And third, now that digital is part of every marketer's communication mix, an appetite has been created for digital-like measurement, optimization and processes in TV ads as well, where the bulk of ad spend still goes for many brands.

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Cross-Device Tracking: Don’t Believe The Hype

Cross-Device Tracking: Don’t Believe The Hype | |

By: Robert Webster, Chief Product Officer, Crimtan

Recently the ad tech world has been getting very excited about cross-device tracking. What has been a theoretical holy grail for a long time is now being touted as ready for prime time. But as much as I am personally excited about cross-device campaigns, much of the recent hype is misleading. It is not ready for prime time because much more cross-device activity goes untracked than tracked.

The big Internet giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Amazon have the potential to deliver on this. But until they join the party, or we see the creation of a network of publisher log-in matched data, no one will be able to link the majority of journeys that users make.

As an industry, we need to be cautious. Marketers must understand the limitations of current cross-device methodologies, what is required to expand reach and the implications this entails.

How We Do It Today

There are currently four common methods to achieve cross-device targeting:

1. Linking log-in data: When a user logs in on more than one device, this data can then be linked.

2. Householding: Where different devices can be seen on one IP range and are combined with home data, behavior and more, they can be inferred as the same user.

3. Probabilistic methods:Combining device data (particularly with tablets), location, time and more with TV data to provide a multiscreen advertising and targeting approach.

4. Data links: Apps that can hear TV sounds, QR codes, NFC and more data links can join up devices to TV, print and outdoor for a cross-channel approach (more than cross-device).

Now all of these methods are very valuable for companies with the right technology. Many of the stats touted in the media are based around the householding and probabilistic methods. The problem is that the stats you hear in this space focus (obviously) on the number of devices you can join, not on the number you cannot.

In this simple example, I have a work PC, a home PC, a smart device and a TV. My home PC and smart device are regularly connected to my home network so I can be successfully targeted through the householding method. When you add TV, there’s also a good chance of targeting through probabilistic means.

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Why Agencies & Intermederies Must Evolve With The Shift To Closed Ad Ecosystems And Marketing Automation

Why Agencies & Intermederies Must Evolve With The Shift To Closed Ad Ecosystems And Marketing Automation | |

Walled gardens. Big media companies love walled gardens. Amazon, which was asked to speak at ATS London but predictably declined, has been aggressively pushing its data-driven bidder to most of the big trading desks globally.

The new self-serve solution will be enthusiastically used by the agencies, as they look to leverage all that Amazon first party data. The catch here though is that inventory and data within the Amazon domain can only be accessed through its own bidder – no outside integrations allowed.

Amazon’s data will not be shared with anyone it would seem. Amazon is not alone. Rumours abound that Facebook has shut down integrations with any 3rd parties using RTB on its newly acquired video solution, LiveRail.

Whether this is true or not, it does suggest the big US media companies are going back-to-the-future with their closed solution approach. Will Twitter, Yahoo, Alibaba and every other media behemoth with first party data follow suit? And what does this mean for the ad ecosystem as a whole, particularly the big buyers, namely the agency trading desks.

If You Tolerate This Then Efficient Buying Will Be Next

From an efficient trading perspective the emergence of multi ad ecosystems within programmatic can only be summarised as a potential disaster zone for agencies. Having to manage multiple interfaces with no interconnectivity between these bidders around data and optimisation can only mean more cost in terms of labour and campaign execution.

It’s also a regressive step backwards particularly for traders. Instead of having a lean and skilled team doing smart trading, you will get a bigger team of software specialists managing a massively inefficient process.

Not every agency will have the resource or the depth of talent to properly execute all these UI-based buys. Are we returning to wide scale managed buys? The traditional ad network model is far from dead it would seem.

So how will these trading teams allocate spend to the new sub plan if they can’t buy dynamically?

Will these closed ecosystems allow DMP integrations to manage and activate data as well as allocate spend dynamically? I seriously doubt that Amazon will give anyone access to their data treasure trove. And do DMPs even have the functionality to do all of this anyway?

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How Starbucks Crushes It on Social Media

How Starbucks Crushes It on Social Media | |

Starbucks is known for lots of things: great coffee, friendly baristas, and a near-complete takeover of practically every street corner in America. Did you know it’s also known for it’s killer social media strategy? It’s true! Take a look at some of these stats!

●     37.32 million Facebook likes

●     6.56 million Twitter followers

●     2.98 million Instagram fans

●     2.86 million Google+ followers

●     160K Pinterest followers

●     32K YouTube subscribers

Those numbers are staggering but well-earned. There’s no doubt Starbucks is crushing social media, but how do they do it? Let’s take a look.


Interestingly, the Starbucks social media management team doesn’t post Facebook updates all that often. When they do, however, they’re usually eye-catching and ultra-clever. The posts strike a good balance between fun contests, helpful tips for the java-loving crowd, and subtle sales messages to its customers.


Starbucks has a fascinating and unique approach to Twitter updates -- they don’t do them all the time rather strategically! Fans who connect to the company on Twitter to catch the latest news and updates are in for a surprise. The team does post unique content but also uses the Twitter as a service to reach out to customers talking about their in-store or product experiences.

All Tweets are directed at specific Twitter users who’ve “spoken” to Starbucks in their own timeline, sometimes with a complaint or negative feedback. The Starbucks team checks in several times a day and encourages dissatisfied customers to get in touch with the company for follow-up using a Twitter-specific email address. It’s an unorthodox but smart approach to deal with customer complaints before they have a chance to get out of hand.

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Connected TVs Will Rule US by 2017 - Study

Connected TVs Will Rule US by 2017 - Study | |
In a new study, eMarketer predicts that 54% of Americans will use a connected TV to access the Internet at least once a month by 2017.

No matter whether their TV sets are smart or dumb, more than half of US consumers will be regularly accessing the Internet through some kind of connected TV gadget by 2017, according to new research.

The latest study from eMarketer Inc. predicts that about 54% of Americans will use a connected TV at least once a month to reach the web by 2017, more than double the estimated 26% who did so last year and the estimated 36% doing so today.

In contrast to some other research firms, eMarketer defines connected TVs as more just smart TVs with native web links. It also sees the category encompassing TV sets hooked up to the Internet through any other means, including online media streaming boxes like Roku and Apple TV, video-game consoles like Xbox, and HDMI streaming sticks such as the Google Chromecast.

Further, eMarketer forecasts that two-thirds (67%) of US Internet users will access the web regularly through some kind of connected TV link by 2017, up from the estimated 45% who can do so now. With the numbers growing rapidly, the research firm expects more than half of Internet users will be accessing the web through their TV sets by sometime next year.

Thanks to such growth trends, eMarketer believes that more than 190 million Americans will be tuning into the web regularly through their TV sets by 2018. That's more than double the 84 million Americans who could do that last year and up notably from the estimated 113 million who could do so now.

Smart TVs will drive part of this growth. eMarketer predicts that the number of US smart TV users will climb from about 38 million last year to nearly 50 million this year, and almost 80 million in 2018, as more set models hit the retail market and the prices of the sets keep dropping.

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Last Click Attribution is Dead, and Web Analysts Need to Take Notice

Last Click Attribution is Dead, and Web Analysts Need to Take Notice | |

Last click attribution is going the way of the dinosaur. It had its time on the planet, but eventually a big meteor plunged down and *poof* no more last click. What is the big cataclysmic event? Quite simply put, the need for data.

We live in a world where multi-channel and omni-channel are common place terms. A world where it takes multiple touch points and brand exposures to convert a prospect. A world where Google researchtells us 3,000 consumers studied took 3,000 different journeys to complete their purchase.

Last click was easy. It was simple. Whatever ad was clicked most recently must have driven the purchase. It’s also the default tracking mechanism in most web analytics tools like Google Analytics and SiteCatalyst. But savvy marketers know its not just the last click that drove the sale. We know that consumers are interacting with multiple ads on multiple devices to complete the sale.

Why does it matter how sales are attributed?

As marketers, we are under constant pressure to maximize our revenue while managing tight budgets. In order to overcome these obstacles, we need to know what channels are working hardest. Last click only gives credit for the last ad a consumer clicked, ignoring their first exposure and anything in between. We wouldn’t understand what marketing campaigns work better for introducing our products, and what works best at closing the sale. Not understanding the complete picture can lead to lost revenue and nobody wants that.

RetailMeNot has made a business out of exploiting last click attribution. Priceonomics does a great job of explaining how RetailMeNot capitalizes on affiliate commissions by getting people to search and click on their ads for coupons. By simply clicking on their link, the consumer is setting a cookie and giving credit to RetailMeNot for the sale – when all they did was have a good SEO campaign for coupons and provided little value to the consumer.

With the last click attribution model, we would think that our affiliate channel is performing well and may pull spend from other channels to better support it. This would be a mistake, would likely lead to a decline in sales.

What are better attribution models?

There are several different attribution models out in the world today. Avinash Kaushik has a great blog post on attribution, if you want to read more. I’m only going to touch on a few that I think are the most useful and practical.

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Marketing Automation is Only The Beginning: How Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence Will Disrupt Marketing Forever

Marketing Automation is Only The Beginning: How Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence Will Disrupt Marketing Forever | |
Marketing automation gives us the ability to maximize the ROI of marketing campaigns and personalize the customer experience, but that is only the beginning.

Marketing automation has the ability to expand the value and impact of your content, capture lead intelligence, improve lead-to-sale conversion rates, drive repeat purchasing, and, most important, enhance the overall customer experience throughout the journey.

Generally speaking, marketing automation takes traditionally manual tasks and automates them. Activities such as contact management, list segmentation, lead scoring and nurturing, A/B testing of website pages and offers, email marketing, and performance measurement and reporting can all be done more efficiently through automation.

Marketing automation is a rapidly growing, multibillion-dollar industry, but it is still in the very early stages, with relatively low adoption rates among businesses in every industry. Venture funding, mergers, and acquisitions are fueling innovation and advances in the space, opening up significant opportunities for marketers who integrate automation tools.

Some of the leading marketing automation players include Act-On (@ActOnSoftware), Eloqua (@Eloqua), HubSpot (@HubSpot), Infusionsoft (@Infusionsoft), Marketo (@Marketo), Pardot (@Pardot), SAS (@SASsoftware), and Silverpop (@silverpop). There are others, but these solutions are a good starting point when evaluating potential partners.

Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence

Marketing automation gives organizations the ability to maximize the ROI of marketing campaigns and personalize the customer experience, but that is only the beginning. 

In 1987, Wall Street trader Thomas Peterffy—a self-taught computer programmer—created a machine that hacked into the world's second-largest stock exchange, the NASDAQ. The computer used NASDAQ data to create and execute trades faster than humans on the exchange floor. 

As detailed in Automate This by Christopher Steiner (@steinerwriter), an imprecise mix of past experience and gut instinct determined the actions of human traders at the time. Peterffy's machine instead used computer logic and vast amounts of data to mint money. No human on The Street could match the speed and insight the computer provided. 

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Ad Impressions Aren’t Enough: Campaigns Need to Drive Action

Ad Impressions Aren’t Enough: Campaigns Need to Drive Action | |

As advertisers, too often we are tasked with creating campaigns that simply need to “be seen by as many people as possible.” The success of the creative product is being measured by the amount of impressions garnered, when in reality the amount of impressions often has little to do with the quality of the creative and more to do with the size of a client’s media budget.

It’s time to stop focusing on creating campaigns that drive impressions, and instead push our creative teams to create ideas that encourage action. From Facebook posts to Tumblr sites to TV commercials to billboards — no idea is too small or too large to encourage action and create digital participation.

So why an action over an impression? Let’s examine both.

An impression is something you see — a billboard, a Facebook ad, or a branded logo on a football field. You may just see it for a split second. You probably don’t think twice about it, unless it is very good. You may, even less likely, tell a friend about it — if you did, kudos to the fantastic creative team behind the campaign, but this doesn’t help anyone measure its success. If you give a friend a glowing recommendation about an impression, that recommendation cannot be tracked, and there is no way of controlling the key message you are getting across to your friend—the bit about the brand or product that may be most relevant to her.

And beyond that, how do you share an impression? How do you pass it on? You can’t easily. And that becomes a problem.

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Is iGRP Dumbing Down Digital?

Is iGRP Dumbing Down Digital? | |

The concept of gross rating point (GRP) originated from TV advertising and it has long been the accepted standard by marketers. However, with the emergence of digital, consumer behavior is shifting sharply from TV to online video. Hence the birth of the iGRP, which utilizes similar reach and frequency metrics but calculated within the netizens' universe. This methodology gave traditional marketers an easy transition from TV to online TV (OTV), and paved the way for significant online pre-roll investments.

However, many digital marketers, especially direct response and search marketers, have criticized the iGRP as dumbing down digital. The argument against iGRP is based on the fact that we have much more data collected from OTV channels compared to traditional TV advertising. Traditional TV data are heavily focused on demographics, which are based on the limited sample size of people meter data. But with digital, we can judge the on target reach based on behavior data such as click-through rate (CTR), or back-end analytics data like bounce rate and time on site.

With new behavioral datasets, digital marketers see the usage of iGRPs as taking quite a step back in measurement. Especially with the emergence of video demand side platforms (DSP) that can serve pre-rolls based on brand-owned demand management platforms (DMP) . This means I should no longer worry about on target reach, because all pre-rolls served using brand owned DMP data should inherently be the target advertising (TA), whether the pre-roll is served through retargeting based on previous website visits, or served through prospecting possible TA based on similar browsing behaviors.

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Online Video Has Created a New Golden Age of Television: Nielsen

Online Video Has Created a New Golden Age of Television: Nielsen | |
Prime time viewing is down, but overall TV viewing is way up. Nielsen looks at the innovations that are changing the way we consume video.

Are we in a new golden age of television? All signs point to yes, says measurement specialist Nielsen, and online video has gotten us there. At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Nielsen vice president of product leadership David Wong explained recent viewing trends that have shaped our viewing habits.

"Young people no longer use physical media. That's not surprising; everybody is streaming," Wong said. "When we actually take a look at video consumption on computers it's grown, almost doubling when you take a look at all different forms of video consumption. This was even downloaded video, but on computers it's gone up by 162 percent. VCRs disappeared. It's not shocking, but it actually was still being used just 5 years ago. The VCR was still being used, and now it's completely gone."

Personalized and mobile options have taken us away from watching live TV, but we're more than making up for it.

"Despite all of this happening, we are seeing decreases in the amount of live television viewing," Wong explained. "The amount of total video consumption is actually going up, so this is an interesting point which is that a lot of people talk about these days as being the golden age of television, and there's a lot of truth to that because despite the fact that people might not be tuning in during prime time, people are watching more television today than they ever have in the past."

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Don't Miss the Digital Transformation in Luxury Brand Marketing

Don't Miss the Digital Transformation in Luxury Brand Marketing | |

Luxury brand marketing traditionally brings to mind glossy fashion spreads in magazines, upmarket events, or celebrity endorsers paid to enhance brand’s desirability factor with their charisma.

The market was long dominated by print, in-store advertising and event marketing but tech-savvy luxury brand consumers are going digital like there’s no tomorrow.

While pure ‘online only’ sales account for 4 percent of the luxury market, according to a study by McKinsey, 20 percent of all luxury sales are now influenced by digital media. At least 70 percent of all luxury goods customers carry a smartphone, opening up new platforms for brands to reach out to them. Over half of all luxury customers use the Internet on their mobiles to carry out product research, hunt for store locations and find the cheapest prices (shhh!) before heading to the showroom.

Luxury brands have taken note of this. The top five spent a combined $22 million on search marketing via Google Adwords in 2013.

Unlike in the past, when an endorsement by Leonardo DiCaprio made Tag Heuer watches the ones to wear, today over 55 percent of all the buzz and desirability around luxury purchases come from a customer’s network of friends and acquaintances on social media.

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The Marketers Taking Programmatic In-House Are Drawing Attention

The Marketers Taking Programmatic In-House Are Drawing Attention | |

The digital ad industry appears to be in the midst of a shift of power when it comes to programmatic trading. A rift has opened as a result of marketers' desire to know more and do more, and suppliers are now catering to marketers that want to take programmatic ad-buying into their own hands.

Yieldr, a display ad tech company, this week announced the launch of Yieldr Enterprise, a platform built specifically for agencies or brands building in-house programmatic ad-buying teams. Yieldr will also educate buyers on how to manage programmatic campaigns.

The announcement is timely in that it comes a few days after Accordant Media, an independent trading desk, also made moves to make programmatic buying easier for the “in-house” crowd, as first reported by AdExchanger. Accordant consolidated its programmatic offerings -- a DMP, a DSP, analytics and reporting -- into one stack, dubbed Accordant ATS.

We released Accordant ATS both as a reaction to marketers' sincere desire to adopt programmatic solutions as well as our sense that agencies are making a mess out of programmatic deployments and point-solution-oriented vendors need to get out of the media sales business,” Arthur Muldoon, co-founder and CEO of Accordant, said to Real-Time Daily.

“Programmatic is 1% to where it is going. We can make the programmatic advertising landscape a much better place for everyone through transparency, control and data activation," stated Tom Triscari, CEO of Yieldr. "The best way to do this is by fostering the growth of in-house programmatic education, knowledge and competency.”

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The Difference Between First, Second, and Third Party Data and How to Use Them

The Difference Between First, Second, and Third Party Data and How to Use Them | |

In managing display advertising campaigns, it’s important to make the most of your budget by taking advantage of all available forms of intelligence about your audience. That way, you can determine how to most efficiently and effectively reach them.

ReTargeter uses three kinds of audience intelligence data to optimize ad campaigns: first, second, and third party. All are important.


First party data is loosely defined as information you yourself have collected about your audience. (The “first party” is you.) In the context of display advertising, first party data is most often cookie-based data, and it can include information gathered from website analytics platforms, CRM systems, and business analysis tools.

In general, first party data is the most valuable data you can collect about your audience, and it becomes a powerful resource when tied to display ad campaign design. Because first party data provides specifics about your already-existing users and customers, it’s the key component of Site retargetingFacebook retargeting, and CRM retargeting.

With first party data, you can target returning customers by leveraging information that you already have about their past purchases and product interests. This strategy is a major element in Amazon’s astonishing success: their personalized recommendations of books and other products are a perfect first party data example. Overall, the more dynamic and personalized the ad, the better the chances for conversion.

First party data is always the most useful and valuable, but eventually you’re likely to find yourself in a position where you want to reach an audience that you don’t have first-hand information about. This is where second party and third party data become useful.



Second party data is essentially somebody else’s first party data. Second party data isn’t usually commoditized, but you can often work out an arrangement with trusted partners who are willing to share their customer data with you (and vice versa). For instance, a high-end watch company might partner with a yacht blog to find new customers, based on demographic overlap. Second party also plays a large role in audience extension and audience targeting.The possibilities are endless, and the key is to seek out, form, and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships.

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Marketers: Make Sure You Get the Audience You're Buying

Marketers: Make Sure You Get the Audience You're Buying | |
Audience data can help drives campaign performance, but is all data created equally? Here are six questions marketers should ask their data providers.

Earlier this year, Winterberry Group released the results of its programmatic survey, which revealed that data-driven marketing will increase 17.1% this year, reaching an astounding $20.6 billion in revenue. Moreover, 91% of marketers expect to deploy audience segmentation over the next two years. But to me this is all contingent on using quality data, a potential weak spot in some parts of the data ecosystem.

There's no doubt that audience data drives campaign performance. But is all data created equally? Apparently not. When we tested an otherwise reputable third-party data provider's gender segments against Shopzilla's fashion audience, the provider said only half of the visitors to our sites -- featuring women's skirts, dresses and handbags -- were in fact women. Our internal data showed otherwise. No wonder marketers are skeptical.

How can marketers ensure that the audiences they buy through programmatic channels really represent their target segments? Here are six questions every marketer should ask their data providers:

1. Do you collect data yourself or aggregate it from other sources?

Companies that collect data directly from consumers have complete control over how their data is classified and scored, and can target by individuals when activating that data in ad campaigns.

When third parties aggregate data from multiple sources, you won't have insight into quality or accuracy. Ultimately, the closer the provider is to its data, the more accurate it will be.

2. How recent is the data?

Recency is a key issue for marketers, especially for performance campaigns, though it is also relevant for branding initiatives. Ask your data provider for the look-back window (length of time that has passed since the consumer took an action that indicates intent) of the audience segment you're considering so you can determine if it's appropriate for your buying cycle.

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Canvas fingerprinting is tracking you, and you don't even know what it is

Canvas fingerprinting is tracking you, and you don't even know what it is | |

Canvas fingerprinting?

Popular, heavily trafficked websites are increasingly turning to “canvas fingerprinting” in order to track your online movements. Canvas fingerprinting is extremely hard to block, hard to detect, and has become a unique identifier that logs your ‘Net history as you jump from site to site without you knowing about it — on desktop and mobile devices.

Adam Kujawa, the head of intelligence at Malwarebytes, said canvas fingerprinting is a step above cookies and is exceptionally complex.

“Canvas fingerprinting is the act of extracting information from a user’s browser and using it paint a semi-unique identifiable token. The method requires the use of HTML5, which is a commonly used standard today, being used from making web apps to games,” Kujawa said.

“By utilizing the built-in canvas features of HTML5 and requesting various operations being made –out of the view of the user — by the browsers instance of HTML5, identifiable information can be extracted.”

Researchers from Belgium’s Ku Leuven University and Princeton University here in the States recently released their report on the tracking tool that comes from a little-known software company in Virginia called AddThis and several others firms, including Canadian-based dating site

The AddThis homepage blares: “Get more traffic with beautifully simple website tools.” (Disclosure: VentureBeat used AddThis in the past, although the tool is not in use on our site now.)

According to the researchers, canvas fingerprinting is in use on over 5,000 of the world’s most trafficked websites, including the White House, porn sites, and others. The researchers of the report put it this way:

“By crawling the homepages of the top 100,000 sites we found that more than 5.5 percent of the crawled sites include canvas fingerprinting scripts. Although the overwhelming majority (95 percent) of the scripts belong to a single provider (, we discovered a total of 20 canvas fingerprinting provider domains, active on 5,542 of the top 100,000 sites.”

You can read the canvas fingerprinting report here. The study is still ongoing.

The shocker for the researchers is that while standard cookies, primarily on desktop, have long tracked your movements, with users being able to opt out with ad-blocking software, canvas fingerprinting actually takes control away from the users and is virtually impossible to detect.

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Disintermediation – The (not so) Secret Agency Dilemma - AudienceScience

Disintermediation – The (not so) Secret Agency Dilemma - AudienceScience | |

Since marketers are beginning to understand and ask questions of the complex digital advertising space (they have to) in a lot more depth and beginning to demand greater transparency to enable them to make more informed, savvy decisions when it comes to digital spend, there has been a lot of talk about the disintermediation of agencies.

It’s true, even for those of us working in the Adtech industry, the impact that technology is having on the development of the media industry is astounding. Does this impact mean that the agencies days are numbered?

As with other industries, the latest trends and even the most advanced technology has a shelf life. But what might be coming is not exactly disintermediation. A more positive way of looking at it is perhaps re-intermediation or even re-volution – because intermediaries are not going away. However the space is saturated and therefore the intermediaries need to be smarter, more streamlined, prove that they can add value rather than complexity by going back to basics and focusing on their core, specialist creative skills.

Looking at the current ecosystem, placement of a single impression might require a planning agency, buying agency, trading desk, DSP, exchange, DMP, SSP, publisher and two ad servers – that’s roughly 10 intermediaries. Miraculously, all mouths get fed and the ecosystem still manages to deliver good ROI.

These intermediaries provide essential functions, but their overheads compound. They all have sales forces, business development, marketing departments and so on. Advertisers find that the place to start looking for savings is the point where all overheads converge: the media agency.

So how did we get here?

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Francesco Canzoniere's curator insight, August 28, 6:13 AM

Old story, new outcomes.

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98x more effective ads? Owned data gives digital ads seeming superpowers

98x more effective ads? Owned data gives digital ads seeming superpowers | |

When it comes to marketing, social is cheapest and ad exchanges help you target the highest-quality consumers, but nothing beats using your own data to improve your digital ad campaigns.

In fact, using your own data makes you up to 98 times better at driving conversions.

Digital identity and data provider Neustar released its second-quarter 2014 digital advertising report today. It’s based on 220 billion digital actions inside 1,800 companies’ campaigns, and if it shows one thing, it’s that data is probably now the single most significant corporate competitive advantage.

“Using offline, first-party CRM data to target advertising dramatically improves effectiveness at driving actions,” the report states.

Entertainment companies that used their own private data to target advertising saw average conversion lift of a staggering almost 10,000 percent — the 98x you see above. Retail companies were only half as good at achieving a similar result, with 5,400 percent or a 55x lift. Telco companies — don’t we love getting marketed to by them — achieved 19x average conversion, or 1,800 percent improvement, by using their data to drive digital marketing campaigns.

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How 'viewability' can save display advertising

How 'viewability' can save display advertising | |
When ads are less about clicking through and more about engaging an audience, then ad content will become less annoying and more interesting.

Display ad bashing is in vogue, but writers who whip up lists of “fascinating”, “mind blowing” or “horrifying” banner ad statistics are looking at the wrong metrics. They’re stuck in a world of click-through rates (CTR), but ad technology is quickly moving towards a world of “viewability.”

Yes, supposedly you’re more likely to get into MIT, birth twins, or survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. And while a lot of these statistics are deceptive bunk, as one Digiday contributor pointed out, banner ads often do have low click-through rates – somewhere between 0.1% and 0.04% by most estimates.

The problem is CTR, the metric itself, not banner or display ads. Most brands don’t care or shouldn’t care who clicks because the experience of viewing is usually more important than the act of clicking. This is why paying by cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is more popular than cost per click (CPC).

The impression model is a source of real problems, though. Brands often overpay for ad impressions (and clicks) because unscrupulous competitors dilute the results using bots that impersonate human web traffic. In fact, fraudulent bot traffic will cost the global display advertising industry $11.6 billion in 2014, according to Solve Media, and no one will get in trouble for it.

If we look at display advertising through CTR and CPM lenses, it does look broken. We can’t generate real conversions without real traffic. Only real people can buy products, register for newsletters, and engage with ads. The way to save display advertising is to evolve from CPC and CPM to measuring viewable impressions. Only viewable impressions can guarantee true engagement and repeatable success.

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Is the strategic planner going to be replaced by the data scientist ?

Is the strategic planner going to be replaced by the data scientist ? | |

Why Madison Avenue is becoming more like Wall Street? 

Wall Street banks and trading firms are known for hiring the smartest mathematicians and computer scientists in the world.

These geniuses develop complex algorithms and use the most advanced technologies to quickly make investment decisions based on vast amounts of data. Every day, billions of dollars are traded using predictive analytics that enable a high degree of accuracy and results.

This real-time, analytics-intensive model is now moving beyond high finance: It’s the future of marketing.

The marketing landscape itself has grown incredibly complex, with the rise of social networks, apps, and mobile technologies adding to the number of ways marketers need to consider in their efforts to reach target audiences. These new technologies unlock tremendous opportunities for highly personalized and targeted marketing, while driving the need for more advanced algorithms and the ability to crunch massive amounts of data quickly to deliver the right message to the right person at exactly the right time.

Adding to the complexity, marketers and developers are now looking for ways to market to consumers in physical stores or other places via mobile devices in real time based on their exact locations.

For example, a consumer products company might send a coupon to a consumer’s smartphone or smartwatch as she walks through a certain aisle in a store, based on her behavior during the visit, or a vendor might send a special offer to a traveler as he makes his way through an airport.

We have reached the tipping point in marketing where speed and precision will win out over traditional marketing approaches. Success or failure of marketing campaigns will be measured in milliseconds. Companies that reach the consumer at just the right time and ahead of the competition will win out. At the same time, marketers must crunch ever-increasing amounts of data to make those decisions.

Recent comments by Walmart’s vice president of marketing, as reported by Advertising Age, provide a clear indication of where marketing is headed. At a recent digital marketing conference, this marketing executive noted that digital ad buying has reached a level of complexity that it now needs to be done programmatically using advanced computer algorithms.

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How Hyperlocal Advertising Changes Everything

How Hyperlocal Advertising Changes Everything | |
The combination of hyperlocal targeting and programmatic exchanges has opened up a whole new world for advertisers.

One of 2014’s biggest trends is the rise of hyperlocal advertising. Hyperlocal, as it’s called in ad tech circles, allows marketers to use a smartphone’s GPS data to geographically target audiences for the purpose of delivering relevant ads.

When you combine this with the ability to purchase ad impressions individually, through programmatic ad platforms that are powered by real-time bidding, marketers now have a cost-effective way to engage their audiences in a manner that matches ads to the context of their physical location.

How Does Hyperlocal Advertising Work?

When a person uses an app on their smartphone, the app may ask for permission to access the location data of the phone. For check-in or dating apps like Foursquare’s Swarm and Tinder, the app is essentially unusable if you do not accept.

For other apps, like Flixster, which allows you to find movies playing nearby, it’s not crucial to enable location sharing, but, it definitely makes the app more useful.

If an app user accepts this location-sharing request, the app will basically be aware of their GPS coordinates at all times. If the app also happens to be supported by ads, it’s highly likely that these coordinates will be passed along to the ad network or ad exchange that sells the ad space to advertisers.

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A Dangerous Question: Does Internet Advertising Work at All?

A Dangerous Question: Does Internet Advertising Work at All? | |
The Internet was supposed to tell us which ads work and which ads don't. But instead it's flooded consumers' brains with reviews, comments, and other digital data that has diluted the power of advertising altogether.

Nineteenth-century retailer John Wanamaker is responsible for perhaps the most repeated line in marketing: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don't know which half."

Today, marketers are grappling with the Wanamaker Paradox: The more we learn which half of advertising is working, the more we realize we're wasting way more than half.

Perhaps you're nodding your head about now. Most people you know don't click online ads. At least, not on purpose. But now research is getting closer to quantifying exactly how few people click on Internet ads and exactly how ineffective they are. It's not a pretty picture. 

The Problem With Search

Take search ads, which have helped Google become the richest advertising company in the history of the world. Search ads are magic, in a way. Throughout history, most ads have been imprecise branding. You're watching TV or reading the newspaper, and you're interrupted by marketing—Samsung's new thing is shiny; Ford F-something-something can drive through dirt; Blah blah blah GEICO—that has the staying power of a snowflake in an oven. But search catches consumers at the moment they're actually looking for something. It shrinks the famous "purchase funnel" to its final stage and gives us tailored answers when we're asking a specific question.

That's the theory, at least. But a new controlled study on search ads from eBay research labs suggests that companies like Google vastly exaggerate the effectiveness of search.

For example, consider what happens when I look up a brand, like Nike. An ad for appears just above an organic link to ...

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Facebook Advertisers Now Know Which Device You're Using To Buy That

Facebook Advertisers Now Know Which Device You're Using To Buy That | |
Facebook has introduced a new "cross-device" reporting system that lets marketers know whether users see their ads on a computer or a phone.

With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to see where someone saw an ad, the device they used, and which device was used when they converted," Facebook said in a statement. 

This marketing magic comes about through a tiny piece of code known as a "conversion pixel" that lets Facebook advertisers track users across multiple devices, Mashable reported.

"Tracking click and conversion data deterministically across devices has confirmed what we know to be true: mobile ads drive commerce everywhere," Josh McFarland, CEO of TellApart, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, said in a blog post quoted by Mashable. "This new reporting from Facebook has been a game-changer in our ability to help clients like Neiman Marcus and Sur La Table correctly value and invest in their mobile ads efforts."

The new feature is intended to show marketers where users first see ads; for example, a Facebook user could view an ad through the site's mobile app and then purchase the item hours later on a PC. According to Facebook, 32 percent of consumers who appear interested in mobile ads purchase something on a desktop computer within a month.

Marketers have long been working toward more detailed analytics to target ads to Internet users, and the ability to distinguish between devices marks the next step.

"The ad industry as a whole is moving increasingly towards more sophisticated attribution modeling," Max Kalehoff, SVP of marketing at the digital ad firm SocialCode, as quoted by Mashable. "An advertiser can be much more effective if she has control over the frequency and placement of messaging to individual people using different devices."

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Programmatic Buying Won't Be Complete Until TV Comes on Board

Programmatic Buying Won't Be Complete Until TV Comes on Board | |
Programmatic ad buying has made the real-time revolution a reality. But true cross-channel marketing won't be complete until TV joins the mix.

There's no question that cross-channel marketing delivers results. And audience-driven programmatic buying has made cross-channel even more powerful. It turns out that planning, buying and running campaigns across channels, platforms and devices really is a more effective way to reach consumers with the right marketing message at the right time.

But I'm afraid it may be a bit too soon to start patting ourselves on the backs. Because there will be no real cross-channel marketing until TV joins the programmatic mix.

Even as marketers have come to appreciate the advantages of data-driven marketing, the absence of TV inventory on programmatic exchanges has left a huge gap in every so-called "cross-channel" marketing plan. TV still accounts for the lion's share of every marketer's budget, yet where ad planning, buying and reporting are concerned, TV remains set in its increasingly antiquated ways.

It's time for TV to assume its rightful place as the linchpin of cross-channel marketing. The potential for true cross-channel marketing is enormous, but won't be realized without access to inventory from the broadcasters, networks and cable companies. Access will lead to insight, allowing marketers to more accurately measure the performance of campaigns and leverage insights from every channel to optimize them.

The technology is there. The same systems that support the automation of display, video, social and mobile will accommodate the buying and selling of TV inventory. Tools like Deal ID are already helping advertisers recognize and measure the impact of buys across channels. Integration of TV into programmatic requires some legwork on the backend, but the framework is in place.

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