With the games in Sochi coming to a close, numbers suggest that online viewership is at an all-time high. According to the Los Angeles Times, Olympics Fans are streaming 54% more digital content than they did during the Vancouver games just four years ago. With so many fans online, Digilant set out to understand what characteristics are indicative of the US Olympics audience. Here’s what we learned.
In general US Olympics Fans are 436% more likely to be interested in sports and they are 152% more likely to be interested in healthy living. They travel 127% more frequently than non-Olympics Fans and are 189% more likely than the average online user to be concerned about the environment. They watch other major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and March Madness and they have kids in their household. They are 73% more likely to be interested in music and the arts, 39% more likely to be business professionals and 47% more likely to be extraverts.
While at dinner with a friend who is a cosmetics brand manager, we started talking about some of the challenges in digital advertising. Mainly he was concerned with the fact that the majority of attribution models in digital media do not accurately measure the effectiveness of the advertising, and therefore it is challenging for him to justify allocating more money to digital.
Given that 85% of clicks for a typical brand campaign come from only 8% of online users, I agreed that we can no longer just look at clicks as a measurement of success in brand campaigns. Similarly for direct response campaigns, I pointed out that we can no longer focus only on the last click or last impression viewed. New attribution models need to be more akin to the current user’s online experience and behaviors.
Some companies are starting to take note, and as such, are shifting their focus to brand lift rather than last click or last impression viewed; however this is just the tip of the iceberg. In order to truly understand the impact of digital, we must look at the full user experience and the path to conversion. This means looking at all touch points, all devices and all influencers, and factoring in each interaction for both online and offline results. I know everyone in the digital space is working towards this goal, and I am confident that we will get to it someday soon. When we do, I believe that my friend will be singing a very different tune.
It’s Valentine’s Day! With the candy-heart Holiday upon us Digilant conducted an analysis of Valentine’s Day shoppers to determine what characteristics make up their online behaviors. Here’s what we found.
Overall Valentine’s Day Shoppers are 1,072% more likely to be in a relationship and 463% more likely to be engaged. They are 375% more likely to know someone in the military and 200% more likely to have an advanced degree. They prefer Apple products, are interested in hiking and are more likely to watch romantic movies than the average online shopper. They are 117% more likely to travel for business and 100% more likely to be trendy homemakers. And when they turn to the radio for some romantic jams this weekend, they are 92% more likely to listen to rock music over other genres.
One of the latest hot buttons in ad tech is bots. Bots are bad. They are web crawlers that disguise themselves as human-driven traffic when in actuality they are being driven by computers. Bots can download web pages and click on ads. When bots generate fake traffic to a site, it increases demand and the publisher generates more impressions. These additional impressions are sold by the botnet operators on ad exchanges at a higher rate. Botnet activity has gained so much attention that the IAB is now working to establish best practices to fight against non-human traffic.
Many platforms refrain from filtering out bots because they increase click and overly simple conversion rates. The process of blocking sites that contain bots is also manual, and therefore expensive.
Digilant actively protects our clients from wasting money and eroding brand equity by algorithmically evaluating sites to reduce the risk of fraud in our inventory. In addition to actively protecting against fraud we make our blacklist results available to our clients at the beginning of a campaign and we offer an additional layer of protection through our partnership with Integral Ad Science or any other ad verification partner.
A surprising outcome of our algorithms is the decision to blacklist, or block, YouTube inventory whenever it is sold by an unauthorized seller. Google only sells YouTube inventory through Google. Yet somehow YouTube inventory appears on almost every SSP. Most of the non-Google YouTube inventory is hijacked by browser plug-ins. Browser plug-ins stuff more ads into a page than Google does and also refreshes ads regularly while a user is watching a video. This behavior is an inferior environment for our advertiser’s and is therefore programmatically blocked by Digilant. If you’re buying inventory on YouTube and other popular domains, Digilant encourages you to examine the seller, so you can take proactive steps to protect your brand.
Consider these two options: 1. Get a great prime rib at your local five-star steakhouse, cooked by an iron chef, for $35; or 2. Get the $9.99 deal at the all-you-can-eat buffet in the strip mall down the street. Which do you choose? I know I’d be going with the five-star steak because I’ll be getting my money’s worth. Sure the $9.99 prime rib is still a steak, but is it a better value?
Let’s apply this analogy to display media where the lowest price often wins the business. Shouldn’t advertisers ask themselves what they are getting when they opt for the lowest price? Are they getting click bot laden conversions for $1.50, or would they be getting highly relevant conversion if they were willing to pay $3.00? These days, a reputable RTB company should be able to provide good enough results – in the form of CPC or CPA – to beat those companies simply charging low CPMs to make a buck. And like steak, not all impressions are created equal, no matter how attractive that $1.50 CPM might be on the menu. Advertisers should consider the real cost to get in front of the right user.
No, I’m not saying that every media plan should contain higher CPMs, banking on the hope that premium impressions will be more effective. I’m saying that the media planner that digs deeper than the most superficial portion of a proposal – the price – will create more value for their clients. It takes a level of guts, because it’s never an easy proposition to suggest going with the higher-quality option, but I urge planners and buyers to do just that. Let’s get out of the strip mall buffet world and move into the iron chef one.
More years ago then I care to remember, I entered the publishing business where I sold ad space for the leading electronics trade publication in the world. My boss at the time taught me that in order to gain a position of strength within a market; one must gain a wholly accurate understanding of what is going on within every market they serve. He explained that once you know what makes a company move up or down as a business, you can tailor your sales pitch to them specifically. Knowing the market is how my company at the time established our clients and served their business interests, which led us down the path to success.
Although much has changed since my time in publishing, one thing remains fundamental in marketing; the value of knowing one’s target audience. The more you know about your target audience’s decision making processes, the closer you can get to them when they are actively seeking to procure new products and services.
The internet has opened new doors in terms of getting to know one’s target audience because its infrastructure sits upon vast amounts of data that can tell us about a user’s behaviors and interests. Digilant makes it possible for B2B marketers to utilize this data as a basis for identifying companies and their collective interests. These insights ultimately allow for predictive analytics which can then be shaped into business outcomes for marketers. Digilant has the technology to create a new commercial highway of two way traffic between the buyer and the seller so that B2B marketers can finally know what resonates with their best customers and prospects.
With nearly 47% percent of consumers planning to do their Holiday shopping online according to eMarketer, and an estimated $61.8 billion in online spending between November and December 2013 (up more than 15% since 2012), retailers have the largest opportunity in Holiday shopping history to reach consumers via digital channels.
Beyond being the largest opportunity, it’s also the most important. Retailers must succeed in Q4 to maintain or gain market share, and transition from the red to the black. Luckily programmatic media buying and real-time bidding can help, offering a way for marketers to extend the cost effective reach of their digital media plans through audience segmentation, targeting and real-time valuation of online impressions. If you’re not currently leveraging the capabilities of programmatic media here are some reasons why you should consider it:
Programmatic: a buzzword that will likely follow those of us in the ad tech industry well into our future careers. But what is it? Mike Shields, at AdWeek, today tackles the question in an article titled Programmatic for Dummies. Mike and his contributors don’t actually come to a consensus on what programmatic is because the industry has skewed the term, but they do agree on one thing; that programmatic is here to stay. In fact, eMarketer estimates that by 2017 the programmatic media space will quadruple to $8.7 billion marketplace. But how can a growing marketplace lack a clear definition?
Digilant recently defined programmatic media in a white paper Navigating Planet Ad Tech, published in conjunction with MIT Technology Review.
“Programmatic buying is the automated buying of online advertising across the web, targeting specific audiences, often in real time. The term programmatic reflects the intended workflow improvements of automation. Programmatic buying enables impression by impression based buying as offered by automated marketplaces as opposed to the bundling of impression in CPM or thousands of impressions blocks. Prices may be determined by an algorithm, or pre-determined based on specified criteria.
[Conversely programmatic selling] is the automated selling of a publisher’s online inventory, usually ad space that was previously unsold; ramped up for audience buying with the help of first and third party data. It usually takes place through RTB, but not always. There is also some use of private marketplaces in programmatic selling which, although automated, still allows for one-to-one communication between publishers and advertisers.”
To learn more download the white paper for free here.
With nearly 100 million online advertising opportunities daily and nearly 6 trillion ads served in 2012 on a variety of platforms including display, mobile, social and video, digital advertising has become more complicated than ever to plan and buy. Along with the daunting number of advertising possibilities also comes an unfathomable amount of data.
Luckily advertising technology emerged in 2007, making the task of advertising online more efficient by providing a way for marketers to analyze, target and value online audiences in real time. However, the ad tech sector’s rapid growth and breadth of offerings turns out to be another challenging task for marketers, as they seek to understand the capabilities, differentiators and benefits of each of the players in the marketplace.
This guide offers a simple explanation of the players involved in ad technology, and it outlines their value propositions, business models and histories so that as a marketer, you feel confident in your choice to engage in planning and buying digital media using advertising technology.