April 2, 2014

It’s the Hap, Hap, Happiest Season of All…Baseball Season!

If you’re in and around Boston this time of year you can smell it; you can feel it; the feeling of baseball is back! Heck, if you’re in any city Baseball season is exciting. With most major league baseball teams kicking off their season’s sometime this week, Digilant was excited to learn how baseball fans differed from the general population.

We learned some interesting things…like did you know baseball fans are 595% more likely than the general population to be interested in Porsche brands, 421% more likely to be NASCAR fans, 389% more likely to be Patriotic Americans, 342% more likely to be interested in fiber cereal and 325% more likely to remodel their homes within the next two years?

I’m picking up on a few themes, aren’t you? Fast cars, flags, Wheaties and now I may understand why Lumber Liquidators adorns every ballpark from East to West.  Let’s play ball!


March 18, 2014

Taking a Trip for Spring Break? Turns Out Your Destination May Indicate Your Net Worth and Online Interests

With the long awaited break upon us, Digilant was curious to understand where the majority of vacationers were headed for Spring Break, 2014. Not to our surprise our analysis of online users uncovered two distinct audience segments: Affluent Families and College Students. According to the data these two groups not only demonstrate different online interests, but they are heading in different directions to enjoy some fun in the sun.

In terms of travel, affluent families are 18,745% more likely to travel to Honolulu, Hawaii and college students are 10,418% more likely to travel to Tampa, Florida. Other top travel destinations for affluent families include San Diego, Los Cabos, The Bahamas and Orlando. The top destinations for college students include Phoenix, Cancun, Las Vegas and Miami.

Affluent families are 752% more likely to have a net worth between $250-500k, while college students are 441% more likely to have a net worth less than $1. Affluent families are also more likely to be in market for luxury automobiles, interested in art and scuba diving while college students are more likely to buy frozen foods, rent an apartment or home and participate in online dating. Surprisingly both groups – students and affluent families – are interested in eating healthy.

February 20, 2014

Olympics Fans Are Concerned About the Environment, Extroverted and Interested in Healthy Living

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.

February 19, 2014

Adjusting Attribution: Moving Beyond Clicks

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.

February 13, 2014

Who Are Valentine’s Day Online Shoppers? Digilant Breaks It Down Just In Time for the Holiday

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.

January 29, 2014

Comparison: Audience Characteristics of Football Fans Online

Leading up to the Super Bowl we thought it would be fun to take a look at the differences between Super Bowl and Fantasy Football Fans online. Here’s what we found. 



January 21, 2014

When You Should Consider Blocking Popular Domains Like YouTube

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.




December 16, 2013

Should CPM Be Your Decision Factor When Selecting a Real-Time Bidding Partner?

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.

November 21, 2013

In B2B Marketing Nothing Beats Knowing

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.

November 18, 2013

Five Reasons Why Retailers Should Consider Programmatic Media This Holiday Season

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:

  1. Leverage your proprietary customer data including loyalty information, purchase history and behavioral data to create a truly customized online strategy that is unique to your brand or product.
  2. Enrich your existing offline data via proprietary analysis to discover new media opportunities that help you fill the funnel with valuable prospects.
  3. Access 95% of the internet audience, including 170 billion mobile and tablet impressions monthly, via one partner.
  4. Expand the cost effective reach of your publisher buys by defining custom lists of millions of contextually relevant and brand appropriate webpages.
  5. Assign data based values to every attribute of your Holiday campaign to increase the efficiency of your buy.