Pivoting Through Acceleration : The Value Of Data

Entrepreneurs are tested as their start up grows up “the hockey stick”, from initial concept to full execution.  They must be able to pivot, changing from sole contributor to team leader.

And through that metamorphosis, their reliance on data increases.  Data, like revenue, is oxygen for businesses.  From pipeline bottlenecks, to revenue forecasting, to funding valuations, data drives everything.

Here’s a great article on just a few ways data is important.

Source: Entrepreneur.com

Your Favorite (Former) Politician Might Be Selling Access To Your Data

In the world of high power politics, marketing is king.  And the foundation of that marketing is the CRM file.  Who donated, how much, and when?  This just the tip of the data iceberg that sophisticated campaigns collect.

This data is used to power all aspects of the campaigns, from direct mail to digital campaigns to the door to door ground campaign.

And after a campaign ends?  What happens to the voter data?  It’s rented to other candidates, of course (using a trusted third party, of course).

You can read more about the “ins and outs” of political campaign marketing in the articles sourced below.

Sources:  AdExchanger, AdAge

FCC Proposes Sweeping Privacy Changes

On the heels of reclassifying broadband providers under last year’s net neutrality regulations changes, the FTC recently proposed sweeping changes to broadband privacy requirements.

“The plan would require broadband providers to obtain consumer consent, disclose data collection, protect personal information and report breaches. Broadband providers currently collect consumer data without consent and some use that data for targeted advertising, which has drawn criticism from privacy advocates.” – noted Entrepreneur.com.

Giving proper notice and choice is a self imposed standard for the digital marketing industry.  As seen with the AdChoices standard, consumers need to be notified that they are receiving a targeted advertisement and have the option to opt-out of the targeting.  Ironically, the AdChoices opt out is managed through a cookie – and this opt-out is only valid as long as the consumer maintains the AdChoices opt-out cookie.

Presumably broadband providers will enable a similar notice and choice system, though likely system wide rather than ad specific.

These changes apply to broadband providers like Verizon and AT&T, but do not apply to Google, Twitter, nor Facebook.

The proposal goes to a vote on March 31, 2016.

Source:  Entrepreneur.com

Newsweek Drops Its Paywall, Sort of…

Following in the footsteps of The Sun, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Financial Times, Newsweek has decided to remove its paywall.  It will still offer digital subscriptions, giving paid subscribers access to premium digital content and early access to monthly issues before non-subscribers.

This move is not entirely surprising.  With topical news content freely available through numerous media channels, paywalls represent a significant barrier to entry.  Digital publishers struggle with the delicate balance between driving traffic with free content, versus monetizing premium subscriber-only content.  If they make it too difficult to access content that can easily be found elsewhere, overall revenue (whether through subscription or ad revenue) will fall.

Newsweek is looking to take at least one page out of Netflix’s playbook.  Netflix creates its own custom content, designed to keep subscribers coming back month after month.  Netflix is betting that just a few “favorite” shows could be enough to justify a sub ten dollar subscription fee, every month. While topical news isn’t as unique as entertainment content, Newsweek’s ability to sustain subscription revenues rest heavily on their ability to deliver unique content worth paying for.

Another option would be to increase revenues from non-subscriber traffic.  Offering programmatic segments, reselling behavioral data segments, or optimizing free content in real time based upon advertiser demand are just a few options to increase advertising supply revenues.

In any case, Time (or Newsweek) will tell.

Source: AdAge

Facebook Offers Businesses Insights On Nearby Shoppers

A feature launched on Facebook last November is starting to get the attention of small businesses.  Facebook now allows businesses to gain important insights into the people who frequent the area around them.  These summarized insights are updated daily, and provide several “look back” window options.

This tool has broad implications beyond simply advertising on Facebook.  Marketers and commercial realtors can use this data to better determine where to open retail locations.  Pop-up stores and mobile retailers (think: food trucks) can use this data to determine the optimal time and place to “set up shop”.  Combined with other partners (think: Uber, ClearChannel, Lamar) this data could help identify demand for future services, or target out of home advertising , in a manner which respects the privacy of the consumer.

Source: AdAge

Location Based Advertising Hits Home

Last February Vibes launched Mobile Wallet, a clever solution which leverages the location power of Apple Wallet / Google Pay to remind consumers of a brand based upon the consumer’s location.

Consumers are given the option to save a mobile ad to their mobile device.  When the customer find themselves in proximity of the advertiser’s brick n’ mortar retail location, they are “reminded” of the ad … using the same technology airlines use to surface your boarding pass to your phone’s home screen as you enter the airport.

The coupon like nature of the Mobile Wallet Ad also provides for advanced post campaign analytics.  With Apple exiting the advertising business, Vibes should have little concern about this becoming a built in advertising functionality for the iPhone.

Source:  AdExchanger

Advertising Analytics 2.0 … We’re Still Not There

In March 2013, the Harvard Business Review published this article on the ‘next generation” of Advertising Analytics.  It discusses the challenges “Advertising Analytics 1.0”, which relies heavily on last click attribution (which gives credit to the sale to the last action that the consumer took, and discredits / undervalues higher funnel channels that lead to consumer awareness) and lauds the coming of Advertising Analytics 2.0.

Yet while marketers now have access to more data than ever, enabling them to perform more sophisticated measurement and analytics, relatively few are taking full advantage of this data.   Even fewer truly understand how the data powers the results.  Ubiquitous tools have made the task of performing true multi-channel analysis easier, but they still require knowledgable data scientists to understand, validate, and translate the results.  I stress validation because simply blindly accepting the results from a third party solution, that may or may not take into account the nuances of a marketers business, is common and to be blunt simply lazy.  Results must be challenged and tested against future campaigns.  This “wash-rinse-repeat” process of always challenging the results of advertising analysis is arduous, but necessary to ensure that the data is interpreted accurately.

Fortunately, the data assets necessary to perform these sophisticated analysis continue to become more readily available – allowing marketers armed with the proper knowledge and tools to get closer to answering the holy grail question : “which 50% of my marketing is really driving sales”.

Apple Discontinues iAd Network

Apple announced that it is discontinuing its iAd Network (though as of this published date, the main website for iAd was still up and running).  iAd *was* a native ad network within apps running on Apple devices, allowing advertisers to reach new consumers, and publishers to earn valuable ad dollars.

Along with this, the iAd sales team will be disbanded.  In lieu of the iAd platform, Apple will be shifting to a (yet to be announced) more automated publisher focused platform.  Publishers are the big winners here; for now they’ll keep 100% of the ad revenue.


2015’s AdTech Consolidation Forecasts Further Changes

Revisiting 2015 and The Year Ahead

Those paying attention in 2015 saw a continuation of the acquisitions and consolidations of major ad tech players, though at a much more tempered pace.

The long term impact of this activity is that advertisers now have fewer choices which offer arguably more complete end-to-end marketing solution encompassing the full cycle of cross channel marketing (planning / modeling / targeting-execution / measurement-attribution).

As advertisers continue to move towards building customized in-house ad tech stacks, their ability to support these built-in-house solutions with services provided in part by third party service provider solutions is diminishing.   Where an advertiser used to be able to “plug and play” numerous solutions into their in-house solution, those choices are now limited.

On the flip side, for advertisers without the means nor desire to build their own solutions, this shift offers a less confusing landscape with single source providers addressing all of their advertising needs.

Agencies face a different challenge, as the growth of options and commoditization of services puts pressure on their role as gatekeepers to media execution.

None of these changes will result in a binary switch from one methodology to another.  They rather point towards a continued slow evolution of the industry in the coming year, as we continue to “figure it out”.

Source: AdExchanger