Yield Management Isn’t Just for Ad Operations Anymore
Tracking and managing ad inventory is as critical as it’s ever been for online publishers, but the concept of yield management has expanded beyond the ad operations group and today touches every part of a successful online media operation. It has become essential that all areas of a publishing organization have accurate and meaningful data points to make decisions to optimize ad inventory and maximize revenue. Let’s look at how effective yield management can benefit the various departments at an online publisher:
This is the nerve center for driving delivery for all those campaigns that the sales group has worked so hard to bring in. But just delivering isn’t enough. The ad operations team must have a clear vision of actual inventory on a real-time basis to ensure they don’t hold back too much inventory. This prevents under delivery, a practice that leaves money on the table for many publishers. Ad operations also has to manage their most valuable inventory and make sure premium impressions are monetized in the most effective manner. Having an effective yield management process allows ad operations to maximize the value of their inventory before it gets released to networks and exchanges or, even worse, goes unsold.
Read More: YieldEx
Yahoo! Begins Requiring Right Media Seats for Demand-Side Platform’s Advertisers
The other shoe appears to be falling.
If you’re a demand-side platform or ad network on Right Media Exchange, you may not be allowed to buy Yahoo! Class 2/remnant inventory on behalf of your client unless your advertiser gets its very own seat on RMX. (Having an advertiser get its own seat is not easy on RMX. It requires time, money – and approval.)
According to multiple, reliable sources, that’s the latest directive from Right Media account managers who began telling some of their DSP/network clients that they will have until December 2 to migrate their advertisers. Thereafter, the display ad inventory “valve” containing Yahoo! inventory which leads directly to the DSP, will be turned off.
As All Things D’s Peter Kafka reported two weeks ago, retargeters such as TellApart, Criteo and Dotomi have already had their “Class 2″ inventory (Yahoo! remnant display ads) shut off. This week’s move isn’t a huge surprise given the demand-side platform model is essentially the same between retargeters, DSPs and ad networks.
Read More: AdExchanger
TidalTV Taps Korrelate For Offline Sales
Advertisers and publishers are still struggling to connect online marketing messages with offline sales, which could boost demand and prices for online ads. To this end, online video ad platform TidalTV is tapping Korrelate for sales attribution using its census-based O2O (online-to-offline) measurement service.
The O2O service, which so far is focused on automotive purchases, is based on non-identifying data received from third parties about the past behavior of a user’s Web browser, based on the Web pages visited.
This data is used to put group users into segments, which are then targeted with relevant advertising. It is combined with offline data to determine ad effectiveness. The offline consumption information is drawn from RL Polk’s household-level make and model purchase data from vehicle registrations.
This method is sensitive to privacy concerns, according to Korrelate, because it doesn’t require any identifying information about the viewer, and no offline data can be tied back to an individual online user.
Read More: MediaPost
Will IBM Crush Madison Avenue?
You might dub these last few months the Summer of IBM.
On July 21, IBM announced its launch of an analytics suite for marketers and advertisers. Just over two weeks later, on Aug. 3, IBM announced its completed acquisition of Web site analytics company Coremetrics. On Aug. 13, IBM announced plans to acquire marketing technology company Unica for $480 million.
We’re currently living through a complete transformation of the media buying landscape. Not just IBM, but a slew of major IT and intelligence companies are entering the media planning business. If I were a CEO of a Madison Avenue media buying business, I’d be losing sleep. I’d also take a page from Adobe’s playbook (which I’ll explain later).
With media buying increasingly an area that relies on precise analytics, rich data and sophisticated technology, it was only a matter of time before IT and intelligence businesses joined the media-buying field. And it isn’t just IBM that’s joining the fray. In early January, Cisco led the $27.5 million series C funding of Quantcast, an online audience targeting technology. Meanwhile, Accenture participated in last October’s $31 million funding for advertising optimization technology Adchemy, and purchased assets from consumer buying behavior technology CadenceQuest.
Far from a shift of focus of one company alone, we’re seeing the IT and business intelligence communities enter media buying en masse. You get a sense of how serious this challenge is when you compare war chests. With IBM’s market cap around $160 billion, Cisco’s close to $120 billion, and Accenture’s around $27 billion, each of these companies dwarf even the largest advertising holding company. Omnicom’s market cap holds around $11 billion, for instance; IPG stands around $4.4 billion. The media holding companies are the David’s to the challengers’ Goliath.
But capital is only part of the issue. What’s more critical is the issue of DNA. Media buying came of age when most media plans incorporated relatively few buys across a limited number of distinct, disconnected media channels. The concept of cross-platform analytics was completely foreign, the chief skills media buyers needed were strategic planning and price negotiation — and media planning largely played second fiddle to the advertising businesses’ creative shops.
Today, that’s all changed. Media buys are extremely fragmented, deeply intertwined and highly accountable-making it increasingly critical to apply sophisticated analytics to every media plan. Meanwhile, between DSPs and new platforms launching every day, coders are becoming as critical to the media-buying landscape as media buyers and even creatives.
And in an era when media buying revolves around analytics and technology, Cisco and Big Blue have huge advantages over Omnicom and WPP. Which is why Madison Avenue CEOs have real reason for concern.
How should Madison Avenue face the current challenge? My suggestion is to take a page from the Adobe playbook-and to think seriously about Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture last October.
Read More: AdWeek
DSP + RTB: A Breakable Bond
The concept of a demand-side platform (DSP) I understand and the concept of real-time bidding (RTB) I also understand. What I do not understand is the unbreakable bond between the two.
It seems to me that the idea of a DSP was not powerful enough, nor was it innovative enough to stand alone, and so DSPers had to link them together to make a “powerful,” “new” technology and service. This enabled them to proclaim the “death” of the ad exchange (and maybe the ad network as well) and allowed them to create a buzz that will occupy us all (the online advertising industry) for a long time to come.
DSP + RTB is far from being a game-changer in the online advertising industry. A DSP service can be achieved without having to use RTB, and RTB can be used by ad exchanges and networks with equal success for the right media. I will strengthen this theory through a broken down analysis of the basic offerings and characteristics of a DSP.
Read More: Adotas
AdMeld Names Jason Kelly Chief Media Officer
Ad optimization technology provider AdMeld on Tuesday named Jason Kelly as chief media officer.
Most recently, Kelly served as VP of strategy and revenue management at Time Inc. Digital. At AdMeld, Kelly will oversee global relationships with demand and data partners, as well as lead strategic publisher projects.
AdMeld is one of many startups competing to help publishers better manage all the ad networks they can now choose from to sell leftover ad impressions. As Kelly sees it, AdMeld is in the business of helping publishers “manage and sell their inventory programmatically, analyze and package their audiences, and optimize impressions across the Web and mobile.”
For a share of earned ad revenue, AdMeld — along with rivals like The Rubicon Project, Pubmatic — factor in pricing data, available inventory, and publisher guidelines to determine which ad network is sent an ad impression.
Late last year, AdMeld reported doubling the size of its client base since June. More recent additions include AccuWeather.com, Answers. com, Billboard.com, Daily Kos, Hearst Television, The New York Post and Time Out New York.
Read More: MediaPost
The Rise Of Real-Time Bidding Is The Biggest Online Advertising Story Of 2010
AdMeld, a New York City based ad inventory optimizer, just closed on a $15 million round of venture funding, in the latest sign that the real-time bidding (RTB) market for display advertising is on fire. Last month, Google paid a reported $70 million for demand-side platform Invite Media. And just a few weeks ago, brand safety startup AdSafe, which will increasingly work with RTB platforms, raised $7.5 million. The rise of RTB is the biggest story of 2010 in online advertising, and has been written about extensively in ad industry publications. But people outside of advertising don’t seem to know anything about it.
Read More: BusinessInsider
A Peek Inside the M&A Playbooks of Technology’s Top Acquirers
Last night a group of M&A gurus from the corporate development teams at top tech acquirers Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco, Facebook and Twitter gathered to share insights into their business with a group of startups at a fancy-pants Los Altos Hills, Calif. mansion. Though Facebook and Google might have been the most notable active acquirers lately, everyone on the panel said they are out shopping. They each have a bit of a different style, and a bit of a different target startup. Below are the most notable bits from each participant:
Google‘s Amin Zoufonoun said that he looks at three types of acquisitions: a proven product and team, an uncertain big bet, or market and tech leadership (like YouTube and DoubleClick). He said recent acquisitions by Google and other companies like Apple point to the fact that mobile is not a core part of the DNA of many tech giants. As for advice, he warned startups that they always underestimate how long it takes to close an acquisition; for Google, deals usually take three to four months. As for areas he’s interested in, Zoufonoun said he thinks music is overhyped (an interesting comment given Google is reportedly looking to make a play in this space), and mobile user interfaces are underhyped.
Cisco‘s Derek Idemoto talked up the value of post-acquisition integration. His company has been incredibly acquisitive, with 140 deals in the last 20-odd years. Idemoto bragged that 75 percent of acquired employees are still at Cisco after four years. He said he thinks video is underhyped, and that he’s particularly interested in data. “The most, and most relevant data might win,” he explained.
Read More: Gigaom.com
Why Agencies Must Lead The Technology Charge
Countless articles have been written in recent years putting agencies in the hot seat to adapt their business models or die. Why? Never-ending budget cuts and the digitization of the marketing landscape have produced two key trends currently threatening the livelihood of the traditional agency:
- Media has become digital, multi-channel, multi-platform, and decentralized. These elements are forcing media publishers to be more creative in how inventory is packaged and sold (e.g., bundling offers cross channels from print, online, to mobile). Furthermore, media companies are tired of losing revenue to agencies for the production of creative assets and are thus building and buying their own capabilities in house.
- Innovations in technologies, from brand monitoring, audience targeting, and media planning and buying technologies, to social media and mobile content solutions, drive when and how brands connect with consumers. Many of these technologies are being developed outside of the agency ecosystem.
Read More: iMediaConnection