Archive for “November, 2014”

Five Things A DSP Should Look For In A Mobile Ad Exchange

In a market crowded with options, choosing a mobile ad exchange can be an overwhelming task.

Integrating with a mobile ad exchange extracts significant resources from both the DSP and the exchange itself so it’s important to research an exchange’s available features—and determine their value to your organization—before committing that investment. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare to integrate with a mobile ad exchange:

1. Unique Inventory

Many exchanges that offer significant volume are simply reselling inventory from other networks and exchanges, offering low converting, low quality impressions that are rarely first-look. The key when choosing an exchange, then, is quality over quantity. Private exchanges are an excellent place to start when vetting exchanges; they tend to attract exclusive, first-look inventory by offering publishers substantial control over their CPM floors, allowing them to whitelist advertisers and demand partners, and providing enhanced ad quality controls.

2. Scale

After isolating exchanges with unique inventory, you still have to consider volume. If an exchange can’t offer the volume necessary to meet your customers’ campaign goals, the integration will be a waste of time and resources. Before vetting exchanges, take stock of your campaign goals and available resources to better target your search. Then, seek exchanges whose inventories are varied and plentiful across ad formats, locations, and verticals.

3. High-Converting Formats

Not all ad formats are created equal and nowhere is that more true than in the mobile ecosystem.  Banners can offer great scale but tend to be disruptive to the user experience and lend themselves to accidental clicks. In order to achieve your advertisers’ campaign goals, look for exchanges that offer high-converting ad formats such as full-screen interstitials, video and retina ads in all forms. As mobile usage shifts significantly in favor of apps, exchanges that offer higher-converting in-app inventory are preferable to those that deploy solely on the mobile web. Additionally, choose an exchange that offers strong downstream metrics for app installation, purchase, sign-up, download, and any other metric that your organization deems valuable.

4. A True Programmatic Solution

Programmatic is the hot topic in the ad tech community. But while many exchanges try to capitalize on its trendiness by claiming to offer programmatic solutions, beware: some of these exchanges have simply rebranded their standard buying solutions via ad tags presenting them as programmatic. Look for exchanges that offer real-time bidding (RTB) integrations to capitalize on the ease and scale of programmatic buying. Additionally, choose an exchange that follows OpenRTB protocol for standardization and ease of integration.

5. Best-in-Class Support

While a self-service platform can be enticing for its ease of use, a high-quality (and eminently available) support team makes all the difference when it comes to optimizing. High touch support allows DSPs to get all the help they need while troubleshooting, optimizing, and honing their bidding strategy. Best-in-class support solutions go one further, providing better insights into the bidding landscape as well as identifying emerging high converting inventory. Remember: programmatic doesn’t mean removing the human element. Nothing beats real live human support from qualified technical professionals.

Focusing your search for a mobile ad exchange helps eliminate trial and error and allows you to take advantage of the exciting cutting edge options available to your organization. Good luck making your (informed) jump into this powerful integration.

Yahoo In Talks To Buy Video Ad Platform BrightRoll For Around $700M

Yahoo has been building up its video and video advertising content, and we have heard that it may make another key acquisition in the area to further raise its game. The company is in talks to acquire BrightRoll, the cross-platform digital video advertising service.

TechCrunch has heard that term sheets have been signed, and that the price, if the deal is completed, could be anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion, but looks likely to be in the region of $700 million – $725 million.

Yahoo is currently under pressure from activist investor Starboard Value to consider a breakup and/or sale of the company. This could potentially have an impact on negotiations. Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL — Starboard’s target for a merger — earlier today said that a Yahoo sale does not figure as part of AOL’s future plans.

Were a BrightRoll acquisition to go through, you can see Yahoo’s logic: BrightRoll is a strong competitor against the likes of Google and its leading online video property YouTube when it comes to video ad volumes and attracting publishers and advertisers.

BrightRoll’s platform — which works across web, mobile and connected TV devices — acts as an intermediary and service for both advertisers and publishers. Advertisers plan, target, optimise and report digital video ad campaigns, while publishers plug BrightRoll ad inventory into their content.

Its platform is one of the biggest of its kind: “#1 in ads served and largest reach to unique video viewers,” according to comScore in June 2014, and as pointed out by BrightRoll itself. The company works with 25 of the top 50 publishers, and 85 of the top 100 advertisers.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is in a period of change. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company has made more than 30 acqui-hires of smaller startups to bring more talent to the company, in part to build out a stronger mobile business. But according to a report in the WSJ, Yahoo, now flush with post-IPO Alibaba cash, will shift its acquisition strategy.

Going forward, Yahoo’s acquisitions will be more in the Tumblr model: focusing on companies that build up Yahoo’s product and revenue-generating muscle. That’s crucial, given that the company has seen several recent quarterly sales declines.

BrightRoll — estimated in 2013 to be “easily doing over $100 million in revenue” and a clear video play that could help monetise Yahoo’s long-term ambition to grow and make money from its video content — could fit the bill.

According to CrunchBase, BrightRoll has raised just over $40 million from investors that include Adams Street Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Comerica Bank, True Ventures, Trident Capital, KPG Ventures, Michael Tanne, Fabrice Grinda, Auren Hoffman and Jeff Clavier.

BrightRoll CEO Tod Sacerdoti would comment for this story. We have reached out to Yahoo for a comment and will update if we get a response.

Facebook Launching Major Ad Network

Facebook will be launching out a major new ad network, which will allow them to display advertisements throughout the web, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. This launch is a long time in coming, and will put them in a position to directly compete with Google when it comes to being the ad network of choice for millions of businesses and marketers. While there are few details available, the network is supposed to offer access to ad spots across the web and on multiple platforms. The demand side platform will allow bidding on impressions on thousands of third party sites, just like Google’s Display Network. Facebook is obviously going to be interested in pulling at least a portion of the $13.2 billion that Google made from their non-search ads.. Another major point of interest that people are talking about regarding Facebook’s ad network is that it will likely not use cookies. Instead, it will track user information through their Facebook account itself. This will allow Facebook to use all the existing data they have on users, as well as additional browsing data that they collect, in order to provide the most targeted advertisements possible. According to the article in the Wall Street Journal, this new network should be launched sometime next week. There will, undoubtedly, be a lot more information available about it from Facebook when it does launch. Whenever it happens, this is something all marketers will need to keep a very close eye on as it could potentially be an extremely powerful tool

Taking The Next Step: Launching Your Mobile Advertising Campaign

The increasing use of mobile devices, mobile web, advancement of network technologies, and multiple advertising platforms, creates new opportunities in the advertising market. Gartner expects global mobile advertising spending to reach $18 billion this year, up from the estimated $13.1 billion in 2013. By 2017 it’s projecting the market will have sized up to be worth $41.9 billion.

As the mobile industry grows, marketing and advertising budgets are also increasing year-over-year to promote products and services to a highly targeted customer-base. However, it is important to take a strategic approach to your mobile advertising initiatives.

Below you will find a baseline to help you get started on your new campaign.

  • Keep it simple: In the transition from desktop to mobile, the classic banner ad has shrunk to 300×50, a tiny ad unit that does nothing to optimize the ad experience to mobile. As such, your mobile ad has only a limited window of opportunity to get through to your audience. This means that your mobile ads need to focus on a single message. Don’t try to cram too much text or any complicated images into your in-app banner ads. Keep it simple. One message at a time.
  • Understand your customers’ mobile lifecycle: Mobile ads are useful because brands can collect a lot of information about how consumers are interacting with the ad. For example, whether people are clicking on your ads (or not) and more importantly what are they doing beyond the click to build a deeper engagement with your brand.  You can then use these events to better re-target customers and target similar customers (look-a-likes).  The best thing about mobile is the ability to have at the very moment targeting: right time, right place and right device.  The promise of hyper-local targeting is a huge benefit of mobile advertising.
  • It’s all about Personalization: One of the best ways to boost your mobile advertising campaign is to focus on adding value at every touch point.  Also with the increased focus on brand building ads, video and native ads you can really create a dynamic and powerful customer experience. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to add value to your customers’ lives. Sometimes providing useful content such as a white paper or informational video can be enough to start a relationship.
  • Test, measure, optimize, and repeat: One reason mobile ads don’t have to “do it all” is because it’s easy to create multiple versions and multivariate test them to see which works best. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes marketers make is not having developers test their ads. Experiment with different offers, different creative designs, and different messages. See what works best. You might be surprised – the message your team thought was clever may not resonate with customers. Sometimes even a simple change in text, design or details of your offer can pay huge dividends.  Let the performance results speak for you and allow you to make powerful data driven decisions quickly to achieve your KPIs.

At the end of the day, it’s probably not fair for marketers to expect mobile ads to “do it all.” The real question is, “how can you make sure that your mobile ads are doing enough?” By taking a personalized approach, with one specific behavior you’re trying to impact, and testing its effectiveness, you’ll find the right way to get big results from your small screen advertising.