Guilt by Association


The great thing about the internet is that it removes the gatekeeper from the communication equation opening the channels to all.  How ideal. Unfortunately, it also reveals the value of an editor especially when malevolent forces find their way into the system.

For those of us in the digital advertising space, the concern about our ads popping up in a fake news site or next to a racist headline has got to be real.  A brand is not likely to want its image associated with that kind of content.  It’s of particular concern for programmatic buying because its natural function is to set back the human element, to remove another set of eyes.

Known offenders can be blocked, but it is a one-at-a-time proposition and one that is often done after the fact – after the brand has been connected visually with the offender and it’s reported.   It is much harder to protect against these things in open forums such as Facebook and Google that have a tough time vetting stories for truthfulness given that both were developed by idealistic folks who did not foresee the bad guys coming.  Now they are struggling to find ways to insert editors or algorithms back into the open process.

2017 promises to the year when the forces of good will begin to adjust to this unwanted intrusion.  All companies promoting programmatic buying have a stake in cleaning up the environment in which we work by finding a balance that leaves people in the process while preserving the benefit of automation.  Source: Inspired by an article in Marketing Land

China’s PMI at Highest Point Since January 2013

Manufacturring Index - Dec-2016

Manufacturer’s Index ended 2016 at its highest point since January 2013.  That after six consecutive months of growth driven by multi-year highs for both output – highest in 71 months – and new orders – best since July 2014. Dr. Zhengsheng Zhong, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group commented, “The Chinese manufacturing economy continued to improve. However, it is still to be seen if the stabilization is consolidated due to uncertainties in whether restocking and consumer price rises can be sustainable.”  Source: Markit Economics

The Changing Face of High-End Advertising

Advertising Future

Joe Kyriakoza, Oracle’s VP & general manager, automotive, sees growth opportunities in the changing ad market.   As it moves from “wide distribution and limited targeting” to a more sophisticated model that uses data for “addressability, targeting and validation” marketers will need multi-platform media planning tools and people trained to use them, he suggests.

Focusing on the auto sector, Kyriakoza notes “where addressable advertising is available, automotive clients are aggressively testing it. The more progressive ones are going even further, to where it’s a regular part of their planning engagement because it’s smarter, tighter, and it’s driven by data.”

There has been much talk by those of us with a interest in promoting advertising’s future technology that makes it seem as though data-driven, programmatic technologies that slice and dice data and see across platforms is here now.  Joe Kyriakoza makes it plan that we are at the very beginning of this level of sophistication if the big players a just testing it.  In front of us is a several year roll-out before these practices are universal, but it’s coming.  Source: Modified from a MediPost article

China’s CPI Dipped in December

Consumer price Index - Dec-16

Some price pressure was relieved in December as China’s Consumer Price Index dipped to 102.1 though it stayed a couple ticks above the 13-month average of 101.9.  Even with the August anomaly, the range from month-to-month is pretty narrow showing that prices have been relatively stable even through last winter’s economy wobble.  Source: Trading Economics, National Bureau of Statistics, China

Implementing a Programmatic and Data Strategy

Programmatic data

A Suggested Plan

  1. Establish a plan with goals. Are you brand building, trying to upsell existing customers or finding new customers?
  2. Define your potential customers by understanding the data that can realistically be gathered – device, geo, day-part, etc. Organize these data into realistic segments at which you will target your creatives.
  3. Develop creatives designed to reach the segments you have identified. One-size-fits-all is a primitive strategy in a programmatic world.
  4. Plan a technology strategy that will best contain and deliver these data – internally develop or partner with an existing marketing technology company to get it done.  To state the obvious, internal develop will yield a custom product using large doses of time and money while a third-party product will get you to market faster and cheaper, but may require your company to adapt.

Source: Based on a MediaPost article adapted by mPoint

Conversion Continues in China

Carrier Data - Dec-2016

The number of new 3G/4G subscribers continues on pace at about 21 million per month, the vast majority of which are conversions from feature phones as opposed to new mobile subscribers. Our estimate is that 25% of all mobile subscriptions are for non-phone devices or for second phones, meaning that the entire population of 1.3 to 1.4 billion Chinese people is not reachable by mobile phone.  That number is nearer to 1 billion while unique 3G/4G users stand at about 750 million. That’s the population that can be touched by mobile advertising as we enter 2017.   Sources: China Mobile, China Teleco, China Unicom

Trends for 2017

Martech Today logo

Russell Glass, VP of Products at LinkedIn sees four major trends rising to the surface in 2017.

Brands will embrace chatbots to stay close to customers.  Glass notes that Nordstrom’s used a chatbot program this holiday season to engage customers.  By using answers to a couple questions the bot replied with relevant shopping suggestions to guide buyers.

Ad blocking will stabilize.  Glass reports that ad blocking is most installed by desktop users who are under 35.  Those who are using them already have them he assumes, so growth with slow.  Meanwhile, as more people leave their desktops in favor of mobile it is less likely that ad blockers will follow.

Marketing technology companies will consolidate or be absorbed. All three sectors of the ad business are on the hunt.  Giant advertisers are looking for technologies that will incrementally improve performance as will giant advertisers.  Agencies too will be on the prowl for technologies that provide an advantage.

Brands will favor quality over quantity in digital video audiences.  As is the case with all new media segments, early adaptors go for the biggest possible mass of users.  But as time goes by they get more sophisticated.  Glass predicts that 2017 will see marketers engage more with the data to select narrower, more targeted audiences for their video content.

Source: Martech Today

Six Challenges for 2017

Programmatic Advisory logo

Wayne Blodwell, CEO of The Programmatic Advisory, laid down the gauntlet while speaking at Programmatic Punch.  He identifies the six challenges for advertising in 2017.

  • Brands must understand the total impact of all marketing
  • Stuck in the short-term at every level, decision-making must change
  • A single customer needs to be viewed across all channels at the same time.
  • Payment model needs to be re-focused on value rather than price
  • More transparency is required through the entire supply chain
  • The talent shortage at all levels must be addressed

Blodwell asks what are we doing to resolve these issues in our individual organizations?

Source: The Drum

Consumers Offer More Support for a Strong Chinese Economy

Consumer Sentiment - Dec-16

Consistent with retail sales numbers of November, which increased substantially, Consumer Sentiment for December, reflects confidence.  A confident consumer is likely to maintain a strong buying pattern.  The Chinese economy appears to be on solid ground as it starts the new year.  Source: Westpac MNI China Consumer Sentiment

Waterfall Hits the Rocks


The waterfall auction is being challenged by the advantages header bidding offers publishers.

  • Publishers see prices offered by competing advertisers
  • Publishers have can choose which of the partners they want
  • Since bids all come at once, prices for impressions are driven up
  • Publishers can set a time limit for bidding to reduce bouncing away by impatient users
  • Impressions are sold individually eliminating the inefficiencies of CPM buying.

For advertisers header bidding offers one main advantage; an even shot at the inventory they most want.  Source: AdAge