Time for Advertisers to Move Beyond Old-line Measurement Assumptions

Better Mouse Trap

CEO and co-founder of Quantcast, Konrad Feldman makes the argument that current ad measurement schemes work against advertiser’s best interests.

He posits that click-through rates are an unreliable proxy for interest in a product and because they have become an “engine for fraud” by incenting phony, bot initiated clicks, they are often misleading.

Last Touch is a newer standard for measurement.  Without RTB it is wholly unreliable, but with RTB in the mix redirecting becomes more reliable.  Feldman says, “Retargeting does contribute value, but our current system dramatically overstates that value. It confuses a correlated relationship with a causal one.”

Short-term credit vs. lasting consumer engagement is another result of last touch.  It rewards ad delivery, but not customer experience. The result is ad clutter because a content page with many ads will tend to get a last touch while the page with fewer ads may get fewer last touches, but will deliver more user satisfaction.

Suggested Reform

Give credit where it’s due by splitting credit for a conversion. “Assign a fraction of the ad shown to a converter before their first visit to the site (i.e., ‘last touch before first site visit’).” This kind of splitting credit may not be the perfect solution, but it moves away from retargeting to game the system.  Source: AdWeek

Manufacturing Remains Positive

Manufacturing Index - Jan-17

Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group, Dr. Zhengsheng Zhong, said of these data, “The Chinese economy maintained stable growth in January. But the sub-indices showed that the current growth momentum may be hard to sustain. We must remain wary of downward pressures on the economy this year.”

January saw output and new orders grow, but at a slower pace than December while in contrast, new orders went up sharply.  Source: Markit Economics


Tips for Deploying Header Bidding


Since many header bidders are made of standard JavaScript code, internal techies can often manage bidders in the same way they manage any website element…saves overhead.

Part of the management of bidder elements should include verifying that the element is not adversely affecting the page loading times and monitoring the performance of bidding partners across response rates, bid rates and win rates.  The lesson is that you should not put any part of a programmatic solution on total auto-pilot. Source: CampaignUS

Five Consecutive Months of Positive Growth

Leading Economic Index -Nov-16

The five consecutive months of growth in the Chinese economy got even stronger when October’s increase was upgraded to 0.2% percent from 0.1% and November came in at an even better 0.3% increase. At the same time, year-over-year Novembers show a half point swing toward the positive. Source: National Bureau of Statistics, China

Deceleration: 4G Subscription Growth Slows Considerably

Carrier Data - January 2017

We have been waiting to see a decline in the monthly growth for 3G/4G phone subscriptions because the 19 million-per-month growth rate of the last 24 months seemed unsustainable.  The decline arrived in January with a loud squeal from the breaks being applied.  The 6.6 million new subscribers yielded a growth rate that is down 67%.  Still, with over one billion subscribers, China iremains the largest advertising market in the world by far.  Source: China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom

Forrester: “Marketers Will Invest in Quality over Quantity.”

Forrester Logo2

In spite of the pronouncement that quality will win over quantity, Forrester’s latest US Digital Marketing Forecast 2016 To 2021 starts by saying that digital marketing spending will grow 46% by 2021 to $120 billion.

The report goes on to say that though spending will growth, it will be more “judiciously” spent and that a larger share of the digital advertising money will go toward “investments in data, technology and customer experience.”  And millennials, who are reaching the prime spending time of their lives as they build families, will be the demographic focus.  Consistent with the demo is the growth of online video, which is up 114% since 2014.   For brands big and small, video is projected to be the channel of growth going forward.  Source: Forrester

The Next Twist in Header Bidding

Server Bidding

Server-side bidding is the next twist in the evolving digital ad space.  It is needed because client-side header bidding was last week’s advancement that gave more control to publishers, but one which came with a latency cost.  As more JavaScript is loaded, latency increases, which requires the number of demand actions to be limited, which, in turn, limits a publisher’s yield – the very reason for header bidding.

Using server-side connections allows unlimited, simultaneous bid requests without increasing load-times. At the same time it increases yield, gets higher fill rates, a broader range of advertisers and increased transparency.  It also offers a publisher simpler control of ad quality.  Source: MediaPost

Lots of Ground Still to Gain

Revenue-from-ProgrammaticA snapshot of publisher revenue from programmatic buying show how early in the game we are.  Fifty percent of Operative’s top line of publishers can barely count their programmatic flow while only 35% of the publishers are getting 10% or more of their revenue from programmatic.  Precious few are yielding significant income from that channel.  Source: eMarketer

Where Status and Practicality Meet

SUV-SalesSUV sales growth in China has reached notable proportions.  Each of the last two years has seen 38% growth, indicative of a trend.  The reason’s suggested for the growth is that “Chinese consumers feel that they belong to the solid middle class if they own an SUV, which also allows them to take family road trips on weekends.” When status and practicality meet they become a potent market force.  Source: Barron’s Asia

Three Rules of Big Event Programmatic Buying


When it comes to big event advertising most of us are not able to spend the $5 million per minute Superbowl money that an in-event ad can cost.  There are ways to capitalize on a big event with a much lower budget.

First, reality is that big events have ebbs and flows to them; the down time often sends people to browsing the internet.  A low cost ad during that period can be effective especially if it is relevant to the event.  During the Superbowl your message would be different from one you’d send during the US Tennis Open.

Second, if you’re willing to go into the weeds, programmatic data can increase effectiveness by triggering ads at strategic times.  Browsing during NFL games can be up as much as 15%.  Timeouts are more active than touchdowns.  Learning from the data is key.

Third, predicting when the ads should be triggered is difficult, but can be aided by rigorous attention to detail.  Moments in an event that trigger high social volumes may be signaling the time to push the button.  The future suggests that “branding driven by real-time data, with moment-based dynamic delivery and tailored messaging is going to become more commonplace.”

Source: CampaignUS