You are viewing all entries from March 2011.
Data, RTB, exchanges, audience valuation: the digital landscape is changing so fast that publishers are often left to play catch up. Unlike advertisers, who for decades have benefited from the guidance of agencies, most publishers have had little external help in maximizing their digital ad business. Though we’ve used the term Sell Side Platform (SSP) as much as anyone else, the truth is that it only tells half the story. Premium publishers don’t need another platform, and they don’t need another vendor. They need a partner.
With this in mind, Admeld is announcing the formal launch of our Strategic Advisory Services group (SAS), which I’m excited to be a part of. Though this company has always taken a consultative approach to working with its clients, with SAS we’re expanding the scope of our guidance beyond technology to sales, operations, and more. We find that publishers who take a holistic approach to evolving their organizations can more successfully respond to the constant changes in our industry.
Our mission breaks down into two goals: education and execution. Education means helping publishers understand the larger landscape, analyze and optimize their existing business processes, and identify new revenue opportunities. And for execution, our approach is to leverage Admeld’s extensive partnerships across the industry as well as using our in-house technologies. I look forward to hearing about how SAS can help you, so feel free to reach out here.
In July of 1999 I began leading my first online advertising services team. I distinctly remember that first week: troubleshooting what seemed like an endless series of issues, all of which threatened my publishers’ brands. It was challenging, but relatively straightforward because the ecosystem was relatively simple.
Over the next few years, the proliferation of buyers - ad networks, exchanges and others - made it extremely difficult to answer simple questions about each ad: what was it’s source, who bought it, what did they pay? And by the time I met Brian Adams, Admeld’s CTO, in 2008, life was even more complex.
In my first meeting with Brian, he mentioned this tool he was working on that would change the way publishers viewed and managed brand protection, and a few months later, Firemeld was released. Firemeld was the first tool of its kind in our industry, and we designed it not only to answer all the above questions for our publishers, but to help our internal teams to monitor the health of every one of our clients’ sites.
Today, Firemeld continues to evolve. With the growing industry focus on RTB, today we are upgrading it with a set of real time tools. Firemeld 3.0 gives publishers transparency into the RTB auctions behind each ad, including the bids, the floor price, and the advertisers’ name. Stay tuned as we continue to move this tool forward.
After visiting the adStandard 2011 Conference in Warsaw last week, it was striking how much interest there is around Real Time Bidding in the Polish advertising market.
Led by Michal Kreczmar, Director for eCommerce and Direct Marketing at Agora, some of the country’s largest publishers and buyers participated in the conversation about RTB. These included: Maciej Wyszynski, Managing Director CEE at Sociomantic Labs, who explained the concept of RTB commerce and how it applies to the Polish advertising market. Also, Sacha Berlik, Founder and MD of Mexad, the Cologne-based Display Engine Marketing Agency, eloquently discussed the complexity of exchange buying.
Admeld’s presentation was focused on a variety of themes, including how publishers can reduce channel conflict, set minimum prices, and increase CPMs and revenue. It’s great to see the same level of healthy debate about RTB happening in Poland as in the US, EU, and around the world. We look forward to continuing to help Polish publishers navigate the space as RTB becomes an increasingly important part of their strategies.
One of the most exciting things about hosting an event like the Admeld Partner Forum is getting the opportunity to speak with industry leaders about the key developments and challenges they see in the online ad space. At this year's event we managed to speak with a few folks – in front of a camera no less – to get their take on the how they see things shaping up in 2011.
There are a lot of interesting insights in this video collection from a variety of perspectives. From Kurt Edwards of Future Networks on the Publisher side, to Marta Martinez of MediaMath on the DSP side, and Tom Shields of Yieldex on the Yield Management/SSP side, each shares their views on issues such as transparency, developments in RTB, and technology efficiencies on both the buy and sell side.
Take a look and let us know what you think.
The rest of the video content from the Partner Forum can be found here:
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to give our clients more control of their inventory. The thing about control (and this is true in digital advertising, just as in life) is that it doesn’t really exist without transparency. In other words, if you don’t know where you are, how can you know the best move to make?
Evolution, Not Revolution
For more than a decade, the status quo for publishers was a complete lack of transparency, and it severely eroded their leverage in the marketplace. Though technology has begun to reverse that trend, what we have now is a dynamic between buyers and sellers in which the innovations on one side triggers innovations on the other. In large measure, the platform that’s made all this possible is Real Time Bidding.
Though RTB was designed as a platform to give buyers insight and control over each impression, the beauty of it is that it allows publishers the same. Features like advertiser block lists and pricing floors are powerful protective measures, but the truth is that they’re very blunt instruments if publishers lack the insight to use them wisely. That’s what we keep working towards.
For instance, this week we released an update to our platform that enables publishers to track not only which DSP and Advertiser is behind each bid, but which Agency is as well. Tracking the flow of dollars (or euros, or pounds, or yen) as it makes its way to them is a prerequisite for publishers to identify new revenue opportunities. We also added a series of other metrics, including indices that give publishers perspective on how effective they are at attracting bids and spends from individual buyers vs. the average Admeld publisher. Lastly, we’ve given publishers the ability to mine the billions of bids that DIDN’T win RTB auctions for insights into how to optimize their business rules.
This kind of transparency—impossible 2 years ago—really only scratches the surface of what’s possible. In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to sharing more about efforts on this blog.
One of the best parts of this job is going to Admonsters events. Not only is the programming great, but so is the quality of attendees. From my perspective, we learn more at these events than almost any other, and it gives our team a chance to truly immerse ourselves in the publisher perspective. This week’s event in Memphis was no exception, and over a few days of listening, a few interesting themes emerged.
First, it became clear that ad ops and yield management professionals across the industry are taking proactive steps to help their organizations get back to doing business directly with clients. Those that seem to be having the most success are the companies that approach the problem holistically. Though sell side technologies are critical, they always work best when part of a larger and more comprehensive organizational strategy. We also heard about the challenges of getting internal buy-in for these types of strategies, and how the process can be helped by data and thought leadership that shows how RTB and SSP technologies can increase revenues and opportunities.
Another key theme that emerged was the increasing importance for transparency into how buyers are using RTB. Publishers are understandably interested in analyzing the bidding and winning patterns of specific buyers. We’ve put a great deal of work into adding these types of features and look forward to talking more about them on this blog.
For my keynote discussion in Memphis, my goal was to spark as many conversations about the above issues as possible. I talked mainly about the tech innovations we’ve seen in the last year -- the development of private exchanges, of mobile RTB, and on the increased spending we’re seeing in online RTB.
I also shared some video highlights from the Admeld Partner Forum in February that shed light on the types of conversations we’ve been having at events like these. Publishing executives from CBS, FOX News, Weather Channel, IDG and from Hill Holiday and Accuen Media on the advertiser side, all support the fact that these technologies are not just a nice to have, but a need to have for companies who wish to remain competitive. See the highlight reel below:
It's Sunday morning, and I'm excited to say that I left dreary New York City for Memphis to gear up for Admonsters' Publisher Forum where we are a proud sponsor. Last year's keynote, Jason Kelly (then VP of Digital Strategy and Revenue Management at Time Inc. Digital, now Chief Media Officer of Admeld) returns to give another talk titled, "The Future of Advertising." We've always been huge supporters of Admonsters and the ad operations community, and we think these ad ops leaders are driving the growth and ingenuity in this ecosystem.
Last year, Jason touched on the increase of ad spend in display, and the increasing importance of audience sales by large scale premium publishers. This was largely caused by the rise of third party data providers and management systems, and the fact that there was more investment in technology and media buying platforms. These trends continue today.
This year, Jason will talk about how all of these technologies have evolved to bring Real Time Bidding into the mainstream, and what that means for ad ops professionals. Key points he'll cover will be:
- Higher spends and increased targeting capabilities have turned RTB into a $1B market place that premium publishers should not miss out on;
- How tech media companies are changing the face of traditional advertising agencies and how this affects online premium publishers;
- The convergence of skill sets between ad ops and sales; and
- How at the end of the day it's all about relationships and that ad ops professionals have to lead by educating and influencing their sales teams and overall publishing organization.
Stay tuned as there is more to come from the Admeld team down in Memphis this week. I hear the monsters have a harmonica lesson in their future…