Results tagged “Interactive Advertising Bureau"” from IABlog
IAB releases Publisher’s perspectives on programmatic as first part in educational series
Programmatic buying and selling of advertising, real-time bidding, and marketing automation is changing the way we transact digital media. Though numbers are very sketchy, by some accounts over 20% of all digital advertising is sold “programmatically” - and it’s growing rapidly.
Yet programmatic competes with Native advertising for the title of “Buzzword of 2013”. And the hyperbole couldn’t be more extreme. Concerns are rampant. Sales people are worried about becoming obsolete, losing their jobs to machines, and declining yields. Some buyers of digital media are worried that only crappy inventory is available programmatically. Aside from perhaps the ad tech community, there’s a great deal of smiling and nodding going on when people talk about the importance of programmatic, and not a lot of understanding. Ad agencies are worried that automation will mean standardization and less of a role for creativity and creatives. On the other side, many see new technological innovation as the source of great potential value - creating significant efficiencies, new markets, and continuing to drive advertising dollars to digital.
There is significant confusion in the marketplace around the meaning of terms like “programmatic”, “RTB”, “programmatic direct”, “programmatic premium”, and other verbiage, often being used interchangeably. New technologies are emerging which are creating significant value, but there is also a lack of clear technical standards to ensure interoperability across different platforms. Buyers and sellers are concerned with the limited transparency and number of vendors involved in the programmatic transaction. And programmatic raises internal, organizational challenges for brands and agencies, and particularly for publishers with their existing direct sales teams and incentives.
Agencies and their clients have a lot to lose if programmatic isn’t implemented coherently: a set of technologies that aim to create market efficiencies could, instead, create a fragmented, illiquid marketplace if each media agency insists on creating its own proprietary marketplace with its own standards and its own technologies.
In the spirit of creating value for the entire marketplace and driving advertising dollars to digital, the IAB is working to tackle many of these challenges. Today it is releasing Digital Simplified: Programmatic and Automation - The Publishers’ Perspective, the first in a new IAB educational series that offers easy-to-understand documents for the industry. The piece aims to provide clarity, from the publishers’ perspective, on the different “programmatic” transaction types. It outlines the four main ways of buying and selling “programmatically” and provides a clear framework for distinguishing between them. It also highlights other factors commonly associated with each of these types of “programmatic” selling.
This is the first output of a newly created IAB Programmatic Publishers Task Force, chaired by Alanna Gombert, Senior Director Programmatic and Trading at Condé Nast and formerly of Ad Meld and Google. The new Task Force is aimed at providing premium publishers a forum to come together to work on issues related to the programmatic agenda and how it impacts them. Its goal is to help publishers establish market clarity and education around the programmatic ecosystem - both internally and externally. Barely a month after its launch there are now over 30 premium publishers participating in this initiative and the list is growing. In addition to working on clarity around definitions and terminology, the group is also working on issues around transparency across the value chain and sales force organizational issues.
The Programmatic Publishers Task Force is a key part of the overall IAB programmatic agenda. This agenda focuses on firstly identifying and addressing the key business issues in the programmatic landscape, and secondly working on technical standards and implementation of standards to address these issues. On the business side, in addition to its work with publishers, the IAB, in conjunction with The Winterberry Group, is conducting a thought-leadership research study to provide an effective roadmap to “programmatic” capabilities based on surveys and interviews with its members, to be released by the end of 2013. It is also working on mobile specific programmatic issues. On the technical side, it is working on both digital automation implementation and open RTB standards.
For more information on the IAB’s work on programmatic marketing please go to iab.net/programmatic or contact Carl Kalapesi (below).
About the Author
Carl Kalapesi is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) focusing on Programmatic, Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) and brand safety, performance marketing, networks & exchanges and multicultural. He can be reached on Twitter @carlkalapesi or via email at at [email protected].
Despite my silent goal to never again take a multiple-choice exam post college, I found myself on July 31st at the NetCom testing center on West 33rd, preparing to take the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification exam.
The IAB launched this training program over a year ago to help increase the knowledge of digital sales professionals. As a marketing exec at PulsePoint, a data-driven content technology provider, I considered myself lucky to take the exam alongside our entire salesforce. In an effort to continue to adopt and help drive industry best practices, our SVP of Sales, John Ruvolo, instated the requirement that all sales support teams - sellers, client services, account managers, ad operations, and marketing - successfully complete the training and obtain certification. Now, I must admit - having to carve out time to study on top of the daily grind was a challenge, but as I started digesting the impressive body of study preparation materials created by the IAB, I found myself happy to do so.
I have worked my entire professional life in the digital media space and truly appreciate that the IAB has provided a training program that deepens my understanding of our industries ever-changing processes, rules and regulations, best practices, definitions and of course…all those acronyms. Our space evolves at a dizzying pace to (try to) stay ahead of the mind-blowing technology being created every day. Chrome TV, one-click mobile payments, location sharing apps…it’s enough to make you seriously consider one of those ‘digital detox’ retreats. But without that evolution, without the constant influx of fresh ideas and new ways of connecting consumers to an amazing online experience, it would not be the exciting and fulfilling environment so many of us call home every day.
It has been common practice to learn and grow alongside all of this change through a mix of self-education and information sharing amongst colleagues, partners, and friends. What a relief to have a trusted, accredited program led by our industry body that helps to educate and benchmark our top professionals against rigorous industry standards. We finally have proof that we know what we are talking about…well, most of the time.
This IAB Certification process is something that digital execs across all business channels of our industry should undergo. I am proud that PulsePoint has embraced the program and offered it to employees beyond direct sellers; we are already exploring ways to incorporate this into all new hire training. Activating this program at the sales level of an organization and beyond can also impact future hiring decisions. It enables us to narrow candidate searches to only the best, most qualified applicants and allows us have even more faith that our teams are making the most educated decisions possible.
In order for digital media to continue being one of the most sought-after industries to work within, we must take responsibility to ensure that those dedicating their livelihood to it have the right tools to be as successful as possible. The IAB has taken great strides in creating a framework within which this critical professional development can happen, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow.
About the Author
For marketers just getting their feet wet in mobile, it can be hard to understand return on investment. At the macro level, spending on mobile advertising is booming (new research from IAB and IAB Europe pegs mobile ad revenue at $8.9 Billion USD worldwide in 2012). However, an overly narrow view risks undervaluing the benefits that mobile advertising brings. That’s why we are pleased to unveil the newest IAB Mobile Center web tool: Mobile Value.
Mobile Value enables a holistic view of the multi-channel impact of mobile advertising. Our calculator consists of a series of simple, fill-in-the-blank web-based forms that invite marketers to input basic data from a recent (or ongoing) campaign—no names or details needed.
The Mobile Value tool incorporates five key mobile value-drivers:
- App downloads
- Cross device purchases
- Mobile site visits
- In-store sales
Of course, not all of these will apply to all campaigns or all marketers, but completing a full circuit of the tool’s components results in a calculation that demonstrates, in dollars and cents, the value a marketer derives from its mobile ad investment.
Complementing each component is a set of measurement tips to help a marketer find (or estimate) the data they need, along with case studies that drive home how each of these components contributes to the total return from mobile advertising.
We’d like to thank our friends at Google for their help creating this tool, and we hope that marketers find it a useful compass as they navigate mobile’s waters!
Joe Laszlo is Senior Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.
As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.
For those who have been out of the IAB news loop, last week we held our Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. It was an intense, jam-packed few days. One of the highlights for me was that I got to be a “provocateur” in a Town Hall-style break out session we held on mobile monetization, called “Are Mobile Pennies Inevitable? The Challenge of Mobile Monetization.” Under the able moderation of Chris LaSala of Google and Cary Tilds of GroupM, participants jumped in to a lively series of discussions about the challenges facing mobile advertising today, and how we—the industry and the IAB—can contribute to solving them.
We started by enumerating and prioritizing the problems: according to a Kleiner Perkins study, mobile revenue is something like 75 cents per user as compared to $3.50 per user on desktop.
Most of the mobile problems we came up with are familiar ones:
· 1. Lack of knowledge about how to measure
· 2. Too much complexity (HTML5 v Flash, varied screen sizes, etc)
· 3. Creatives hate it: too small, too fragmented
· 4. Standardization is needed
· And so on….
But the biggest problem for investors and brands in mobile is that there’s a lot of chaos to sort through. It’s hard to figure out how to invest in mobile faster, and hard to keep on top of the landscape.
— cary tilds (@ctilds) February 25, 2013
What is Mobile?
One challenge is that we don’t even have a firm answer to “what is mobile?” And indeed, the distinction between “mobile” and “not mobile” may be fading away. Whether we separate out mobile, or how we divide up the world, depends on what we’re talking about.
From a marketing strategy perspective, there’s a compelling view that “mobile” shouldn’t be separated out, we should think in terms of at home versus office, event, retail, and other places. The tablet on the couch, the screen in the car dashboard, the smartphone in a restaurant: it’s where you are physically that defines the opportunity, not what device you happen to have. As the IAB says, mobile is really a behavior, not a device type.
Another participant advocated a hub-and-spoke framework, where mobile is not unique or disconnected from other media, but is the central device/medium for advertising, and other media (TV, outdoor, print, PC, etc) all are spokes that relate to the mobile hub.
While a marketing strategy perspective may be ready to move beyond the mobile/non-mobile dichotomy, a plumbing point of view still argues for looking at mobile as a distinct medium. There are unique, mobile-specific problems that need to be resolved before these integrated, cross-screen marketing plans are feasible. These relate to scale, approach, and currency, among other things. Technical solutions like HTML 5 will help with some aspects of the plumbing problem but there’s still a lot to do to get mobile advertising flowing easily.
Another strong theme from the Town Hall was that while standards are starting to exist (thanks, IAB!), they are not there, not deep enough, or not clear enough yet.
One of our subgroups recommended, “standardize first, and innovation follows.” Another asked if it shouldn’t be the other way around. That comment sparked the great question: “Is there a necessary trade-off between awesomeness and standardization?” The broader chicken-and-egg question is important, and it shapes the way the IAB approaches timing for mobile and other standards projects. We count on members and others in the ecosystem to let us know if we’re being premature or late to the game. And I do agree that we should strive for standards that permit, or even encourage, awesomeness.
One summary of the conversation held that mobile does not have a monetization problem, it has a measurement problem. And the measurement problem can be decomposed into two parts: a plumbing problem and a standards problem. However, we as an industry are not 100% sure on what the solution to the plumbing problem should be, and if it should cover just mobile or extend across screens/devices. And there’s not complete agreement that there should be standards yet.
A pithier summary of the conversation was: “The screen size is small. That sucks. Get over it, and learn to build mobile creative that works.”
In my mind, both of these conclusions imply time as part of the solution. Time is needed for brands and agencies to get their bearings where mobile is concerned, and it takes time for the media side of the industry to move from competitive land grab to cooperation. Any standards effort requires consensus around which aspects of mobile are just table stakes (where standardization helps everyone) versus things that are true competitive differentiators. Hopefully, via conversations like this and our ongoing standards, committee, research, and other efforts, the IAB’s Mobile Center can accelerate that process.
Joe Laszlo is Senior Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.
Mobile is often referred to as the
Wild Wild West of digital media. Well, the West didn’t stay “wild”
forever, and neither can the mobile marketplace. It is one of the roles of the
IAB to help tame this new frontier. Discrepancies, differences in the count of
metrics like impressions or interactions between two parties, are one of the
major challenges that make mobile seem lawless today. While discrepancies
aren’t unique to mobile campaigns, some of the challenges with investigating
and solving them are.
To dig further into this issue, the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence hosted a mobile discrepancy working session on February 5th here at the IAB Ad Lab. We brought participants from each part of the mobile supply chain together to talk through mobile discrepancies with the objective of identifying where they are occurring, why, and potentially avenues where the IAB can help the industry. Having a collaborative mix of different perspectives all together in one room fostered knowledge sharing and brought to light new insights.
From a combination of breakout sessions and group conversations we learned that while the troubleshooting process and even some of the root causes of mobile discrepancies are pretty similar to display campaigns on the web, new technology drives some differences. This includes new technology from within the advertising industry as well the innovation taking place in the marketplace.
The new ad specific technology of mobile is an area where the IAB can help. New mobile-focused ad products result in differences in how metrics are counted, reported and even terminology is defined. Like in the early days of web advertising, this is a clear place where the IAB along with our members can help by developing definitions and guidelines. We have already started this with initiatives like MRAID, Mobile Web Measurement Guidelines and the Mobile Phone Creative Guidelines.
Addressing marketplace technology, the fragmentation of devices, operations systems, screen sizes etc., is a bit more challenging. Not only does this create a challenge for developing ad creatives and testing them on devices, but also targeting and even traffic validation, especially for campaigns running across platforms. While some of these variables are beyond the advertising industry’s control, education and best practices can help reduce the friction they cause.
Now that we have clearer understanding of the many factors causing mobile discrepancies we can buckle down, roll up our sleeves, and work together to reduce them and grow trust in the mobile platform. This will take time and involvement from all parties in the digital advertising ecosystem, but based on the enthusiasm of everyone who attended the working session it is clear this is something the industry needs and is ready to do. After all, the West wasn’t settled in one afternoon.
Senior Manager, IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence
Sabrina Alimi is the Senior Marketing Manager of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, where she has a focus on ad operations and key mobile initiatives such as HTML best practices, mobile creative guidelines, discrepancies, and the future of the cookie. In addition, Sabrina leads the IAB’s Local Committee, exploring the opportunities that the use of location unlocks for mobile advertising. Prior to the IAB, Sabrina worked at Microsoft Advertising on the Atlas Media Console where she became a product expert providing technical support to clients and managing bug escalations. She can be reached on Twitter @SabrinaAlimi.