May 2012 Archives

As Internet Week finished up in the Big Apple last week, one of the hottest topics in the marketing world continued to revolve around paid, owned, and earned media. Whether it’s being discussed on stage by industry veterans or chatted about by media planners over insanely priced cocktails, it has become the focus of every brand’s marketing strategy.

So what exactly is paid, owned, earned media? The characterization varies depending upon whom you ask, but Forrester provided a pretty solid definition for the model. Essentially, paid is any media that a brand specifically pays for; search, display ads, etc. Owned is any channel a brand controls; web site, blog, Facebook page, etc. And earned, the most coveted and hardest to secure, is media customers use to help spread the brand’s message; social media, WOM, etc.

The key to paid, owned, and earned media is understanding the way that each of the different media types work together and being able to seamlessly integrate and execute a plan that leverages all three elements to achieve the intended goal of the model. It has often been a challenge to do all three simultaneously. However, if used correctly, one of the IAB Rising Stars can act as the ultimate paid, owned, and earned media tool.

Launched over a year ago, the IAB Portrait is a premium ad unit that offers marketers a rich creative canvas to socially engage users with sight, sound and motion. This 300 X 1050 unit includes state-of-the-art plug and play functionality, delivering a streamlined and impactful brand canvas. With three different modules for brand’s to use as they see fit, this ad unit can feature a compelling brand video while simultaneously incorporating social media elements like Facebook or Twitter feeds. Each module can essentially be aligned to the paid, owned, and earned media strategy. Here are a few ideas you should consider to achieve success from this model.

Paid - Leverage the largest module in the IAB Portrait ad unit for brand messaging. This module offers the opportunity to showcase a brand’s video assets with an expandable video player. This provides a beautiful canvas to convey a brand story and build long-term relationships with existing and new customers.

Example: A car company showcases its latest model through engaging video.

Owned - The smaller modules can be used for just about anything. Some brands have used this real estate to conduct surveys or incorporate maps. To make the most out of earned media, a brand can integrate it’s own Facebook page or include a live Twitter feed.

Example: A car company includes a Find A Dealer application that allows users to search for dealers within their neighborhood, directly in the ad unit itself.

Earned - Getting customers to spread the message is never easy. But with modules built into the ad unit for sharing about a new product or service directly under the brand message itself, it is almost a natural fit. This module can be used for a brand to interact with customers via photo galleries or live chat.

Example: A car company let’s potential customers customize the features of a new car model and share the finished product with their social network.

No matter what you choose to do, the IAB Portrait’s blank canvas offers endless opportunities to create a successful paid, owned, and earned media strategy.

About the Author

sp_goldberg_michael.jpg Michael Goldberg

As the Director of Marketing Communications for IAB member company Martini Media, Michael Goldberg oversees corporate branding and messaging, ensuring Martini Media is well positioned in the marketplace. In his role, Michael works with the team to produce, measure and grow marketing campaigns across multiple channels.


When I was learning to drive, my instructor told me that anyone could be a great driver if they were in the only car on the road. It’s all the other cars that make it hard. A similar dynamic has happened in the ad technology landscape. When the supply chain was just networks and exchanges, it was easy to be a pro at delivering digital ads. Yet, in the past few years, this ecosystem has become congested with all sorts of players. The resulting complexity has made it more challenging than ever to make business decisions. It’s become hard to be a good driver in the digital landscape.


For buyers and sellers, it’s become harder to know if you’re doing the right thing. You have more tools to optimize your stake than ever before, but this abundance of opportunities for improvement has created an uncomfortable level of uncertainty. How do you know you’ve built the right stack? Are you sure all of your providers will work together efficiently? Will they integrate with your established systems? If you’re a buyer, are you sure that your providers’ data segmentations are aligned? Do you know where your ad is going to run and that it’s brand safe? If you’re a seller, is your proprietary data adequately protected and, at the same time, well leveraged? Is your inventory being properly valued? Do either of you feel confident you made the best possible deal? I doubt it.

Four years ago, when we launched the IAB Networks & Exchanges Marketplace, networks and exchanges were the primary intermediaries between advertiser and publisher. An agency would go to a network, buy space across specific publishers, target particular demographics, and run ads across those websites. Today a transaction regularly incorporates DSPs, SSPs, retargeters, data aggregators, and more. The primary relationship is no longer between the agency and publisher or even between the agency, the network-exchange and the publisher. It is now likely that there are dozens of players in the mix.

In addition, industry-wide issues like consumer privacy protections and the upcoming tectonic shift of the viewable impression are real and changing the way all parties do business. The guiding light of providing engaging, breakthrough consumer experiences can easily become hidden behind all of these pressing matters. We can’t afford for that to happen.

This is why the IAB Networks & Exchanges Marketplace has evolved to become the IAB Ad Technology Marketplace. On June 21, 2012, participants from across the supply chain will converge at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in New York City to address the impact of technology on the industry. On stage, industry leaders will break down case studies and explain all of the partnerships that operate between brand and publisher, describing how the wheels turn. Speakers will provide insights into the future of programmatic buying for the burgeoning sectors of video and mobile, will demystify the phenomenon of private exchanges, and will delve into the enduring issue of attribution. Need-to-know best practices for big data usage and control as well as consumer protections will be explored. Bringing all of these topics to the forefront and having an open discussion about these advancements will propel us toward more clarity and shared understanding. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or a technology provider, it will help make even your boldest business-building decisions safer and more assured.

Buying and selling is the bedrock of our industry; it is the responsibility of the IAB to protect interactive advertising’s effectiveness while nurturing and responding to its development. The reframing of the IAB Ad Technology Marketplace is just one of our efforts to do just that. I hope you’ll join us, and I wish you all safe driving.

About the Author

Patrick Dolan

Patrick Dolan

Patrick Dolan is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Mr. Dolan is responsible for finance, operation, costs, compliance, and risk management. In addition, he works closely with the rest of the executive management team to supervise strategy and revenue optimization. He can be reached on Twitter at @patrickdolan.


Are You Customer-Obsessed?

| | Comments

Consumers today are setting the pace for online marketers and brands, and the digital media technology is out there to listen to customer cues and respond with relevant, engaging communications. But what does it take to be truly customer-obsessed? Is the industry at large living up to the promises of real-time interactive marketing? The unfortunate answer is no. At least at this time.

This week, PulsePoint, in collaboration with the CMO Club and Digiday, announced the results of a groundbreaking study that examines the digital marketing capabilities, top challenges and priorities of nearly 400 senior marketers, agency executives and publishers.


From a capability standpoint, the large majority of survey respondents were comfortable executing multi-channel campaigns across two or more channels. However, the challenges start occurring when marketers are tasked with applying lessons from one channel to improve efforts in another channel (cross-channel). The wake up call revealed by the survey results is that, across the board, a majority of marketers, agencies and publishers lack the capabilities to execute real-time interactive marketing.

In an environment where consumers are freely flowing and engaging with ads and other content on their own terms across channels and devices, the industry at large must evolve to keep pace. The lack of real-time efficiencies is creating a massive “digital divide” between consumers and the current marketing practices used to reach and engage them.

So what is the problem? What are the barriers to this evolution? When we began this research, we hypothesized that we would find inconsistencies and gaps in the capabilities and priorities amongst ecosystem players. As it turns out, this research shows that the industry is largely aligned. However, for an industry claiming to be as customer-obsessed as we are, these results show that we are missing the “relevance mark” set by consumers - largely due to two key challenges.

Overwhelming Complexity
We’ve all seen the LUMA ad-tech chart. The fragmented direct marketing landscape of point-solutions from the sell-side to the demand-side add overwhelming complexity to cross-channel execution. Because the industry is currently focused on dealing with complex technologies and multiple channels and platforms, ecosystem players are often operating in functional silos. Further, this overwhelming complexity, coupled with the functional silos used to manage various channels and point solutions, robs bandwidth and results in the consumer perspective often getting lost.

Lack of Unified Measurement
Unified measurement (something the ANA, 4As, and IAB are all actively pursuing through the Making Measurement Make Sense initiative) enables the tracking of consumer journeys and connected customer experiences - this is critical to advance from multi-channel to cross-channel marketing, and the industry at large is currently lacking this core capability. In addition to unified measurement to help marketing, agencies and publishers “connect the dots” for unified consumer-customer views across channels, there is also a need for more full-funnel thinking and better attribution beyond the last click. Planning, executing and measuring from the perspective of targeting and tracking consumers throughout the funnel, enables a broader, longer-term view of digital marketing programs, targeting methods, and brand engagements.

It’s time to further evolve. In this regard, the study uncovered two underlying factors that in large part account for effectiveness, and, when applied in union, work together to overcome the challenges of complexity and lack of unified measurement. Real-time intelligence and unified automation are two evolutionary forces that provide the basis to enhance digital marketing execution, and thus, help bridge the current digital divide.

These two forces are reshaping the digital landscape and, over time, will enable the industry to consolidate around smart “end-to-end” solutions and evolve towards more real-time adaptive markets, with real-time efficiencies, transparency and fair value discovery. These forces will allow the industry at large to truly become customer-obsessed and reach the “relevance mark” set by digitally-empowered consumers.

To see the full results, you can visit the IAB member insights & research library or download from

About the Author

sp_lendenmann_karl.jpg Dr. Karl Lendenmann

As vice president of marketing and analytics at PulsePoint, Dr. Karl Lendenmann is responsible for driving company-wide best practices in key areas that increase the relevance, engagement and value of PulsePoint programs for both advertisers and publishers.