The last year in advertising

Ok, I am on a role. Followed by ads for shoes I have already bought, I have lots of tabs open for articles in my advertising folder on Instapaper and I wanted to see what is in there and write about it.

It starts off with one of the most promising companies out there called Rocket Fuel and in February 2012 the announced their first profitable quarter. The nice thing about Rocket Fuel is that they seem to succeed at getting branding budgets into the RTB world or online world in general by using a fully metric based approach but on different metrics. Visits of a second page of the site, time of stay, registrations, downloads, you name it, they optimize on numbers but numbers that you make out as furthering your goal, whatever that is.

This online impact is actually something Google is studying as they know they need something more than clicks to really get branding online. This is true for video as for everything else. One problem gets left out there though, in that online is still too fragmented to really make high volume buys. This is something RTB will solve for sure. In its most basic terms, RTB means that you live with fragments but make them into complete pictures in a programmatic way. And fragmentation is just a fact and continuing. Online is growing and people are using more than one device on top of that. The last link is actually a great dataset with lot os stuff, and also shows why Yahoo! bought Tumblr.


In the same report from 2010 to 2011 you already see that banner ads are really growing. All in all, great report to look at even though old by now. And I am looking forward to see mobile grow. It was small beginning 2012, tiny actually, and it is still small and really different than standard online, especially when talking about advertising for apps. Of course BVDW says mobile ads stick in the head, but hey, why wouldn’t they.

Nice chart from last year is here, for the performance in the news feed at Facebook. And now you can imagine what it means that they opened up the news feed for retargeting through the FBX. Kabooom. When you are thinking about retargeting, also read this one about what to look out for in general. This will be big. While we are on targeting, check out a good SEL post on Search Retargeting. I was fortunate enough to be being able to listen to a Google Hangout for Adwords help for Startups. First off, yes you need to spend a lot of money to get in, but, there is a treasure trove of targeting options … but you likely need a doctor or deep advertising background to understand them. No wonder agencies and customers are confused.

If it comes to targeting, this ultimately leads to RTB again and the question for publishers: To RTB or Not to RTB. Tough one. I am a technology nut and I would say that you need to go all in, but I do like the strategy to come from the image text space, move that to RTB and go from there. Less risk for the branding business there. But it is not easy getting there.

While we are at RTB, here is a good article on why Google bought Admeld. RTB is High Frequency Trading in the Advertising space and you need QPS (queries per seconds) to make it work. This means that you need more traffic and more bids per adimpression. And when size matters, data matters, and then get a data scientist🙂. Will data scientists be the new media buyers? Imagine all the physics and math students in an agency environment … boy culture clash😉 Here is a good article about looking at ETFs versus Intent. Great. I still remember as your intent trading system from back in the golden days🙂 And if you really want to go deep on what RTB really means from a tech standpoint, good article here.

And when you think about all that data, who gets all that data? Google. Discussions if they are a monopoly are still going strong. My view, not sure about the monopoly bit, but hindering competition, sure. And that is why Google is also not giving up on TV because Connected TV Standards will be huge and they will just need to figure out how to integrated user ids across devices, everybody except Google that is, as they already can. Let’s see what Do-Not-Track can do against it.

While people focussing on TV try to open up the big money, others like LeanMarket are looking at getting everyone into RTB. But I really believe that the key will be to just get them to advertise through an easy interface and keep all that RTB crap talk out. Who cares how my ads are delivered, and if you carry them over, fine by me. And don’t count out Amazon in making it just that simple. And the cool thing is that they have the content to do what Google does with Product Listing Ads, and they perform better than standard search ads. And Facebook is blowing away the competition on retargeting. Especially in the news stream.

And then there is the other side … these damn VC backed companies just made online advertising to a big fat mess🙂

And with all these different players, different tools, lots of trackability, lots of data, really read Stephan Noller’s post on why we need an algorithm ethic. Or do you want your super market to know more about you than yourself?

Have a great day. my spring cleaning continues🙂

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