Web Summit 2015 : Day Three, Part Two

It’s hard to believe that Web Summit 2015 is over. We’ve had such a fantastic week meeting talented and passionate individuals from all walks of life and industries, as well as listening to some of the most insightful talks given by the most influential figures in business. Here are the final two sessions we attended.


Big Data and the new age of Advertising



‘Big Data’ was one of the most common buzzwords at the Summit. The thing is, while most companies collect huge amounts of data, they may not necessarily know how to make it actionable. Furthermore, it’s not just about Big Data, but about fast data, i.e. how quickly you process that data, which is crucial in order to enable real-time decision-making.

There has long been a tension between creatives and analytics in marketing, and this is a divide that can only be resolved through Big Data marketing. Big Data marketing allows both these facets of marketing to play their respective roles, in order to produce a new form of marketing, far more effective than ever before.

Data is currently already incredibly smart but to make it even smarter, one has to turn to Machine Learning. Machine Learning is about pattern-matching, and big companies like Facebook and Google are investing in a whole new generation of processors.

It’s all well and good to promise marketers that you can help them obtain more customers, but what’s less clear for marketers is how to retain consumer loyalty. This is where Machine Learning comes in. For example, you can discern certain attributes about someone who is dropping loyalty, which allows you to customise an offer just for them.




Clicktivism to Activism, presented by The Guardian

With all eyes on the Labour party this year, it was interesting to see how digital has impacted on British politics, and politics as a whole. The 2015 British election was the most digital to date, with gov.uk publishing all appointments to the general public, rather than the information being passed through lobbies and journalists. Another way that digital played a part in the election was the storm created around David Miliband on social media. However, given the result of the election, it was a confusing outcome in terms of how much of an influence digital had over people’s votes.

This is where the panel started to discuss whether clicks can ever actually amount to votes, examining the role played by ‘clicktivism’ in campaigns such as the Scottish Independence referendum and the recent buzz around Jeremy Corbyn. Technology is a tool which can be used for good, if audiences can move beyond liking, retweeting and commenting. One of the panellists argued that we are essentially sleepwalking our way into an age of technology, and that our civic lives are stuck in the 20th century. However, digital has the potential to change the way we communicate and even vote.  Digital means that an online leader could be a 15 year old or a political veteran with a political ideology. Opinion expression is the starting point which can be powered by social media.

We are very much looking forward to the next Web Summit, which will be held in Lisbon. We hope to see you there.



Web Summit 2015 : Day Three, Part One

It’s our final day here at Web Summit, so we’ve been taking advantage of taking the opportunity to attend some fantastic talks. Here is what we’ve seen so far. 


Defining Gen Z


According to the panel, Gen Z are 12-19 year olds that came of age during an economic crisis, are the most progressive age group and are distinct from millennials. They are sophisticated and savvy and therefore the most hard on brands. They do not want to be marketed to but rather want to have a conversation and engagement with brands, therefore Youtube stars and product placement no longer works for this cohort. Brands now have to connect with them in an authentic way.

“Gen X has a voracious appetite for what’s going on”

Gen Z are also the biggest activists for causes, and are more engaged with sustainability and politics than previous generations would assume. They have a “voracious appetite for what’s going on.”

In summary, Gen Z are constantly being told that they can do incredible things, more so than any generation and that they have the tools to reach millions of people, the possibilities are infinite. The conversation has to be about how we can help them to use those tools.




Jamie West, Sky's deputy MD, stated the need to look at the advertising experience through a different lens as the landscape has evolved massively, as well as consumer behaviour. Consumers feel challenged by the behaviour of tech companies, for example they feel that targeting is not keeping up with their own expectations. West also indicated that multiple touchpoints in the customer journey are not fully being taken advantage of and that customers have higher expectations in terms of wanting relevant adverts and viewing experience.


With AdSmart, their latest venture, they aim to make TV more relevant to brands. 68% of advertisers on their AdSmart platform were new to TV advertising but have now become returning clients, which is testament to the effectiveness of smart TV advertising. Their added value is that they can deliver more relevant ads which results in more engaged consumers. In fact, channel tune away reduced by 32% during breaktimes. There is also a need to use cross-device technology, connecting TV behaviour to user’s device behaviour. Sky believes in breaking down the barriers between devices, and serving ads sequentially, depending on contextual factors.


What benefits advertisers also benefits consumers, in terms of consumers being able to retain anonymity as well as enjoying more relevant ads. Sky is well known for their dedication to user experience but still monetising their content, with West finishing with the following quote:

“We do believe in better, we do believe in enhancing the viewing experience on TV and advertising experience across all platforms.”


That’s all for now, stay tuned for more updates live from Web Summit 2015!




Web Summit 2015 : Day Two

After a successful first day here in Dublin, we were ready to get stuck in to our second day here at Web Summit 2015. Today, we have supported Skylads, our technology partner as they exhibit as part of Alpha Class. 

One marketing team to rule them all

We have been lucky enough to attend several talks and panels today, again with industry leaders such as Facebook, The Onion and Wired Magazine. Here are the main takeaways from each of the talks we attended.·        

Facebook and the 'Fear of Missing Out'  

According to Davis Jakubobski, marketers need to remember to listen to their users and to have a two-way dialogue. We all love to show what we’re doing and what we like all the time, on several platforms and devices. Jakubobski argues that marketing has forgotten about real people on their most personal device – their mobile phone.

“Native is king” and “mobile banner is the worst”

The basic premise is that with native advertising, the user experience is preserved as ads are so well immersed into the overall structure of platforms that they no longer resemble the conventional ads that annoy consumers.

Accuracy, persistence and scale

Jakuboski’s final message was that if we should remember nothing else, we should remember these 3 words. View your marketing campaign as a work in progress, you constantly need to question and be critical of your current strategy as well as any opportunities that come your way.


·         Adblocking Panel

The discussion opened with a quote from the IAB in that “scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty.”

Harry Kargman summed up the problem in three points:

1.       Frequency Cap – people are being shown the same ad over and over again, advertisers should vary the ads and create different experiences and creatives for consumers

2.       Transparency of user’s data – users are increasingly concerned with how their data is being used, companies need to explain that using consumer’s data enhances their online experience

3.       Video – no-one wants to see a 30-second pre-roll video in order to see actual content, this should be reduced to the Snapchat model of 6-8 seconds, forcing advertisers to be creative and concise.

Shanen Reed, of MEC, stated that without advertising, who is paying for the content? The problem is that consumers are essentially free riding, which could hurt the publishers they look to for content. And yet, even though they are the ones free riding, they are also the ones blocking the ads that pay for the content and those that create it.  Harry Kargman, from Kargo’s viewpoint was that users are consuming content without paying for it, which is no different to downloading a piece of music or an entire film for free. A solution to this problem is whitelisting sites as opposed to blocking AdBlocker completely, as this is rather extreme.

Overall the problem that needs to be addressed is inferior marketing, and the industry as a whole must come together in order to do this. Marketers need to make the best adverts possible that do not diminish the consumer experience. Website pages need to be lighter, and there needs to be less disparity, as load times are associated with this.

The closing comments were looking to next year, and the panel hopes to see exciting ways of paying for advertising rather than seeing negative stories about adblocking. Consumers should be able to participate in the ad cycle by expressing which adverts they like and engage with, and send feedback for those they find irrelevant. People love advertising and this could be the very break through the industry needs, with a push to create innovative creatives and improve consumer experience. 



Web Summit 2015 : Day One

We're so pleased to finally be here at Web Summit 2015! 

Our stall at Web Summit

We've had a fantastic first day exhibiting ourselves and meeting fellow start-ups. Despite the fact that we all have different things to offer, we are united in that we want to do things differently and fill gaps in the market that bigger companies are not meeting. 

We've also had the pleasure of attending some incredible talks by note-worthy speakers. The one that stood out most for us was Heineken's Soren Hagh. 

Heineken is peerless in building brands and executing successful marketing campaigns. It is a massive brewery that has existed since 1864 and many of their processes have worked very well in analogue. But at the same time, Heineken is one of the biggest embracers of digital. Soren mentioned how a lot of other companies merely pay lip service about digital being the new reality. To Heineken, digital is not about "putting a varnish, but about changing an entire business model" and rewiring in order to win at digital advertising. Rather than setting their own benchmarks, they believe that 'the best' is the benchmark, and they need to reach this.

While most companies experience inertia and fail to embrace digital, Heineken embraces uncertainty and wants to tear down old structures. They also recognise that they still have a long way to go in order to be as successful as they are with traditional advertising. However, by being able to admit this shows that they are on the right track to being a 'winner'.




Web Summit - almost there!

The countdown is almost over. We are so proud to have been included on Web Summit’s list of the world’s top 50 most promising startups. It is the biggest summit of its kind in the world, in that it brings together some of the world’s leading thinkers in technology as well as startups. It’s not just about leading tech startups and tech companies, however, it is about the most exciting businesses of all sizes and industries, who are impacted by new technologies. We are looking forward to meeting with our fellow startups as well as tech giants, and gaining insights into what’s going on in their businesses and indeed industry. This year over 22,000 attendees will be making their way to Dublin from all corners of the globe to hear insights from over 300 speakers across dozens of stages and roundtables. We are looking forward to those pivotal conversations.


So what are we doing there?

As part of the Alpha Class 50 most promising startups, we are going to be using this opportunity to exhibit ourselves to fellow selectees on the list, as well as investors, the media and fellow entrepreneurs. We are really looking forward to networking with the other companies that are all using different technologies to disrupt the industries they operate in as we are all passionate about making consumers lives easier.


One of the main highlights of Web Summit is the impressive list of noteworthy speakers, who will be present at the event to share their unique perspectives and insights. The event attracts some of the biggest names in technology but these are a few of the most anticipated talks of the summit.  


Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram

Krieger will be talking about his vision for Instagram, which recently overtook Twitter with over 400 million users worldwide in September 2015, making it the largest social media platform, second only to Facebook. Instagram is an invaluable tool to advertisers, not only because it offers increased reach and enhanced engagement, but because of the power it affords in terms of the ability to carry out native advertising - one possible solution to AdBlockers. Given that we operate in the AdTech industry, we are particularly excited for this talk.


Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr and Slack

Butterfield is the co-founder of photo-sharing website Flickr and the team messaging application Slack. His talk will focus on how Slack may one day make e-mail obsolete, which is in itself quite a bold statement. After all, it’s hard for any of us to imagine a world without e-mail. However, the fact that applications like Slack exist to challenge the status of e-mail as one of the main means of communication is again testament to the true extent of digitalisation. Indeed, nothing is immune to change or disruption. As we consider ourselves part of the digital disruption, it would be incredibly interesting to gain some insights from a fellow digital disrupter.


Nico Sell, CEO of wickr

As the CEO of the ‘most trusted mobile messenger in the world’, Nico Sell takes privacy very seriously. Her vision is to allow people to communicate safely and anonymously, whilst being able to control what information is retained on the other end. Wickr encrypts messages from device to device, meaning that they don’t even know don’t know who their users are, who they’re talking to or what they’re saying. With the internet giving us unprecedented access to information, and endless stories of hacking and data leakages, it is refreshing that a company is trying to be the safest messenger in the world.


4 days until Web Summit! See you there!




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Demand-Side Platforms and Supply-Side Platforms

In our previous post, we mapped out for you what the digital advertising ecosystem looks like, and showed you just how complex it is. However, it is worth taking a moment to explain exactly what a Demand-side Platform and a Supply-side Platform are.  


What is a Demand-Side Platform?

In simple terms, a DSP is a technology platform that enables advertisers to evaluate and bid for online media using the vendor-neutral RTB ecosystem.


Traditionally, digital ads were bought and sold by ad buyers, which was a costly and unreliable system. DSPs have helped to make the process cheaper and more efficient through automation i.e removing human interaction from the transaction part of the process. According to Jack Marshall, many advertisers would rather purchase ads using DSPs as it is a more cost efficient way to do so.

DSPs started out as a way to facilitate digital ad transactions, they now allow advertisers to buy, serve and track the success of their ads using only one tool. They also enable advertisers to optimise their campaigns more easily as a result. DSPs also have the upper hand in terms of reach as they centralise access to inventory from a multitude of supply-side platforms (SSPs), allowing them to reach more people - allowing advertisers to scale up their campaigns. DSPs also allow for more effective targeting, which can be done using demographic data (age, gender etc.), psychographic data (likes and interests) and behavioural data (e.g the car they drive, their bank or insurance provider).

When working with a DSP, you provide the advertisements, such as banner graphics, along with your desired target market or markets and your maximum budget. The platform then identifies advertising opportunities across multiple networks, finding the best prices for the most eyeballs in your target demographic, and purchases those advertising spaces on your behalf until your budget is exhausted.


And now for Supply-Side Platforms…

A supply-side platform (SSP) is a piece of software used by publishers to sell advertising in an automated way. A supply-side platform is essentially the publisher equivalent of a DSP.

While DSPs are used by advertisers on the buy-side to buy ad impressions from exchanges, as cheaply as possible, SSPs are used by publishers to maximise the prices of their impressions (an ad view.)  The publisher’s current problem is that programmatic buying is driving the value of their impressions down, this is where SSPs step in. SSPs allow publishers to connect to a huge range of potential buyers by connecting their inventory to multiple ad exchanges and DSPs, the idea being that publishers can maximise their inventory revenue. Publishers can also set price floors (the minimum price they want to be paid for an impression), and they can decide which advertisers can and cannot purchase inventory. In short, SSPs are giving publishers more control over their inventory.


To illustrate the relationship between the buy and sell side, we have created this diagram for you.

In an ideal world, a DSP or an SSP would be a neutral player. However, in reality, this may not be the case.  After all, while a DSP/SSP may be independent, it could also be just one subsidiary of a much bigger company. Many of the big players, like Google and Yahoo!, also operate their own DSPs. (Google has DoubleClick Bid Manager; Yahoo! has BrightRoll.) In 2011, Google acquired the SSP Admeld, merging this with its DoubleClick Ad Exchange. Even Facebook is getting in on the act, as it is right now preparing to launch its own DSP in 2016.

This is a manifestation of the wider trend towards the creation of “walled gardens”. According to James Hercher at the Adexchanger, “when ad tech companies achieve massive scale, they tend to batten down the hatches”. Having said that, there has been a rise in a number of companies which are determined to break down the barriers of these “walled gardens”.  


Xaxis considers itself an “agnostic alternative to Facebook and Atlas and Google and DoubleClick”, alleging that “the bundling that’s going on is anti-competitive”. Denmark-based Adform is also seeking to be a “media-agnostic, independent partner” that will enable publishers to hold their own against the walled garden platforms of big players like Facebook and Google.


Here at The Media Trader, we greatly value our independence, which we believe allows our clients to trust that we are fully committed to delivering value to them. At the same time, we also have strong working partnerships with key players throughout the digital advertising ecosystem, such as MediaMath, a leading DSP. This means that we thrive in the AdTech industry and are not rediscovering the wheel every time.



5 days to Web Summit! See you there!






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Most of us are aware of the huge evolution from traditional mass media advertising to digital advertising. However, what few of us realise is that, even within the digital advertising landscape, there have been some drastic shifts.


Traditional model

However, the rapid digitalisation of advertising as a whole has resulted in the formation of numerous different companies, each one offering a unique product or service that adds value to the link between the publisher and advertiser. Hence, the digital advertising ecosystem has had to evolve significantly from the much simpler model of days gone by, in order to take into account the new players in the ecosystem. This has meant that a much more complex model.


According to the IAB, “The digital environment that connects websites that live on the Internet together, and with people, is done with such precision that to map it out for people makes it look like something bright, blinking and living, and straight out of a sci-fi movie.”


To make things simpler, here is our own simplified diagram to help you.


Today’s model



These are some simple definitions to help you understand each player in the ecosystem.


Media buyers

Media buyers negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime on behalf of their clients.


Trading Desks

A Trading Desk, as we’ve mentioned before, is a service committed to helping advertisers and agencies buy online advertising. This is done through real-time bidding (RTB), enhanced with data. An example of this is The Media Trader.  


Ad Networks

An online advertising service provider often with proprietary technology, that helps marketers run display advertising campaigns across various sources of online inventory, for example Google, Yahoo.


Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs)

A DSP is a tech platform that enables buyers to evaluate and bid for online media using RTB, for example MediaMath, Turn, Data XU.


Data Management Platforms or DMPs, as we’ve already mentioned, are platforms that allow marketers to manage and understand the vast amounts of data that is constantly being generated by consumers, who are digitalising at a ridiculous pace, for example Krux.


Ad Exchanges

Ad Exchanges are online auction marketplaces that facilitate the buying and selling of inventory across multiple ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs), for example Doubleclick (by Google, Right Media, Facebook Exchange, OpenX).


Supply-Side Platform (SSP)

SSPs are tech platforms that help publishers to maximise ad revenues when managing and selling inventory on ad exchanges and networks, for example Rubicon and PubMatic.


It is important to note that, although the lines that separate the various functions appear to be clearly drawn, in reality this might actually be far from the case. This blurring of the lines is largely due to the ongoing consolidation in the AdTech industry, a trend that experts like Ciaran O’Kane have identified.


First of all, there is a rise in the number of market makers, who work for both the buy-side and the sell-side. Krux is an example of such a company, working with publishers, marketers, agencies, DMPs, as well as SSPs. Additionally, many companies are starting to offer their clients an integrated solution. For example, Rocket Fuel has a Programmatic Marketing Platform, providing its clients with both a DMP and a DSP.


The Media Trader is an independent trading desk and we are specialised in programmatic buying, using RTB and enhanced with data. We know the digital advertising system may seem like a complex place, but we are here to simplify this for our clients. We thrive in the ecosystem and can help clients to navigate it as it evolves.  


7 days to Web Summit! See you there!









The photo sharing social network follows industry trend

Following Instagram and Snapchat’s decisions to allow Ads on their platforms, Pinterest too is opening up to advertising. Within B2C marketing, brands have realised the potential for high returns on social networking platforms where aesthetic is everything. Like Instagram, Pinterest is full of immersive content. If advertisers master their engagement well, there are opportunities for them to increase conversions. Some ad buyers are sceptical however, given that Pinterest’s technology is relatively limited compared to its competitors. Instagram, for example, is able to use parent company, Facebook’s technology. Pinterest has been noted as a strong alternative to search advertising, as users are able to upload, collect and bookmark what interests them. This offers a lot of potential for advertisers, as Pinterest now allows marketers to collect data concerning its users. Technology providers have already swooped in to make sense of Pinterest users and how they respond to products. This in turn will help advertisers to serve their ads based on the collection of user’s interests and aspirations. With the rise of AdBlock, publishers such as Pinterest are looking to generate revenue from native advertising - that is, advertisements that are embedded in the support, which users cannot block.


City AM

Adblock and the confidence crisis of advertisers


With AdBlocker posing a serious threat to publisher’s revenues, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has launched a LEAN ads program with clear guidelines for advertisers on what ads are likely to push people to install ad blockers in the first place. City AM has taken serious measures to convince readers that they benefit from seeing ads. They are not alone in this approach to offset losses in revenue due to a lack of advertiser’s confidence. Most publishers are simply reminding their audiences that by blocking ads they may damage the content they want to see, and that they may even have to subscribe online in order to keep publications going. City AM’s digital director Martin Ashplant had two striking facts in order to justify the paper’s decision: the first that around 20% of its 1.2 million monthly browsers are using ad blocking software. Second that ad blocking is set to cost publishers in excess of $40bn by the end of 2016 according to a report from Adobe and anti-ad blocking firm PageFair. This continues the ongoing discussion concerning AdBlock in that advertisers, publishers and technologists need to work together in order for audiences to accept online ads.


Smart TV


American brands should be using programmatic to transform the way they advertise on TV.


What with the imminent boom in Smart TV, it may be wise for brands to use their new foray into programmatic buying as a foundation to advertise more intelligently on TV.  American brands are diverting their ad spend away from conventional television advertising, moving towards digital video. To help them make this transition, they are relying on programmatic buying strategies. 91% of brands and agencies in the US are now buying video programmatically. It is of course a welcome trend that brands are pumping more into digital video and programmatic buying. After all, by “following their consumers online”, they are reaching their desired audience more effectively. However, the danger is that this is done at the expense of traditional TV advertising. (While digital video ad spend is steadily increasing, TV ad spend is beginning to stagnate.) Instead of cutting out traditional TV advertising altogether, they should be using programmatic to transform the way they advertise on TV. Even in the UK, Sky News launching its own programmatic service to sell ads on every platform, even Smart TV.



After its 2 recent scandals, does Apple need to step up its data privacy policy?

Apple had to pull 256 apps from its App store when it discovered that these apps were illegally collecting personal data from iPhone owners, such as serial numbers and e-mail addresses. This latest piece of news follows hot on the heels of last week’s scandal, which saw Apple pulling several apps that could spy on encrypted traffic. People are concerned, as well they should be. With the world going digital, there is an explosion of data. At the same time, with so many consumers going mobile, businesses are finding it hard to track their online behaviour, with cookies quickly becoming obsolete. This has encouraged bad behaviour among businesses, which are resorting to underhand tactics such as spying on consumers. What we can learn from this is that it is crucial to work with businesses who operate with a stringent data privacy policy.



10 days until Web Summit! See you there!




We all know the Web Summit to be one of the most prestigious gatherings of startups in the global technology ecosystem. However, what few people realise is that it had its own humble beginnings as a startup just 5 years ago. Web Summit started with just 400 attendees in Dublin. In just 4 short years, 22,000 people from more than 100 countries were in attendance. Evidently, people seemed to like what they were doing.

Web Summit was born out of the founder’s desire to find a new way to conduct conferences that were catered to startups and giving them exposure. Instead of allowing the large companies to dominate the main stage, Web Summit would ensure that small companies were not neglected.


According to the founder of Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave, one of the key differences in how the event was organised was through the hiring of engineers and data specialists, as opposed to event managers as in days gone by. They found that this improved the efficiency of the process significantly. It might seem surprising that something as inherently social as a human gathering could rely so heavily on data. However, again this demonstrates the sheer power of data and just how prevalent it is today.


We don’t always get it right and when we look at what we have done in the past, we sometimes wince. But we care about getting it right and about giving startups the best experience we can - Paddy Cosgrave, founder of Web Summit



Despite the success of the summit, the Web Summit is committed to constantly improving the experience of startups. The Web Summit is a premium event, and they are extremely discerning in who they eventually invite to the event, having turned down more than 1,000 startups that have communicated with them in the last month alone!



Here at The Media Trader, we are proud to be a start up, dedicated to digital disruption. It is an honour to have been acknowledged by Web Summit as one of the 50 most promising startups in the world. We started with a great idea - using programmatic and RTB, enhanced with data, to make digital advertising more efficient and transparent. But this is just the beginning. We believe that the more we build our product offering and client base, the more established companies in this industry will start to take notice. 



12 days until the Web Summit! See you there!






An Introduction to Retargeting

Targeting is one of the main fundamentals in advertising. However, with old models of advertising, this could not be done very effectively. It is for this reason that digital advertising really took the world by storm. One of its major innovations is retargeting, which allows precision targeting at scale. The real power of cookies lies in their ability to enable retargeting.  


Retargeting can be conceptualised as a back and forth dialogue between advertisers and consumers. Advertisers take a cue from their consumers' online behaviour, to determine where in the purchase funnel their consumers are situated.  They can then respond strategically with the appropriate ad, which may push them further down the purchase funnel, ultimately resulting in a conversion (action). They can also target people who have completed the intended action (e.g subscribing or purchasing), to bring them into the funnel again.

The purchase funnel comprises of 3 stages:

  • Awareness (when users who may or may not already desire to purchase are made aware of your brand),

  • Consideration (when users think about making a purchase)

  • Action (this can range from subscribing to a newsletter to an actual transaction)


So, as always, what is it?

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that can help advertisers to serve their ad to someone even after they have left the advertiser’s website. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach users who don’t convert (i.e take an action) right away.


How does it work?

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses a Javascript code to anonymously ‘follow’ an advertiser’s audience across the Web.

Site-based retargeting is the most common practice of serving ads to people who visit advertiser’s websites after they leave. These ads appear on the other sites the user subsequently visits, keeping an advertiser’s message in front of site visitors in an attempt to bring them back to their site.

For a simple illustration of how this works, we made the following diagram:


The Process

When someone visits a website, a few lines of code will drop an anonymous browser cookie. This cookie is a small file that stores information. The cookie stores the site visit, but does not store any personal information, such as the site visitor’s name, address etc.

The cookie lets the retargeter know when one of these visitors appears on another site. When an ad space becomes available on the website the user is visiting, the retargeter will bid on that space in real-time. If they are the highest bidder, they will secure the ad space before the page loads. This entire process is of course automated and occurs within a fraction of a second. This is RTB.


Audience Benefit

Retargeting is so effective because it focuses advertising spend on users who are already familiar with an advertiser's brand and have recently demonstrated their interest. The majority of marketers who use it gain a higher ROI (Return on Investment).

The audience also benefits from being served more relevant ads which improves their online experience.


Retargeting has its problems, however.

No advertiser wants to annoy its current or potential audience, or to make these users feel as if their every move is being followed across the web. Retargeting is all about balance. In order to rectify this, advertisers can set a frequency cap to limit the number of impressions each of your users is served.


Here’s the main takeaway

Retargeting is a very powerful branding and conversion optimisation tool.


Here at The Media Trader, we ensure that your advert(s) do not appear more than once in a given amount of time. We also help you to avoid annoying or overwhelming your current and potential audiences. Finally, as we are committed to transparency, we analyse the success of your ads, showing you the clickthrough rates and conversions.  

13 days to go until the Web Summit! See you there!




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All you need to know about Cookies

It is not a coincidence that your Web ads, whichever site you may be on, match your interests or indeed your browsing history. Cookies are making advertising increasingly more effective.


So what are they?

Cookies are the passive part of a tracking mechanism. They are usually small text files with ID tags that are stored on your computer's browser directory. Cookies are created when you visit a website that uses tag management to keep track of your movements within the site, helps you resume where you left off, remembers your registered login, theme selection, preferences, and other customization functions.

The next time you visit that site, your PC checks to see if it has a cookie that is relevant (that is, one containing the site name) and sends the information contained in that cookie back to the site.

Some cookies are even more sophisticated. They might record how long you’ve spent on each page of a site, the links you click, even your preferences for page layouts, colour schemes and language. They can also be used to store data on what is in your ‘shopping cart’, adding items as you click.


Good things about cookies:

  • Cookies limit the number of times an ad is shown particularly in the case of annoying popup ads. Cookies ensure that a popup only shows up once per visit.

  • Cookies help the website you're viewing and remembers the pages you've visited, enabling ads to show up in a particular order.

  • Cookies enable advertisers to know how many times their ads were shown on publishers' websites.

  • Cookies allow advertisers to keep track of how many people visited the advertisers' websites through a click or a response on the ads shown by third party ad serving companies on publishers' websites. This feature helps both the ad serving company and the advertiser determine if a particular advertising campaign produced the desired results.

  • If you do not complete the purchase on a website and return to the online store at a later time or date, the website can retrieve the items in your basket from the cookie information stored on your device.


Types of Cookies

  • Session cookie

Also called a transient cookie, this is erased when you close the Web browser. Session cookies do not collect information from your computer.

  • Persistent cookie

Also called a permanent cookie, or a stored cookie, a cookie that is stored on your hard drive until it expires or until you delete the cookie. Persistent cookies are used to collect identifying information about the user, such as Web surfing behaviour or user preferences for a specific Web site.


Good news!

When cookies first started to appear, there was controversy. Some people were worried that their data was collected without their consent, which could then be used to build a picture of their browsing habits. EU law now requires all sites that use cookies to seek your express permission to store and retrieve data about your browsing habits. You can see this when you first visit a site’s home page.


Cookies: here today, gone tomorrow?

People are using increasingly more mobile platforms, across multiple devices. This could therefore make cookies obsolete, and sooner than we think. Cookie tracking has become outdated. It lacks the sophistication to accurately identify consumers. The tracking is limited to a single browser within a single device. Technology needs to adapt, and is expected to do in the next 3 years or so. Cookieless tracking will place greater importance on cross-channel attribution modeling to accurately access publisher performance and overall effectiveness.

Here at The Media Trader, we are using cookieless tracking mechanisms. Instead, we implement unique user ID technology (UID) as a tracking device. This means that when users click onto our website, they will be given the same ID no matter what device they are on.


14 days until the Web Summit. See you there!




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Publishers offering advertisers larger audience

Following the upselling model in fast food restaurants, publishers can now offer advertisers the ability to reach not just their target audience across different sites and devices, but also find and serve ads to potential audience members. Publishers want to monetise their content. When they find that this is inadequate, they will offer advertisers Audience or Reach Extension. This throws advertiser’s nets wider, through using model lookalikes. That is, lookalikes that are based on other users demonstrating similar preferences and behaviours as those of an advertiser’s established audience. They have to do this with precision as advertisers ultimately want brand awareness. This is composed of brand assimilation and targeting the right people. They do not want to target the wrong people or to decrease the value of their brand. Should publishers succeed in successful reach extension, they will drive more sales and increase their incremental revenue as a result.  



Apple taking advertising into their own hands

Advertising dollars are gravitating towards where audiences are, and audiences are increasingly on mobile devices. This is particularly true in Asia, where mobile penetration is greater than in Western Europe. The mobile market is greater than even the laptop market. Engaging users can be done in two ways on mobiles; through desktop mobile (internet on your smartphone) or through an app. More and more users are spending most of their time inside apps, as these are more interactive than mobile websites. When Apple released its latest version of ios (ios 9), it allowed Apple users to have Ad Blocker on Safari (mobile), but not on apps. Through closing down advertising on their browser, Apple are now able to squeeze those who want to serve ads on Apple’s apps.   



Television to be the new data mine?

With television going ‘smart’, there is a huge opportunity for televisions to provide ample amounts of data to publishers and advertisers. Television is a deeper and more immersive experience, with audiences being less likely to be distracted, compared to watching content on their mobile devices. Advertisers are spending a lot on TV advertising as we know it, but smart TV is promised to be bigger than this and attract a lot more investment. Traditional projected models using representative samples were found to be inadequate. With Smart TV, advertisers will be able to see what the household is watching, and by how many people.  The US has emerged as an experimental market in digital (smart) TV, with a restaurant chain trialling LCI TV (NinthDecimal and TiVo’s tool) to test its advertising related to a major sporting event. They found that out of 2.3 million store visits logged during the campaign, c.350,000 were driven by TV. LCI TV can also be used to create real-world segments based on physical behaviour for example frequent diners, customers who visit once a week rather than creating segments based on age and gender (Demographic segmentation).



Improving data will be key in informing Mars’ new behavioural targeting strategies.

Evidently, to stay competitive in the FMCG sector, Mars has a lot of “catching up to do in the digital race”. The company is trying to move beyond its conventional tactics of basic demographic targeting, towards more sophisticated behavioural targeting; the behaviour being targeted here being “impulsivity”.  Mars wants their ad to be displayed at the precise moment a potential consumer feels impulsive. In order to discern this crucial moment, they need a lot of data about their consumers. Hence, it might be wise for Mars to invest in programmatic marketing. After all, serving relevant content to the right person at the right time is precisely what programmatic marketing is all about. Relevant content is more likely to be shared, increasing brand awareness, and also gives potential customers the push they need to be converted to real customers.



Better attribution solutions need to be developed to meet marketers’ demands for greater accountability.

Marketing budgets are still rising but at a slower rate, as a result of falling confidence in the economic outlook. Here’s the danger: cutbacks in marketing budgets actually feed into a vicious cycle – the fall in brand awareness that follows reduced marketing spend ultimately translates to reduced profits. Regardless, with budgets getting tighter, marketers are calling for greater accountability. This means that getting a return on their investment has never been more important. Hence, it is crucial that better attribution solutions are developed to meet the demands for more accountability. This would demonstrate to companies the impact of their investment, helping them understand what initiatives drove specific results, so that they can adjust their marketing strategies according. Furthermore, this could explain the strong push for programmatic solutions, which enable real-time decision-making that ultimately optimise advertising expenditure.



YouTube urges advertisers to shift TV media spend to their online platform before the impending Smart TV boom.

It is not hard to see why advertisers are attracted to YouTube as an advertising platform. Firstly, YouTube offers advertisers the benefit of audience scale. ComScore found that YouTube reaches 100% of 18 to 34-year-olds in the UK. YouTube also offers higher engagement levels. The premise is that someone who watches something on YouTube makes a conscious decision to, which therefore results in increased engagement. However, despite its viability as a platform at present in 2015, YouTube may have underestimated the massive impact of the impending Smart TV boom in the advertising industry. This could explain YouTube’s most recent efforts to get as many advertisers onboard as possible. It could perhaps be said that Google might be misguided in shutting down access to YouTube from other platforms.


17 days until WebSummit. See you there!





What is Web Summit?

Web Summit is a global forum, bringing together players in the technology industry including representatives from Fortune 500 companies to the world’s most exciting startups.  In just 4 years, the Web Summit has grown from 400 attendees to over 22,000 from more than 110 countries. It’s known as “the best technology conference on the planet”.


We’re delighted to be part of ALPHA 2015’s list of 50 most promising startups and to have the chance to exhibit ourselves. We’re looking forward to meeting and learning more about the other companies who have been invited.


Through researching our fellow start-ups, we noted that no matter where you are in the world, you can bring your business idea to reality due to technology. The other start ups also span a whole range of industries, including health, sport and food. These three caught our attention:


Selfie Pay  

Based on the Selfie phenomenon, this is an app that uses facial recognition through your smartphone camera to verify your identity when purchasing something through your phone.



Telescrypts have created a low-cost medical device that health workers can use in order to provide life-saving care worldwide to anyone without education. They have already trialled the device in Uganda.



Scoutee is a an innovative mini device that allows athletes to record their speed and performance. The device is connected to an app that collates personal analytics, stores videos and allows athletes to be discovered by coaches and scouts.


The fact that these start-ups span entirely different sectors shows how much technology has had such a profound impact on our lives, whether we are customers, patients or athletes.


Following on from this point, what we all have in common is that we are using technology in order to disrupt the industries we operate in and making things easier for different clients.  Another trend is the strong emphasis on mobile. Companies have sprung up because they realise that everyone is spending more and more time on their devices.


We are extremely proud to be one of the few representing the AdTech industry.  



18 days to go. See you there!



The Complexity of Data

Let’s start with a fun fact: according to IBM, “everyday, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.”

Frequent readers of this blog will have noticed that we are constantly mentioning data - with a special emphasis this week. It really is vital to today’s competitive digital advertising landscape. Data offers companies a huge competitive advantage, if analysed and used correctly.

It is so rich a source of information that it can inform advertisers what customers need and want and how or why they buy. Data drives programmatic buying so that advertisers can target the people they want with absolute precision, making their advertising more efficient.

Sanjay Mirchandani, chief information officer at EMC, claims that “the onus [...] is to leverage data.” Data gives decision makers more authority, as it is difficult to argue with facts. By leveraging data, you are able to understand your customers and their preferences better, and therefore able to create better, personalised ads for them. The more your business grows, the more data you acquire which is beneficial to you for reasons mentioned above.

We have also mentioned that due to huge advances in technology, it has become more affordable and easier to gather information. This is fantastic for businesses and governments alike, argues McKinsey. Big Data (vast amounts of data) has created new growth opportunities and entirely new categories of companies, such as those that aggregate and analyse industry data. We talked about these yesterday - Data Management Platforms (DMPs).


While this is all well and good for businesses and their strategies, the issue is just how much data is out there. So much so that in order to gather, analyse and store it, technology and machine-based systems have to step in. There’s also the cost of storing data - the greatest cost to those who benefit from it most.

Big Data, Big Complexity

With people owning several devices at once, companies now have different ‘touchpoints’ on everyone. That is to say that they now can collect more data on individuals and connect it all together. Consumers are becoming more and more careful about how much data they give to companies, perhaps without even realising the value of their data. Consumers are also entitled to know how much data a company may have about them and how they are using it. The Sony hacking scandal demonstrated that anyone can be targeted, and can have their dated leaked: the issue is not a new one. Confidential data about employees and their families as well as employee’s salaries were leaked, consumers became skeptical as a result and have started educating themselves about handing over data.


With these growing concerns, some good news has arisen in that there is now standardisation on the cloud (internet) of safe storage for data. Companies such as Rackspace are ensuring greater safety standards when storing their customer’s data on their cloud. They want to ensure the same level of security when it comes to protecting virtual assets as companies would protect their physical assets. They break down their security process and look at Cloud Threat Protection, assess vulnerability and protect their customer’s most sensitive data. Furthermore, advertisers can use a White-label registry (e.g Bluekai), providing consumers with complete transparency on their data that has been collected, as well as giving them the choice to ‘opt out’.

The change of the adtech industry on the concern of ad fraud has prioritised the best practice of the market. According to Media Math, it is through education, clear standards & policies, and industry-wide data-sharing that the industry can improve itself, ensuring safety for consumers.


Here’s the main take away: the combination of incredibly smart technology, data safety and transparency are vital for digital ad success.


Here at the Media Trader, we take transparency and data safety very seriously because we fully understand its value, not only to us, but to our clients. We don’t sell data, we simply analyse it using Skylads software giving you better insights into effectively serving adverts to the most relevant people.


19 days until The Web Summit in Dublin. See you there!







We have said this time and again: data plays a crucial role in our increasingly digital world. Hence, it should be no surprise that data and its quality are considered the main source of competitive advantage in the AdTech industry.


This is exemplified by the trend of companies acquiring DMPs to help them carry out their work more efficiently, as well as to enable them to offer a more integrated solution to their clients. Examples include Oracle’s acquisition of BlueKai (Feb 2014), Rocket Fuel’s acquisition of [x+1] (Aug 2014) and Nielsen’s acquisition of eXelate (March 2015).


According to Mark Zagorski, CEO of eXelate,

8-10% of Fortune 100 companies currently use a DMP, and the majority of companies will be using a DMP in some capacity within 2 years or so.

But what exactly is a DMP?

Plainly speaking, a Data Management Platform is a platform that allows marketers to manage and understand the vast amounts of data that is constantly being generated by consumers, who are digitilising at a ridiculous pace.

What exactly does a DMP do?

A DMP does 1 (or a combination) of 3 things.

1.     Collects Data

2.     Stores Data

3.     Manages the output of the data

As Millenials, we are extremely well-connected, with most of us being connected on at least 1 device, and an increasing number of us being connected across almost all devices (i.e. smart phones, desktops, tablets, wearable technology, etc.). You can therefore imagine the amount of data that is being generated at any point in time. DMPs that collect data therefore collate first, second and third party data across devices. Google Analytics is an example of such a DMP (but only for first party data).




With so much data being generated, it would cost a fortune to store it. Therefore, it makes sense that the second thing DMPs provide is a cost-efficient storage solution.

Finally, some DMPs focus more on the output of the data. These DMPs neither collect nor store data. Instead, they play much more of a managerial role, by tapping into the pool of data, and helping clients manage and use it more effectively. An example of such a DMP is Krux, which uses sophisticated algorithms to “unlock the value of first-party data”.

So that is what DMPs can do. But what value does a DMP bring to the table? Why are so many companies acquiring dedicated DMPs?

Firstly, DMPs provide an unprecedented level of depth and breadth to the data. This is difficult to achieve if you just have recourse to data from one source, e.g. the data you collect from your own website. DMPs, on the other hand, are aggregating data from millions of people, across millions of devices, whatever the support.

Secondly, through managing the output of data, DMPs are able to suggest new groups of people to target. In yesterday’s post, we had explained the concept of data modeling. This is one such way that DMPs can add value for their clients.

Another way that DMPs can do this is through segmentation, which is the generation of labels to describe groups of people within one’s audience. Examples of segments include age, gender, geographic, or socio-economic groups. This enables much more precise targeting. With methods like data modeling and segmentation, DMPs are therefore able to give their clients a return on their data.  

Following from all of this, there is the final benefit of scale.

According to Mark Zagorski, “scale breeds accuracy”. The more data you can collect and access, the more times you can look for anomalies between data sets. Evidently, with so much data available, sorting through it and making sense of it is bound to be difficult. In order to make the most of lookalike modelling, and to ensure it works, one needs to constantly assess and look for anomalies within the data.

Here at the Media Trader, we pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve. We know the crucial role DMPs play in the AdTech industry, and have a strong partnership with Skylads, a digital advertising software company with a dedicated DMP. Therefore, we are confident that we can manage all forms of data, no matter how complex, to generate the best possible results for our clients.

P.S.: 20 days to go until the Web summit, Dublin. See you there!




The modern consumption process (where consumers do extensive online research before they make a purchase, buy products online or using their mobile, etc.) generates a lot of data. In the past, with everything being done on paper, things were a lot more inefficient. Now, however, all of this data can be gathered, shared and transferred much more easily.

In fact, data has become more important than ever before. With brands and advertisers all vying for the attention of the Millennial Generation (consumers under 35, who make up 25% of British adults), there is a massive push towards data-driven marketing. This approach to marketing has been heralded as the main way forward.

A recent report by Turn and Forbes revealed that marketers are six times more likely to report a higher profit when using data-driven marketing.

Indeed, one thing many of the big players can agree on is the importance of data.


A global review of data-driven marketing by GlobalDMA and the Winterberry Group found in its survey of 3,000 marketing professionals that nearly all recognize the importance of data in advertising and customer experience efforts, with over 77 percent saying they're confident in its prospects for future growth.

According to Pierre Naggar, managing director of Turn Europe, “marketers can base their decisions, for marketing campaigns as well as to inform wider business decisions, on what their customers really want, rather than rely on guesswork”.


According to Brendon Ritz, Meltwater’s Growth Hacker,

“Armed with… data, you can make informed decisions to help set goals, surpass them, grow the company, and prove the department’s worth.”


We thought we’d sum this up for you in the following diagram.

Despite the growing importance of data, there are many amongst us who may still fear it, thinking it means complexity and confusion.


After all, as per Brendon Ritz, “some people are uncomfortable with numbers and metrics. For many of us marketers, our strengths are in relationships, language and other softer skills.”

So let us first try to get to grips with exactly what data is.


What is data?

Data refers to the figures and statistics that have been collated for analysis.


Types of Data


First Party Data

This data is collected from your own audience and customers, and it is generally thought of as the most valuable because of its quality. Whatever is decided regarding third-party cookies, first-party data will always be your own – which makes it the safest form of data.

First-party data can come from:

  • Data from an advertiser’s web and mobile analytics tools

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems

  • Transactional systems

  • Data collected from subscriptions and newsletter signups


Second Party Data

Second-party data is first-party data that you can acquire from the source (who collected it). Second-party data can be acquired if you enter into partnership with a particular the person who owns it.

Companies with complementary customer sets (or selling complementary services) can share audience data and extend the insights they’ve derived from their own customer engagement data to enrich customer profiles, reach audiences at scale or help with ad targeting.

An example of this is when you buy a car from Audi or Seat and the information is sent to the mother company, VW, which of course offers complementary services.


Third Party Data

Third party data is collected by external data collection companies (or aggregators) and sold to companies for use. They then analyse the data and express it in summary form.   

Third party data is used to develop marketing segments for targeted marketing initiatives and can either be from data modeling or registration-based data.


  • Data modeling

This refers to when the data is processed, and the range of data is increased to include ‘look-a-likes’ i.e those who could potentially be targeted based on their online behaviour. The accuracy of this is considerably lower than that or registration-based data (i.e 20-50%).


  • Registration-based data

This is when an internet user is registered as a potential buyer based on searches. The accuracy of this is much higher, roughly 70%.


The benefit of third party data is the sheer volume of user data you can access. It can also be used for demographic, behavioural, and contextual targeting. Third party data also plays a critical role in solutions like audience targeting and audience extension.


Here at The Media Trader, we thrive on complexity and no problem is too difficult for us. Using sophisticated algorithms, we are able to process massive amounts of data, no matter how complicated, breaking it down and simplifying it for our clients. We help our clients to make sense of data, turning it into insights that they can use, and therefore producing the best results possible.


P.S.: 21 days to go until the Web summit, Dublin. See you there!





Middle men are destroying the value of consumer data

Adblock is a hot topic right now as consumers, fed up with being bombarded by pop-up windows, loud video content and as a result, slow loading times, are resorting to dangerous methods in order to stop this. The internet has always operated under the tacit agreement that everything is free, for example when you read online newspapers and journals. In order for them to make money, they show the reader advertisements. By using AdBlock, internet users are opting out of this and undermining the online advertisement’s business model. What they don’t know is that the AdBlockers, the middle men, are destroying the value of impressions (the views that translate into money for advertisers) by removing these from your webpages.


Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages

Mobile web speed will soon be catching up with that of desktop.

This is a classic case of good timing as the mobile market is becoming increasingly dominant with more and more people owning smartphones. Google’s new AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology allows publishers’ web pages to load instantly, using less data. It is estimated that AMP cuts the load time of pages by 85 per cent. The biggest problem that Google face is getting advertising to load as quickly as the content. Following on from the above article, adverts contain an awful lot of data which slows down web pages’ loading time. With more and more companies developing AdBlock for mobile devices, this should help loading times even more.


Branded content

The Publishers’ pricing system is changing

In today’s competitive marketing landscape, it is more important than ever to stand out. Page or video views are the dominant measure of success for branded content as results can be meteoric if an advert goes viral. The tide is turning for publishers in that with expectations for views escalating, they now charge strong brands on a Cost-per-view basis rather than a fixed price. They also pay when users have read or viewed content (such as video) all the way to the end. This has disrupted their pricing structure. However, it means that publishers and advertisers work together in order to improve stickiness (anything that encourages a visitor to stay longer on a particular website) as opposed to blasting (aggressively inundating users).


Artificial Intelligence

Google puts itself in the lead of the Artificial Intelligence race

Google has bought an undisclosed stake in the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (the Deutsche Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz or DFKI), making this one of many of its investments into AI in recent years. Their work involves data mining, augmented reality and knowledge management. Google will therefore be able to create the businesses of tomorrow due to combined technologies, innovative alliances and cutting-edge research.


Video Content

Twitter wants jump on the profitable video advertising bandwagon and get higher returns

In the context of online marketing, advertisers no longer need to work with specific publishers to put their ads before videos. This is due Twitter’s two year old programme Amplify which has simplified the process for advertisers allowing them to select and target their desired audience. Their relevant ads will then be be served (or shown) to this audience. Publishers have a monetary incentive to share their video content on Twitter (with a 70:30 split in their favour). Ordinary Twitter users can also benefit from this programme. For example, if you want to tweet the latest trailer of an upcoming film, you no longer need to go to YouTube. Instead, you can find it and add it on Twitter.


Advertising on Instagram

Native advertising on Instagram boosts conversion rates and consumer engagement levels

Instagram, which recently overtook Twitter with 400 million users worldwide, has opened up its advertising beyond exclusive clients like Lexus and Burberry. Instagram boasts a huge conversion rate and high levels of consumer engagement. The fact that the new ads are so embedded in the platform that consumers are unlikely to perceive them as ads makes it an excellent platform for photo or video-driven native advertising. While opening up its advertising increases the access of small companies, it also sparks concerns amongst advertisers, who feel that Instagram needs to exert more control in order to continue to provide brand safe and quality inventory.


Digital Literacy

The world is becoming increasingly digital; A new study revealed that 25% of children under 3 now own iPads.

This demonstrates the increasing “digital literacy” of today’s youth, in line with the wider trend of digitilisation. The growing importance of the “second screen” highlights just how crucial it is for advertisers to evolve along with the times. Traditional display advertising may no longer be as effective in the near future, what with the boom in mobile and video advertising.     


How KFC Uses Data

To promote its new product, KFC used geotargeting technology to target their desired consumers.

KFC targeted busy parents with families, whom they had identified as their main target consumer group. By engaging with customers who were nearby KFC stores, KFC was able to successfully increase store traffic, as well as generate a click-through rate that was 40% above industry benchmark. This is just one example of how companies can use data to generate valuable consumer insights, allowing them to target the right consumer in the right place at the right time. Data is indeed a huge source of competitive advantage.


How William Hill Uses Data

A new player in the world of Big Data, William Hill is looking to use consumer data to create personalised bets in real time.

The UK betting giant processes more transactions in a minute than Amazon. They have implemented a new tech which will help them to analyse and use the vast amount of data that is being generated by these transactions in real time, in order to provide a more personalised service, offering the company new growth prospects. William Hill is one of many companies which are becoming increasingly aware of just how valuable their data can be. It is the companies that are able to manage and use data effectively that will be able to create new sources of competitive advantage for themselves.


Financial Times to become “mobile first”

How newspapers are following the digitilisation and nomadisation of its audience

The Financial Times is developing a new site that is “mobile first”. Knowing just how important the “second screen” is at present, its decision to ensure that its content is viewable on mobile devices as well as desktops is probably a good one. The Financial Times is only one of many publishers that is going “mobile first”. What this trend means for advertisers is that there is now a need for them to adapt their campaigns, moving away from traditional display, and perhaps more towards mobile and video.







The Media Trader is proud to announce that we have been included on Web Summit’s list of the world’s top 50 most promising startups. The Web Summit will take place from the 3rd - 5th November in the Silicon Valley of Europe, Dublin. Dublin has been hosting the summit since 2010, and this will be its final year as host. The city is also home to some of the biggest players in the tech industry such as Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter.

It is important in this dynamic and fast-paced industry to keep up to date with the latest developments. Players in the tech industry can use this opportunity to network, as well as to share and exchange ideas with one another.  


Over 30,000 attendees from more than 100 countries are set to attend the 2015 Web Summit. This ranges from the world’s most exciting startups to some Fortune 500 companies, including big names like Google, Facebook and Coca-Cola. There are about 700 speakers and 1500 journalists in attendance. The Web Summit has amassed a total of 1,087,796 engaged users on Facebook and 1,390,227 total clicks on Twitter. The summit was viewed over 894,916 times on Youtube during the month of October.


Good news - only 25 days to go!





Anyone in the AdTech industry will have heard about words such as ‘Programmatic’ and ‘RTB’ and how they are used by trading desks in programmatic buying.

Just to refresh your memory, real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time auctions that occur in the time it takes a webpage to load.

Here’s something to give you an idea of how RTB works.

During the loading of the webpage, the user’s information is passed on to the Ad Exchange which puts the advertising space in an auction, operating on the Second Price rule. This means that the highest bidder wins but the price paid is the second-highest bid.

But what is so good about RTB? Why is everyone in the digital advertising industry talking about it?


In the past, advertising inventory was bought and sold in bulk. (Ad inventory refers to the quantity of ad placements available for selling to advertisers during a given period.) With print media, there are limits as to how much advertising space there is. This is not the case with digital marketing, as it is on the internet, and adverts can be placed in several places. The opportunities are endless. Hence, there was still some available inventory leftover.

In order to monetise the leftover content, publishers pushed this through ad exchanges on an auction basis. Publishers were also able to reap the benefit of the vast amount of data available to them, which made even more precise targeting possible.  

Even though it was publishers who started using RTB to monetise their content,  advertisers soon discovered the many capabilities of RTB as well. So much so that, for some companies, it has become the tool of choice for ad buying. The fact that entire companies that specialise in RTB have sprung up in recent years demonstrates just how well it is working.


When you compare RTB to traditional advertising (for example print and broadcasting), you are sending your message out to the masses. However, you have no idea who is seeing your ad, if they have seen it at all. You don’t even know who your customers are. With programmatic, you are able to target the people you want. You are also more certain that it has been seen by the right people. With RTB, you are able to show them relevant advertising in real time.  


According to Leon Siotis, Director of Media at BrightRoll


“The ability to show the right ad, to the right person at the right time appeals to every advertiser no matter what their intent, and this is something that can only be done if you are making that buying decision in real time.”


So, who does RTB benefit?

RTB can benefit both the buy-side (advertisers) and the sell-side (publishers).



RTB gives advertisers greater control over the performance of their campaigns. It enables them to achieve more targeted results for themselves. This is because RTB ensures that advertisers are immediately reaching their desired audience on more than one website and device. This also increases the scale of their advertising. 

Additionally, as they are serving the right impression to the right audience at the right time, their spending will be more efficient. They no longer have to worry about wasted impressions. (An impression refers to a single instance of an online ad being displayed.) Finally, the auction process dispenses with the need to work directly with publishers or ad networks to negotiate ad prices, offering greater transparency.


RTB can help publishers generate more revenue from their ad inventory. If you refer back to the above diagram, you will remember that the ad exchange auctions the space to the highest bidder. Therefore, the higher the bid, the higher the revenue generated from the sale.

The auction pricing system has resulted in concerns that RTB benefits advertisers at the expense of publishers. After all, since publishers are no longer naming the price, some worry that RTB would result in advertisers paying them less for their inventory.

However, there are ways for publishers to retain control over prices. Publishers can set a price floor (the minimum price at which their inventory is sold). The reserve price must be met in order for a transaction to take place. This enables publishers to open their ads up to an auction while ensuring that they maximise inventory revenue.

Here’s the main takeaway: RTB is no longer a thing of the future; it is our present. The benefit it offers in terms of efficiency, precision targeting, transparency and scale means it is here to stay. The reason everyone in the digital advertising industry is talking about it is because everyone wants a bite of the RTB pie. And yet, it remains something that not everyone has the expertise to do.

Here at the Media Trader, we are a trading desk specialising in the use of RTB to optimise the execution of your ad campaign. Our aim is to help you to reach the right person at the right time on the right device.

P.S.: 25 days to go until the Web summit, Dublin. See you there!



Thinking about trading up?

As we spoke about yesterday, a trading desk is a key player in the world of programmatic buying. We exist to optimise advertising budgets by reaching a large audience at a fair price across multiple devices.

But let’s go back to the basics: what exactly does a trading desk do?

Most of us are familiar with the idea of trading on Wall Street and what it means in the financial world, even if we don’t know the ins and outs of how it works. Hence, to understand the role played by digital trading desks, it may be useful to see it as the case of exporting the Wall Street business model and applying it to the advertising industry.


First off, the environment that a digital trading desk operates in is similarly fast-paced and competitive. Secondly, the concept of trading remains much the same but the commodity being traded here is online ad space and the people who see those ads. 

How does the trading happen?

1. Publishers, in order to monetise their content, link their ad space to the buying ecosystem.
2. With the help of the trading desk, advertisers decide who they want to reach and which space would be the most effective to enable them to reach this audience.
(General rule of thumb: The more popular the space, the greater the price the client is keen to pay for it.)
The trading desk puts forward a price to bid for each space according to the people watching the content, the screen they are using and the support.
3. The auction takes place, with the one paying the most winning the space.
4. This entire process happens in under 250 milliseconds. This is incredibly fast, demonstrating that it is happening in real time, hence the name RTB (Real-Time Bidding).


This business model arose as a way to enhance publishers’ online ad space using data.  This broke with traditional methods of online advertising. The reason why it is working so well is because advertisers now know their audience. It is no longer the case of them taking a stab in the dark. There has been a movement away from previous reliance on mass media, such as print and broadcasting, towards linking your message with specific people.

To provide you with an overview, there are basically 2 types of trading desks: agency trading desks and independent trading desks.

Agencies have incorporated the trading desk as part of the full range of services they provide to advertisers. Examples include Havas-Adnetik, Publicis-Audience on Demand and WPP-Xaxis. Their expertise in online advertising was relatively low and did not yield such results as someone who is specialised. As a result, advertisers wanted to move their trading in-house. Clients were therefore uncertain about the process and the possibility of being taken advantage of.  

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the independent trading desks. An independent trading desk is a company specialising in trading, that is not directly related to a media agency.

The case for independent trading desks:

We are focused on online advertising, mastering our own technology, and helping advertisers embrace the digitalisation of their clients. As we are experts in our field, the decisions we make can drastically influence the placement and pricing of your advertising. The fact that we do not have to answer to a large holding company also prevents any conflict of interest. We focus solely on the buy-side. Furthermore, we offer greater visibility regarding price and data and ad serving by using an independent tracking device owned by Google. This demonstrates to our clients that we are helping them achieve their goals and assures them of the trust they can have in us.

Finally, as we are a company specialised only in trading, clients need not worry that they are paying us to both manage their ad campaign, as well as for our trading services.

Here’s the main takeaway: As an independent trading desk, the Media Trader is committed to transparency, cost-efficiency and re-establishing your control over your ad campaigns. Educating you about what trading desks do is what we see as the first step in this process. This is what differentiates us from other trading desks, whether they be independent or agency.