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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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HOT ADTECH NEWS

Pinterest

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.

 

Apple

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!

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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!

 

 

 

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