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transparency

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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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THE BASICS OF REAL TIME BIDDING

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THE BASICS OF REAL TIME BIDDING

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).

 

ADVERTISERS

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.


PUBLISHERS

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!


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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.



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