Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why you must have verification when buying RTB

I was in London a few weeks ago talking over a few Guiness Extra Colds with my main man Jake King and he dropped some gems on me. I admittedly know much less about the guts of RTB than I ought to. Now I know a little more. Thought I'd share (and see whether any RTB-ers can refute this).

Disclaimer: I am pro RTB and believe it's the future of all ad buying, but a little dose of cynicism never stopped a bandwagon did it?

When you buy via RTB, you’re buying based on an ID value in the system instead of actual referrer data. What this means is when you win the bid for that impression, you are winning it and paying for it based on what the exchange technology “thinks” it is, not where it is actually showing up.

Why does this matter? Because the exchange technology is no smarter than typical ad serving technology. If a publisher or network downstream of the exchange decides to place the tags anywhere, has dynamic page generation, adds sites to network, etc., the platform cannot tell this has occurred and therefore cannot uphold whitelists and blacklists.

This is due to the fact that the platform aggregates each inventory source and assigns an ID to it, but then downstream each traffic sourcing entity uses its own ID’s, creating the daisy chain that plagued ad nets and gave rise to verification.

So, the whitelist you are buying on, cannot be guaranteed unless the platform has a direct relationship with the publisher. In reality, <15% of the comscore top 100 pubs are accessible via exchanges... The right question to ask when buying RTB – "can you pick up the phone and call the publisher?”

7 Ad Tech Terms That Sound Dirty But Aren't

With all of these high-minded prognostications flying about in adtech-punditland for 2012 I thought I would keep things a bit lighter and go with the holiday tradition of "things that sounds dirty but aren't", with an ad tech spin. Enjoy, groan, or add your own!

1. Private Exchange

2. Cookie Stuffing

3. Insertion Order

4. Blanket Targeting

5. Combined Reach

6. Log Watcher

7. Push Server

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brand.net's Facile Critique

I like these guys a lot, but saying comScore's metrics aren't relevant for RTB betrays a pretty superficial understanding of what comScore actually does. I try to help them "get it" here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Late for a call or meeting?

5 Things You Are Telling Me When You Are 5+ Minutes Late For a Call (Without Emailing)

1. You believe my time is less important to me than yours is to you.

2. You don’t much care what I think of you.

3. I should generally expect you to be late for things.

4. I should expect you to understand if I am late for things.

5. You are really, really busy. I get it.

5 Things I Am Telling You When I Am 5+ Minutes Late For a Call (Without Emailing)

1. I am really, really busy, you get it.

2. I will understand if you are late for future meetings.

3. You should generally expect me to be late for things.

4. I care less what you think about me than whatever it was I was doing for those 5 minutes.

5. I think you care more about getting my time than losing your own.

Monday, October 24, 2011

If I am Steve Ballmer

...I buy Yahoo, AppNexus and MOAT. Collapse Dapper, MOAT, RMX, Atlas, 5to1, AdCenter, et al into a superserver/end to end platform with buyside RTB SEM and Display bid management and optimization, creative optimization, engagement mapping and CPE support, yield optimization and supply side data management. This provides a true challenge to looming DCLK/GOOG dominance. And let O'Kelley, Rubenstein, Paparo and Walrath run it. Lay off a ton of sales folks and force agencies to buy all media (O&O and network) programatically. MSFT is good at IT/b2b and terrible at consumer content (XBOX aside), so spin off/sell MSN and Yahoo content assets (merge with AOL?).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

VC's and entrepeneurs need to know how agencies really work

Ad tech companies are getting a bad name with agency folk - and I don't blame the agency folk.

Way too many companies get founded, funded and operated by people who have never sold a dollar of business to ad agencies. These people then proclaim to understand "what's broken" and to render the agencies obsolete. These same people then realize that brands generally want their agencies to solve the "big problem" the VC invested in solving. So these people end up having to sell to agencies. Whose models they don't understand and whom they have pissed off royally in the initial go to market process.

How do I know? I was one of these operators. I thought I knew a lot more than I did. I thought we could do it without agencies. Our investors thought we could sell into the ad market from Seattle without living out of a suitcase in NYC. We were wrong. Luckily we had smart advisors and clients, a dynamite strategic partner in London, and a hell of a NY VP, who helped us figure it out in time.

The ones who end up doing this well get exits (not outsized exits, but good exits) for investors. The ones who don't, turn into zombies.

Back on the block

And who better to celebrate the return of my blog than "Q" himself - and my man Jamie Foxx - big things in 2012!

Back from hiatus

It's been a busy year. We raised money, and got big. Now, we're busy taking the AdXpose core technology and bringing in comScore's vast audience data assets and research expertise to create what could become a new currency for pricing online advertising: the vGRP.

As I shake off a year that included far too much time spent with investors, lawyers, and bankers, and not nearly enough with clients, partners, and the ecosystem, I look forward to bringing some insights and consistency back to this blog - and some personal favorites too.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo from FutureMidwest Panel

The Internet in Detroit! Marc Kiven, Founder, BrightTag, me, and Bryan Stapp, Chief Marketer, Loud Amplifier. Dean Harris, Chief Marketing Officer, BlueCava