Advertising.com held its East Coast Thought Leadership Summit at The Standard Highline hotel in New York this past Wednesday, gathering agencies and advertisers to discuss key opportunities and challenges around the evolving trends in premium, programmatic, and performance advertising.
Hosted by East region Network Sales Director, Greg Skipper, the summit attracted nearly 80 senior attendees including Citi, Starwood, Gilt, Lord & Taylor, Travelers, L’Oreal, Digitas, Razorfish, and Ogilvy.
During the day long summit, high level discussions were focused around AOL’s barbell strategy, programmatic trends, big data analytics, cross platform research, and mobile. The agenda allowed for conversations with marketing experts Brett Keller, Priceline.com CMO; Elizabeth Francis, Gilt Groupe CMO; Vikram Somaya, WeatherFX GM, as well as key network clients and partners at Citi, Accuen, and Aggregate Knowledge. In-house AOL Networks experts Seth Demsey, Don Kennedy, Doug Boccia, and Chad Gallagher, also took the stage to address current and future opportunities for the marketers in the room. The team members echoed the industry’s need for simplification, calling on the audience to apply a greater focus on streamlined performance and measurement—within their advertising and operational strategies.
To offer unique insights in and out of the digital advertising industry, keynote presenters included David Bell; All-time Jeopardy! Champion, Ken Jennings, and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics. While both Ken and the Mayor’s office’s presentations were heavily premised on the science of automation, they emphasized an important message: human intelligence and talent is imperative to innovation in every industry.
By providing an informative, high-touch experience for the audience, Advertising.com was positioned as both an industry thought leader and end-to-end solutions provider, well-poised to carry the market to the next phase of programmatic, premium, and performance advertising.
Read the follow up media coverage here.
Ned Brody, CEO, AOL Networks
Advertising.com customers can now access Facebook inventory through AOL's massive premium, cross-screen network. With 608M global unique visitors, Advertising.com is one of the largest providers of programmatic buying, and with the addition of Facebook's 1bn users, our reach is expanded even further.
We know that advertisers want to include Facebook inventory in their buys – we're seeing it on RFPs – so we're glad to be able to further meet their needs. Marketers can execute both brand and performance campaigns across screens (desktop, mobile, tablet, connected TVs), across formats (video, mobile, premium formats), and now on one of the most visited sites in the world, all with one buy through Advertising.com.
Working with Advertising.com advertisers will be able to powerfully leverage their own, and AOL's, targeting on Facebook.
At AOL Networks, our mission is to simplify digital advertising at scale. We are delivering on the intersection of premium and programmatic buying for our clients and this is another step in that direction.
* comScore Media Metrix January 2013
CEO, AOL Networks
Strong Emphasis on the Intersection of Premium, Programmatic and Performance Solutions Across Screens
New York, NY – February 5, 2013 – AOL today announced that Advertising.com Group has officially been renamed AOL Networks. The new brand, AOL Networks, aligns with its parent brand AOL, and should help all stakeholders better understand the rich stack of assets and robust technology it brings together for its nearly 20,000 publishers1 and 4,000 advertiser and agency clients2. The new name clearly represents the recognized cross-screen offerings across premium, programmatic and performance advertising.
"AOL Networks will continue to offer global advertising solutions that help increase yield through a rich and broad set of platforms, formats, and technologies," said Ned Brody, CEO of AOL Networks. "We have heard from many clients that there is an increasing number of systems and partners they need to do business with to accomplish their online marketing objectives. The group's mission has always been to simplify digital advertising at scale."
Brody added, "AOL is synonymous with premium. And in the network space, there is a real need for premium experiences. With our established leadership in video, performance and now programmatic, plus AOL's foothold in premium advertising, we are better positioned than ever to define and own a transcending solution."
AOL Networks enables the world's top marketers and media brands to reach consumers across desktop, mobile, tablet and connected TVs with impact through premium experiences, programmatic buying and performance driven campaigns. It is the global partner of choice for leading publishers, advertisers and agencies seeking to maximize the value of their online brands. AOL Networks brands will continue to operate under their existing names:
- Advertising.com: massive premium, cross-screen network with 596M3 global unique visitors, programmatic buying, a proprietary DSP, and network-exclusive access to AOL inventory.
- The AOL On Network: largest premium video network4 reaching 67M5 unique viewers.
- goviral: branded content distributor across premium publisher network in over 90 countries.
- ADTECH: dominant cross-screen global ad management and serving platform.
- Pictela: award-winning content-based advertising and premium formats platform.
"Given the synergies between our offerings and customers, and those of our AOL parent, it made the most sense to align the brands more closely together," said Allie Kline, CMO of AOL Networks. "I believe this rebrand will significantly increase market clarity among our key audiences including marketers and publishers."
The new gateway, www.aolnetworks.com launches today, providing publishers and marketers with information on, and access to, all of the offerings in the AOL Networks premium advertising suite.
Simultaneous to the introduction of AOL Networks, BuySight, the recently acquired dynamic creative optimization firm, will be packaged into the Advertising.com product suite.
1AOL Internal Data
2AOL Internal Data
3Source: comScore December 2012
4Source: Comscore December 2012 Total Videos, custom category built by AOL
5Source: comScore December 2012
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.
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Ned Brody, CEO, Advertising.com Group
After spending the past few days in Vegas for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, a few unexpected and exciting ad tech trends for 2013 were apparent.
Across the board it appears that brands, agencies and publishers alike are embracing [ad] tech at an impressive new level. Our clients are asking for game-changing innovation at a faster clip than I’ve seen in recent years.
A key example of this rate of innovation comes as news from one of our senior telecomm brand clients stating that they have asked creative teams to spend time on programmatic performance data. Creatives + performance data? You can envision the jaws dropping throughout the room. But today’s creatives – at least the smart ones - embrace both the art and science of digital marketing.
If I could sum it up, there was a theme of having your cake and eating it too. And there are a few key ways in which we are seeing this theme play out:
Sure we’ve seen cross-platform buys gain momentum in recent quarters, but this was the first time I’ve heard so many brand and creative leads demand display + mobile + tablet reach, augmented by advanced targeting & creative optimization. This time next year, I predict we’ll see big gains in cross-platform and will be talking about entirely new models of integrated data and campaign planning, management & measurement.
2 & 3. Programmatic AND Premium
The industry advanced quite a bit in 2012, and the buzz around programmatic buying and selling has never been hotter. As another example of having the best of both worlds, it seems the more efficient we get at driving performance at scale, the more clients lean in to premium and video. The result is what I like to call the ‘new perfect harmony’: high-performing [programmatic] algorithm + exclusive, top tier inventory + formats with explosive creativity.
4. Branded Content Creation aka Native Advertising
Coke and Pepsi’s Q4 move towards editorial-style site content and branded entertainment clearly resonated with their marketing peers. We should see an increase in custom video creation, content integration and syndication if CES chatter is any indicator.
5. Social what?
FBX seems to have transformed social into an ad distribution tool. The noise around amassing Likes and building out Fan pages seems to have reduced to a hum, while finding ways to integrate the social network’s ad platform into cross-web campaigns has become a digital media staple.
CEO, Advertising.com Group
Chad Gallagher, Advertising.com Cross Platform and Mobile
In a recent conversation with a Fortune 100 marketer, I asked our client if we could extend their digital campaign to smartphones. The marketer frowned and said – "I'd love to, but I don't handle mobile. Go talk to our mobile guy – he allocates the budgets independent of us." I found this somewhat concerning; it's like a hedge fund manager being restricted from investing in Asia. It just doesn’t make sense.
Unfortunately, this is a common response, ad dollars are allocated in silos (e.g. desktop, tablet, smartphone, TV, print, radio) and often managed by different people in different agencies. This results in no holistic data sharing or holistic optimization.
To be fair, this siloed approach made sense in the early days of mobile when the time spent in mobile was minimal compared to other forms of media. However given over 23% of digital time spent is within tablets and smartphones, it’s time to make use of holistic optimization capabilities. Based on our passion for optimization, we are truly excited to officially introduce the “Cross Platform Optimization Insights Series” which is our effort to help inspire our clients and media agencies.
Going back to my financial analogy, I invite you to consider the media planning process through the lens of a hedge fund manager and use technology to allocate funds in real-time across all potential digital platforms. Fundamentally, we believe this is the future of media buying and we want to do our part to help make it better.
For this first entry, let’s look at customer lifetime value, analyzed by device. For years, marketers have considered the inventory source of an acquisition to understand the value of the conversion. However, the source was typically limited to the specific publisher (i.e. Yahoo) or vendor (i.e. Tribal Fusion Ad Network).
Today, we are starting to see customers break out the acquisition data by the device (iPhone 4, iPad, desktop, etc.) and they are seeing drastic results. Recently, a large high-end retailer got 4X the customer lifetime value on Advertising.com tablet conversions compared to typical desktop/laptop conversions. 4X the lifetime value – that's a big deal! Instead of paying $10 per conversion, they can now pay $40 per conversion and obtain the same ROI – drastically growing their ability to win impressions and drive more conversions. To get started in this analysis, we’d suggest assigning different tags to be targeted to different devices and chart the lifetime value of those separate 'device buckets'.
Check back in the upcoming weeks as we'll showcase cross platform insights from both our own data as well as thought proving entries from external experts we respect…all aimed at moving the industry towards smarter cross platform decision making.
To reach out to us about being a guest blogger or to let us know what you think about our blog, please email Mobile@advertising.com.
If you would like to subscribe to the Cross Platform Optimization Insight Series, click here.
Cross Platform and Mobile, Advertising.com
Ned Brody, CEO, Advertising.com Group
As the Advertising.com Group has grown, the need for a dedicated leader focused on marketing our broad range of solutions across display, video and mobile has become paramount, which is why I’m thrilled that Allie Savarino Kline has joined as Chief Marketing Officer for Advertising.com Group. In this newly created global role, Kline will oversee marketing strategy to drive demand for the Group’s advertising solutions for publishers, advertisers and agencies. She will report directly to me.
Kline has an extensive background in brand management and marketing strategy for technology-focused organizations. Most recently she was the Chief Marketing Officer for big data and social graph company 33Across, where she worked with over 375 Fortune 1000 advertisers and 650,000 global publishers. Prior to that role, Kline served as Vice President, Marketing at Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT) where she oversaw the company's brand development, marketing, and athlete and celebrity relationships. Prior to BAT, she ran global marketing for Unicast, a leader in rich media advertising for over 10 years.
Kline earned a B.A. in corporate communications from Ithaca College. She is a frequent industry speaker and press spokesperson, and was named to Fast Company’s “Fast 50” list for Internet video innovation in 2005. Kline also serves as a board member on Jack Myers’ Women’s Media & Mentoring Initiative.
We are excited to welcome Allie to the Advertising.com Group leadership team. Her experience in brand management, marketing and advertising for technology-focused organizations makes her a perfect fit for this role. We look forward to her leadership in building out our marketing strategy and teams both here and abroad as the Advertising.com Group brand continues to evolve as a force in the online and programmatic marketplace.
CEO, Advertising.com Group
Ned Brody, CEO, Advertising.com Group
Today we announced the Advertising.com Group has acquired Buysight, Inc., a leading provider of retargeting and intent-based targeted advertising. The acquisition strengthens our premium product offering and expands the Group’s position in the performance display market by significantly improving our retargeting and intent-based targeted advertising solutions. This transaction further solidifies the Advertising.com Group as a global leader in advertising technologies across display, mobile and video.
Formed in May 2011, the Advertising.com Group is the global partner of choice for leading publishers, advertisers and agencies seeking to maximize the value of their online brands, and includes Advertising.com, ADTECH, The AOL On Network, goviral and Pictela. The Group brings together end-to-end platforms and solutions for publishers and advertisers spanning ad serving, monetization, optimization, and premium advertising formats across all mediums including desktop, mobile, tablets and connected TVs.
We strongly believe that both brand and performance display, mobile and video campaigns benefit from dynamic, targeted creatives and messaging. The acquisition of Buysight brings proven Dynamic Creative Optimization and machine learning capabilities which will further enhance AdLearn, our market-leading optimization engine, and its ability to provide brands and performance marketers a comprehensive and integrated optimization solution across channels.
Based in Sunnyvale, California and founded in 2008, Buysight is a performance advertising company focused on retargeting using intent-based Dynamic Creative Optimization and its advanced machine learning technology. They deliver real-time behavioral advertising that drives incremental retail sales. Its Buyer Targeting platform is built on three core strengths: real-time modeling and prediction of purchase intent, real-time dynamic advertising with intelligent product selection, promotions, and creative, and real-time media buying optimized to calculate every impression's precise client value. Buysight's client advertising services include retargeting previous site visitors, acquiring new customers, and targeting relevant, personalized brand advertising to likely shoppers. More specifically, Buysight transforms online data into actionable knowledge, and uses it to connect people and advertisers in an automated, real-time marketplace to unlock significant value for both consumers and businesses.
CEO, Advertising.com Group
From helping impacted communities, to offering a hand for colleagues in need, when Super Storm Sandy hit, Advertising.com Group and AOL employees responded immediately. Employees packed over two tractor trailers worth of food, water and supplies in Dulles, VA, and Baltimore, MD and donations were sent to ravaged areas in New Jersey and Long Island. When the power went out, AOL connected New Yorkers with one another by partnering with Boingo to provide free wifi throughout Manhattan and north of 34th street. Less than 48 hours after the storm, an internal message board was created where employees could offer resources, including food, water, and electricity, or ask for help. Within hours the message board was flooded with comments such as "I live Uptown and have power, water and everything is normal up here. Email me if you need a place to go."
AOL continues its relief efforts, as thousands are still without power. AOL.com is featuring an ongoing Red Cross module encouraging users to click-to-donate. The module alone has currently raised over $35K and counting. To date, 94 AOLers have donated nearly $12,000 to Hurricane Sandy disaster relief effort. AOL has committed to match another $10,000 to The Red Cross because of these efforts.
Click here to see a photo gallery of Advertising.com Group employees as they prep Sandy relief supplies.
To make a donation visit: https://donate.networkforgood.org/aol
Follow us on Twitter: @advertising_com
Anita Pollert, VP Publisher Services
Recently, I spoke at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Palm Beach focused around “The Publisher Transformed”. Advertising.com was a sponsor of the event which drew a large and diverse crowd of premium publishers such as NBC News, Thomson Reuters, Weather Channel, CBS Interactive, NYTimes, Condé Nast, Gannett, Tribune Interactive and many more. We kicked off the summit by hosting a dinner at Café Boulud for a select group of industry experts including Vikram Somaya (Thomson Reuters), Bob Hanna (Christian Science Monitor), Blake Miller (Career Builder), Lori Tavouloris (Tribune Interactive), Ben Trenda (isocket) and Douglas McIntyre (24/7 Wall St.)
At the summit, I moderated a panel titled "The Role of Premium in the Non-Reserved Space". Joining me on stage were Bill Murray, VP Advertising Operations for Weather Channel and Vikram Somaya, VP Global Operations and Audience for Thomson Reuters. To kickoff the panel, I asked “What do publishers consider to be premium inventory?”, followed up by “is premium a function of size - like the IAB rising star ad units like Devil or is it the placement of the advertisement?” and “should publishers hold back this inventory for their in-house sales team to sell?". The resounding answer from both panelists was that "premium" means two things to a publisher:
(1) New ad units with special functionality – but these new units pose the problem of scalability, so in a sense they are premium, but they will not move the needle for a publisher in terms of revenue.
(2) The most valuable impressions are in a programmatic setting – which is scalable for the inside sales team and allows a 3rd party access to inventory.
By the end of the panel, there was agreement from all parties that publishers need to accept that they cannot sell their entire inventory effectively and need to embrace different buying channels. There is still a place for in-house sales teams to sell integrated sponsorships for Homepage placements, but the majority of their inventory should be evaluated by programmatic buying and sold to the highest bidder.
The two day Digiday Publisher Summit was filled with stellar presentations and dialogue regarding how publishers can best monetize their site through display, mobile, social and video advertising, generate content and traffic, while maintaining brand integrity – the goal of every premium publisher. It was a great platform to engage new and existing partners and gain industry insights on programmatic buying, native advertising and the future of mobile.
Click here to see a video of the The Role of Premium in the Non-Reserved Space panel.
VP, Publisher Services
The second annual Seattle Interactive Conference was attended by over 2,000 digital media professionals, developers, and entrepreneurs this past week. The two day event included presentations, panels and networking opportunities to explore disruptive technologies, brainstorm with peers, and learn from industry visionaries.
AOL and the Advertising.com Group had a huge presence throughout the event with five speakers on various topics covering mobile, digital journalism, digital trends, and the non-reserved landscape. Interviews with 13 conference speakers were also filmed on site by StudioNow during the event.
Tom Kelly, Regional Sales Director of Advertising.com, moderated the panel “Navigating the Modern Digital Landscape” and was joined on stage by Karyn Johnson, VP Digital Group Media Director of Optimedia, and Matt McVicker, Media Manager of T-Mobile. The session focused on how an advertiser and an agency can work together to accomplish branding and performance goals in the current complex digital landscape. Discussions focused on tools and strategies used to capture and retain customers by leveraging DMPs, networks, agency trading desks, audience buying, and attribution modeling.
Processess and challenges around creating an insightful and actionable attribution model was of particular interest to the panelists and the audience. It is clear that measuring and attributing value to each touch point in the various stages of the purchase funnel is still an enormous obstacle. Measurement variables differ for each company and every product andit takes a great deal of data, technology, coordination, and collaboration to properly analyze and take action on the resulting insights. As digital media becomes more multifaceted, successful media partners to marketers will need to be consultative, remain nimble, and provide scalable solutions to help solve the unique challenges of each brand.