Category Archives: Speaking & Events

Presentation – IAB UK Content Conference

I presented for Unanimis at the IAB UK Content Conference on July 24th. The event brought together, in roughly equal parts, advertising brands, agencies, publishers, and tech companies.

I chose to look at ways in which the online ad industry can scale up native to be able to deliver on it. Core to the presentation was that publishers and advertisers need to look at why Facebook and Twitter have been so successful as scaling up native so quickly and apply that to their people, process, and technology.

First, I set up an working definition of Native. This was:

  • Is it a piece of paid content, i.e. was it paid for by an advertiser?
  • Was it produced, at least in part or in coöperation with, the advertiser
  • Does it run on the publisher’s domain and does engaging or clicking through the content keep the user on the publisher’s site

Using this definition, I examined how publishers can use stories, posts, videos, and other content in a native, responsive, in stream manner. I asked attendees to question their systems and processes, to leverage existing assets, and to ensure they weren’t duplicating work in setting up a native solution.

The key takeaways were:

  • As yourself, what’s your definition of Native?
  • Do you have an internal Native Champion who shows a natural passion for the subject?
  • Is your native solution keeping your viewers on your site or taking them away? What’s the cost of driving a user off your site?
  • What skills sets are missing in your commercial, operations, and tech teams to deliver a successful Native product offering
  • How many systems or platforms do you need to use to successfully deliver a Native campaign? What’s the cost of these systems?
  • How, other than direct sales, are you sourcing demand?
  • Are you able to offer the full capabilities of a 2014 ad system in Native?
    • Programmatic
    • Scalable
    • Rich targeting & reporting
  • Tech / People / Process Scorecard for Native? How do you rank?

I will be writing up a longer post on the topic but thought I’d share this for now.

The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding

Entrepreneurial BibleThere’s been quite a bit of activity in the EU ad tech space lately. Alenty getting acquired by AppNexus is the latest EU startup getting rolled into a US giant. While Europe isn’t often thought of as a hotbed of start ups and VC, that is, in some spaces, starting to change.

Come along to meet other angel and VC investors, leading entrepreneurs, M&A execs and service providers supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Gain insight into VC investing from Silicon Valley to London from active venture capitalists including Andrew Romans, author of "THE ENTREPRENEURIAL BIBLE TO VENTURE CAPITAL:
Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game".

The event is held in London Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding Tickets, London – Eventbrite.

5 takeaways from the Digiday Publishing Summit in Barcelona | Digiday

W BCNEarlier this week I was lucky enough to attend and speak at Digiday’s inaugural European event, the Digital Publisher Forum. The event was a valuable snapshot of the state of the European online ad market in the summer of 2014. Lots of consistent messaging: Native; Programmatic; Mobile; Eroding Publisher Power; ‘Tech Tax’ and other topics that are on everyone’s lips at the moment.

The team was kind enough to prepare a tidy summary of the key themes and takeaways.

I presented on the state and future of Programmatic Trading, with an eye toward risks and opportunities for publishers. One stat I cited was the lack of understanding from CMOs about this type of advertising planning and delivery:

Just 23 percent of CMOs understand programmatic advertising enough to use it in campaigns, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Still, Audra Martin, vp of advertising at the Economist Group, gave a compelling case study. When deployed well, programmatic can allow for premium efficiency at scale.

5 things we learned at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Barcelona | Digiday.

5 signs programmatic advertising is taking off | Digiday

Well this is encouraging. I’m presenting at Digiday’s European Publisher Summit tomorrow on the future directions of Programmatic ad trading. This piece, which they ran on May 14th and only now popped up in one of my feeds, certainly backs up a lot of key points. That’s reassuring.

The only point in this piece that I don’t particularly dwell on in my presentation is the (social) platform aspect. Mainly because it’s an area I don’t know too much about. Except how to annoy people in the UK with with pictures of Barcelona whilst here for a conference.

The main points the author, Taylor Davidon, a venture capitalist with the agency-backed KBS+ Ventures, calls out are:

  • Marketers are getting smarter about programmatic.
  • Programmatic works, therefore it will get more dollars.
  • Native is going programmatic
  • Platforms have embraced programmatic.
  • Programmatic is going far beyond the banner.

“The real challenge around programmatic is not around using the pipes to send more banners,” he said. “Instead, it’s about marrying new formats with content, targeting and data to create a different model for ad deployment that’s native to the experience.” — Taylor Davidon

The one aspect of programmatic that he doesn’t call out that I pay close attention to is the use of and continued availability of increasingly rich and deep data. It think data + mobile will be the oxygen and fuel that will help the programmatic fire burn brightly in the next 12 -18 months.

5 signs programmatic advertising is taking off | Digiday.

Online Ad Spending in Europe Topped €27 Billion in 2013 – eMarketer

A very timely piece of research and data to be released as I put the final preparations on my deck for Digiday’s European Publisher Summit. Strong growth across Europe and the the mobile tide is coming in as fast, if not faster, than the soothsayers were forecasting.

Very interesting to see that:

Spending on display ads continued to gain momentum, logging higher growth than any other format, at 14.9%, and a total value of €9.2 billion ($12.27 billion)

Although I must wonder how much of that is Facebook.

Online Ad Spending in Europe Topped €27 Billion in 2013 - eMarketer

Online Ad Spending in Europe Topped €27 Billion in 2013 – eMarketer.

Programmatic advertising’s audience addiction

This article is very relevant to my upcoming presentation at Digiday’s first EU Publisher Summit in Barcelona. This ‘race to the bottom’ factor is and seems to remain, one of the fundamental risks of an an ever-larger programmatic marketplace. How are premium publishers taking steps to protect their audiences and their inventory?

The ecosystem optimizes for clicks, and we lose the value of branding in the process.  We’re making a similar mistake with audience buying.

via Digiday | Programmatic advertising’s audience addiction.

Tweaking, updating, and revising my deck for Digiday DPS Barcelona

DigidayThe presentation I gave to kick off the AOP workshop yesterday will be overhauled for my session in Barcelona on June 3. It was a happy accident that I was asked to give two presentations on the state and future of programmatic ad trading within 10 days of each other.

There’s some additional research I’d like to add, a bit more EU rather than UK focus, and some new data that’s come out after the recent spate of programmatic conferences.

Once it’s all done, I’ll pop it up on here for people to view and see. It’s become crystal clear to while pulling this together that the following statements are all probably true:

  1. Mobile is coming faster than you think and the keys to the revenue kingdom there are programmatic and data driven
  2. The cookie is quickly dying as an ad targeting tool
  3. Native will find a home in programmatic in the next 12 months, if not sooner
  4. A tiny fraction of revenue and an even smaller fraction of deals will be done in the ‘traditional’ direct sales-to-sales manner come 12 months from now. Like less than 25% overall.

Without a doubt the next 12 months will see hockeystick growth in the programmatic space and it’ll touch all aspects of online media trading.

AOP Advertising: Programmatic Workshop

Programmatic TradingChairing and moderating the AOP workshop today was enlightening. A couple things stood out to me:

  • The size and scope of programmatic is gigantic and the rate of adoption is accelerating. We are, as an industry, finally getting there
  • Real, widely adopted programmatic trading — not just ‘remnant’ — is going to skip the web entirely and really come into its own in mobile, specifically in-app
  • All sides of the equation — agencies, tech, publishes — are in agreement on mobile being huge, programmatic being crucial, and a marked shift away from directly traded deals
  • If you want a job in digital advertising, you’d better get good at math! Unanimously, the presenters and panelists said that in looking for a candidate, they want someone with clear quant skills

The speakers for the day were:

  • Bill Swanson, Pubmatic
  • Todd Tran, Nexage
  • Paul de la Nougerede, AOL HuffPo
  • Sam Sherson, Guardian
  • Katie Eyton, MG OMD

Each did a great job but I think Todd’s session really hit home for me and the attendees. The stats around mobile and in app advertising are staggering, even if the revenue sits largely in the hands of 4 companies — Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Rovio. For now.

Chairing AOP “The growing value of programmatic” May 21

AOP UKI’ll be chairing a half-day event in London for the AOP. Hosted by the Association of Online Publishers, the event will serve as a temperature read on the state of programmatic advertising in the UK and how publishers are faring.

Rather than looking back at where we’ve been and how we got here the focus of the event is on the road ahead. The speakers will be looking at the core areas of growth in programatic — Premium, Video, Mobile, Data Monetisation, and others — and discussing in detail how they are being implemented at their respective organisations.

The event runs from 14:00h – 17:00h Wednesday the 21st of May and is being held at IDG UK Headquarters. More information and registration is available on the AOP’s website.