Tag Archives: advertising

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.

Brands should consider customising their AdTech stack – State of Digital

StackedThis review and summary of Hilton case study is pretty interesting. I spoke this week in Barcelona about how ad tech companies are moving further and further up the advertising food chain, trying to get ever closer to the actual brand advertisers. After all, that’s where the wellspring of cash is. And, if as we’ve seen in some cases, there is a 70% ‘tech tax’ imposed on publishers, why would technology companies want to work harder to get ever-dwindling returns from the players at the end of the funnel?

Hilton’s case is an interesting one and looks a lot more like a publisher story form 5 or 7 years ago. Hilton, acting as the advertising brand, is building out their own tech stack, in many ways bypassing the agencies, trading desks, etc. Granted, it’s an isolated case but it could be a very interesting trend, especially when combined with brands becoming publishers.

I can imagine an advertising and media technology singularity — The brand acts as publisher, building a campaign to run against their own inventory, delivered via their in-house customised tech stack.

I have had many conversations with various clients and industry peers and thought a lot about the place of custom solutions in AdTech. Are brands like Hilton, who customise their AdTech stack, rare isolated cases or could it be the beginning of a trend? Who should initiate customisation where it is required?

Friday Commentary: Brands should consider customising their AdTech stack – State of Digital.