Monetization, mobile and the marketer’s dilemma at Advertising Week 2015

Advertising Week 2015 continues into its second day. Highlights include a riveting discussion about the benefits of premium and programmatic, another on video monetization, and one on native mobile’s potential.

The Marketer’s Dilemma - Premium Publisher or Programmatic Platform?

Prashant Fuloria, SVP of Product and Engineering for Advertising Products at Yahoo, took to the Times Center Stage this afternoon to tackle a dilemma at many digital marketers’ hearts: buying from premium publishers versus programmatic platforms.

Drawing from the relatable example of iPhone versus Android, Fuloria spoke about the different ecosystems that attract consumers for different reasons, and boiled the reasons down to one core concept: closed and open ecosystems. Closed ecosystems offer seamless integration and uniform experiences, while open ecosystems offer more freedom but can pose inherent risks and may be less intuitive.

The “marketer’s dilemma” is analogous to the consumer smartphone dilemma. When buying digital media, marketers can choose to purchase from a closed ecosystem—directly from a publisher—or from an open, programmatic system. Much like the phones, both have their benefits and issues. Publishers can offer a safer environment, simpler optimization, and deep user insights, while being limited in choice and transparency. On the other hand, programmatic buying offers great scalability, transparency, and control, while having its own issues with complexity, local optimization, and fraud.

Fuloria’s point is a simple one: the savvy marketer uses both. We have access to more data than ever before, and that information empowers marketers to make smart decisions about individual campaigns. Depending on your needs and KPIs, a publisher-bought campaign might be more effective than programmatic, and vice versa.

After his presentation, Fuloria invited Andrea Bernhardt, Director of Media and Digital at RB, to the stage for a fireside chat and Q&A. During their conversation, Bernhardt touted the benefits of a multi-system strategy, explaining that the power in either case is having access to meaningful, actionable data. Bernhardt and Fuloria also talked about mobile, and the shift that has taken place as a result of the new data made available by mobile devices, specifically as regards measuring results. When we can measure a variety of new points of data, Bernhardt challenged, what are your new KPI’s?

Masters of Monetization: Video

Dan Mosher, VP and General Manager for BrightRoll Exchange at Yahoo, joined a panel discussion on the future of video. His contemporaries on the panel included members of the video business across measurement, press, exchanges, and creator networks.

More has changed in video advertising in the last two years than in the last twenty. The industry is in a constant state of flux, which presents a challenge—and opportunity—when it comes to defining standards and metrics. Detailed measurement is necessary for creators and advertisers alike, but making sense of the differences in audiences from one device to another is not an easy task without an understanding of the difference between viewer experiences on each device.

With the regular addition of new viewing options, measurement standards may be slightly behind the times. As a result, consumer adoption of a new technology (like mobile) will climb, but advertiser adoption will rise more slowly while buyers wait for standards to be defined.

Data is critical for influencing buyers in the modern advertising era. The right platform will help buyers use consumer data to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Monetizing video, then, comes down to two things: measurement standards and actionable data based on those standards.

Big Wins on the Small Screen: Why Winning at Mobile is Native

Leo Polanowski, head of sales specialists and account management for the Americas at Yahoo, spoke at Crowne Plaza about trends in mobile and native—specifically, how mobile fueled the adoption of native.

Emerging trends show that consumers are looking for cross-screen experiences, encompassing devices from smartphones to fablets. And engagement appears to grow with size; the larger the screen, the higher the user engagement. What’s more, 42% of smartphone owners use multiple devices daily, and they crave a smooth cross-device experience that allows them to start on one screen, then finish on another. The solution for advertisers in this case is the creation of scalable, responsive ads that appeal to consumers no matter the device they’re using. Native ads, tending to be shorter and consumer focused, have tested very well on mobile, so if you’re preparing to launch a native campaign, keep your ads short and focused on the consumer’s potential experience.

Polanowski then welcomed Kenneth Hamner, Associate Media Director at 360i, to the stage for Q&A. They discussed tactics and strategy in regards to native advertising, and from their conversation a few themes arose:

  • Target audiences are at the center of every strategy
  • Native is a gray area; it exists somewhere between search and display, so make sure to use techniques from both for native campaigns
  • Today’s best practices will not apply in the near future, as native advertising evolves, so be prepared for change
  • As long as the ad is seamlessly integrated with and additive to the content, the native ad is doing its job