Category Archives: Channels

MediaMath Launches Brand-safe Curated Publisher Market

MediaMath has announced the launch of a curated publisher marketplace product to deliver premium, high quality media. With the brand safety questions around social media and UGC environments right now, this is a timely move.

The Curated Market will employ a stringent set of brand safety standards and protocols:

  • Focus on large scale, high quality publishers based on ComScore
  • Privileged access to high priority inventory in the publisher ad server
  • Transparent, validated URLs only
  • Exclusion of most user generated content, specifically in environments or on publishers that do not support content monitoring, verification and blocking
  • Integrations with leading third party verification platforms including Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify and Peer39 to provide brand safety filters
  • Proprietary Suspicious Traffic Filter inside MediaMath’s platform
  • Exclusion of sites or content promoting illegal activity, hateful or distasteful rhetoric
  • Ability to opt out of all user generated content – often the source of brand safety issues – paying only for secure, brand-safe inventory across all channels including display, social and video.

To help ensure MediaMath stands by the brand safety promise, MediaMath clients using the Curated Market will not pay for media if it does not meet the agreed upon criteria at the publisher level. Specifically, if advertisers find their ads are run on previously determined unsafe inventory they will be credited with a refund for those impressions by MediaMath.

Joe Zawadzki, Chairman and CEO of MediaMath, said: “Digital advertising has long promised the ability to change how marketers interact with their customers, but the ubiquity of channels and content means marketers need to be more selective. The Curated Market offering provides transparency and hygiene in execution and reporting, audience addressability at scale and accountability for actors in the digital ecosystem, across all channels. It will change the way marketers think about buying ads.”

Overall, this is a smart move from a DSP that has let competitors – The Trade Desk and DBM to name two – get a jump on it in recent years. A commitment to brand safety is increasingly what brands are looking for in 2017, and MediaMath is to be applauded in taking a proactive approach.

5 Steps to Capture the Valentine’s Day Dollar

With Valentine’s Day hot on the heels of Chinese New Year – itself coming about a month after Christmas – there have been and will be great opportunities for retailers to capture the gift-giving market. Yet, it’s been well publicized that the retail industry is flagging, with data showing that the average vacancy rate of suburban malls, has doubled from less than 1 per cent in 2013 to 2.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The problem is that we’re no longer in an era of business as usual. Retailers cannot employ the same tactics which have worked for years and expect customers to come flocking back. In today’s age, customer experience is the new currency. The strategy of leveraging products to gain a competitive advantage is obsolete when you are fighting with “everything stores” like Amazon and Alibaba which offer almost infinite choice and cheaper prices. When everything is available all the time, at any price, experience is the remaining true differentiator

How can retailers generate powerful experiences to capture today’s new customers (and their Valentine’s day gifting dollar)? It’s a journey to get from being a product-based business to an experience-based business. In its recent “Path of Experience” report, Adobe sheds insights on the 5 milestones to experience-driven commerce:

  1. Segmentation: The first milestone on the journey is to truly know one’s audience. They exist, but the challenge is in finding them, and defining them. Not by demographics, but through shared attributes and behaviours. In practical terms, this allows a retailer to reach many individuals with a collective message and expect a certain desirable result. Each audience has to be large enough to make a difference in revenues, but small enough to be distinct. The answer to this is big data – be it through first party, second or even third party data. This is where a data management platform comes in, pooling all this information so retailers can experiment with traits that help them find these natural groupings
  1. Personalization: With the data, you can now create a special and specific experience for each audience segment. Wooing a customer with a one-sized-fits-all approach is no longer effective today, akin to giving a girl roses when she in fact prefers lilies. Whilst personalization is nothing new, today’s difference is that it can be delivered at scale using automation. By using the digital fingerprints that customers leave behind after every interaction, retailers can build a progressive personal profile that allows them to understand how customers feel, what they do, and ultimately, what customers want.
  1. Omnichannel: Now that retailers have gotten the ability to achieve customer intimacy, the third experience milestone is putting those relevant, personalized experiences where they count. Different customers use channels in different ways—without differentiating between touchpoints and channels, inbound and outbound. The consumer is everywhere. Retailers need to be there as well. And the best way to do this is via the mobile – the most personal device ever. Because of this, mobile often serves as a second-screen or cross-channel resource especially in brick-and-mortar selling. This opens the door for intelligent contextual marketing, where mobile is viewed as a behavior rather than a separate channel or technology. Because the behavior is constant, brick-and-mortar retailers can use mobile to augment the store experience, using various technologies.
  1. Dynamic Content: Experience-driven commerce requires that retailer reimagine what shopping looks like. It’s more about telling a story rather than telling the customer why they should buy the product, instilling a perception of increased value that differentiates from the competition. Dynamic content and shoppable media can bridge that gap, using the latest tools to tell compelling stories that take buyers straight to the checkout line. A great example of this implementation is Amazon Go – reducing barriers to commerce to make shopping a breeze
  1. Real-Time Analytics: As no two customers will share the same purchase journey, it’s important to always know where customers are at. Real-time data allows retailers to watch over the customer’s shoulder, understand the journey and smooth out any rough spots. It makes it easier for retailers to lead the customer from awareness to conversion. Analytics also provides optimization opportunities – and the chance to fine-tune the customer journey through a simple three step process: Measure (customer interactions), Adjust and Improve (the customer journey).

While the journey might sound a bit daunting at the outset, the key is to start small, move forward, and not stagnate. By carefully evaluating their ability to act on the five capabilities described above, retailers should get a better idea of where they need to go. And as they do, the customer experience will surely improve.

For more information, please download the full report here.

4 Social Media Developments to Watch

A lot has changed in the world of social media, but we think these four points deserve a special mention:

The NYTimes Joins Snapchat Discover
In seeing the most respected investigative publisher join Snapchat’s ad-supported channel, publishers the world over are on a hiring spree to replicate The NYT’s move to Snapchat Discover. Snapchat launched Discover two years ago as a tab for long-form content and journalism beyond social media. In a world where Facebook’s Instant Articles feature is largely viewed as a boon to the industry, Snapchat’s Discover tab offers publishers the option of revenue sharing.

Facebook Upends Snapchat’s IPO
Within the month of announcing its plan for an IPO, Snapchat saw a hit in its user engagement numbers as Facebook rolled out a copy of its stories feature. Investor confidence was also shaken by the emergence of allegations that its numbers are off. We don’t expect the pain to last as the same revelations on Facebook’s numbers did little to dissuade investors and advertisers.

Combating Misleading and/or Fake News
It’s always been around and in some cases, it has been profitable, by either flagrantly making up a story or using click bait in the headlines, fake news is nothing new. But since losing the election, liberal media has entered a sand storm decrying fake news as one of the tools that swayed the outcome. The tech industry, largely instilled with liberal values, has chosen sides with Facebook and Google tackling the issue head on. Facebook will be revising its social media trending feature and aim to provide users the sources of publisher’s news. Google, on the other hand, has banished over 200 publishers from its AdSense network for the crime of creating and publishing fake news. Snapchat also stepped up by penalizing content creators that promise content in the headline but redirect to unrelated sites.

Reviving Twitter’s Use Experience
We’ve already talked about why no one is buying Twitter anytime soon, despite all the presidential attention it’s getting. The social media company is doing its best to roll out relevant changes in its usability. The latest of which is a switch from “Moments” tab to an Explore tab instead. Featuring trending topics and live video, the tab will be curated by Twitter’s editors. In a world of rebates focused digital media planning, this may not be enough for Twitter to get back on the horse. Bringing back Jack Dorsey gave the company credibility, but robbing him of executive power has not been. It remains to be seen how digital planners view the change.

Sourav Ganguly is the chief media officer at Centric DXB. He leads teams across digital media buying & planning, performance marketing, eCommerce conversions and search optimization. He can be reached on sourav.ganguly@centric.ae

Augmented Reality and Machine Learning to Impact Marketing in 2017

2016 was an eventful year for marketers: New technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) captured the imaginations of marketers globally – as Nintendo’s new AR offering, Pokémon Go, took the world by storm. 2016 was also a big year for digital transformation (DX), as enterprises rapidly prioritised DX at the center of their corporate strategy, and marketers rapidly embraced data analytics in order to drive marketing decisions.

marta-adobeMarta DeBellis, Adobe APAC Vice President of Marketing offers her views on some big milestones and game changers that will shape the digital marketing landscape, as we move into 2017.

1. AR, VR and Machine Learning will continue to have an impact in 2017:

  • The emergence of technologies like AR, VR and machine learning will shape marketing in 2017 and beyond. AR and VR will change the way marketers can engage with customers and drive experiences beyond what is possible today. AR and VR will change the way marketers can engage with customers and drive experiences beyond what is possible today. The challenge for marketers will be to learn how to create content for these formats to fully leverage the opportunities they offer.
  • Machine learning and data science will offer significant productivity opportunities for marketers, allowing them to focus their time on their overall strategies and away from day-to-day analytics and data management. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have become ubiquitous in the technology industry, and a lot of great work has been done to build out horizontal frameworks to solve large-scale problems – from accurate speech recognition to computer vision.
  • We recently introduced Adobe Sensei, a framework and set of intelligent services, with deep expertise in AI, machine learning and deep learning, built into the Adobe Cloud Platform which dramatically improve the design and delivery of digital experiences.
  • Understanding how customers are consuming video content remains an opportunity for marketers in 2017. Video has been the ‘next big thing’ for several years now and I don’t think marketers have it all figured out yet. Marketers will get one more shot at leveraging this opportunity fully next year. Adobe’s acquisition of TubeMogul shows our focus on video in marketing campaigns. It will create the first end-to-end independent advertising and data management solution that spans TV and digital formats, simplifying what has been a complex and fragmented process for brands.

2. Competitive advantage (through exceptional CX) will be the biggest driver of digital transformation

  • Competitive advantage is the biggest driver of digital transformation and underlying that is customer experience. 
  • Customer experience is the new competitive differentiator of success and is separating those brands which are pushing ahead with transformation, and those trapped in a business model of yesterday. Today’s digital landscape is overflowing with people interacting across multiple devices, whether it’s mobile devices, wearables, tablets or even car dashboards. When new products and innovation come onto the market, people want to be able to use it. The increased expectations of consumers have brought us to a tipping point where experience must be at the center of everything brands do.
  • In 2017 marketers need to walk in the shoes of customers and truly understand the experience their brand is offering. Customers are interacting with brands across many different touchpoints and marketers need to be aware of how this experience affects the overall customer journey.

3. Digital marketers must still place emphasis on creativity.

  • Data has given marketers the power to demonstrate ROI and drive business growth. However, it’s crucial they remember that creativity still plays a significant role. Creating amazing content that is personal and emotive is key to delivering incredible customer experiences.
  • Creativity and design-led thinking are central to business success. Adobe’s 2016 Creative Pulse survey highlights an overwhelming number of respondents who think so. 89% of APAC respondents say their businesses are placing more importance on creativity and design thinking. 56% of APAC respondents feel that they are creating a bigger impact within their organizations, compared to two years ago.
  • Content velocity – being able to create amazing content quickly, and at scale, should also be a focus for marketers in 2017. The key is to not make more content, but to make content more personalized and engaging.

New platform offers real time performance buying for Digital OOH

New digital advertising firm Rodeo have created Malaysia’s first interactive in car advertising platform, which provides advertisers with a captive audience on a programmatic buying platform.

Clients already signed up to the service include Lenovo, Li TV, Sling Apps, Zepto, Rainfilms, and eBizu.

The innovative concept works by installing 10.1inch HD tablets on the back of car seat head rests, which entertain passengers and creates a dynamic platform that allows interaction with brands, offers and promotions designed to catch the passenger’s eye.

According to Rodeo CEO, Valens Subramaniam, the majority of passengers spend 10 minutes or more travelling per car journey. Advertising slots are sold in blocks of 16 (max) and run on a loop. Each advertisement is shown for 15 seconds, ensuring that ads have high frequency to maximise the exposure.

A major challenge for today’s advertisers is maintaining attention long enough for potential customers to buy into the benefits of products and services offered. Rodeo’s digital out-of-home (DOOH) media applications solve this problem by placing advertising platforms in vehicles, thereby maximising customers’ engagement with the content.

The interactive platform allows passengers to provide their contact details and ask for more information on a particular product or service. Leads are funnelled through to advertisers in real-time. Clients can also track customer data in order to enhance understanding of target audiences, and cutting-edge technology such as facial-recognition will be able to assist advertisers in providing personalised content.

Rodeo’s DOOH system also presents vital public service announcements and real-time information such as police reports on crimes or missing persons, which can help resolve these issues quicker by increasing the reach of information being spread.

Mr Valens – former CEO of iCab Malaysia – spoke of the benefits it can bring to advertisers and drivers. “In recent years, advertisers have faced a considerable challenge of keeping the attention of potential customers as they promote their products and services. Our innovative media application helps to solve that problem by offering a captive audience for each advertiser, every time.

“Our full-time drivers complete, on average, 140 rides per week, which translate to over 550 unique passengers per month, per driver. This is an excellent opportunity for advertisers to maximise their reach and generate real-time leads.”

He added, “Our drivers are also offered incentives to boost their income by generating additional income for themselves, as well as meeting their KPIs, and so this is a perfect opportunity for everyone involved to take advantage of the benefits offered by the in-transit media industry. It is truly an exciting time for the Rodeo team, and it is my goal to expand to other Malaysian states and South East Asian countries over the next two years.”

The DOOH media industry could be worth over $US60 million to Malaysian economy by 2019.

Myanmar 33 million mobile users, smartphone usage 80%

The online population of Myanmar is growing at a rapid pace, with Telenor claiming 13.7m subscribers in a recent release. 52% of customers are active data users.

This matches MPT’s 14 million subscribers, and dwarfs Ooredoo’s reported 5 million subscribers.

Myanmar now has at least 33 million active mobile subscriptions in a country with an official population of 53 million. Smartphone usage rate is reported at 80%.

Viber estimates that it has 18 million active users in the country – meaning that almost 1 in 2 of all active cell phones in the country have Viber installed on them.

Myanmar Digital Future – Telenor [Infographic]

hks_telenor_myanmar_infographic_fa_20161219

More Facebook measurement errors – when will brands lose patience?

Facebook has admitted to misleading advertisers on key metrics for the third time in as many months.

On this occasion it’s a discrepancy between the number of likes and shares Facebook shows for web links, and also issues with the number of likes and reaction emojis that page owners see for their live videos.

In the first case in September it was revealed that the social network had been inflating a key video viewing metric for years.

In the second case, there were multiple errors:

  • A bug in Page Insights with the weekly and monthly summaries miscalculating the total numbers without taking into consideration the repeat visitors. This brought a reduced reach of 33% for the 7-day summary and 55% for the 28-day summary. According to Facebook, this didn’t affect the paid reach.
  • A small miscalculation to the length of the videos, with a difference of one to two seconds in the final result, due to occasional problems of syncing the audio and the video to each device.
  • There was an over-reporting of 7-8% on the time spent on Instant Articles since last August. Facebook reported that this issue is now fixed.
  • The “Referrals” metrics on Facebook Analytics for Apps was also miscalculated, as it didn’t simply track the links to the app or the site, but also the clicks to the posts via the app or the site, which also included the clicks to view photos and videos.

Facebook should be given credit for being upfront about its mistakes and rectifying its errors. But the more measurement errors and corrections it discloses, the more difficult it becomes to trust Facebook’s measurements.

It’s a dilemma that some brands and agencies have been wrestling with for a while, and it’s one that may not subside until Facebook allows independent firms to directly measure these previously faulty stats, rather than relying on Facebook for the raw, corrected data.

If Facebook ends the walled garden then many of these problems go away.

APAC Content Marketing Predictions for 2017

2016 was the year where content marketing went from a discussion point to a business imperative in Asia. But what’s next? What are the trends we expect to see in 2017?

We asked the board members and guests of the Asia Content Marketing Association (ACMA) for insights. And here they are.

Connecting the dots

In 2017 I think we will see more and more content marketers connecting more of the dots in the ecosystem – from data and analytics through to rich storytelling to commerce. It’s absolutely critical for content creators to be able to do this in a market where production margins are being eroded, competition and audience expectations are increasing and attention spans are shortening.

Josh Black

CEO – GroupM Content Asia Pacific

The changing face of influencers

With reduced organic reach, influencers have become an important part of the marketing mix. There’s a trend within influencer marketing to move away from employing A-list celebrities with huge reach but little relevance, to brands starting to realise that their budgets are spent more effectively recruiting micro-influencers who have a genuine relevance to the brand, rather than using one A-list influencer. These influencers allow brands to get in front of a relevant audience that’s likely to be more engaged and the influencer comes across as more authentic.

Simply put, a micro-influencer is someone with between 10,000 to 150,000 followers on Instagram, whereas a mid to top-tier influencer has over 150,000. Although a user’s amount of followers varies for each account, we’re beginning to realise that this particular group of individuals has the ability to change the way brands work with influencers forever.

Influencer marketing will continue to mature, as brands struggle to reach people organically, along with the rise of adblockers, meaning brands will need to use influencers as part of their distribution strategy.

Shamila Gopalan

Founder and Managing Director, Blink Asia

Woe, woe and wooooooooooh…

In Cassandra mode, I have two predictions. The first is that we’re all screwed…we’ll be replaced by robots. Recently, a friend at a global agency that, out of respect for its privacy, I’ll refer to only as Ogilvy, which also happens to be its name (I know; what are the chances?) made a series of increasingly complex arrangements for a lunch meeting with a potential supplier. Only afterwards did he learn that the arrangements on the supplier’s end had been made 100% by bot.

My other Cassandra conjecture is a huge rise in the implementation of content curation. With increasingly shrinking budgets, I fear that ‘curating’ existing content from the internet rather than commissioning original stuff will prove only too attractive to the bean counters in procurement.

In Pollyanna mode, however, I’m predicting (with fingers and all other extremities firmly crossed) that 2017 is the year we finally get affordable, accessible VR. The potential to engage consumers like never before and improve the marketing of even the smaller brands through experiential content is truly exciting.

Henry Adams

Founding Partner, Contented

Sorting business from the inside out

Focused on my specific area, I want to highlight two critical aspects that must happen in Asia for brands to not just embrace content marketing, but to flourish by committing long-term to it.

The first is getting businesses organised and transformed from the inside out. The whole business must get behind content marketing, and while the marketing team enables it, everyone needs to get on board and it starts at the top. Content marketing needs to become the beating heart of every business, which means the existing siloes of organisations (siloes of separation and internal competition) must come down, and collectively, everyone become aligned and focused 100% to serve the customer. It’s truly transformational stuff.

The second is employee advocacy. This is going to be a hot trend of 2017, but too many businesses (and those selling employee advocacy solutions) are only looking at employees as mouthpieces for brands. This is definitely not what employee advocacy is about.

Employees must be advocates for themselves first, the brand second. And not only are employees advocates, but content creators in their own right. This is how we move from content shock to content value, because it is created by the people who know your business and know your customer.

Both trends are big mind shifts for businesses, but the ones who get it, understand it and unleash the pure power of their employees; will see truly magnificent results. It’s time to unleash the humans of business – the reason your customers do business with you.

Andrea Edwards

CEO and Founder, The Digital Conversationalist

Quality content only game in town

Hmmm, *strokes chin*, I predict the VR/360 consumer hype bubble will burst as the realisation dawns that wearing a digital blindfold no matter what it’s screening is not a comfortable experience. Strictly niche and professional uses will be the end result of the VR/360 hype.

Quality content will be the only game in town worth playing in. Enlightened clients are already rewarding those willing to resist the race to the bottom that is competing on price.

New terminologies will start to take hold. I’ve been thinking a lot about how storytelling as part of a feed is now a thing, what do we call that? The old broadcast and print terminologies will slowly be replaced.

Simon Kearney

CEO and Co-Founder, Click2View

2017 will be the year of delegation

We’ve seen how powerful great creators can be in some of the stand out executions of 2016, but we’ve also seen how innovation can be stifled by hierarchies and committees. In 2017 we’ll see senior management embracing core messages and style guides as their primary control mechanisms, whilst genuine innovation will be delegated to the practitioners that deliver it best – inspired imaginations, informed insights and a flair for originality that transcends everyday thinking.

Nick Fawbert

Founder, Mutiny Asia

Time of content eco-systems

2017 will finally be the year clients buy in to the notion of the content ecosystem. The understanding that all of their platforms and customer touchpoints, both online and offline, need to be connected with one voice. The content ecosystem ensures that customers get a consistent message and experience wherever they touch the brand.”

Simon Cholmeley
CEO, Novus Asia

Personalisation

2017 will be the year of personalised or adaptive content.  With programmatic becoming the increasing norm, we’ll see content ideas re-purposed into multiple iterations; allowing for greater personalisation with data and tech driving the relevant distribution.  However, tech won’t rule the industry.  We’ll still need humans to develop unique insights, a sound strategy, great content creation, solid execution and analysts to interpret results.

Mike Jackson

Managing Director, MEC Wavemaker 

Partnerships and M&As

This is the time for strategic partnerships and M&As across industries, verticals and platforms. This is the time to redefine the role of content and the role of access. Our role as content marketing leaders will be to provide the methodology, process and management of the role of content across these new constellations.

The Microsoft/LinkedIn acquisition marked the dawn of this new era, not just a new trend for M&As but a clear recognition by tech companies that they need to invest in content, content platforms and distribution channels. The interesting shift in focus here comes from what’s clearly a recognition by companies that the future formula is to own both the access to the audience, the content and the conversation.

BandLab partnering with Rolling Stones and AT&T acquiring Time Warner are perfect examples of this, where they are securing the ownership of a bigger ecosystem. With social and amplification channels increasingly becoming paid only and the organic aspect dying away, the importance of building your house on your own property and not on rented land is increasingly clear and I believe these M&As and strategy partnerships are part of responses to this shift.

The race is now on to ensure company-owned property controls the access, the content and the conversations across the ecosystem. I think we will see the AliBabas and Ciscos of this world acquiring the Walt Disney’s and NYT’s of this world!

Hedvig Lyche

Global Strategy Director, King Content

Last but not least, it’s all about the data

Content Marketing has been a growing area of focus in recent years. In 2017, we expect to see data being utilised to far greater effect – both in measuring the performance of content as brands strive to understand exactly what is capturing the attention of their consumers, and in measuring the effective amplification of content. This is vital if you want people to actually read/watch what you’re producing. Knowing which channels are the right ones to reach your audience is just as important as knowing what interests them!

Adrian Watkins

Managing Director and Co-Founder, PerformanceAsia

What prediction resonated with you? What was missed? What contradiction did you pick up?

Happy Holidays and here’s to an amazing 2017 for content marketing in Asia.

How to do Compelling Social Video Content

Touching video content from Unilever. 6 million children die before they reach the age of 5 due to infections like Diarrhea and Pneumonia. 44% of these deaths occur in the first 28 days of birth.

This experiment taught Sangrahi how the simple habit of handwashing with soap, during this span, can be life-saving for her baby.

Lifebuoy launched the Help a Child Reach 5 campaign in 2012, to raise awareness of the importance of good handwashing habits, with the aim of reducing child deaths due to preventable infections.

Great content with a heart. How could we not feature it?