New Ad Technologies Work Connect Readers to Advertisers

Every once in a while, it’s good to be reminded that the goal of a newspaper, although it may seem to be just delivering news to readers, is also to deliver readers to advertisers. Traditionally, content in newspapers has been subsidized by ad revenue, and for the past decade the way advertisers connect to their readers has been shifting — first from print to online, and now from search to display, and from “one price fits all” to real time auctions.

One of the newest trends, the rise of Real Time Bidding (RTB) in which inventory from publishers is sold by auction in real time, has begun to change how readers are delivered.

A user heads to a page on a publisher’s website, causing it to start loading. In the same instant the publisher sends out a ‘bid request’ to thousands of potential advertisers saying, “We’ve got this user who is 30, male and based in New Jersey, US, and in the past has searched for return air tickets to London, visiting a page on our site. How much are you willing to bid for being the only ad on this page?”

Within about 100 milliseconds the publisher ad server (like ZEDO) gets bids from different advertisers, which it then analyses to figure out the highest bidder. The winner is alerted by the publisher and allowed to place its ad on the page.

The remarkable thing about this entire process is how fast and how often it takes place. The entire series of to-and-fro communication between publisher and advertisers takes place in 300-500 milliseconds, causing no visible delay to the user.

The process is repeated for every ad on the page, and it connects the “right” reader with the “right” (targeted) ad.

In the US, IDC estimates that real time advertising will grow at a compounded rate of 71 per cent in the US until 2015 and end up being 27 per cent of the overall online ad spending. In Europe, growth is expected to be even faster — above 100% annually.

The prices that publishers receive from these auctions are not yet very exciting. But they will grow. The gating factor is how willing publishers are to spend on new technology. We think the publishers will realize that there’s more to online advertising than the old standard 3 ad sizes, and will begin to monetize their sites with innovative formats like our InView Formats, TVAds OnPage, and other eye-catchers. That inventory is more effective and in short supply. Therefore the auction will generate higher prices for publishers.

Related articles:
ZEDO’s New InView Slider Runs on Any Ad Server (zedo.com)
Internet Ads Can (and Will) be As Effective as TV (zedo.com)
Publishers: Now You Can Monetize Below the Fold (zedo.com)

Some Newspapers Do Better Than Others at Monetizing Digitally

The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has published new research that takes newspapers to task for failing to monetize their digital assets quickly enough.

In essence, the research says that culture is the gating factor, and that some newspapers are way ahead of others in managing to reverse the decline in revenues that came from the slow decline in print newspaper reading:

… some papers are performing quite differently than the norm, some much better and some far worse. These variances suggest that the future of newspapers, rather than being determined entirely by sweeping trends, can be significantly affected by company culture and management-even at papers of quite different sizes.

Of the 38 papers that provided detailed data about their operations, not all were achieving growth in digital revenue. Seven of those studied suffered declines for the last year for which they had full data. One stayed the same year to year.

Beneath these broad numbers, however, are papers that buck the trend in significant ways and offer the idea that more can be achieved. One paper studied saw digital ad revenue grow 63% and print grow 8% in the last full year for which it had data. Another paper registered a gain of 50% in digital advertising.

We are the advertising technology provider for some of the newspapers that have done the best at switching to a digital revenue model. It has been our experience that newspapers must experiment with different forms of advertising beyond traditional above the fold display ads. In fact, recently Google announced that it was going to downgrade the search results of sites that placed too much advertising at the top of the site, before the reader could get to the content.

We have been able to help them produce incremental revenue. Like Comscore, we think that above the fold and below the fold are history. We help publishers create and monetize impressions that are in-view. Ie. create and sell impressions that we know the users see. But most important, our new InView ad formats, focused on any advertiser’s new metric of “viewable impressions” have been measured by Comscore’s AdXpose at 99% in-view.

We are constantly fine tuning our product development efforts to help our publisher partners make more money. While we can’t change the internal culture at a newspaper, once it has decided to embrace different digital revenue models, we are right there waiting to help.

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Preparing Publishers for 2011


As 2010 comes to an end you might be reviewing the work that your team developed, and the processes by which they did so.  Here at ZEDO, we are spending time doing just that, as well as making some plans and setting expectations for 2011. We wanted to take a moment to share, with the online advertising community, some of the things that we came up with. We hope that these are helpful insights to internet publishers, specifically ad operation teams, on how to prepare for 2011. Here are 5 Ad Operations tips for 2011:

1. Review work flow, processes and templates

In all probability the last quarter of 2010 would have been hectic, with your Ad Ops teams working extended hours, implementing makeshift processes and coming up with temporary solutions. Traditionally workload drops drastically in Q1 and the pressure is significantly lower. Hence, the beginning of 2011 presents an ideal opportunity to review work flow, processes and templates. May be check if there are any missing fields in your IO template or your input tool that would make it easier for your sales folks? May be review templates to check if there are fields that are redundant, fields that have just been there since the template was first made? You may take this opportunity to update workflow diagrams. Document or update the diagrams to identify outdated steps. Assign a senior operations professional to do the documentation – this grows their professional skill-set as well as helps maintain fresh process documentation within your organization

Simply ask yourself the question – are you doing things in a particular manner because “that’s the way they have always been done”? Most Ad Ops teams could benefit from using this as an opportunity to learn from their experiences of 2010’s last quarter.  They could implement systems that ensure that when the workload increases again in the future they are well equipped to deliver efficiently. Lastly, it is advisable to review individual roles, responsibilities and dependencies and make redundancy plans accordingly in order to ensure that you do not have a single point of failure.

2. Bridge the gap between Ad Ops and Sales teams

Although perceptions are fast improving, most sales folks still continue to consider Ad Ops as just a back-office department that simply needs to implement what they are told. Before moving forward, lets get our facts straight. Ad Operations is a vitally important component for any publisher that intends to generate revenue from internet advertising. Without ad operations a contract will never be fulfilled. Without receiving feedback from the ad operations team, a sales team will never be able to price and package inventory accurately. Without accurate analysis from the ad operations team any publisher will not be able to derive the right balance between creative ads and reasonable content. This must be understood in order to get your sales team on the same table with your Ad Ops. You might have to establish processes for both to follow.  It is crucial that the communication channel between Ad Ops and sales is fluid and works both ways. Ad Ops teams need to educate the sales team about their capabilities and sales teams need to make ad ops team aware of what the market wants.

3. Have a contingency plan

It is difficult to run a lean and efficient ad operations department at the best of times. Add in high turnover, unplanned leaves, fluctuating work patterns and it can become an impossible task to manage delivery as per expectations. Also, the top management of any company is always going to balk at the high salaries paid to ad ops professionals. It is almost impossible to make them sit down and explain the importance of skilled professionals in ad operations. They will always fail to see the value in it. The solution is simple; consider outsourcing ad operations, either partially or completely. However, in doing so always ensure that the control stays with you. There are many advantages to outsourcing such as lower cost, no employee retention hassles and if the outsourcing partner works in a different timezone then it may actually result in quicker turnaround times. I repeat though – do not lose control of ad ops in doing so! You need to have a couple of ad operations professionals in-house that are constantly on top of the outsourcing vendor, ensuring that expectations are set accurately and delivery commitments are met in a timely fashion. Many companies also opt to outsource only during high work flow periods. Typically referred to as overflow services. You pay your outsourced vendor a low monthly retainer and utilize them only when needed and get billed on a per placement basis.

4. Define career paths of ad operations professionals

Ad operations is not, and will most likely never be, a stress free business. It is just the nature of the work they do that ad ops teams are going to be subjected to unrealistic expectations from time to time, and are going to be held responsible for mistakes that aren’t entirely their fault. Wrong creatives, wrong clickthru URLs, page being broken or wrong dates, the finger is always going to be pointed at ad ops first. Good traffickers take this within their stride and learn to perform well regardless of external circumstances. A good trafficker is smart, meticulous, self-motivated and technically capable. However, you can keep him performing at optimum levels only if he knows he is heading somewhere in his career. He needs to have possibilities open for him to venture into team management, strategy planning, inventory management or even sales. You could do well to document career paths within your organization. Update job descriptions: a tedious and often painful task that usually reveals overlooked skillsets and responsibilities, and gives your team a ‘future’ that they can visualize

5. Stay abreast with industry innovations and don’t be afraid to experiment a little

Ad operations is a dynamic industry. What may have been good for you a couple of years ago may not necessarily work today. The industry as a whole is taking shape from the unorganized mess that it was a few years ago to one that now offers standards and guidelines for all to follow. In the ever evolving world of ad operations it vital that you keep yourself aware of the latest offerings from various solution providers. Be it work flow management tools, innovative rich media formats or video technology integration, every publisher needs to adapt accordingly in order to maintain their competitive edge.

Lastly, be sure to clean out old reporting templates, archive old files and reports. Start out the year afresh!


To learn more about how you can prepare for 2011, visit http://www.zedo.com/technology/switchToZedo.htm

Got Quantcast? Third party research vendors in ZEDO.

Now you can automatically insert tags for Quantcast and other third party research vendors when you create ads in ZEDO.

For Quantcast, it’s as simple as filling in your Quantcast ID and choosing the type of tag:

  • HTTPS for secure pages or
  • Advertiser to track just an ad, not the whole page

You can even use both, for a secure Advertiser tracking tag.

Quantcast tag

For other vendors, you can enter the vendor’s 1×1 tracking pixel code, which we will append to the ad.

Other Third Party Vendor tag

Stay tuned for even more improvements: Support for more vendors, and the ability to add third party research vendor tags in the ad tag generator.

Track your Support Cases online!

ZEDO Online Support Cases

Have you had time to check out the new Support Tab in the ZEDO UI?  We recently introduced a new tab called “Support”, with the following:

  • Online Support Cases:  Log a case, check case status, reply to cases all online in your account.  Also, view the cases of others in your company.
  • Knowledgebase:  Including all our implementation documents and whitepapers, training videos!, API documentation, user manual, FAQ’s, articles, blogs, and more

  • Release Notes:  All current, past and planned future releases are listed here.  Help yourself to a bit of insight about what we’re releasing soon
Retiring Email-Based Cases
In a month or so, we plan to retire our email-based support case tracking system.  This means that all cases must be submitted online.  Don’t worry – we’ll give you plenty of warning and will always provide a backup method for reaching our team.
If web-based case logging doesn’t work for you – let us know!  Contact your ZEDO Account Manager as soon as possible and let us know if this causes a process problem for you or your team.
thanks, and keep reading!
Team ZEDO

 

 

Cloning got a little easier today.

Many of our customers want to use the Cloning feature when adding multiple creatives to the same campaign.  Until today, this was impossible since you can’t edit the ad dimension while cloning.

Today’s release lets you change Ad Dimension when cloning an ad. Simply choose the appropriate dimension, then set all the rest of your ad setup details.

Setting a new ad dimension for a cloned ad.

A word of warning, though: Please, please don’t forget to use the right ad tag / image dimensions or your ad will be distorted when loaded onto a webpage!

Want more from cloning? Don’t worry – it’s coming!  We’re currently working on how to clone all ads within a campaign, to save you even more time when setting up ads in the system.

Want to participate? We’d love to  hear from you and hear more about how you use ZEDO to manage your business.  Please send a note to support@zedo.com and your input and ideas will be sent directly to the product management team.