Programmatic Spend Reveals Greater Planning

Programmatic advertising has outgrown its original reputation as a place to pick up cheap remnant inventory at the last minute. As brands and agencies try to meet consumers where they are, they are finding the need to look across the media landscape for the same customer on a number of different devices and on a variety of platforms.The consumer has become, quite literally, a moving target, and there is simply no other way to build scalable campaigns without the automation and reach programmatic can offer . Although the retail and CPG industries have been in the forefront of this movement, they’re followed closely by travel, telecom, and financial services — all fields in which competition is fierce.

As a concomitant, the RTB environment has grown to include much more than simple display advertising. You can buy pretty much any kind of advertising in real time now, even video. From January through April 2014, display advertising remained fairly constant, but all other data-driven marketing channels grew, according to Turn’s Advertising Intelligence Index. Across all the channels, the competitive advertisers are beginning to plan in advance and stabilize at higher levels of spend.

Turns study reported a decrease in the volatility of spend, as well as growth in the number of dollars spent. This information reveals that marketers are planning in advance for cross-platform campaigns, rather than operating through trial and error and merely reacting. Once marketers recognize that they have to  leverage data and approach planning with a new appreciation for cross-channel impact, smoother spend is a natural consequence.

Compared to the same period in 20o13, Turn saw far less budget allocated at the end of traditional marketing quarters this year—advertisers are planning programmatic strategies in advance and are preparing better for seasonal patterns and variations in the marketplace.

It’s about time marketers approached their media buys more strategically, and thought more about how to execute programmatic campaigns for maximum audience effect across channels. More marketers are entering every channel, in every industry, leading to stiffer competition for available inventory. They are getting smarter about harnessing data and targeting spending to find customers across the media landscape. The degree of volatility still varies across channels, but Turn says mobile, social, and video are all converging toward the stable, consistently high level of competition that we’ve seen in the display market for some time now.

If you’re not already running a cross-channel integrated marketing campaign, leveraging audience data and your own customer data, you’ve lost your advantage in the programmatic market.

Digital Spend by Big Agencies Now Approaches 25%

Not that this is really news to anyone, but advertising dollars continue to shift online.  Four of the Big 6 agency holding companies, Aegis, Havas, Interpublic, and Publicis have contributed to a report by Standard Media Index, which is the best view to date of how dollars are allocated by big agencies on behalf of global brands.

Fueled by double digit growth in every sub-segment, overall digital spending rose 17% during the first quarter to 23.5% of agency media buys.

While mobile (+92%) and exchange-based digital buys (+46%) were the fastest growing sectors, display (+12%) and search (+12%) still account for dominant shares of digital spending. During the first quarter, direct-from-publisher display advertising accounted for 8.6%, and search accounted for 6.2% of all buys made by the major agencies.

We have been anticipating this shift, and have moved ZEDO in several new directions to accommodate it. Behind the scenes, we have strengthened our ad server for greater security, scalability, response time and redundancy. We have made more than two dozen new development, implementation, and account management hires during the last two quarters as we continue to grow with the industry we pioneered. And we are opening our New York office, hopefully on Madison Avenue.
On the product side, far more visible are our high impact formats, which are available to agencies through our new ZINC platform and available to publishers for direct and programmatic sales through ZEDO. Those formats, many tested by ComScore at 99% viewability, include the InView Slider, and FullScreen Video on the Web, the most engaging formats in the industry at this point.
With all the changes in how advertising is bought, display advertising spend still increased 10% in 2012, partly because Latin America is coming online. One of the reasons we strengthened our ad server was to get ready for this global scale as 2 billion people come on the internet this year, many of them through mobile devices. Our high impact formats work well on those devices, especially in the fast-growing tablet market — the favorite way to read news for most consumers.
These formats fit right into where marketers are going: away from direct response, where falling CTRs and falling CPMs are driving both the advertising and the publishing side of the industry to a bottom, and toward brand building — where online advertising will be far more effective. Marketers say brand advertising will pass direct response this year:

63% of marketers project that the dollars allocated to online brand advertising will grow in 2013, while one in five believe the increase will exceed 20%, according to Vizu, a Nielsen company, and the CMO Council.


We’re happy to see better creative, which comes with brand advertising, come into the industry at last. We’re sure it will help realize the potential of digital advertising.


Enhanced by Zemanta

What Comes After the Banner?

Thank goodness Jeff  Rosenblum wrote this post so we don’t have to. Banner ads do not work. They are outdated. Moreover, in Jeff’s own words,

many advertisers have taken this bottom-of-the-funnel tool and used it to build awareness and interest in their products. They are using it as a top and middle-of-the-funnel tool. This doesn’t work and the reason is simple: The units we use are too small. To build awareness, you need something that is either a lot more interruptive, disruptive or engaging. Because publisher sites have so many links and so much content, nobody wakes up in the morning saying, “Hey, I want to see a banner ad.” There is not enough visual impact to build awareness.

Because we have been serving banner ads to premium publishers since 1999, we have been in a unique position to witness the decline and almost total collapse of  the banner’s effectiveness. For a while, we moaned like everyone else in the industry. And then we decided that if we were truly going to be the thought leaders we wanted to be, we would have to dream up something better.

And so we went to work. The most engaging of all the high impact ad formats we have developed and delivered this here is our full screen video. The ad lives not in a banner, but in a conventional video box, where it appears to the viewer as totally black with a play arrow right in the center. You can see an example on

The impact of that ad format has been dramatic; much like that of a wrapped Christmas gift. The viewer is almost forced to interact with the ad, to see what’s underneath. When she clicks on the arrow, the video expands to full screen, capturing the attention even more. Of course you can always turn it off, or press escape to get out of full screen, but once you start watching it, on any size display, there’s no question it draws attention to itself.

And that’s what advertisers want most right now: viewable impressions, followed by engagement.

Jeff, we left the banner behind early this past year. Our menu of high impact formats is available now, not just on the drawing board like so many others.


Enhanced by Zemanta

ZEDO hires Aashay Paradkar to lead new Ad Operations Services team

ZEDO, Inc., the advertising technology partner for publishers, has hired Aashay Paradkar to head up its new Ad Operations and Creative Services team. Paradkar will take over the Global Ad Operations Services team under Summer Koide, VP Product & Services at ZEDO.

Aashay brings with him over ten years of experience, most recently with Cybage Software, heading up a large staff providing ad operations and technical support to companies such as Operative, Pubmatic, Digital River and more.

“ZEDO’s suite of premier products, services and technology solutions is the need of the hour for top publishers and agencies today,” Paradkar said.  “Quality websites – including newspapers, magazines and video – already capture the attention of the audience that advertisers seek.  Our ad operations and creative services let these publishers focus on their core competency – bringing top quality content to their users 24 hours a day.”

ZEDO offers full service ad operations, as well as an overflow/insurance model to counter lumpy demand with static staffing. Ad Operations customers will have dedicated, trained staff, 24-hour customer support and a local account manager. ZEDO is proud to offer this cost cutting service to publishers, especially newspaper publishers, as well as many other innovative products and services.

The Ups and Downs of Yahoo! Last Week

The Down: We were concerned to hear about the difficult time Yahoo! endured last week when the company laid off 600 staff members. CNNMoney stated in, “Yahoo! layoffs: 600 jobs cut in long-rumored move”, that Yahoo “has struggled as it tries to reinvent itself beyond an Internet portal. The company has lost major market share in display advertising.  Personally, I wonder how this will effect online newspapers. In my response to this announcement today, I talked about how I feel that Yahoo! has had lots of missed opportunities (Read my full response here).

The Up: During the same week of their 600 layoffs, Forbes posted the blog entry “Here’s How Yahoo! Climbs Above $20 and Stays There this Time.  It is obvious that Yahoo! is diversifying its model. I just keep wondering, how will this effect newspaper publishers? Check out my response to this news topic on Forbes blog by clicking: here

My ending note: The internet is a fast industry with lots of innovation and opportunity.  No matter what is happening with Yahoo! ZEDO is here for publishers, especially newspaper publishers.  As a true partner for publishers, we will continue to do whatever it takes to provide you with more options, more visibility, and more ways to make more revenue.


Want to learn more? Contact us at: