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Jake Paul looks to knock out the venture capital world with Anti Fund

March 30, 2021 No Comments

During every economic boom, there are startup investors who appear on the scene from new corners. Some churn out; others earn the respect of the old guard over time.

Jake Paul would be happy to be in the latter camp. Then again, the 24-year-old didn’t become a social media star by being conventional. Little wonder that Paul is now jumping into venture capital with an outfit that’s branded the Anti Fund. Newly formed with serial entrepreneur Geoffrey Woo, the endeavor is traditional in some ways but has a decidedly different point of view, say the two.

Some of the basics: Anti Fund is not a discrete pool of capital but is instead using AngelList’s Rolling Funds platform, which enables investors to raise money through a quarterly subscription from interested backers. Among those who’ve already committed capital are Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz.

Why choose a rolling fund instead of a traditional fund? For one thing, Paul and Woo were drawn to its Rule 506(c) structure, which allows issuers to broadly solicit an offering. Because Anti Fund plans to focus largely on consumer-focused opportunities and next-generation creator platforms in particular, it wants to be “able to promote and advertise our fund,” says Woo, who most recently founded a nutrition-based food and beverage company and earlier in his career sold a company to Groupon.

Paul relatedly wants to ensure his fans can get involved if they like. “I have followers are different reasons, and they want to be involved in what I’m doing. If they’re involved in our fund, then that’s more people rooting for us and our portfolio companies to win. We almost create this army that’s pushing all of these companies forward.”

As for check sizes, Anti Fund plans to invest between $ 100,000 and $ 1 million in one to two startups every quarter. The goal, says Paul, is to be the “biggest rolling fund on AngelList,” investing “around $ 10 million to $ 20 million a year.”

Anti Fund is just the newest effort to come from the world of social media influencers. As we reported earlier this month, the management company of another YouTube star, MrBeast, has dived into the world of venture capital with a $ 20 million fund it assembled with commitments from social media creators. Dispo, a photo-sharing app cofounded by YouTube star David Dobrik also attracted widespread attention and funding earlier this year.

A new startup called Creative Juice just raised funding, too, to provide equity-based financing to YouTube creators. MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, is among its investors. (It make a lot of sense, suggests Woo, who says that Anti Fund believes firmly that “individuals will become their own media channels.”)

Roughly 10 years into the influencer phenomenon, the trend isn’t surprising. “I think a lot of creators with newfound wealth — a lot of YouTubers or Instagram models — don’t necessarily know what to do with their money,” says Paul, who has already diversified into boxing, making his professional boxing debut last year. “I’m trying to lead the way.”

Neither Paul nor Woo is new to startup investing. Woo has invested in roughly 20 startups on his own, including Paribus, an email widget that saved consumers money and that was acquired by Capital One. Paul, meanwhile, previously cofounded another small venture outfit called TGZ Capital that he says participated in the funding rounds of 15 startups.

One of these is Quip, a seven-year-old oral care company that has raised $ 62 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Another company backed by Paul is Triller, a social video app that briefly became the most-downloaded free app in the App Store last summer when bigger rival TikTok was facing an uncertain future in the U.S.

Triller has since lost enough of that momentum that talk of going public via a special purpose acquisition vehicle has yet to lead to a tie-up, six months after the company reportedly began exploring the possibility. Still, as a stakeholder, Paul is keeping it in the headlines, including by providing it with exclusive rights to stream a pay-per-view boxing match between himself with former MMA wrestler Ben Asken on April 17.

Interestingly, it’s because Paul moved from L.A. to Miami to train for the fight that he met Woo, a Californian who visited Miami this past January for what was supposed to be a weekend trip and wound up staying. The two say they happened to hit it off at a tech event and, after establishing they had mutual friends, connected over their interest in performance nutrition, with Paul investing in Woo’s newest company, HVMN.

Last month, they decided to partner on Anti Fund, too.

Whether the two succeed as business partners will take time to learn. Certainly, they both have a strong work ethic. Woo has started three companies since graduating from Stanford with a computer science degree. Though Paul makes what seems an inordinate amount of money for creating YouTube videos, he has created thousands of them in order to amass his more than 20 million followers.

It’s also clear that, as with his social media career, Paul is taking boxing seriously. During his most recent fight, in November, he knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in the second round. His first boxing match, against fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib in January of last year, also ended in a knockout just minutes into the fight.

Many professional athletes see the fights as mere stunts, given Paul’s famous made-for-video antics, from a short-lived marriage, to disregarding the concerns of neighbors in West Hollywood, to being charged by police last June for criminal trespass and unlawful assembly connected with the looting of an Arizona mall.

An obvious risk is that the best deal-makers in the world will see Anti Fund as a stunt, too, or else that something that Paul says or does will ruffle feathers. As industry watchers know, investors’ excitement over Dobrik’s Dispo dissipated quickly after Business Insider first detailed various accusations of misconduct against members of the Dobrik’s online squad, including an accusation of rape that allegedly took place during a video shoot.

Paul, who finished high school online in order to pursue a career as an influencer, is well aware of the Dobrik scandal. It’s because he has grown up in plain view, in fact, that he’s not concerned about something from his past threatening his future.

“It’s definitely [risky to be in my position]. Your life is put on display when you choose to be a celebrity and specifically a vlogger. But because I’ve lived online, everyone’s seen everything already,” he says.

He also thinks that “VCs and people in the business world understand more and more how to work” with influencers and other celebrities who have enormous followings and are bringing them along as their careers evolve. “At the end of the day,” he says of business dealings, “if someone is a good person and you have a relationship established with them, that’s what really matters.”


Social – TechCrunch


Google Display Network Best Practices In A First-Party Cookie World

March 25, 2021 No Comments

With first-party data becoming more relevant and third-party cookies becoming a thing of the past, this leaves marketers questioning, how can I best prepare?

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Jingle all the way: What will 2021 mean to the advertising world?

December 26, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Despite the overall doom and gloom, some industries actually skyrocketed in 2020.
  • 2021 is supposed to dot some i’s and cross some t’s in the field of transparency and first-party data solutions.
  • Live streaming related to gaming and sports is a huge advertising-friendly zone that is expected to expand further in 2021.
  • Header bidding solutions for OTT and CTV, new attribution, and monetization features are the advertising technologies that will gather momentum in 2021.
  • AI and ML predictive algorithms will further revolutionize personalization in the advertising world.

Surreal, eye-opening, melancholic, thought-provoking… 2020 has been like no other year in this century so far, as those wearing t-shirts with an “All I want for Christmas is 2021” logo will eagerly confirm. And though there’s a lot to be done before all pieces of the 2021 puzzle can be put together, the upcoming year has many hopes to fulfill. No pressure, 2021, but you’d better be good! On this cautiously positive note, let’s briefly revise 2020 based on the insights from the ‘OTT Executive Summitbefore we can warmly welcome the upcoming year. Read on for foresight on the future of advertising.

Looking back at 2020

The reality of 2020 dictated new rules, values, people’s habits, and a new outlook on what “normal” was. Unsurprisingly, despite the overall doom and gloom, some industries, which fit in this transformed layout really well, actually skyrocketed. They say every cloud has its silver lining, and that was true even for 2020.

Take for instance CTV, whose ad spend increased by 19% this year, according to IAB, primarily due to the pandemic and mass lockdowns. 

“TV forever has been a top funnel media, a media that you used to drive awareness but not to drive purchase. What’s so interesting about Connected Television is that it gives an opportunity to be both, a powerful branding media as well as a media that is very appealing to marketers who are trying to drive actual outcomes,”

Scott Rosenberg, SVP/GM of Platform Business at Roku

Digital devices, including the CTV ones, to a certain extent, became the guardians of people’s mental wellbeing. This fact is backed up by the Leichtman Research Group’s report that counted 400 million Connected TV devices in the US earlier this year. 

Another curious outcome of the pandemic is the shift that occurred in the way viewers started consuming OTT content. Nielsen shared their insights on the growing trend of co-viewing, as people were tied to their homes and family members for a long period of time.

The developments of the Internet and 5G networks added even more points to CTV’s score, making the market magnetic for app developers. As a result, streaming soared, turning 85% of Americans into streamers, according to Roku. 

“Streaming for the first time is overtaking live TV,” Andrew Hare, Senior Vice President, Research at Magid Associates, Inc

In addition to the accelerated number of subscribers of existing streaming services, outlined by eMarketer, the industry has seen a true upswing in the launch of new platforms, like Apple TV +, HBO Max, Disney +, Paramount +, Quibi (currently shut down), and others. 

“The streaming war up until this point has been really between the Big Three [Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu], however, with the entrance of all these high profile services from Disney, Apple, Warner Media, NBCUniversal, and others we could be seeing a huge upset of the hierarchy moving forward. And the interesting thing is that a lot of these new services have taken different approaches, trying to tackle the Big Three,”

Steve Nason, Research Director at Park Associates

With a CTV viewing time growth by 81% in 2020, as per Nielsen, and the abundance of entertainment opportunities CTV has in its goody bag, consumers admittedly started to have fewer problems with ads. Provided that ads could be the only price they would have to pay for the content. 

“Consumers found our service and services like ours really viable. Ad-supported became a really good way of getting your news and your movies, and perhaps your content library,”

Colin Petrie-Norris, CEO at Xumo

“43% of US adults have paused a show they were watching to go purchase or consider the product that they just saw on screen. The conditions are very ripe between the consumers’ unwillingness to go to physical retail as well as more advanced ad products that can put the right ad in front of you at the right moment, have it be actionable,

Scott Rosenberg, SVP/GM of Platform Business at Roku

In fact, eMarketer’s Q3 report highlighted an increase in AVOD revenue by 31% in 2020. This means that well-established AVOD platforms, such as Pluto TV, Xumo, Vudu, Crackle, and Tubi, will soon have to share the space with many newcomers, willing to hit the jackpot by adopting AVOD or a hybrid model that combines SVOD and AVOD features.

“Two-thirds of all viewing time is on ad-supported platforms. For the first time 53% of people 18+ said they watch at least one AVOD service. 51% in the US tell us they would prefer an advertising-based free model versus a subscription with no ads or EST [Electronic Sell-Through],

Andrew Hare, Senior Vice President, Research at Magid Associates, Inc

Looking forward to 2021

Though mysteriously staring at the crystal ball to see the future is always fun, eMarketer shared a few clues to make anyone’s predictions a bit more grounded. Following eMarketer’s estimates, the CTV ad spends will reach $ 11.36 billion in 2021, which is around 40% higher than the year before that. Additionally, 2021 will bring a reduction in Connected TV CPMs due to a meteoritic rise of supply. Without having our heads in the clouds, let’s take a closer look at where this may take us from different perspectives of the CTV landscape.

1. Transparency

Privacy concerns have consistently been the internet’s stumbling block. Users want to know who collects what data and for what purposes. Looks like a few years after the introduction of GDPR, 2021 will finally dot some i’s and cross some t’s in this area. Since Google announced its plan to opt-out third-party cookies from the Chrome browser, the advertising world has been restlessly trying to come up with a new unified first-party data approach for all its channels. As advertisers aim to secure their access to consumers, direct deals via PMP (Private Marketplace) or PG (Programmatic Guaranteed) punched above their weight. And though these are effective ways of reaching audiences, they risk leaving smaller players out of the loop. In the meantime, the connected TV arena moved the question of transparency from high priority to critical. Hopefully, 2021 will bring some clarity to unified solutions for delivering first-party data to advertisers. Alternatively, we have good chances to watch further fragmentation of the market (which is not good) stitched together with progress in addressability (which is good).

2. Investments

Streaming of all shapes and sizes continues to soar, and 2021 is expected to reveal its potential even fuller. Live streaming, especially related to gaming and sports, offers marketers a unique opportunity to reach out to a growing segment of esport streamers and watchers, who in 2020 constituted 92% of the US and UK Generations Z and Y populations, based on the data from GlobalWebIndex. Certainly, anchoring consumers at home did oil the wheels and contributed a great deal to this trend. Outside of sports and gaming, another streaming playing field, that is gaining momentum as we speak, is certainly AVOD. A snowballing effect with which streaming services sprang up made watchers tight-fisted and less opposed to ads. This tendency is likely to stay the course. Therefore, if there is a perfect time and place to make the most of advertising budgets, it will undoubtedly be streaming in 2021. 

3. Formats

Provided that customers’ attention span was eight seconds in 2020, as stated by Oracle, it’s obvious that capturing this attention will only get harder for brands with time. This is where engaging formats will come in handy. Browsable galleries, shoppable ads, carousels, TV-to-Mobile elements, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), these are just a part of the mantra for all advertisers out there. The only way to walk customers through all the stages of the funnel is to stay creative, up-to-date, and make their experience lightweight, yet memorable. As for the channels, it’s worth going out on a limb and adopting an omnichannel strategy that will include DOOH (Digital Out-of-Home), which has been rocking the boat of digital advertising for quite some time now. Given that consumers are expected to spend much more time out of their homes to make up for 2020, if/when restrictions are relaxed in 2021, experimenting with new formats would be the way forward.

4. Advertising technologies

Due to the fact that programmatic, as a transaction method is going to reach $ 5.72 billion in 2021, according to eMarketer, the talks about scaling up header bidding solutions for OTT and CTV have a clear rationale behind them. This technology will enable buyers to access dynamic auctions, while publishers will be able to send ad requests to multiple buyers and improve their monetization results. Furthermore, 2021 will surely expose marketers to more attribution and promotion opportunities, be it showcasing customer journey for OTT channel owners with the Attriboost analytics software or providing across-the-board monetization capabilities through Allroll’s self-serve platform. Staying at the forefront of the AdTech innovation curve will open doors to windfall profits.

5. Intelligent automation

A recent focus on a minimized face-to-face human interaction fuelled interest in automation powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). This ultimately sowed the seeds of acceptance and made these technologies more approachable for businesses. In the context of Connected TV, the advancements of AI-led to the kickoff of ACR (Automatic Content Recognition), which originated from smart TV players, for example, Samba TV, Samsung Ads, and LG’s Live Plus. Their predictive algorithms create an additional layer of personalization for CTV viewership. Taking into consideration how personalization is worshipped by marketers, beyond a shadow of doubt, ACR will play an important part in the CTV industry in 2021.

Takeaways

The time to say ‘goodbye’ to 2020 has come. Digital space, in line with the rest of the world, has gone through a lot of rethinking and reinventing, demonstrated resilience and agility, trying to foresee and comfort consumers in every single shift in their behavior. These changes, however, mapped a whole new outlook for 2021. Data privacy, investment opportunities, engaging formats, advertising, and automation technologies will run the digital world in 2021 in an even more exciting manner than before. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s go!

Alex Zakrevsky is the CEO of Allroll marketing platform for CTV/OTT channel owners. Innovator, product lover, CTV, and programmatic enthusiast. He believes that the quality of the product always wins.

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The promising post-cookie world

December 5, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Google’s market-leading Chrome browser utilizes a signed-in Google account, and Facebook requires personal logins to access its ubiquitous platform.
  • Marketers who wanted to reach consumers efficiently outside of the walled gardens have long relied on the third-party tracking cookie.
  • Now Google has announced that they will phase out third-party tracking cookies in Chrome, and the industry has been in a panic.
  • VP of Ad Operations at Octopus Interactive shares a fresh perspective and potential of a post-cookie world.

Facebook and Google cemented their dominance in the digital advertising world by virtue of their unique personal identifiers. Google’s market-leading Chrome browser utilizes a signed-in Google account, and Facebook requires personal logins to access its ubiquitous platform. Marketers who wanted to reach consumers efficiently outside of the walled gardens have long relied on the third-party tracking cookie. By tracking individual users across their browsing activity, an entire ecosystem has arisen that has reached an equilibrium, balancing the needs of publishers, advertisers, and the tech providers that exist between them.

Now Google has announced that they will phase out third-party tracking cookies in Chrome, and the industry has been in a panic. Indeed, many companies will have to adjust their business models wholesale in order to adapt to this new reality and privacy concerns.

The future, however, need not look bleak for advertisers and publishers. While some stakeholders will lose tracking and attribution features they’ve grown accustomed to, a return to the first principles of marketing will be good for consumers, publishers, advertisers, and the larger digital ecosystem.

The return of context

In the short term, giant companies like Google and Facebook will continue to control true identity. Some workarounds already are coming into practice, relying on things like grouping cohorts to reach the right consumers with the right message. Targeting advertising according to groups of cohorts that share similar characteristics is one way to deliver some performance, but it doesn’t allow for things like frequency capping in order to increase scale and efficiency.

Instead, advertisers and publishers will need to work together to return to first principles like contextual advertising. By targeting advertising based on the actual content it’s published next to, consumers are more likely to see relevant ads, and resourceful publishers can monetize accordingly. For a long time, contextual targeting has been treated as an add-on feature in the industry, and advertisers and publishers need to prepare for a future in which context is a great deal more important.

From a higher level, contextual advertising also makes philosophical sense. Advertisers have known an entire generation of consumers as numbers and attributes. A thoughtful return to contextual advertising means that the industry will need to consider the whole person, rather than a collection of abstractions. While this may be challenging for many advertisers who have grown accustomed to performance and efficiency, it also represents an opportunity to build brands and relationships.

Keep calm, carry on

In light of these developments, some in the digital advertising industry are rightfully anxious about the uncertain future. If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us, however, it’s that nothing can be truly taken for granted, and the old platitude holds that change is the only thing that remains constant.

To those who are worried, I would urge calm and reflection. There’s too much money and too many smart people in our industry for us to give it all up wholesale. It’s a virtual certainty that the advertising industry will find a way to move forward – outside of the walled gardens and without the helpful tracking cookie.

Part of the solution will require finding efficiencies in places other than the media spend. More thoughtful creative and more deliberate targeting will result, leading to a better customer experience. New channels like addressable CTV will fill some of the gaps, and things like Digital Out of Home (DOOH) are poised to gain ground. Measurement and engagement proxies like viewability and video completion rates will become more important.

In the end, the digital ad industry will be forced to move away from the one-to-one goal that we’ve fixated on for too long. Our entire industry will become smarter and better as a consequence. There will be some struggles along the way, but the future of digital marketing outside of the walled gardens has every reason to appear bright.

Ryan Bricklemyer is VP of Ad Operations and Product Development at Octopus Interactive.

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Digital Marketing in a VUCA World: Is it Time to Emerge from Plato’s Cave?

October 31, 2020 No Comments

Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. are giving digital marketers what Socrates would call a “superficial truth”. The data sets are incomplete.

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Five great display and video advertising tactics to increase relevance and revenue in a cookie-less world

August 25, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Display and video advertising already have tactics that can be highly effective in a cookie-less world.
  • Contextual advertising is going to rise, as users will be in the right state of mind to interact with the brands’ ads.
  • Content sponsorship is going to build strong relationships between brands and consumers, as the values and purpose of each brand will be transmitted to the audience in a non-aggressive sales-y way.
  • Channel integration can become the norm as channels can support each other through insights.
  • User-based targeting will still allow for personalization with the consent of the user.

Let’s face it. The world is going through difficult times, and so is every method of advertising. People are suspicious and don’t trust advertising, thinking that ads may lead to fraud or that advertisers act only to their own benefit and that the consumers will get no value out these promotional banners sitting around the content they visit. They get annoyed when video advertising interrupts their user experience popping up or getting in the way of their desired content.

Things get worse when the ads are totally irrelevant to the user’s interests, which results in total waste of money. Things got a bit better with cookies, as we could target specific audience segments based on their demographics and browsing behavior so that the ads where tailored to their state of mind and interests but in a soon-to-be cookie-less world? Are we back to zero?

Fear not. During the past few years, the targeting technology and tactics became much more sophisticated and we can use numerous methods to target our audiences with relevant only ads and at the same time comply with the new GDPR normal.

Below are five must-have tactics around display and video advertising to smoothly transition to the post-cookie era.

Well, there are no must-dos in life, but realistically these will definitely make your life a lot easier and your ads will create only positive relationships with your audience. Anyway, cookies matching (the process of syncing cookies data so that Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) and Data Management Platforms (DMPs) know that they are dealing with the same user) isn’t exactly perfect. So let’s see the positive side. It’s our chance to get closer to our goal to increase relevancy, please customers, and drive sales.

1. Contextual targeting

Why?

Back to zero? Not quite.

Example - Display and video advertising

Yes, keyword or contextual-based advertising is an old tactic, I am not talking about the invention of the wheel. But: nowadays we can use Programmatic buying. With cookie-based targeting, ads about martech platforms would keep following you around the web. But this is not you. You are more than that. You like fitness, food, minimalism, whatever.

How?

With contextual targeting through programmatic, you will be able to display your ads only when your audience is in a relevant state of mind across hundreds of sites at the same time. So when you’re looking for healthy recipes in food websites, you will see ads for organic products and when you will be reading about the future of digital advertising, you will see ads of a new analytics platform.

So what?

So the ads will be relevant to the web environment you’re currently consuming and consumers will feel more comfortable to convert, as they will see the ads as an extension of the content they are already looking at. Contextual advertising works well for all the stages of the purchase journey, as high impact formats (large sizes or video) but also native ads-teasers can be used to increase awareness and memorability and click-throughs respectively.

2. Content sponsorship

Why?

Yes. It works. People want to get value from the brands, and this is how they get to trust them. Consuming educational content brings us closer to the bran’s values, we see the world through their eyes and therefore we decide to follow them or not. Have you ever made friends without listening to them talking first?

How?

Especially during the pandemic, people started educating themselves on numerous topics that don’t necessarily have to do with their job. They love reading about how they can make their life easier. And they trust someone’s content especially when they are not trying to directly sell or only sell a product without justifying it. To my opinion, content must be branded but should be consumer-centric at the same time. These are some questions you should seek to answer through your content.

  • What are the benefits of the product/service?
  • How does it fill someone’s needs?
  • Does it add value to someone’s life/daily routine?

This is exactly our time as advertisers to elaborate on the challenges that our audience can overcome by using the product. This is our time to be where our consumers are and consume content, to show that we care, and we give, and this is a win-win game. And that the more we win, we commit that the more we will give.

So what?

Brands that get personal like the P&G ads are amazing. Have you seen them? They celebrate women’s/mums’ roles and contributions to society. They speak the truth, they make people relate to the content. Also, going back to my point on the pandemic now, people appreciated it so much the brands that collaborated with each other for a good cause, the brands that offered, the brands that supported also financially the situation.

Why? Because we all want to feel that someone is there for us, that brands don’t care only for their profits. So if I’m going to give my money for a product anyway, I will choose one that we have the same beliefs with.

3. Channel collaboration

Why?

And here it comes. Your boss, your client come to ask for channel integrated campaigns. They want to see how everything works together towards the same goal. They don’t like fragmented budgets anymore, as the ad investment comes from one pot and there’s one person managing all the channels so there’s no point in delivering multiple media plans.

How?

Use every channel’s success or failure (this is still a very useful insight!) to contribute to the success of other channels. For example, look at search engine marketing (SEM) like paid search or SEO to find the most successful keywords, and then implement these in your display and video advertising – contextual strategy.

So what?

In other words, what I strongly recommend is to use the terms that your customers are using in their search before they convert, to open up to new audiences in relevant webpages. This way, you can have an online presence in relevant environments, with high impact display formats and videos to increase awareness when your audience is at the right state of mind.

4. User-based targeting

Why?

This is not something new, the big platforms are already doing this and it’s an amazing source of data that I don’t think we made the most of, because we were mostly relying on cookies (that, let’s face it, wasn’t 100% accurate anyway). These data sets are quite accurate as they rely on information that the users give through forms and actions and not on our interpretation of their browsing history.

How?

This is essentially targeting through the user id on the respective platform. Users give their details and create profiles so that they get access to various platforms or make purchases to numerous websites. This way the brand can target the ideal users with cross-device recognition, using first-party data.

So what?

Who doesn’t want a consistent experience while interacting with a brand across multiple devices? Again, this is a win-win game when implemented effectively, as the brands do not waste budget while targeting the users isolating every device and at the same time the users are being targeted with the most appropriate message depending on the stage of the funnel that they are. Plus it improves personalization.

5. Sequential targeting

Why?

How many times have you noticed a specific car model in the streets after you talked about it for the first time with your friends? It’s not that all these cars magically appeared in front of you after your conversation. It’s that this car is now familiar to you, so it’s easy to notice it. Humans like what looks or sounds familiar. The brain wants to spend as little energy as possible so if it’s something already known, it’s easier to identify and memorize. That’s why we need sequential advertising in our lives.

How?

First-party data allow also for sequential targeting, which is a marketing technique that uses a sequence of ads to tell a story and convince the audience to convert over time, across different devices. The creatives used for sequential targeting should have the same look and feel so that the consumer feels familiar with them and also recalls the brand’s image but should be evolved as we walk down the funnel. The sequence is device agnostic when a user is logged in through their account, which means that shifting between devices doesn’t affect that strategy, it even enhances the experience. Someone may see an ad on their smartphone and then the second in order ad may appear the next day on their laptop.

So what?

It has been observed that awareness can be vastly increased through high impact sequential ads. For instance, Google’s research in partnership with Ipsos on sequential videos revealed a 74% ad recall lift and 30% purchase intent uplift compared to standalone video advertising. The sequential messaging drives also high-quality leads as they guide the user down through the funnel to convert.

The sequential tactic is highly effective as most consumers use multiple digital devices before making a purchase or using a service. This strategy increases visibility, as people notice a brand more when its ads appear on multiple devices and they seem familiar, plus you allow your audience to interact with your brand through their platform of choice and it prevents ad fatigue. It’s of no wonder why this tactic presents increasing CTR.

Into the technicalities now

In digital display and video advertising, I would recommend for the sequential path to involve three stages of content.

  • Stage one – the user sees an ad that is usually more generic, it introduces them to the brand or service
  • Stage two – includes ads that educate around the brand or service advertised and present briefly the benefits and happy results of using it

The first two stages should invite the user to learn more about the product and get to know the brand if needed so that they walk through the consideration phase. For these purposes, the first (or second too) stage can well be represented by a video. The videos are well known as being highly memorable and impactful, so this is what the user needs at this stage.

  • Stage three – ad with a strong call to action, an invitation for the audience to use the product and purchase, sometimes even offering a discount

Naturally, the call-to-action in each stage will change depending on what action we want the person to perform (Learn more Vs Buy now).

Conclusion

Therefore, it’s not the end of the world, it’s the end of a technology that worked for long but now it’s time to move on to new relationship structures, just like societies do. Because it’s time for the brands to build honest and transparent relationships with consumers, which is going to lead to stronger trust in advertising. And this is a good thing.

What are your thoughts on display and video advertising? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

Anastasia-Yvoni Spiliopoulou is a Global Digital Media expert. She has recently launched her new online course in digital display and video advertising for corporates and individuals.

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Software will reshape our world in the next decade

June 21, 2020 No Comments

As I was wrapping up a Zoom meeting with my business partners, I could hear my son joking with his classmates in his online chemistry class.

I have to say this is a very strange time for me: As much as I love my family, in normal times, we never spend this much time together. But these aren’t normal times.

In normal times, governments, businesses and schools would never agree to shut everything down. In normal times, my doctor wouldn’t agree to see me over video conferencing.

No one would stand outside a grocery store, looking down to make sure they were six feet apart from one another. In times like these, decisions that would normally take years are being made in a matter of hours. In short, the physical world — brick-and-mortar reality— has shut down. The world still functions, but now it is operating inside everyone’s own home.

This not-so-normal time reminds me of 2008, the depths of the financial crisis. I sold my company BEA Systems, which I co-founded, to Oracle for $ 8.6 billion in cash. This liquidity event was simultaneously the worst and most exhausting time of my career, and the best time of my career, thanks to the many inspiring entrepreneurs I was able to meet.

These were some of the brightest, hardworking, never-take-no-for-an-answer founders, and in this era, many CEOs showed their true colors. That was when Slack, Lyft, Uber, Credit Karma, Twilio, Square, Cloudera and many others got started. All of these companies now have multibillion dollar market caps. And I got to invest and partner with some of them.

Once again, I can’t help but wonder what our world will look like in 10 years. The way we live. The way we learn. The way we consume. The way we will interact with each other.

What will happen 10 years from now?

Welcome to 2030. It’s been more than two decades since the invention of the iPhone, the launch of cloud computing and one decade since the launch of widespread 5G networks. All of the technologies required to change the way we live, work, eat and play are finally here and can be distributed at an unprecedented speed.

The global population is 8.5 billion and everyone owns a smartphone with all of their daily apps running on it. That’s up from around 500 million two decades ago.

Robust internet access and communication platforms have created a new world.

The world’s largest school is a software company — its learning engine uses artificial intelligence to provide personalized learning materials anytime, anywhere, with no physical space necessary. Similar to how Apple upended the music industry with iTunes, all students can now download any information for a super-low price. Tuition fees have dropped significantly: There are no more student debts. Kids can finally focus on learning, not just getting an education. Access to a good education has been equalized.

The world’s largest bank is a software company and all financial transactions are digital. If you want to talk to a banker live, you’ll initiate a text or video conference. On top of that, embedded fintech software now powers all industries.

No more dirty physical money. All money flow is stored, traceable and secured on a blockchain ledger. The financial infrastructure platforms are able to handle customers across all geographies and jurisdictions, all exchanges of value, all types of use-cases (producers, distributors, consumers) and all from the start.

The world’s largest grocery store is a software and robotics company — groceries are delivered whenever and wherever we want as fast as possible. Food is delivered via robot or drones with no human involvement. Customers can track where, when and who is involved in growing and handling my food. Artificial intelligence tells us what we need based on past purchases and our calendars.

The world largest hospital is a software and robotics company — all initial diagnoses are performed via video conferencing. Combined with patient medical records all digitally stored, a doctor in San Francisco and her artificial intelligence assistant can provide personalized prescriptions to her patients in Hong Kong. All surgical procedures are performed by robots, with supervision by a doctor of course, we haven’t gone completely crazy. And even the doctors get to work from home.

Our entire workforce works from home: Don’t forget the main purpose of an office is to support companies’ workers in performing their jobs efficiently. Since 2020, all companies, and especially their CEOs, realized it was more efficient to let their workers work from home. Not only can they save hours of commute time, all companies get to save money on office space and shift resources toward employee benefits. I’m looking back 10 years and saying to myself, “I still remember those days when office space was a thing.”

The world’s largest entertainment company is a software company, and all the content we love is digital. All blockbuster movies are released direct-to-video. We can ask Alexa to deliver popcorn to the house and even watch the film with friends who are far away. If you see something you like in the movie, you can buy it immediately — clothing, objects, whatever you see — and have it delivered right to your house. No more standing in line. No transport time. Reduced pollution. Better planet!

These are just a few industries that have been completely transformed by 2030, but these changes will apply universally to almost anything. We were told software was eating the world.

The saying goes you are what you eat. In 2030, software is the world.

Security and protection no longer just applies to things we can touch and see. What’s valuable for each and every one of us is all stored digitally — our email account, chat history, browsing data and social media accounts. It goes on and on. We don’t need a house alarm, we need a digital alarm.

Even though this crisis makes the near future seem bleak, I am optimistic about the new world and the new companies of tomorrow. I am even more excited about our ability to change as a human race and how this crisis and technology are speeding up the way we live.

This storm shall pass. However the choices we make now will change our lives forever.

My team and I are proud to build and invest in companies that will help shape the new world; new and impactful technologies that are important for many generations to come, companies that matter to humanity, something that we can all tell our grandchildren about.

I am hopeful.

Gadgets – TechCrunch


Making sense of a multi-cloud, hybrid world at KubeCon

November 23, 2019 No Comments

More than 12,000 attendees gathered this week in San Diego to discuss all things containers, Kubernetes and cloud-native at KubeCon.

Kubernetes, the container orchestration tool, turned five this year, and the technology appears to be reaching a maturity phase where it accelerates beyond early adopters to reach a more mainstream group of larger business users.

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of work to be done, or that most enterprise companies have completely bought in, but it’s clearly reached a point where containerization is on the table. If you think about it, the whole cloud-native ethos makes sense for the current state of computing and how large companies tend to operate.

If this week’s conference showed us anything, it’s an acknowledgment that it’s a multi-cloud, hybrid world. That means most companies are working with multiple public cloud vendors, while managing a hybrid environment that includes those vendors — as well as existing legacy tools that are probably still on-premises — and they want a single way to manage all of this.

The promise of Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies, in general, is that it gives these companies a way to thread this particular needle, or at least that’s the theory.

Kubernetes to the rescue

Photo: Ron Miller/TechCrunch

If you were to look at the Kubernetes hype cycle, we are probably right about at the peak where many think Kubernetes can solve every computing problem they might have. That’s probably asking too much, but cloud-native approaches have a lot of promise.

Craig McLuckie, VP of R&D for cloud-native apps at VMware, was one of the original developers of Kubernetes at Google in 2014. VMware thought enough of the importance of cloud-native technologies that it bought his former company, Heptio, for $ 550 million last year.

As we head into this phase of pushing Kubernetes and related tech into larger companies, McLuckie acknowledges it creates a set of new challenges. “We are at this crossing the chasm moment where you look at the way the world is — and you look at the opportunity of what the world might become — and a big part of what motivated me to join VMware is that it’s successfully proven its ability to help enterprise organizations navigate their way through these disruptive changes,” McLuckie told TechCrunch.

He says that Kubernetes does actually solve this fundamental management problem companies face in this multi-cloud, hybrid world. “At the end of the day, Kubernetes is an abstraction. It’s just a way of organizing your infrastructure and making it accessible to the people that need to consume it.

“And I think it’s a fundamentally better abstraction than we have access to today. It has some very nice properties. It is pretty consistent in every environment that you might want to operate, so it really makes your on-prem software feel like it’s operating in the public cloud,” he explained.

Simplifying a complex world

One of the reasons Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies are gaining in popularity is because the technology allows companies to think about hardware differently. There is a big difference between virtual machines and containers, says Joe Fernandes, VP of product for Red Hat cloud platform.

“Sometimes people conflate containers as another form of virtualization, but with virtualization, you’re virtualizing hardware, and the virtual machines that you’re creating are like an actual machine with its own operating system. With containers, you’re virtualizing the process,” he said.

He said that this means it’s not coupled with the hardware. The only thing it needs to worry about is making sure it can run Linux, and Linux runs everywhere, which explains how containers make it easier to manage across different types of infrastructure. “It’s more efficient, more affordable, and ultimately, cloud-native allows folks to drive more automation,” he said.

Bringing it into the enterprise

Photo: Ron Miller/TechCrunch

It’s one thing to convince early adopters to change the way they work, but as this technology enters the mainstream. Gabe Monroy, partner program manager at Microsoft says to carry this technology to the next level, we have to change the way we talk about it.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


In a social media world, here’s what you need to know about UGC and privacy

September 17, 2019 No Comments

In today’s brand landscape, consumers are rejecting traditional advertising in favor of transparent, personalized and most importantly, authentic communications. In fact, 86% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they support. Driven by this growing emphasis on brand sincerity, marketers are increasingly leveraging user-generated content (UGC) in their marketing and e-commerce strategies.

Correlated with the rise in the use of UGC is an increase in privacy-focused regulation such as the European Union’s industry-defining General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the along with others that will go into effect in the coming years, like the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), and several other state-specific laws. Quite naturally, brands are asking themselves two questions:

  • Is it worth the effort to incorporate UGC into our marketing strategy?
  • And if so, how do we do it within the rules, and more importantly, in adherence with the expectations of consumers?

Consumers seek to be active participants in their favorite companies’ brand identity journey, rather than passive recipients of brand-created messages. Consumers trust images by other consumers on social media seven times more than advertising.

Additionally, 56% are more likely to buy a product after seeing it featured in a positive or relatable user-generated image. The research and results clearly show that the average consumer perceives content from a peer to be more trustworthy than brand-driven content.

With that in mind, we must help brands leverage UGC with approaches that comply with privacy regulations while also engaging customers in an authentic way.

Influencer vs user: Navigating privacy considerations in an online world


Social – TechCrunch


Looking to become the video-based social network of the gaming world, Medal.tv raises $9 million

September 6, 2019 No Comments

When Medal.tv first launched on the scene, the company was an upstart trying to be the social network for the gaming generation.

Since its debut in February, the clipping and messaging service for gamers has amassed 5 million total users with hundreds of thousands of daily active users. And now it has a $ 9 million new investment from firms, led by Horizons Ventures, the venture capital fund established by Hong Kong multi-billionaire Li Ka-shing.

“We’re seeing sharing of short-form video emerge as a means of self-expression and entertainment for the current generation. We believe Medal’s platform will be a foundation for interactive social experiences beyond what you can find in a game,” says Jonathan Tam, an investor with Horizons Ventures .

Medal sees potential both in its social network and in the ability for game developers to use the platform as a marketing and discovery tool for the gaming audience.

“Friends are the main driver of game discovery, and game developers benefit from shareable games as a result. Medal.tv is trying to enable that without the complexity of streaming,” says Matteo Vallone, the former head of Google Play games in Europe and an angel investor in Medal.

Assets Web 1

It’s a platform that saw investors willing to fork over as much as $ 20 million for the company, according to chief executive Pim de Witte. “There are still too many risks involved to take capital like that,” de Witte says.

Instead, the $ 9 million from Horizons, and previous investors like Makers Fund, will be used to steadily grow the business.

“At Medal, we believe the next big social platform will emerge in gaming, perhaps built on top of short-form content, partially as a result of gaming publishers trying to build their own isolated gaming stores and systems,” said de Witte, in a statement. “That drives social fragmentation in the market and brings out the need for platforms such as Medal and Discord, which unite gamers across games and platforms in a meaningful way.”

As digital gaming becomes the social medium of choice for a generation, new tools that allow consumers to share their virtual experiences will become increasingly common. This phenomenon will only accelerate as more events like the Marshmello concert in Fortnite become the norm.

“Medal has the exciting potential to enable a seamless social exchange of virtual experiences,” says Ryann Lai, an investor from Makers Fund.


Social – TechCrunch