Category Archives: Analyze This

4 Take-Aways From PubMatic’s Ad Revenue Conference

The world of online advertising is much more nuanced and dynamic than I had given it credit for as the Ad Revenue conference in NYC last week taught me.  Below are a few of my take-aways, which I look forward to turning into business.

–          Data-driven world in need of Insight – Everything revolves around data to best put the right message in front of the right person at the right time in the right context.  While the industry is awash in data, however, the marketers and advertisers do not completely believe the metrics are right to give the level of consumer insight they would like, especially around brand awareness and related items.  As such, there is a need for better analytics that show the true purchase intent of consumers and the path to that intent.

–          Real-Time Bidding & Automated Exchanges are growing – A significant portion of the day revolved around the growth of Google-like auction exchanges both on the supply and demand side.  The key part of the message was that these RTBs (and related exchanges) were being employed increasingly by premium brand advertisers and publishers.  This shifts the role of the traditional Ad Sales person to focus on more complex and strategic sales while the basic fills can be completed by these automated systems.  The expectation is that they will account for 20% of ad fill by the end of 2011 and 50% in the next 5 years.  As you would expect, they are completely data driven.

–          Agencies and Publishers need creative support – With the growth of online video, in general, and video advertising, in particular advertising agencies are asking for additional support from publishers to help with video production for their campaigns with that publisher.   The reason for this seems to be the lack of dedicated expertise within the agencies that combine a knowledge of technology with video production for the online (and mobile) medium.

–          Local is a growth area – The rise of deep data has made local advertising more of an option for national advertisers who want to target locally and local publishers who want to attract a portfolio of community, regional and national clients.  The excitement around local is largely driven by its natural connection to mobile.

The 5 Horseman Of The Brand Data-Pocalypse

I have often been asked about how to measure media or calculate the success of a program, project,  campaign or initiative.  Those questions have become even more prevalent over the past few years as the outlets for content has fragmented.

I have watched the confusion build in friends and colleagues faces as they talk about the rivers of data they see around their content or brand coming from multiple vendors with no connection.  It is as if every day they are Noah and need to figure out what animals to put on the ark because the water keep rising!

I does not need to be so confusing.

I have a video editor & director friend who has a phrase that he uses when putting a film or TV piece together – “Sometimes you just have to drown your kittens”.  It sounds horrible and harsh, but the fact is that sometimes even the most compelling video or breathtaking pictures must be cut if they do not fit the theme of the story.

The same goes with data.  If certain metrics do not fit a story that gives you insight into the specific  business, project, customers, process or product  you are focusing on in a meaningful way, it is likely not worth it.

The fact is, that generating data is the easy part.  The hard part is determining which data will give you the most valuable insight.  That requires asking and answering 4 key questions about the given task at hand, then asking #5 to pick the data elements that are most closely tied to #s 1-4.

1. What
does your brand stand for?

2. What
is your content strategy to support your brand promise?

3. What
do you know and what do you want to know about your customers?

4. What
are the tools that you are using and how do they support your brand?

…and after you have clear answers for each of these for the give initiative, then…


5. What
are the data points that you have available and how should you apply


Quantify When You Qualify


realities of our world today include fragmented media choices, a
consumer base that demands relevance and that is both difficult to
discover and satisfy. That means it is critical to establish, and
nurture, lasting bonds with the consumers that are based on a
transparent relationship between your brand
or brands
and their behaviors.

are few excuses to make today about the lack ability to track
behavior and to, therefore, assign accountability metrics for
improvement. That includes the normally qualitative world of
branding, which are nothing more than the aggregated actions of
people related to a company’s content, product, service or message.

of that can be counted.

trick is in knowing what to count, what to compare it to and what
that means. I leave that for another post as it is not trivial, nor
do I mean it to sound so. That is, however, more a question of truly
knowing the goals of your business because the metrics merely help
tell a story for you to evaluate those goals and your broader

is essential today for us to seek:

  • To
    quantify in a standardized way
    the normally qualitative areas of brand relationships, brand
    strength and brand value in real-time, in context


  • To
    provide a simple way to manage those relationships across media
    platforms based on that standard measurement.

Going Beyond Time & Money For Real Brand Value

Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley recently released and presented her Internet Trends study at the CM Summit in New York City.

Amidst discussions of mobile, online advertising, e-commerce and international trends, the item that caught my eye related to the value of digital advertising compared to the time spent on online and to CPMs of other media.

I have heard this argument quite a bit as an indication of the undervaluation of digital ads versus other media and I do not necessarily disagree, but I think it is incomplete.  In looking at the chart below from Meeker’s strong presentation, both Internet and Radio have less Ad Spend than Time Spent, which by the basic definition would mean they are both undervalued.

That is certainly a debate that is common, but I think it misses the point because a brand will derive value not simply from the ad on a well-trafficked medium, but from the power of the relationship it can drive.  These days, that brand relationship value is the combination of media, not each one in isolation.

I, therefore, do not happen to adhere to the idea that Time Spent and Ad Spend (along with CPMs) necessarily need to be equal for each medium because it is the combination of time spent across media that is the critical data to understand.

All media are there to drive brand relationships and the value placed on the time should reflect that capability.  Impressions, clicks, comments, views both online and offline are all pieces of that brand relationship so focusing on on one medium as under or overvalued based solely on 2 data points I believe paints an incomplete picture.
Time Spent vs Ad Spend (Morgan Stanley)
CPM Comparisons Across Media

What The World Cup Can Teach Us About Brand Relationships

preparing to speak
at the MFM
2 weeks ago, I put together the following cheat sheet
in how to approach the questions of measuring brand relationships, in
general, and social media in particular.  Social media is merely
one tactic in monitoring and managing your brand relationship, but it
was a catalyst for the discussion and this framework.

media and the broader brand relationship management are still very
new areas and there are new situations every day. With that in mind,
it is essential that we all use tools that can adapt with the market
and help drive our businesses forward regardless of what comes around
the bend.

reality is that companies like mine and others can measure A LOT
across media in all
forms; but the challenge is transforming that into actionable
information to benchmark and plan against Key Performance
and to force
objective accountability.

that in mind, I believe in 3 critical tools that anyone
can employ in their businesses to evaluate what the brand
relationship approach should be and, therefore, what the best
measurements should be. It is critical to understand that floods of
data are not information and information is best understood when it
answers the right questions.

approach below is designed to ensure you are asking the right

of S-O-D

yet; think of the best event going , the World Cup! An event that
relies 100% on grass and the Sod that is painstakingly and carefully
laid before the event.

putting high quality SOD (aka grass) on the field nobody can play.
Worse yet, if the SOD is laid poorly, the game suffers because the
players cannot perform no matter how great they are.

the grass is repaired and groomed before EVERY GAME. It is not just
laid down once because every time it is used, there is something to
address based on the game. The same goes for our strategies.

solution is to critically think through the design of your approach
and the supporting analytics so that it can grow with every action
you take:

  • Strategic
    Framework – Build up
    your Brand Relationship & Social Media strategies

  • Objective
    Framework – Define the goals of the activities

  • Data
    Framework – Putting metrics into Standard Data Categories

SOD Picture (Paul)

How Data is Redefining Business (and Brand) Relationships


Original Post from Mashable

Suaad Sait
is co-founder of Workstreamer,
a business listening platform that delivers actionable, real-time
information to business professionals.

As businesspeople, we
now have an unlimited amount of constantly updating information at our
fingertips. It holds the promise of great value (and more importantly,
profit), but it is also voluminous and fleeting.  Powerful new search
engines, newfangled social
systems, and a preponderance of social sites and services leave
us sitting at desks, feverishly fetching news and updates throughout
the day in an attempt to stay up-to-date.

The trick, of course, is
making sense of all that data, and putting it in context of what
companies — and who exactly at those companies — matter most.
Increasingly, we have the palpable desire to turn good data into good
decisions and profitable relationships. But how can you take advantage
of that tsunami of information without risking death by data? How can
everyday businesspeople get value out of these data-heavy services and

Relationships Still Rule

The answer to
these questions starts by first acknowledging that it’s the same as it
ever was: Business is still all about relationships.  This should be
soothing to many for whom the data web is a brave new world. 

business world still runs on relationships, and data is as much at home
at a cocktail hour or on a conference call as it is in a slide deck. The
game has not changed much at all. The difference is that today’s
business data has put everything in stark relief, at very high
resolution. Opportunities and risks have been amplified.

example, if I notice a partner’s company’s stock surge at the opening of
the market and tie it to a news item on quarterly earnings, I can now
send a timely congratulatory note and schedule a follow-up meeting to
discuss leveraging that momentum for a proposed joint venture.

say I am alerted to an old college friend changing his contact info on a
social network, and as a result, track down a few details on his role
at a new company. I might subsequently notice via a status update that
he is departing for my home city in a few days, and now I can initiate a
and invite him to participate on a panel I’m organizing.

most actionable business data comes from living and very human sources
like social networks, wikis, microblogs, crowdsourced contact
directories, collaboratively filtered finance communities, real-time
search engines, hyperlocal
news sites
and more. Managing that data can involve a lot of mixing
and matching, comparing and contrasting.

Relationships Run
on Data

business data imageStrategic relationships
with colleagues and contacts both create and consume data. In fact, data
isn’t cold and impersonal at all — that’s an important misconception to
put to rest. Many of your most successful and trusted business
relationships now likely run on data.

“Networking” in the
traditional sense used to take a lot of time and effort.  But in truth,
all networking has ever been is the act of information-gathering — of
scouting and collating.  We used to start with an idea of a person we
were trying to do business with, without nearly enough relevant
information about them. That has changed as a result of the personal
data now available via social media sources.

Now, when you finally
meet someone in person, or run into them at a conference, the
interaction can be immediately more rich and productive precisely
because of data — you can get right to the heart of the matter because
you’re having a more informed, in-depth conversation that matters.

crunching data and doing your homework, to finding a path through your
existing relationships, to setting up that first meeting with a timely
and well-researched missive, the new data-driven way of doing business
can be infinitely more productive.


the under-the-table note sharing going on in high school? 

imagine having the smartest kid in school organize, prioritize and
collect notes for you, no strings attached. That’s the kind of
information advantage that is now available to us, through an
ever-growing array of new social business tools. And it’s not considered
cheating, either.

But even despite all this new data and these
new tools, relationships are still the beginning and the end of every
business decision. 

There is little doubt that there will be a
fundamental overhaul in the skill-set of the average businessperson in
the next five years as companies grapple with, and realize the upside of
making better use of data, both internally and externally.

the technologies and techniques that were once the exclusive domain of
Wall Street analysts and Silicon Valley engineers are finally trickling
down to everyday businesspeople.   But no matter how the world has
changed, listening is still paramount -– listening to customers,
listening to prospects, listening to colleagues, and listening to entire
companies –- indeed, listening to data.

4 Social Media Questions For Media Finance Focus 2010


Today, I am very fortunate to speak to media finance professionals at the 50th Annual Media Finance Focus conference about Social Media Measurement.  While that is the title, the session will focus on social media as one tactic of overall brand relationship management and how it directly ties into finance and business results.

I am beyond excited to be joined in the session by:

Stephen Day
– COO at Digome LLC

Dawn Iacobucci
E. Bronson Ingram Prof. in Marketing, Associate Dean, Owen School of
Management, Vanderbilt University

Paul Jankowski
– Chief Strategist, Access Brand Strategies

Les Ottolenghi
– CEO, Fuzebox Inc.

We are opening the discussion with a quick 4-question poll, which I welcome anyone to take.