Chameleon or Fruit? Publisher’s Integrated Ad Strategy Challenges

1/15/2018  – *Blue Monday with the Blue Chameleon

Matthew Snyder

Amidst the challenges Publishers are facing in 2018 monetizing with advertising that culminated  from low commoditized CPM’s, regulated social syndicated growth (e.g. Facebook’s announcement of deprioritization for pubs)  and Google’s end-user power play by taking control over Ad Blocking  (Chrome with Adblock Feb 15th 2018) should embrace chameleon or flower-like strategies for integrated advertising.   Let me explain.

 

When one thinks of a chameleon,  we think of a beautiful creature that blends into its environment.  This is how I see the how native advertising has evolved.   Content that tries to blend into the look-n-feel of the page.  Even with the propensity to see more personalization, targeted relevancy the content is still pushed to the end-user in an environment that makes it the least interruptive as possible.  There is no question this part of the future of advertising as the combination of content-marketing and ads blend further together.      Some of the problems we have seen with Native advertising has been the overabundance of low-quality content feeds like thousands of geckos running loose in your garden,.  As a consumer, they are great to watch, but what value to they bring…. Makes me think about “fake news”.

 

Then  I think of a comparison to fruit.   As fruit grows it becomes rich with beautiful colors as well and fresh at the point of ripening.  Fruit do not necessarily blend in totally like a chameleon, but they do not look out of place either.  They can still be highly integrated and when a consumer reaches out to engage, they get a sweetness that is satisfying.  Isn’t this what ads like branded content should be?  Beautiful and sweet to the senses.

As we progress into 2018, we look forward to continuing to share our thoughts on how advertising evolves…   Happy New Year.   Are you embracing a Chameleon or Fruit strategy?

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* BTW-  Today is Blue Monday.  A concept originally created for the saddest day of the year as part of an advertising campaign for Sky Travel.

http://players.brightcove.net/2540076170001/rJV2FUU4G_default/index.html?videoId=4710472033001#t=49s’ allowfullscreen frameborder=0

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Cross-Device Tracking Will Expand Mobile Advertising, hence the Responsive Creative

In a recent Media Post article , TheMediaKitchen highlights three very important points.

1) Deriving Larger mobile budgets. The data from cross-device tracking could be the key to finally unlocking advertising spend on mobile devices.

2) More sequential messaging. Cross-device tracking highlights the power of using sequential messaging across devices.

3) Better media mix. Cross-channel attribution credits each advertising channel with a portion of a conversion based on its contribution.

If we take even one step further, the way this data glue can be applied is all in the creative strategy.  We at ResponsiveAds keep driving to this vision.

ResponsiveDaily‘s insight:

This will be one of the most contested discussions in 2014. With all the debate around cookies, privacy, unique identifiers, once the air is cleared, the effects on mobile advertising will be astounding…

See on www.mediapost.com

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(Screen) Size Matters: Is Responsive Web Design the Solution for Changing Screen Size Use?

People are increasingly using larger screens at home and work, and more and more people are replacing laptops with tablets. These changes illustrate how important it is for publishers to embrace Responsive Web Design and Responsive Advertising solutions.

According to a report from research firm IDC, sales of desktop and laptop PC computers dropped a dramatic 14 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, following the release of Windows 8. It was only expecting a 7.7 percent drop. We think this study shows that it is key for publishers to implement cross-screen monetization strategies.

“Instead of buying new laptops or desktops, people are buying tablets and smartphones, which serve as good-enough alternatives,” says a report from Business Insider.

Gartner also released its own report focusing on PC sales. It says that overall PC sales dipped 11.2 percent, and the trend of consuming content on smartphones and tablets is increasing.

While consumers are increasingly turning to smartphones and mobile devices, businesses have been utilizing them too, but they have mixed reactions.

According to a report in The Financial Times, “Tablets can cause corporate headaches,” businesses like the idea behind tablets because they’re cheaper than desktops or laptops, but often times they’re too complicated.

A portion of the article reads: “Adapting legacy workforce applications to be accessible from tablets can be very expensive. These need to be much simpler to use and robust – for example, not prone to cutting out if the user is on a train that enters a tunnel or enters a lift.”

Publishers, too, are increasingly switching screen sizes for newsroom and sales force uses.

Randy Parker, managing editor of the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania, recently spoke at America East 2013, a conference of newspaper tech and operations executives. He explained that 14 of his newsroom staffers now have iPads, and most editors and reporters have smartphones. In addition, his photographers are now using Nexus 7-inch tablets.

Kim Wilson, president and publisher of South Bend Tribune, said her sales team takes their iPads on the road with them, it saves them a lot of time, and allows them to pull up information on the road for advertisers.

Mel Taylor, founder of Mel Taylor Media, talked about how he launched BrigantineNow.com after Hurricane Sandy to provide aggregated information to the area. He used WordPress to create the site, and he chose a template that uses Responsive Web Design.

“Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome,” said David Daoud, IDC research director, Personal Computing, in a news release. “The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer. Vendors will have to revisit their organizational structures and go to market strategies, as well as their supply chain, distribution, and product portfolios in the face of shrinking demand and looming consolidation.”

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Is Native Advertising Blurring the Line Between Content and Advertising?

On March 26, Paul Adams (@Padday), global head of brand design at Facebook, sent out this tweet:

This post triggered a controversial discussion on Twitter over whether all content is advertising or all advertising is content and vice versa. Here is the conversation:

We can understand how the implementation of native advertising, ads that runs in-stream with editorial content, can blur the line between content and advertising. After all, nobody can agree on the definition of native advertising industrywide.

We know that all content is not advertising. However, all advertising is content. The FTC recently updated its “Dot Com Disclosures” to state that all online ads, even ones in tweets, much be marked as such in the content of the ad.

Digiday recently asked a slew of publishers what they think the definition of native advertising is. Here are their responses:

Ryan Manion, CTO, Politico
It’s still being defined. You want to provide the advertiser with the best experience you can and also provide the best experience for the users who want to view those advertisements.

Will Pearson, president, Mental Floss
Native advertising is about taking what the advertiser is wanting to communicate and integrating it with what our users are expecting.

Matt Sanchez, CEO, Say Media
Native advertising is anything that takes on the form of the medium.

Tom Cochran, CTO, Atlantic Media
It’s similar to TV or movies. It’s a way to promote the content of our advertisers in a way that’s more ingrained way that’s built into the design of our properties.

Carolyn Bekkedahl, svp of digital media revenue, Meredith
Advertising that stems from a brand that is more than just one piece of creative. It can be video or text that robustly describes whet a product or service an advertiser has.

Mary Mucko, president of digital sales, Gannett
When we’re able to take advantage of the platform the advertiser’s on.

As we have previously mentioned, our perspective is that native advertising is Responsive Advertising plus scale.

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Facebook’s Phone Could Mean FREE Cell Phone Minutes? User Opt-in Mobile Advertising?

Responsive Advertising
There has been a long promise of the FREE model…. but it must be powered by Advertising?  There was Blyk that tried to do it…..

Then Google launched Android as the FREE open OS that created much debate,

It there now a shift further that — “Carriers should be worried. They could become nothing more than “dumb pipes.”  Business Insider

ResponsiveAds  insight:

It was just a matter of time before the competition between Google ( Android) and iPhone (Apple) would lead to a further unique business model of scale.   FREE minutes.

 

How many of you have used skype to talk for Free on your iPhone over wifi?   How many of you dred that $70~$150/month bill for internet usage, talk and text when you are doing it all over wifi?

 

Could this be another disruption to the ecosystem to bring a unique form of mobile advertising that is very location sensitive and relevant to our social graph because we have opted-in?

 

Facebook could have the moment to make this kind of announcement and make it free for all users that want to have this benefit of real-time location basd advertising cross-platform.

 

It does not have to be a one-size-fits all model.  Only for the individuals that want to “opt-in” for this kind of service… and buy a Facebook phone.

( 50M or 5% of the users would be a nice big market nevertheless)

See on www.businessinsider.com

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Should Publishers Implement Facebook Exchange?

Retargeting

 

While the majority of advertisers still have not used FBX, the social network’s real-time bidding exchange for serving retargeted ads, data shows Facebook is taking an ever-greater share of these impressions.

See on www.emarketer.com

Facebook Exchange (FBX), the real-time bidding platform that launched in 2012, partners with retargeting companies such as AdRoll to let advertisers purchase and deliver retargeting impressions on Facebook.

AdRoll partnered with Facebook early on after the launch of the Exchange. According to eMarketer, Facebook Exchange is increasing in popularity, and AdRoll alone has more than 700 brands advertising on the Facebook platform. Overall, the number of retargeted clicks Facebook has seen is rising.

The click-through rates for FBX ads was 40 percent less than other web retargeting ads, but the price per click came in at 80 percent lower than on Facebook.

“There’s still plenty of upside for Facebook retargeting advertisers, however. Cost per impression (CPM) and cost per click (CPC) were both significantly lower on Facebook, proving that the social site does offer some substantial monetary benefits, along with ride reach,” the summary from eMarketer says.

ResponsiveAds’ Insight:

Is the Facebook Exchange social re-targeting ad network the Trojan Horse for Facebook’s global monetization strategy?

Facebook has developed a plug-in for publishers’ websites so they can track readers’ behaviors. However, publishers aren’t the only ones who can track users’ behaviors. Facebook can, too.

The social network can place the most relevant ads on the page, but the publisher needs to open up their inventory to Facebook Exchange. This could be the first step toward programmatic premiums.

In addition, Facebook likes screen-shifting, and mobile is part of that bundle. It can be delivered to any screen at a premium CPM.

We think that ad currencies should not be based on channels, but rather the value of the ad impression at that particular moment and time. It’s no longer about the size or shape of the ad — it’s the ad’s effectiveness.

We believe that having one ad that transforms to match the RTB environment of DSPs and exchanges is the best way to go.

One option is to upload different creatives and SWAP them out for different sizes and shapes. The other choice is to have your brand agency on the dashboard, communicating in real time through the ad, just like Twitter.

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Why is ResponsiveAds the Answer for Native Advertising?

HowDoYouDefineNativeAdvertising.png

For most — including the Atlantic, Politico, Gannett and others — it’s about fitting the ad into the site experience.

 

ResponsiveAds‘ insight:

What is native advertising, and what does it mean for publishers? Digiday recently asked publishers for their definitions of “native advertising.” Answers ranged from – it’s still being defined to creating an advertising experience that doesn’t disrupt what the user is expecting.

We think that ResponsiveAds is the answer for native advertising because:

  • It provides the best design of ads onto publisher websites;
  • It can be used like The New York Times has designed Riccochet, which was launched last April and allows advertisers to select articles from their archive to attach ads to for a specific period of time. Riccochet provides a unique URL for articles that have these advertisements;
  • Incorporating sponsored content allows publishers to incorporate ads “in stream,” eliminating disruption of the reader’s website experience and flowing with the rest of the editorial content; and
  • It’s focused on brand marketing versus direct response.

See on www.digiday.com

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Senator Rockefeller’s ‘Do Not Track’ Campaign

“Online companies are collecting massive amounts of information, often without consumers’ knowledge or consent…My bill gives consumers the opportunity to simply say ‘no thank you’ to anyone and everyone collecting their online information. Period.”

— Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va.

ResponsiveAds’ insight:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia is re-introducing the Do Not Track Act, which would mandate online companies to ask consumers if they want to opt-out of tracking of online activities, according to a report on Adweek.com. We couldn’t agree more with the senator.

“Online companies are collecting massive amounts of information, often without consumers’ knowledge or consent … My bill gives consumers the opportunity to simply say ‘no thank you’ to anyone and everyone collecting their online information. Period,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

The Adweek article says that since Rockefeller originally introduced the bill in 2011, most of the advertising industry has decided itself to provide the option for consumers to opt-out of receiving advertisements. However, Rockefeller said that companies can’t be trusted.

Even though 90 percent of the advertising industry is already following these rules, we think Rockefeller’s bill is a necessity in order to crack down on the remaining 10 percent.

It is our belief that website visitors should have complete control over which online advertisements they want to receive.

When we look into our crystal ball, we see a future where free digital subscriptions will let visitors receive responsive ads with coupons, if they wish. However, it is critical that they are given the choice to opt-out. Even if online companies did send information to website visitors they didn’t want, the consumers wouldn’t likely read it anyway.

Our team has extensive experience with maps and location-based services, and one of the many things we have learned is that the user needs to always be in control.

Always.

See on www.adweek.com

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Responsive Advertising = Native Advertising + Scale

“Perhaps the definition of scale is the quality of advertising produced and the impact of the experience. Native means premium, which means cost. It’s not about getting a deal. Those that position themselves this way are going to charge more and perhaps rightfully so.” — Appssavvy CEO Chris Cunningham

 

ResponsiveAds’ insight:

“What is native advertising?” Responsive advertising minus scale.

Believe it or not, this is a question that some digital ad industry execs are asking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Arizona this week, according to Adweek.

Native advertising is “in-stream” content that blends in with the editorial content of a site, but it is marked as such (for example, “sponsored content”).

According to the Adweek report, many meeting attendees rolled their eyes at the mention of native advertising, comparing it to advertorial found in print, making the point that it’s nothing new.

Appssavvy CEO Chris Cunningham said during the panel: “Perhaps the definition of scale is the quality of advertising produced and the impact of the experience. Native means premium, which means cost. It’s not about getting a deal. Those that position themselves this way are going to charge more and perhaps rightfully so.”

We agree with Cunningham that definition of scale is quality of advertising produced, and responsive advertising is all about bringing quality ads to audiences no matter the screen size.

Sponsored content works effectively on responsively designed sites because “native ads’” shapes and sizes are flexible and can easily adapt to different screen sizes since it is part of the overall editorial flow of a site.

Another point worth making is that native ads are executed in real time so they blend in with context and the moment. When it comes to pricing models, they are similar to CRM; however, they have a social tail.

We like the fact that native advertising focuses on converged media — owned, earned and paid — a key aspect of responsive design. It is measured by brands’ effects instead of direct responsive.

However, native takes the responsive out of direct “responsive” for brand value, yet keeps the ResponsiveAds.

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4 Ways Publishers Can Convince Advertisers That HTML5 Responsive Ads are a Better Value

HTML5 Advertising and Responsive Web Design as the perfect match for publishing ad revenue
HTML5 Advertising and Responsive Web Design as the perfect match for publishing ad revenue

 

Recently, in some of our customer implementations we were able to see several clear ways for publishers to communicate the value proposition to their advertisers.

When publishers with direct sales switch their websites to responsive design, they need to create – or have created — HTML5 responsive ads for businesses and media buyers. Those advertisers are going to need to be convinced that HTML5 responsive ads are worth the value. Since it’s still early days for responsive advertising, clients may be skeptical at first.

Here are four ways publishers can convince advertisers HTML5 responsive ads make sense for them in this multi-screen world:

1. Show Advertisers Examples

Nothing makes for a better presentation than showing ad examples specifically for the business the publisher is meeting with. When publishers visit a potential client, they should bring as many devices with different screen sizes as possible. This way the business can view exactly how their HTML5 responsive ads would appear on a variety of screen sizes.

We are working with a publisher that has had a long tradition of selling  print media ads to their local advertisers. Even though the ad sales team has migrated to selling digital, selling mobile has not been as straightforward.  

Reasons include:

  • Mobile was less then 20 percent of the overall inventory;
  • Mobile traditionally required a separate mobile strategy such as a mobile landing page or new creative as well as specialized ad-serving;
  • Figuring out how to best price mobile versus other channels;
  • Determining the value of the mobile ROI to that brand; and
  • Complicated mobile web, mobile app, SMS, QR codes, and other things that can be done with mobile.

However, when the publisher mentioned above showed the advertiser an example of a responsive ad STRETCHing, they said to us, “Wow, it was magical. The advertiser could immediately see how they could have that same ad work across the entire site.”

2. Present the Facts

Reveal your website analytics to potential clients. These will provide proof that your audience consumes the news on computers and devices with different size screens. Explain to them that HTML5 responsive ads work hand in hand with responsive design and provide the optimal user experience, resizing to screens with different resolutions.

What is really clear is that mobile traffic is exploding. We have found sites that are hitting a higher-age demographic get up to 20-25 percent of their traffic on mobile. Sites that cater to younger demographics are seeing traffic up to 30-40 percent and growing. It is fair to say that we are starting to see a 50/50 in mobile versus desktop now (when tablet is included), and it is only going to go higher.

3. Works with Mobile First and Mobile too

Tell potential advertisers that HTML5 responsive ads are future-friendly. The reality is that more and more people are reading the news on mobile, but at the same time, those same people are reading it on multiple devices. As news consumption is going down on desktop computers, mobile is rising, and responsive embraces both mobile-first and mobile-too strategies.

One of the key aspects that makes mobile special is that the mobile device is with consumers all the time. That contextual relevancy of having ads that can be responsive as well when users are on the go, or in a relevant location, becomes more and more important.

4. Emphasize Bundles

Bundles allow publishers to provide potential advertisers with packages of HTML5 responsive ads, instead of just a single slot. American businessman Mark Cuban once said, “People like bundles. People don’t like to work for their entertainment. They’ll pay a premium if it saves them time.” We think this idea translates into the advertising world.

“Bundles”  just makes the entire process easier for you (the publisher) and the advertiser when they are responsive ads.

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