The Importance Of Advertising To The Right Audience

With all that we are facing on the daily given the pandemic, we could use some major boost. Especially companies, brands and even consumers need motivation – whether it is promoting new products, identifying target audiences (TG), getting the attention of consumers or even structuring workable online strategies. It is a sensitive situation.

However, it does come with a fresh set of opportunities. Brands or companies may have to look with delicate care to spot their prospects in the sea of digital audiences. A workable marketing strategy will not only compute the budget but also carefully define audience segments that need to be targeted.

More lasting impressions can be created if data forms the base of marketing. How? It helps you predict the behaviour of your target audience. Not taking your customer’s digital footprints into account when strategizing can put you on the back foot.

BPRISE realized this since it began buying inventory and serving ads two years ago. So, to better equip you, as a platform user (digital marketer or media planner), BPRISE got data integrations done. This means you can now attract prospects who exhibit characteristics similar to your existing customers.

Here’s What’s New:

Audience! Audience! Audience!

BPRISE’s integration with 75+ global data providers like Oracle’s Bluekai, Lotame, Dun & Bradstreet, ComScore, Visa, Mastercard, Forbes and a bunch of other powerful players, gives you just what you need to shrink your expenses while still reaching out to your desired audience segments.

This new power packed data integration gives you easy access to buying millions of impressions and also helps you narrow down your reach to those (prospects) that matter. An addition like this to a programmatic ad buying platform like BPRISE, came as a natural evolution after listening to the needs of our existing platform users (agencies and ad consultants).

Use Cases:

While you set your marketing cadence taking into account the happenings of the world, we also suggest that you keep an extra eye out on that campaign performance. Getting your inboxes stuffed with Excel sheets and reports may be inevitable but you need real answers about your campaign performance.

BPRISE’s dashboard comes fully equipped with real-time reporting on campaigns that are in-flight. Imagine that you have just launched a CPM campaign across Tier 1 Indian cities targeting online shoppers and audiences who use ecommerce apps.

While the natural tendency is to set the campaign live and wait for the numbers to soar, our Campaign Managers do it a bit differently. They not only monitor your campaign by the hour (or even by minutes sometimes!) and make necessary tweaks – while the campaign is live – in order to keep CTRs from falling. This of course, is part of BPRISE’s Managed Services – wherein we manage your campaigns from start to finish including campaign setup, launching, monitoring, optimizing and reporting.

A few one-line proposals for various industries…

Real Estate / Insurance

Reach out to HNIs spread across India or people looking to buy

Appliances

Advertise to newly weds or parents of school children

Entertainment

Attract users of popular video streaming apps with your ads

Travel/tourism

Run your ads by budget travelers, luxury travelers and frequent flyers

Hospitality

Grab the attention of individuals that frequent clubs, restaurants and cafes

Pharmaceutical

Reach out to health and fitness conscious individuals or healthcare professionals

MSMEs/SMEs

Advertise to decision-makers and high-profile CXOs

B2C Brands

Attract parents, people of different age groups/interests and behaviour segments like nightlife, football, cricket lovers etc.

For You:

Our newly fitted platform feature (audience segmentation) promises to deliver your ads to your most authentic prospect no matter where across the globe they are. BPRISE has upped it’s marketing feat with the Data Management Platform (DMP) integrations and is ready to serve you while you serve the best of what you got to your audiences; while keeping your marketing budgets in check but without compromising on reaching out to your TG.

We believe it is necessary that as a business you are as ready to deliver, for people will heal and the world will get back into motion. One segment at a time!

What Is A DSP and How It Relates to Ads

Business woman working on BPRISE DSP Platform

Almost 50% of small businesses are already using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Unfortunately, not many companies realize there’s an easy way to automate their purchasing. By simplifying a piece of your PPC puzzle, you can spend more time on what matters most: your business.

That’s where a DSP can step in. What is a DSP exactly, and how can it help with your digital advertising?

You’ll have to read on to find out! In this guide, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about DSP advertising and how it can benefit your business. Read on to learn more.

What is Programmatic Ad Buying?

Before we dive into the question, “what is a DSP?” let’s discuss programmatic advertising.

Programmatic advertising is a broader term. It’s used to describe technologies that automate the digital ad buying process.

In some cases, that can mean automating campaign set up based on previous settings. You can also use programmatic advertising for rate negotiation, optimizations, and actualizations. By using programmatic advertising, you can streamline your processes, saving you time and money.

One way to launch programmatic ads is by using a DSP.

What is a DSP?

Now for the big question: what is a DSP?

DSP stands for Demand Side Platform. It’s an automated buying platform that allows users to purchase digital ad inventory. These users often include full agencies or companies that want to advertise their own brands.

The digital ad inventory available can include banner ad space on websites, in-stream videos, or mobile ads that display on phone apps.

There’s a chance you’ve heard of SSP, or Supply-Side Platforms. Also known as Sell-Side Platforms, SSPs are very similar to DSPs. They allow publishers to sell their inventory through an ad exchange.

SSPs require minimum bid requirements. This allows the publisher to maximize how much they’ll make from their ad space.

That begs the question, “what’s the difference between a DSP and SSP?”

DSPs are for marketers. SSPs, on the other hand, are designed for publishers. Both are involved in multiple ad exchanges.

The Ad Exchange

The ad exchange is a digital marketplace. There, advertisers and publishers can use real-time bidding to buy and sell ad space. The ad exchange announces each available impression in real-time.

Then, buyers can determine if they’re interested in that space before they make their bids.

How Does It Work?

Now that you have a broad concept of DSP advertising, let’s talk about the process.

With a DSP, advertisers and agencies can purchase ad inventory from publishers through:

  • Ad networks
  • Ad exchanges
  • Supply-side platforms

Usually, advertisers would buy ad inventory through independent networks. These can include Google, Facebook, other search engines, and other social media platforms. With a DSP, however, advertisers aren’t limited to a set platform.

Instead, advertisers can buy multiple ad formats (like video, mobile, search, display, and native ads) from multiple sources. Meanwhile, the user never has to leave the interface.

Here’s how it works:

  • The user visits a website online
  • That website sends the user’s information to the ad exchange
  • An SSP offers that user information to DSPs
  • Advertisers can bid for ad placement through the DSP
  • The highest bidder wins the ad

With a DSP, users can buy impressions across multiple publisher sites. The advertiser can then target their audience based on location, browser history, or other factors.

The impression price is based on a real-time auction through real-time bidding. Since it’s automatic, you don’t need to waste time bidding on prices. Instead, the impressions are auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The entire process takes seconds, allowing you to save valuable time.

The Benefits

If you’re on the fence about DSP advertising, there are a few benefits you should remain aware of.

First, a DSP offers transparency you can’t find in most forms of advertising. You’ll have a suite of reporting tools available, allowing you to review every detail. Then, you can optimize your campaigns and improve your ad efficiency.

In fact, your analytics will update in real-time. That means you don’t have to waste time and money making uninformed decisions. Instead, you can make decisions about the DSPs you’re using.

With DSP advertising, there’s also a wide range of ad formats available. Sticking to one format can bore your target audience. Instead, you can run an omnichannel advertising campaign to cover new formats.

Over 85% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses. By using a DSP, you can reach those customers and reel them in!

Other benefits include audience targeting abilities and flexible budget shifting. The traditional ad buying process can leave you in the dark. In other words, you won’t recognize targeting or spending mistakes until you’ve already made them.

Why Use a DSP?

When advertising, you would usually complete a time-consuming process that can involve:

  • Advertisers (you)
  • Publishers (where the ad will appear)
  • The target audience

Then, you’ll waste valuable time sending emails back and forth to negotiate prices. In addition to wasting time, there’s also a chance someone will make an error along the way.

The marketing DSP process allows advertising and agencies to buy ads in seconds. Since the process is done so quickly, you can improve your efficiency and focus on bigger matters.

Choosing the Right DSP

When choosing the right DSP for your advertising needs, try to consider:

  • The data you want (first- versus third-party)
  • How many ad exchanges the DSP will access
  • Your budget
  • Your desired reach

You’ll also want to consider the DSP’s ease of use. If you’re unfamiliar with the interface, you might end up doing more harm than good.

With that in mind, it’s important to choose the right company to work with. Before you start using programmatic advertising, make sure to find the right DSP. They can walk you through training and help you maximize your advertising spending.

Instead of wasting money, you can use your DSP to reach more prospects than ever before!

What Is a DSP?: Your Guide to Smarter Advertising

To recap, what is a DSP? It’s your smarter, faster, easier method to great advertising. With a DSP, you can reach your customers without wasting your advertising budget away!

Eager to get started? Request a free trial from our team today.

UDM: How Data Under One Roof Can Help Marketers See The Future

User data is constantly sprouting in every corner of the web and mobile universe, with every passing second. We see ad tech companies, brands, ad networks and exchanges and every middleman scampering about in an attempt to collect that knowledge from each of its sources. But in this hunt for extracting valuable information from oceans of data every day, there lies a big gap between connecting nameless/faceless digits provided by Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to the more tangible, yet minuscule number of known IDs that come in through Customer Data Platforms (CDPs).

That’s the challenge that we at BPRISE have worked to solve.

Not Just DMP, But Holistic Data Management

When advertisers buy media across a vast range of different sites and through various middlemen, including DSPs, ad networks and exchanges, DMPs typically tie all that activity and subsequent audience data together in one, centralized location. This is used to help optimize future media buys and improve target practice when a client wants to reach a certain filtered demographic. But what the DMPs provide is only 3rd party information that’s ripe for the taking for you and your competitors going after the same customer(s). They don’t provide you with unique identifiers and definite readings of your prospective buyers. You need to knock on a CDP’s door for that.

Or you could just ring our doorbell instead, to cover both sides of the spectrum. We at BPRISE have devised our own system that marries the expansive reach and global access of DMPs with the precision and pointed knowledge of CDPs. We call it UDMP-Unified Data Management Platform. Since we trace your customers even when they travel outside of your website/app framework onto other 3rd party territories, with our UDMP, we are able to connect this first-hand CDP data with information from 3rd party apps and websites (information that has already been analysed by DMPs). This is a more durable and privacy-led connector between known and unknown ID types. So, everything from transaction data, demographic data, and virtually infinite amounts of behavioural data all churn away under our UDMP warehouse.

Thanks to UDMP behaving as a superset of data from DMPs and CDPs, we are able to provide a consolidated view of your customers’ interests and better predict future behaviours, consumer paths and motivations. Since we bridge the gap between DMPs and CDPs and manage the relationship between the ‘general’ mass of data points and known facts about uniquely identified consumer profiles, we have the power to enrich email lists and retargeting campaigns with anonymous DMP attributes to drive performance in known channels.

UDMP. More Juice, Less Faff.

By building this UDMP we can help our clients to better understand customer information and do it with major operational efficiency. Every data point is enriched and made sense of in a way that ensures minimal waste of key information and full use of the cost that went into acquiring that data.

UDM provides you with a data-set of your actual audience which can be activated across an entire life cycle: acquisition, engagement, conversion, and retention. There aren’t restrictions on the types of data you can collect, the segmentation is real-time, and it is channel agnostic to ensure the seamless flow of data. This flexibility arms brands and advertisers with an ability to really explore more possibilities and methods to engage with their user bases.

Controlling such vast amounts and types of data all under one roof also allows us to come to more accurate conclusions, at a faster rate. This in turn feeds into optimisation campaigns and switching strategies to capitalise on emerging trends. By unifying the DMP and CDP universes, at BPRISE we constantly refine lookalike models and present our clients with not just the 411 about their existing customers, but also point them to the coordinates of their future buyers and patrons as well.

So, we’re saying, instead of employing the services of multiple middlemen entities to gather information about the same target audience, give us a call. With our Unified Data Management Platform, we warehouse all the data pouring in from numerous locations and hand it to you in a way that makes sense. If you believe that Data is the new currency, then know that UDMP functions as a big bank. Start your account with us today!

Buy Ad Impressions In Real Time From Publisher Sites

If you read our blogs often, you’re already somewhat familiar with the words DSP (demand-side platform) and programmatic advertising. Just to refresh your memory a DSP is the software platform that advertisers (or marketers of various organizations) use to buy ad inventory and impressions from a range of publisher sites based on the kind of audience that the publisher has. And programmatic ad buying or advertising means using a piece of software to purchase digital advertising. This sort of makes your DSP a programmatic software. Using a machine to buy ads is programmatic as opposed to traditional processes that would involve RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders.

Real-time bidding is when you purchase ads through real-time auctions, but the programmatic software also allows you (as an advertiser) to buy a guaranteed number of ad impressions from specific publisher sites in advance. Buying in such a way is called “programmatic direct.” In short RTB is a type of programmatic buying.

Most B2C brands want to win the attention of customers and potential customers and there’s a price to be paid every time an ad is shown to a specific user. Advertisers bid using an automated platform (think DSP!) for an ad space on a specific website or an app. The auction takes place in milliseconds. The higher you bid, the better are your chances of winning the auction and having your ad displayed to your target audience.

How does RTB work?

  1. User visits a (publisher) website that has ad spaces.
  2. Publisher sends a message to the supply side platform (an SSP is a publisher facing platform) informing that they have an impression/ad space available.
  3. SSP then examines customer information (location, internet search history, age, gender etc) available and sends it to the ad exchange.
  4. Ad exchange conveys this information to the DSP and the auction/bid begins.
  5. DSP bids on the available ad space based on the parameters set by the advertiser.
  6. Highest bidder wins and has ad displayed to the user.

What are its advantages?

  • Advertisers can bid for what they need:

Place bids only on inventories that best suit your campaign. This helps minimize the wastage of media spend on impressions that are not from your desired audience. Moreover the bidding process ensures that each impression can be bought based on the parameters set by the advertiser within the DSP.

  • Publishers get the maximum prices for every impression:

While DSPs bid for on behalf of the advertiser for an impression most useful to him/her, publishers also have the impressions sold at maximum prices based on the real time market demand. Ad Exchanges that facilitate the real time transaction enables publishers to reach out to lot more advertisers. This in turn ensures that publishers sell to the highest bidder.

Who does RTB benefit?

Advertisers – Target and bid more effectively based on the behavioural ground of the customer, which means no more wasted impressions.
Publishers – Gain maximum revenue because advertisers bid for max impression value.
Agencies – Spend efficiently, better control campaigns and achieve targeted results for clients.

Watch out for our next blog where we talk about the mechanism that automates media buying and ad placement in digital space – Programmatic Buying. 

Our Product: The Smart-Marketing Platform

The Arrival

Our platform named “BPRISE Manager Platform” will be used by marketers and media buyers. 

The Solution For Media Buyers

BPRISE Manager Platform is an integral part of the BPRISE marketing solution. The platform makes it possible for you (as a marketer) to serve ads on mobile, web, social media, email and SMS using one simple platform. Rather than being campaign centric like regular DSPs, BPRISE Manager Platform campaigns are target or audience centric. This marketing automation tool is equipped with different supply sources across mobile and web applications, social media and exchanges. Ad-formats supported include banner, interstitial, native, video to name a few. Not just that, through BPRISE Manager Platform, you can also SMS and email your target groups at optimal hours, for example when they’re at your stores or branches. This intelligent marketing tool lets you connect with direct suppliers if you wish to do so. Complementing this, the ability to block and handle fraud, bots ensures that your advertising spend is put to good use.

The Real-Time Everything

At BPRISE, we’re of the opinion that monitoring and optimizing campaigns need to happen in real-time. We root for real-time campaign optimization for the target audience to enable the media buyers or advertisers make course corrections as and when needed rather than realize at the end of the campaign that expected results were not achieved. BPRISE Manager Platform insights provide visualizations of both campaign analysis as well as data analysis in real-time. An easy to use interface and workflow makes a perfect example of how this self-serve platform will create a paradigm shift in the way advertising works. We are now available for agencies, brands and all types of advertisers across verticals be it the Auto, Hospitality, Retail Banking, FMCGs and others. For more information, do not hesitate to connect with us

Basics Of A Demand Side Platform (DSP)

“If you’re not putting out relevant content in relevant places, you don’t exist.”

-Gary Vanerchuk

Ever observe how you end up having ads stalk you? Say for example, you check an item on Flipkart but you don’t make the purchase only to have the  ad follow you almost everywhere you go online. They pop up on Facebook, Instagram, certain other websites that you visit and even emails.

This form of intelligent marketing can only be made possible if the advertiser really knows you – as a  consumer. Which is exactly why despite the rain of digital ads online, there are very few smart ones that grab your attention. That’s the customer’s viewpoint. Let’s take a look at the marketer and advertisers’ points of view.

They sit behind computer screens launching marketing campaigns, chasing marketing KPIs, measuring ad performances, reporting and performing a million other bits. With the dawn of all things “smart” and technology platforms to make lives easier, one could say that advertising on different channels can be accomplished pretty much effortlessly. Speaking of making lives easier in the world of advertising, traditional direct buying processes are taking a seat back given the birth of new buying methods on platforms that better connect media buyers and sellers. For example, programmatic advertising automates the process of buying and selling of online advertisements. One of the primary buying tool/platform facilitating programmatic buying is a DSP.

It stands for a Demand-Side Platform. Simply put, it’s an automated buying platform used by advertisers (aka media buyers) and marketing agencies to purchase digital ad inventory from the media owners (aka publishers). A DSP will have basic targeting functionalities like start date and end date, geo targeting, budget pacing, frequency capping, day parting, device targeting and contextual targeting.

DSP allows advertisers to buy impressions from a range of publisher sites that have the specific kind of audience which is of interest to the advertiser. The medium through which publishers make ad impressions available for buyers (advertisers) is a marketplace called an ad exchange. A DSP is used to manage multiple ad exchange accounts by the buyer. Not just that, they also act as a central hub for handling every data that one can bring in to help with the RTB (real-time bidding) valuation which is very crucial to successful ad exchange management. DSP automates bidding on deals that close at lighting speed, using sensible parameters which are set by the advertiser to control their budget and optimize spend. Decision-making is also automated by demand-side platform with the help of algorithms to ensure if deals are even worth bidding on in the first place. This gives advertisers a transparent view of websites running their ads to ensure they’re brand appropriate.

Is your demand-side platform really working for you?

Advertisers must ask themselves what exactly a DSP helps them accomplish. A strong DSP consists of efficiency and performance, both of which are important in determining the success of your marketing campaigns. It is also important to understand that all DSPs are designed and developed with different capabilities. You as an advertiser must first determine the campaign needs (reach, targeting and cost) and if the solution your’re looking for aligns with what a DSP can deliver.

With the evolution of programmatic buying, the growth of demand-side platform is anticipated to go hand in hand as it introduces advanced targeting tools, providing options to target behaviourally, geographically, and even options to retarget. Advertisers can generate value and increase return on investments (ROI) based on how well they understand the real consumer needs of the target group. Your DSP is a means of presenting your brand and its offerings to potential customers in the form of ads, marketing messages and emails, but having a layer of intelligence to guide you will only fasten your reach to your most convertible customers at actual moments of (purchase) intent.

“Hey! We haven’t seen you for a while on our website, come and check out what we have prepared for you.” Such mailers are not unusual. Whether your’re a retailer or a bank you would at some point consider sending out mailers. If you’re an e-commerce company, how are you reaching your potential customers? Oftentimes, you combine internal data to guide your real-time bidding (RTB) approach. E-commerce giants also often target frequent shoppers with various promotional offers and discounts designed specifically for them. This also helps in maintaining your brand image among the existing customers. Banner ads displayed with the help of RTB have the potential of replacing e-mail, gift cards, discount coupons and even newsletters? What do you think, let us know in the comments below.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we talk about Real-Time Bidding and how advertisers and publishers make it a win-win.

The 101 on Programmatic Advertising

Here’s a go to guide for knowing all about the “new black” in the ad market. Programmatic ad spends grew from $5bn in 2012 to $39bn in 2016, at an average rate of 71% a year, according to Zenith’s programmatic marketing forecast. How did you not notice?

Let’s Start At The Very Beginning

Programmatic advertising is an automated mechanism that uses computer algorithms to purchase ad inventory. This modern, digitized media buying and selling does away with the traditional agency-network set-up, manual bidding and human optimization. It’s the idea and now, a wide-spread practice, that the processes involved in media marketing and negotiation such as inventory selection, data reporting, budget optimization, the back and forth of paperwork and testing of creative inventory; all of this is handled through an automated system.

This is achieved through a sophisticated and efficient assimilation of data, software and technology. Everything from behavioural and intent-based targeting, to real time bidding (RTB) and exchange-based buying of inventory can be credited to programmatic buying.

In English Please!

All you need to input is a range of creatives, your budget and targeting filters as an advertiser. Programmatic Advertising takes over from there. It makes scientific, data-backed decisions about which ad property to display, on whose website, at what price and when. Microwaved popcorn much?

You have two options:

“Direct Buying” takes place against a fixed payment in advance for a specific ad inventory. The objective here, is simply to exhaust a set budget by providing the requisite number of impressions on the selected ad property of a specific publisher.

“Real Time Bidding”, or RTB is an auction-based price system for buying and selling ad impressions across sites, on a real time basis. It literally takes milliseconds to launch ad campaigns, sitting at a desk, with a front row seat at the bid wars for inventories across multiple publishers’ sites.

We all know what DSP and SSP means by this point. But the truly powerful acronym of the bunch is a DMP, aka Data Management Platform. The information of what’s being sold and bought at what price, is stored here and is presented in a simple manner, displaying how consumers behave across the wider internet. So now, you can predict outcomes, understand audiences and break down media silos at the click of a mouse.

The Good News

With Programmatic Buying, you witness the actual price of ads move before your very eyes, minus mark-ups and agency fees. If you spot that a certain ad creative isn’t working on a segment or site, you have the power to immediately switch strategies then and there, in real time. No more waiting for your agency to respond with a monthly campaign report, while those ad impressions burn away; and no more feeling unsure about your return on investment. Have fun with highly personalised messages and refined funnelling processes. The transparency and quickness of it all helps hit the bull’s eye over and over again, across any device or channel. You save time, money, energy and nerves!

The Bad News

Woah Woah Woah. Don’t fire your media agency just yet though! There are a few downsides to programmatic advertising. Since your ads follow the user’s wild travels across the world wide web, you run the risk of displaying ads on questionable destinations. Behavioural and Contextual targeting can be tricky that way, so rein in visibility by blacklisting or whitelisting sites or categories.

But how is this hyper targeting possible in the first place? Programmatic ads rely on cookies to track activities across devices. So, the moment netizens observe computer hygiene and clinically cleanse their system of cookies, all that data is lost and it’s back to square one. Big dogs like Facebook and Google are immune to an extent, because they track movement across devices through login status, but the rest, as they say, is browser history! Isn’t that how the cookie crumbles?

Another devilish hazard is ad fraud. Domain spoofing experts and bots hike up costs and dupe advertisers with cunning flair. This raises obvious questions on the quality of inventory in programmatic buying. There is an entire article dedicated to that problem alone. Read it here to know how you can keep guard.

So Now What?

In advertising, knowing more about your audiences and being able to access and read data that uncovers insights are crucial. There is no doubt that leveraging technology to drive stronger results from highly relevant, targeted campaigns is a boon. Unanimous adoption of programmatic advertising across multi-channels is fast becoming a reality. Legal updates and private partnerships to curb the above challenges are in the pipeline as well.

As an ad-tech entrepreneur, I advise all brand owners and advertisers to hop on board the Programmatic band-wagon right away. The earlier and faster you join the game, the savvier you’ll be at bidding the best price for the right ad. Sold?

Beware Of These 4 Ad-Tech Issues In 2018

As an ad-tech entrepreneur, I have been observing how lately, tricksters in the digital advertising industry are notoriously causing billion-dollar revenue losses, encouraging parallel counterfeit industries and duping end-consumers. I thought I’d put these draconian problems in context, along with some immediate actionable solutions to insulate one’s own company, clients and customers.

 

Fraud Is The Real F-Word

 

We’ve all been sceptical about those “ad impressions” and “clicks” mentioned in performance reports. Do they actually come from a human being? After displaying the exact message, you designed? On the actual publishing platform, you paid for?

There are countless number of cunning websites and apps that monetise purely through advertising revenue. Their line of business? Domain Spoofing. Many ad exchanges misrepresent web traffic as coming from a top portal, by falsely tagging the link parameters with the publisher’s name attached to them. As ad buyers, you get the wrong idea that you’ve bought visibility on the most relevant platforms, while in reality, sneaky bots are doing all the dirty work!

In the case of mobile, fake devices and counterfeit apps, mask legitimate entities to hike up ‘views’ through junk media. So actual publishers lose out on potential ad dollars and your CPMs still go through the roof!

The Solution (well, almost): In order to prevent such malpractice, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab in June of 2017 devised a solution enabling brands to verify that a 3rd party offering ad space anywhere on the internet, is actually authorised by the publisher to do so. It is called “Authorised Digital Sellers” or “ADS.TXT”. This is a text file containing a list of authorised sellers, hosted in the root folder of every publisher’s site domain. It isn’t a bullet proof remedy, but this centralised document makes it easier for publishers and brands to compare their own data against that of agency partners and vendors.

But ads.txt isn’t complete without ads.cert. Almost functioning like a digital signature, ads.cert ensures authentic inventory and prevents modifications or human errors in ads.txt. It uses cryptographically signed bid requests to validate data flowing between buyers and sellers in the digital media supply chain.

So, what’s the catch? One can implement ads.cert only with expensive engineering and updated tech infrastructure, namely OpenRTB 3.0. Released by the IAB, it is specifically designed to handle complex programmatic buying and selling. Its adoption will prove expensive for demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs) and ad exchanges.

If the industry doesn’t widely adopt ads.txt and ads.cert across media campaigns, domain spoofing could easily fur-ball into a bigger monster in 2018. So, do your part and insist on partnering with publishers and agencies that follow at least ads.txt, until further developments.

 

World Wide Web Of Lies

 

Fake News has the power to influence politics, people and business. Mainly because it’s smart, hard to spot and integrated into our newest and most important news source – social media.

Hence, monitoring your media placement will become a tricky affair. There is a very thin line between Fake News and Fake Brands. If your ad accidentally plays next to an inaccurate smear campaign or on a news source that commits major blunders in basic journalism, your brand will immediately become guilty by association.

I feel PR and crisis management will become truly crucial in 2018 in this regard: On one hand, the smaller a brand you are, the more vulnerable you would be to fall prey to lies and deceit on the internet; and on the other hand, the bigger a name you are, the more you stand to lose by way of goodwill.

So, vet your display sites, quality control your filtering process and try not to listen to people when they say, “Fake it till you make it.”.

 

Hands Up! It’s GDPR.

 

The Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new regulation, created by the European Union (EU), intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU. This means that the ad-tech industry will have to comply with stricter cybersecurity and privacy rules going forward. Aimed at curtailing abusive surveillance, the GDPR will come into effect from May 2018 as a new legal framework.

This is going to globally impact the way organisations collect, share and use customer information. Vague disclaimers about cookies won’t be enough. Users will be required to give clear cut permissions via ‘affirmative actions’ and explicit consent regarding ’sensitive’ information, like race or age. This evidence, then, will have to be logged and stored for the record by publishers and networks.

If you engage in digital advertising or content distribution of any kind, Big Brother is watching you! Regardless of whether your company operates on EU soil or not, if you take personally identifiable information (PII) of a EU user, GDPR applies. Fines can run up to 20 Million Euros or 4% of global annual revenue, whichever is higher.

Complying with GDPR warrants advanced security solutions technology, data protection compliance, user permissions and of course, additional budgets. So, make sure you prepare for these steps, with your senior management and partners, well before May 2018. Failing which, heavy penalty fees, legal implications and hindrance to business-as-usual will surely be part of this year’s horoscope as consequences.

Our communications team at BPRISE will run a series of GDPR related articles this month detailing the risks of GDPR and how brands should step up efforts to become compliant with the new regulations.

 

Who Cares About Your Data?

 

After striking off all of the above to-do items (as you should), what a shame it would be to fall prey to data breach and theft yourself! Laptops getting stolen is not the only way one can lose confidential and professional records. I am very particular about security against hackers, malware and phishing sites on the prowl for prey on the net. At BPRISE, I have implemented some iron clad practices that afford me a sound sleep every night. Here they are, if you want to wisely follow suit…

End user security awareness: Train your team and employees. Nobody will notice odd behaviour by malicious creepy crawlers online, if they haven’t even been told what the problem looks like.

Secure all systems:  Empower IT to build highly secure computers in your office, with Antivirus, Drive Encryptions, password complexity policies and local and remote data backup services. Also ensure that you buy only genuine software.

Patch ‘em up: There’s only so much a regular password sign-in feature and Microsoft update can accomplish. What about comprehensive patching on apps that aren’t a Bill Gates product, like Adobe? And what about other operating systems like Linux and MAC? Get to work right away, chop-chop!

Deploy intrusion detection prevention systems: All mission-critical systems, ones that are accessible via the Internet (web servers, e-mail clients, servers that hold customer or employee data, active directory servers) and just about the entire office should be covered.

Stop drive-by downloads: All it takes to catch a virus is an innocent intern browsing a seemingly harmless site. Use powerful firewalls to block phishing sites and websites that hack into computers through malicious spyware and pesky pop-ups.

Run more vulnerability assessments than fire drills: On a weekly basis. Against every system in your network, internal and external.

Monitor Inside-Out:  A system monitoring program where HR or a compliance officer can replay the behaviour of an insider will come in handy. Also, employing data loss prevention (DLP) technology will allow you to block content that you don’t want to leave the company.

Keep the pipes secure: Communication to and fro between the servers you deploy globally, and your development environment should take place in an encrypted channel. You don’t want your customers’ details leaking out to hackers because you shipped them via the post office.

Once you cover all these bases, dare I say, 2018 could potentially be your oyster. That is, until another occupational hazard veers its head in the ad-tech market.

Have a happy and secure new year!

Life Of A Marketer

Who cares about “ad effectiveness” at 08:30 AM? Ah, my bad. What marketer hits the office at 08:30 AM, anyway? Of course, considering the innumerable tasks that a marketer oversees (sometimes, overlooks), performs (or preempts), the 24-hours-in-a-day-thing does not really work for them.

As someone who works in the Marketing Department primarily, I can tell that no marketer ever has “enough time” on them. All the pre-planned schedule goes for a giant toss and what’s more is that the coin lands on its edge more often than all of us care to admit. You may wonder what’s a marketer onto, that consumes all of their sane time. And if you’re a marketer, then this can be your “constructive read” (sic).

A day in the life of a marketer (let’s call her Jane!) concerns the working on the following…

Scene 1: Digital Marketing 

Jane-the-marketer, works her way through multiple creatives, multiple platforms, multiple log-ins, multiple campaign goals, multiple reports, multiple vendors on a regular basis. Although she’s a dedicated marketer, she finds it humanly impossible to smoothly transition between all the aforementioned “multiples“. Now, if her employer (i.e. the advertiser or brand or retailer) is kind enough to split her work by adding new members to marketing, it will mean that the size of the marketing team goes up, in turn increasing the firm’s ad spends. Does having a bulky team deal with multiple platforms and countless vendors ensure that the advertised products meet the respective real-time needs of its target audience?

You and I both know that one-ad-does-not-fit-all. We also know that quantity does not guarantee quality. It is the quality and appropriate fitting of an ad to a situation in the real-life of its target audience that counts. And it most definitely is not the mammoth-sized-ness of the marketing team that counts.

What if we could resolve these issues, for Jane (and marketers like her!) in one shot? How much of an ease would it be on brands (i.e. advertisers/retailers) if they could keep their marketing budgets from skyrocketing and still reach the right customers precisely when they’re in need of a solution/product? How does a relevant, ad-for-a-human sound like? 

Scene 2: Analysis

So, marketer Jane, successfully runs ad campaigns across the web and mobile apps and has received reams of data capturing the performance and reach of her ads. She consults a number of third-party vendors to analyze the data and tell her what all the numbers and graphs of data, means simply. A thorough analysis is possible only when marketers have all the information about their target audience’s preferences as consumers. Although Jane divides her time between consulting with various vendors and gathering insights from distinct sources, she’s still deficient of her target audiences’ offline preferences as consumers. What this means is that customers often walk into stores near them and grab what they really need, for a price. There are times, they hop into branded shops or retail stores more than once just to get product-related information. Is Jane even aware of this practice? Let’s say Mary visited A Shoe Shop a couple of times. She spent a considerable amount of time at the heels section but walked out of the shop each time without buying anything. This offline consumer behavior of Mary is invaluable to Jane. Because if Jane was aware of Mary’s offline behavior as a consumer, she could target Mary with an ad of a footwear right when she’d walked out of the Shoe Shop without having made a purchase? Hence relying solely on users’ online data sounds like one is building a lopsided launchpad for the advertising campaigns to take off from.

Wouldn’t it also benefit if you could understand what happens across web, app and stores? What a winner of a deal if the marketer’s ad platform could serve as a one-stop-solution to all of the ad campaign needs? What if the marketer could enjoy the luxury of not having to consult a multitude of vendors for campaign results and customer insights? What if the analysis helped marketers with target lookalike customers? And what if the marketing platform was automated so well that it understood brands’ customers as well a human marketer could?

Scene 3: Targeting & Retargeting

Targeting Prospects

Jane markets products/solutions to prospects as ads over the web, mobile phones and even apps. But given Jane’s limited knowledge of her prospects’ offline consumer behaviour, her ads do not completely resolve their real-life, real-time problems. This results in the ads becoming somewhat irrelevant to her target audience and thus gives way to unimpressive CTRs. Targeting without insights is like driving without the headlights on.

Wouldn’t marketers be able to provide genuinely useful solutions/product recommendations to potential customers in the form of ads had they been aware of the customers’ real-time needs? Imagine all the gains (for the marketer, for the advertiser/retailer and for the customer) when an ad is truly apt for a customer and solves one of their immediate problems?

Retargeting Potentials

Marketer Jane finds that numerous visitors have looked up her brand’s products online but have left without buying anything. Abandoned carts are one of her main concerns as a brand marketer. And she offers discounted product recommendations to her customers in order to win them back. However, customers could have skipped buying the product online given a number of reasons. The product could have been too pricey for them, they could have been browsing just like that, they couldn’t have found what they’re looking for or maybe they wanted to check the same products at a brick and mortar store. Insights that are derived exclusively from an individual’s online activities will never constitute genuine “customer insights“. A customer’s activities are not limited to their online conduct alone and the sooner marketers tap into customers’ offline preferences and consumer needs as well, the better!  It is quite the combination of online and offline customer data that constitute true customer insights. 

What would make it absolutely easy for marketers to join the dots with customers’ online and offline behaviour and figure out their precise needs? What if all the abandoned carts would suddenly overflow with products of happy patrons?

Scene 4: Conversion

Marketer Jane hits the bull’s eye with her marketing campaign for she sees immediate hike in sales. Let’s say Jane’s ad convinced Mark to buy her brand’s shoes. But does this mean that Jane’s done for the day? Forget the tens of documents she’s got to edit and release! A successful sale or a conversion calls for brands to build on the patron’s interests as a consumer. Brands partially achieve this with the help of loyalty and membership cards; but this practice does not capture all of the user’s online and offline consumer traits. Building a profile with the help of web analytics and proximity-based analytics for every patron will not only help marketers retarget them with relevant content but also help them establish a database of lookalike customers. A lookalike customer is anyone who resembles one or a group of the marketer’s paying patrons. They’re basically prospects that marketers can target on. Also, lookalike customers are external to the database of customers that the advertiser/retailer already has.

Once analytics helps marketers with valuable insights about existing customers, targeting lookalike customers becomes easier. Marketers can target lookalike customers with fitting ads based on the success of their previous ad campaigns.

Insights from Mark’s conversion will help marketers up-sell and cross-sell effectively. Targeting a lookalike customer therefore (say Joe) will not constitute a shot in the dark because Jane has historic data to substantiate the possibility of Joe (who is a lot like Mark as a consumer) converting!

What if marketers could target lookalike customers as soon as their inventory gets restocked? Nothing like the ability to up-sell and cross-sell relevant products to patrons; how do marketers achieve all this?

Having a simple but powerful ad platform that not only optimizes marketers’ reach with ads that are truly relevant to the brand’s customers, right when they’re in need is quite the evolution in marketing. This evolution will not only bring down the firm’s marketing expenses but also allow the brand to have an efficient, slim marketing team. Which is why, marketers, rather advertisers/retailers that are quick to adopt the same could save considerably. Predictive analytics ad platforms like the one BPRISE offers, gathers information and learns user behavior.

If marketer Jane, were to use BPRISE’S programmatic platform, she’d be able to accomplish everything right from marketing, to targeting, to analytics, to sales, to retargeting, to conversion, to up-selling/cross-selling and looking for lookalike customers, all using a single dashboard. This unified ad platform cuts the need for marketers like her to jump between platforms and wait on countless vendors saving the marketers’ time   and money immensely!  If you’re a brand that’s looking for answers to the above questions, get in touch with BPRISE asap. Oh, also if you’re the marketer who’s concerned about ad effectiveness at 08:30 AM, we’ll definitely be worth your time!